The Power of Conversation
Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food. The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?”
John 4:7-9 NLT
Jesus arrived in Samaria and his disciples went into town to buy food. He was left alone when a Samaritan woman came to get water from the well.
Then something unusual happened, Jesus started a conversation with the Samaritan woman. Two things stand out about this conversation, first is that it was with a woman who was a Samaritan, and the second is that it became the longest recorded conversation that Jesus had in the entire Bible with one person.
Even the woman was shocked that a Jewish man would talk to her. That was considered taboo at best. Jewish men did not speak to women in public and especially to Samaritan women.
But Jesus was on a mission. Jesus wanted to demonstrate to His disciples what He meant in the previous chapter, “God so loved the world that He gave His Son so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but shall have eternal life.”
Jesus was making a point that the world included men and women, Jews and non-Jews. And Jesus proved this point by taking the time to have a conversation with a Samaritan woman. This conversation led to her salvation and the transformation of an entire town.
There is power in a conversation. Power in just taking the time to talk to someone.
Jesus’ conversation is a great model for us—learn to ask questions, don’t argue, and don’t condemn.
Jesus started by asking for a drink of water, a question to get the ball rolling. Questions open the door for conversation. I like to ask people about themselves. I learned a long time ago that people love to talk about their favorite subject—themselves.
Jesus also avoided arguing with the woman. She tried to get into an ethnic or religious argument, but Jesus steered clear of arguing. No one has ever committed to faith in Jesus because they lost an argument.
Jesus also did not condemn the woman. In the conversation, we learn she had been married five times and was presently living with a man to whom she wasn’t married. Yet, Jesus never condemned her. Jesus tells us in John 15 the work of the Spirit is to convict the world of sin. It is not our work to convict—that is the work of the Spirit. Our job is to show people they have value.
Holy Spirit, please help me learn to have some conversations. Help me to be a bridge-builder between You and those around me.
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