ACTS International
Home Page of ACTS International
Home Page of ACTS InternationalHow to Find and Know God without having to be religiousLife Help Articles dealing with faith, family, and practical helps for purposeful livingDaily and Weekend Encounters with more than a third-of-a-million worldwide subscribersSupport the Work of ACTS International a not-for-profit organization. Donations are tax deductible for U.S. donorsCurrent report on the ministries and services of ACTS InternationalOnline Store of ACTS ... ACTS CommunicationsAbout ACTS International
ACTS International Home Page Click here for the current issue of  Daily Encounter
         
     
   
Tell a Friend Site Map Share and/or Bookmark
   
         
   
Articles > About Faith: > Scratch 'Em Where They Itch

Scratch 'Em Where They Itch

"The Samaritan woman said to him [Jesus], 'You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?' (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans)."1

On one occasion Jesus and his disciples left Judea for Galilee. Jesus wanted to go through Samaria as he had some "business" to take care of there. About midday Jesus was tired so he sat down and rested at Jacob's well. He sent all twelve disciples off to get some lunch and, while they were gone, a Samaritan woman came to draw water from the well.

Without doubt this woman was the reason for Jesus coming this way. But how could he approach her? For one thing she was a Samaritan and Jesus was a Jew. In those times it wasn't socially acceptable for a Jew to speak to a Samaritan. She also had some personal issues that would make it look rather suspicious for Jesus to be talking to her alone. She had lived a colorful life and had had a few men in her day. Because of this she wasn't accepted by the other town women, so she came to the well alone in the middle of the day. The other women came in the cool of the evening to draw their water.

Imagine the outcome had Jesus approached this woman by asking a question like this: "Excuse me, lady, my name is Jesus. May I ask you a personal question?" And then, without giving her a choice, he asked, "If you should die tonight, where would you spend eternity?"

There are times when it is right to ask such a question, but this wasn't one of them. Had Jesus done that, she probably wouldn't have had the faintest idea what Jesus was talking about and dismissed him as being some kind of a religious nut.

But Jesus didn't approach her with a pat question. Being sensitive to people's needs he knew that this woman had issues. The fact that she came to the well alone in the heat of the day was saying that. Jesus knew the kind of woman she was and that she was lonely—and had been searching for love and acceptance in all the wrong ways and places. He knew that her pressing need was for loving acceptance. And that's what Jesus gave her before ever speaking of spiritual things.

Psychologists say that with the lives we touch we either build a bridge to that person or a wall between us. And Jesus, being a great bridge builder, bridged the great social gap between her and this stranger by simply asking, "Will you please give me a drink of water."

This was the beginning of an interesting conversation. Following a brief discussion about living water, Jesus put his finger on both the need and problem area of her life. Without judging her in any way Jesus told her that he knew she was living with a man who wasn't her husband and that she had already gone through five husbands.

"You have to be a prophet," she exclaimed and then turned the conversation to spiritual things herself. She then got so excited that she left her water-pot behind, rushed back to the town and, in essence, said to the men in her life, "Come with me. I want you to meet a man who told me all about myself with all my weaknesses and he accepted me just as I am. He didn't judge or criticize me. He must be the Christ."2

Jesus knew this woman's deepest need—her need for acceptance—and when he met it, she believed in him and automatically became a most enthusiastic witness.

That's the kind of witness we who call ourselves Christians also need to be. In other words, on most occasions before speaking of spiritual things to people, we need to be sensitive to their personal needs and "scratch 'em where they itch" just as Jesus did—and minister to their deepest need whatever it may be.3

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be sensitive to people's needs, and be 'as Jesus' to them by meeting them at their point of felt need. And grant that they, seeing Jesus in me, will want you for themselves. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. John 4:9 (NIV).
2. See John 4:1-30.
3. Adapted from I Hate Witnessing by Dick Innes which can be purchased online at http://actscom.com/store.

<:))))><


All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.



   
    Back to Return to previous page Previous Page    
         
       
   
Site Map   Top
   
     
         
Find Peace With God footer
 
  ARTICLES
About God
About Faith
Relationships
Success/Failure
Solutions
Recovery
Ask the Teacher
Better Living Tips
Friendship
Words of Love
Words of Inspiration
People Power for Jesus
Simple and Effective Witnessing for Christ

SITE TRANSLATIONS
Spanish Espanol
French Francois

  DEVOTIONS
Devotionals
Daily Encounter
Weekend Encounter
Encuentros Diarios
Archives
Subscribe
When God Is Silent
Prayer Partners
  Needed

Special Needs

BIBLE HELPS
Helps and Studies
Today's Reading
Annual Reading

  QUOTES AND TESTS
Today's Quotes
Happiness Test
Stress Test

ACTS IN ACTION

ACTS Websites
ACTS in Action Report

COMMUNICATIONS

Syndicate ACTS Articles
"I Hate Witnessing"
   Audio—No Charge

Opening Closed Minds
Effective Communications
Jesus, the Communicator
Punching Holes in
   the Darkness

  REPORTS
About ACTS
Be an ACTS Friend

MISC.
People Power Invite
Links
Weather
Privacy Policy
Snail-Mail List
Contact Us/Feedback

ACTS BOOKSTORE
Online Bookstore


Site Map
Report problems to ACTS International
All pages in this site © Copyright 2005-2017 by ACTS International
P.O. Box 73545, San Clemente, CA 92673 U.S.A.
 
HOME   Daily Encounter  Find Peace With God