When the woman at the well (John 4) came into contact with Jesus who told her everything she’d ever done and ran to tell the Samaritan people, she was, in that moment, one of the first ministers of this Kingdom gospel Jesus brought. She didn’t go home first and leave the man with whom she was living who wasn’t her husband. In fact, we don’t even see Jesus address her sin. He knew her indiscretions, but I believe He called them out to her as a means to prove who He said He was.
But He didn’t stop her when she began to run to the village to share what she’d experienced. Can you imagine how that would have hampered her enthusiasm? Can you imagine how she would have felt if He’d said, “yes, I’ve offered you living water that you may never thirst again, and I know that’s very exciting, but I need you to sit here and think about what you’ve done before you go try to tell anyone about what’s happened here.” Thinking that Jesus would do that is foolish. Instead, He offered her something He’d never offered to anyone before her in a place that wasn’t socially or culturally acceptable because He knew she needed it.
He offered it to her as. she. was.
No instruction. No dealing with her sin. No season of healing or restoration. This was the embodiment of Romans 2:4 that speaks about the kindness and goodness of God that leads us to repentance.
Later in the passage, it talks about how her relaying the message of a living water that only Jesus could give caused a two-day revival to break out in Samaria! (v. 41)
In terms of ministry, I think people are often at their best when they’re broken. I certainly know that I’m most effective when I’m struggling. It causes me to be closer to Jesus and therefore I listen to the Spirit more closely. While hard times shouldn’t dictate our proximity to Jesus, it’s a reality that we seek for what we need when we need it the most. Some say that ministering when you’re broken causes you to transfer your brokenness to others. I think it causes you to transfer your genuine love to and true empathy for those who are broken like you. Who better to minister to someone who is broken than someone who is living the same life they are?
Mark Lowry said once that broken pots spill more water. If someone has no insufficiency, how does the Spirit in them leak out onto those around them who need it?
It might not be popular opinion, but I’m not often known for having those here lately.