Monday, February 25
This passage picks up right in the middle of a story. Jesus has met a woman, a Samaritan woman in fact, at a well. He has a conversation with her, which has just concluded when the disciples arrive. The conversation must have affected the woman because she leaves in a rush. So much so that she leaves her water jar behind. We aren’t told if she rushes off in excitement, fear, or disbelief, only that she goes into the town.
While she is gone, Jesus and the disciples have a conversation. The disciples offer Jesus food, which he refuses, claiming to have his own food. Of course the disciples are confused, but Jesus goes on to tell them that his food is to do the will of the Father. He instructs them to look around and to see the fields that are ripe for harvesting. He invites the disciples to enter the harvest, one they have not labored for.
The focus then returns to the woman as the people from the town rush out to see this man she has told them about. Because of her testimony many Samaritans come, meet Jesus, and believe in him. The good news of the story is that God uses an unlikely woman to bear his message into the world. She goes into the city as a witness, testifying to what she has seen and heard. Because of her witness people meet Jesus and their lives are transformed. They come to believe not because of her words, but because of their own encounters with Jesus.
We, like the woman, are called to be witnesses. We are not called to be judges. We are not the ones who decide who is included or not, not the ones who deem individuals as worthy or unworthy, not the ones who determine who is in or who is out. Rather, we are called to be witnesses. We are witnesses to the loving kindness, gracious initiative, and saving work of God the Father through Jesus Christ.
God is at work in the world and we, unlikely characters as we may be, are invited to be part of it, by living as witnesses in the world. That is good news!
Kimmy Stokesbary, Seminary Deacon