When Jesus met the woman at the well, it seemed to be an accident. The gospel writer told us previously that it was necessary for Jesus to travel through Samaria (John 4:4). Since Samaria separated Judea and Galilee, it was necessary to pass through Samaria. Yet, it was also necessary for another reason.
We come to the end of the account of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well. Not only was it geographically necessary for Jesus to passthrough Samaria, it was also necessary for the salvation of a town. By all appearances, Jesus had no intention in spending time in Samaria. But, when the people incessantly ask him to stay, Jesus stays two days. As a result, many more Samaritans became believers in Jesus. (John 4:39-42)
Evangelism is rooted in neighbor love. Those who take authentic evangelism seriously do not see it as a chore or even a task; they see it as a way of living. The central message in Rosario Butterfield’s The Gospel Comes with a House Key can be summarized in one line, “Radically ordinary hospitality is this: using your Christian Home in a daily way that seeks to make strangers neighbors, and neighbors family of God.” Though evangelism does not require the use of your home – though it could include it – it is a form of radically ordinary hospitality, where strangers become neighbors and neighbors are introduced to and welcomed into the family of God.
In a recent blog post, a Christian college student attending a secular educational institution made friends a classmate. When his classmate noticed him reading the Bible before class, he asked him about what he was reading. A conversation around spiritual matters ensued, which allowed the Christian college student to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with his friend.
Evangelism is a willingness to talk about Jesus and heavenly things, in a lovingly, neighborly way, at any and all times. It is a willingness to have our day interrupted in order to show Christ-like love to those around us, by telling the Good News. Butterfield speaks of: “…building margin time into the day, time where regular routines can be disrupted but not destroyed. The margin stays open for the Lord to fill…”
From our earthly perspective, the conversation with the woman at the well was an accident. From a heavenly perspective, it was necessary. Do you live your life in a way that allows for seemingly random sharing of the Good News?