unlikely evangelist

No one in Israel would have said that the person to follow to a rabbi would be a Samaritan woman adulteress.

The only people that she would have been able to lead anywhere were people who knew her and saw what that rabbi had done for her.

People in and out of church know all about evangelism. People inside know the gutwrenching fear of having to walk up to some random house, knock on the door, and say, “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life” or “Do you know where you would spend eternity if you died tonight” or “what kind of church would you be interested in if you could design it” or some other script taught by well-meaning evangelism instructors. People outside know the sheer confusion of having someone knock on their door and say, “Goddowhatlovesyoukindyouknowofandwherechurchhell?”

You can fill in your own stories of pain and fear and confusion and annoyance, of “bait and switch” and direct marketing and being a notch in someone’s belt. And even the terms inside and outside hurt.

In the ending to the story about the aforementioned Samaritan woman adulteress, the people from her village talk about why they decided to follow Jesus.

“At first we came to see him because we couldn’t believe how he had made you an honest woman. Then we couldn’t believe that he actually was willing to stay with us for two whole days (a Jew in our ceremonially unclean village). And then we listened to what he said, about us, about God, about himself.

They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”

Relationships. With her. With Him.

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