John 4:10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
This has always been a very interesting part of this famous story to me. Jesus used water as an opening conversational gambit, and then flipped it around to talk about what was really important. He was certainly the ultimate expert in personal evangelism! However, one thing He says here really speaks to me. People don’t ask about Jesus/salvation/eternal life because they don’t know to. Non-Christians don’t look at Christians as representatives of their loving Creator God, but that’s what they are. People ask, and often receive, in direct relation to whom they think they are talking. That’s why there are sometimes very real, miraculous healings when the “healer” is as fake as a $3 bill. I remember the story of a Christian camp counselor who didn’t believe in miraculous healing and wanted to teach the children a lesson. They had a meeting, and at the end he got up and said he was going to pray for anyone who wanted healing, and when children came up, he put his hand on their head and said, “In the name of Jesus Christ, be healed!” He had wanted to show that such things were fake, but to his total shock, several of the children really were healed! He had no faith but they did, and God honored it. The lesson for us is that God is bigger than our weaknesses, but the larger lesson from this verse is that people don’t receive God’s infinite blessings out of simple ignorance that they exist and are available to them. I keep coming back to the fact that evangelism is both helping people know what they need and then sharing the One who is the supply for that need. If we will live with that awareness, God will give us opportunities to apply it.
Of course this applies to me. I have found that when I am at a meeting away from here, people ask for things from God through me, and they often receive, whether it is a word of prophecy, healing, or something else. However, that seldom happens in this church. Jesus’ remark that a prophet has no honor at home (John 4:44) is certainly true! I am not to let that tear me down, but rather keep myself available for God to use me whenever, wherever, and however He chooses. I am to pray for those around me, not that they would think I am great but rather that they would realize how great God is, and that He can and will use me if they will ask Him.
Father, I’m back to the need for patience and trust. Keep me from demanding, even subconsciously, that people do as I would like. Rather, help me be Your agent as I pray for them and serve You through serving them, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!