In John's gospel account, he records an encounter which is familiar to people who have read the Bible. It details Jesus' meeting a Samaritan woman who had come to a well in the middle of the day with a jug to get water. She probably came in the middle of the day because she had poor standing in her community. Jesus asked her for water and then told her all about her checkered past: how she had been married five times and was currently living with a man who was not her husband. The woman was astounded. Everything about this story is at odds with the custom of the day. Jews and Samaritans didn't interact unless it was absolutely necessary. Men didn't strike up conversations with women who were alone. People didn't normally go to the well in the middle of the day. Jesus challenged those customs. Today, let's jump into the story near the end and listen to how things turned out:
The woman said, “I know the Messiah is coming—the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” Then Jesus told her, “I am the Messiah!”...The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?” So the people came streaming from the village to see him... Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, “He told me everything I ever did!” When they came out to see him, they begged him to stay in their village. So he stayed for two days, long enough for many more to hear his message and believe. Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not just because of what you told us, but because we have heard him ourselves. Now we know that he is indeed the Savior of the world.” (John 4:25-30, 39-42 NLT)
Here we read about a woman who had begun her day with a mission; she had brought a jug to the well to get water. While there, Jesus struck up a conversation with her and told her all about her life. At the end of the conversation, she left her jug behind. She had a new mission. Let's listen again to her new mission: "`Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?'" Her encounter with Jesus ended her old mission and gave her a new mission. She left her water jug behind and went to tell everyone about Jesus. John then tells us that many Samaritans believed in Jesus because of what the woman had said. Isn't that great? This unnamed woman was responsible for many Samaritans believing in Jesus. She went to the well to get water, had an encounter with Jesus, and revival broke out in this village, lasting for several days! We usually call her "The Samaritan Woman at the Well" but maybe we should call her "The Samaritan Evangelist."
What about you this morning? How has your life’s mission changed since encountering Christ? Who are you telling, like the Samaritan evangelist, the Good News of Jesus?