Evangelism would be a lot easier if most people were like Nicodemus. In John chapter 3 that leader of the Pharisees came to Jesus and asked how to inherit eternal life. But most unbelievers aren’t remotely like that. They rarely seek us out and, even if they do, they almost never ask questions of eternal importance—just like the woman Jesus encountered in John chapter 4.
In his sermon, “Messiah: The Living Water, Part 1,” John MacArthur carefully examines Christ’s encounter with the woman at the well. This Samaritan woman was ignorant, uneducated, and—according to the Jews—part of a God-forsaken people group. But Jesus sought her out and engaged her in an evangelistic conversation that transformed her life, and that still instructs the modern reader.
For the most part, through life, you’re going to be in the position of initiating a conversation with an indifferent person about a gospel they need to hear. And that’s what we’re going to learn from Jesus. . . . If we’re going to take the gospel to the world, we’re going to have to initiate the conversation with ignorant, indifferent people who are in some way or another victims of the concoction that they call their own faith or their own religion—and we have to take the initiative.
And lest we look down on the Jews for their prejudiced attitude, John goes on to point out the unmistakable parallels with modern churchgoers:
Now we’ve got a nation of Jonahs who don’t want to take the message to anybody else any more than Jonah did. We have our own modern-day Samaritans, and instead of telling them the truth, instead of trying to draw them to the true knowledge of the true God through the true Scriptures, they are treated with the same kind of scorn and disdain.
If you need to improve—or even ignite—your evangelism in this stiff-necked and self-centered world, John’s message provides the necessary fuel and tools to do just that. It expounds on Christ’s masterful approach to reaching someone who was undesirable and who seemed totally unreachable. Do you know of any people who fall into that category?
Click here to watch or listen to “Messiah: The Living Water, Part 1.”