Jesus meets a woman at a well.
With that start, you might think you’ve read this before, but you haven’t. This is number 7 in the Will You Let Jesus Sit At The Well series! But on Thursday he showed me something. And so I thought I would share it.
Back to Jesus and the woman at the well. Jesus asks for a drink. This is the starting point of a beautiful conversation that unfolds. It is one that is predominantly led by the woman and the questions she asks. And Jesus lets the conversation flow and responds as he sees fit.
He, the One whose words are Spirit and Life, lets the conversation unfold. His disciples have gone to town, there is no-one else at the well, it is just Jesus and the woman and an unfolding conversation that will eventually change her life forever. Had the disciples been there, the conversation may not even have taken place. They needed to be away from the well and in town so that Jesus could talk with her.
I’ve come to recognise that in the same way Jesus will not be forced, neither is he up for forcing anyone to choose him. He did not force Judas even though he knew what was happening. There is a simplicity to what he presents to us. In the same way the Lord spoke to the people of Israel and presented them with the choice of life and death, and urged them to choose life, Jesus presents to us all what he is offering. “I came that you might have life in all it’s fullness.” He urges and encourages us, but he never forces us. We can urge and encourage someone to choose Life, but we can never force them to choose Life. To force someone to choose Life is control, which is not Life at all!
I don’t know about you, but there are specific people that Jesus has drawn to himself in me. He has waited for them, and they have met Jesus. They are just like the woman. Jesus wanted to meet them, and he has made it happen. They are all at different stages, but Jesus has met them.
I totally believe that the story of the woman meeting Jesus at the well is the way Jesus is working right now. It’s not big, it’s not flashy. It’s subtle, it’s simple. But it’s real. It’s Jesus waiting for the one, drawing people to himself. It’s us setting aside our plans, our preconceived ideas, our agendas and getting out the way to let Jesus and the person start their conversation. And that is so important to highlight, it is their conversation.
This week I saw how beautiful a thing it is for someone to meet Jesus, and enter into their conversation with him. And I saw why it’s so important that as disciples we must get out the way! Jesus, the master of the art of conversation, has to be the one holding the conversation. It has to be his words. And his words are always dripping with Life, Hope and Love for those he has waited for.
As disciples of Jesus, what a wonderful thing it is to recognise that, rather than forcing someone to make a decision to follow Jesus, we help them to see that they have entered into a conversation with the One who has been waiting for them. We should encourage them to ask their questions of the One who has the answers they need. The One who can reveal another way of living that they haven’t seen before. By asking their questions, they can, just like the woman at the well, lead their conversation with Jesus. He will answer! And when he answers, he speaks words of Spirit and Life. Those words that change everything for a person, that set them on a different course so that life will never be the same again.
Whilst writing this, the words “The Art of Conversation” came to mind, and I found this video (below) by Julian Treasure. I’ll let him speak for himself as to his thoughts about the art of conversation. I know Jesus has mastered this art. 🙂
Eat the Bread, drink the Living Water.