My track coach was told to wash his hands of me because I was “trouble.” But, despite what people told him, he continued to meet me at the track daily and train with me. I love the story of the woman at the well, because it reflects how my track coach came alongside me, and it also it shows us how Jesus treats those who are cast out.
When the world has set limitations on who we can befriend, Jesus shows us exactly what to do by reaching out to them anyway.
In John 4, Jesus met a Samaritan woman at the village well and shared the gospel with her. The cultural limitation said Jews could not speak to Samaritans. That meant an entire population could potentially be unreached by Jesus’ life.
So what did Jesus do? He disregarded culture’s limitations. And he met this woman where she was and told her about the never-ending, life-giving water – the truth of the gospel.
But the interesting thing is that Jesus did not go to the woman at the well with his disciples. Instead, verse eight shows his disciples had gone into the town to buy food.
Why would he not take his disciples and use this as a teaching moment? Why wouldn’t he have brought more people to the woman with hopes of helping her be seen and known and loved by more? The more, the merrier it seems.
So why did Jesus go alone?
Because even the people closest to Jesus, taking in his every word, being taught by him, and tangibly being loved by him, would have focused on the limitations of the culture. They would have pulled Jesus away from meeting the Samaritan woman, so Jesus shielded her from them.
Jesus went to the woman no one else would go to and met her where she was. He did not say, “You meet me here.” He went to her.
He met her there and changed her life.
Those people in my hometown were advising my track coach to stay away from me. But he kept showing up where I was— the track. It was one of the only places I was allowed to go, and his ongoing mentorship changed the trajectory of my life.
During this holiday season, I ask you these questions:
- Where would you like Jesus to meet you right now?
- Who is God asking you to make a difference in their life?
- Who could you reach out to that you typically pass by?
*For further reflection, listen to John 4 today.