The Bad Samaritan

Bible Book: John  4 : 1-42
Subject: Evangelism
Series: That You May Believe

In his new book, Primal, Mark Batterson tells the story of John Perkins and his wife. In 1908 the Perkinses were on board a steamship rounding the coast of Liberia. They were on this ship because they knew God had CALLED them to go to Africa as missionaries, but they didn’t know exactly WHERE in Africa. As their ship made its way around Garraway Bay, this Godly couple sensed the Holy Spirit prompting them to get off and go ashore.

Unknown to the Perkinses, there was a young man living in that part of Africa named Jasper Toe. Jasper was a God-fearing man. He knew there was a Creator and in the hopes of making contact with Him, Jasper faithfully practiced his tribal rituals - but he’d never heard the name of Jesus. One night Jasper looked into the night sky and said, “If there is a God in Heaven, help me find You.” In reply, a voice he’d never heard before said, “Go to Garraway Beach. You will see a box on the water with smoke coming out of it. And from that box on the water will come some people in a smaller box. These people in this small box will tell you how to find Me.”Jasper Toe traveled seven days on foot to Garraway Beach, arriving on Christmas day 1908. From the shore he saw a black “box” floating on the water with smoke coming out of it, also known as a steamship.

And that precise moment is when John Perkins and his wife sensed the Holy Spirit saying, “Get off the ship HERE. You MUST get off here because this is where I want you to go.” When they told the captain of the ship they wanted to disembark, at first he refused saying this was cannibal country and that a landing would be far too dangerous. But the Perkinses insisted. They said that God wanted them to get off here so the captain reluctantly put them and all their belongings in a canoe and they rowed ashore in that “little box.”

When they stepped out on dry land they found this man named Jasper Toe waiting. He motioned them to follow him and they did. He took them to his village and eventually the Perkins learned his language. They started a church in that village and Jasper Toe was their first convert. Jasper eventually became the superintendent of the Assemblies of God for the entire nation of Liberia, and in that role helped start hundreds of churches.

I love this true story - because I believe God still does things like that. He speaks to Christ-followers like you and me, telling us we need to go to a certain place or speak to a certain person. God still arranges “Divine appointments” like this. In fact - let me stop and ask, have you ever had an experience like that - one in which you had this impression from God to depart from your planned itinerary? It could have come in the form of a strong feeling or even a voice that told you to go somewhere you hadn’t planned to go…or speak to a person you didn’t plan on speaking to.

When you followed this impression - you learned why it was important that you do so. If you have ever had an experience like that - a “divine diversion” please e-mail me your story!

In any case - I share this story about the Perkinses because in the 4th chapter of John’s Gospel, we read of a time when Jesus in essence told His disciples, it was time to “get off the boat.” Our Lord told His first followers it was time to make a drastic change from the route they had laid out because, as God in the flesh, He knew He had an appointment to keep. Take your Bibles and turn to John 4. Follow along as I read about it in verses 1-26.

1 - The Pharisees heard that Jesus was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John,
2 - although in fact it was not Jesus Who baptized, but His disciples.
3 - When the Lord learned of this, He left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.
4 - Now He had to go through Samaria.
5 - So He came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph.
6 - Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as He was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
7 - When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give Me a drink?”
8 - (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
9 - The Samaritan woman said to Him, “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.)
10 - Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and Who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water.”
11 - “Sir,” the woman said, “You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can You get this living water?
12 - Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?”
13 - Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again,
14 - but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
15 - The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
16 - He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”
17 - “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband.
18 - The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
19 - “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that You are a prophet.
20 - Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
21 - Jesus declared, “Believe Me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.
22 - You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.
23 - Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.
24 - God is spirit, and His worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”
25 - The woman said, “I know that Messiah (called Christ) is coming. When He comes, He will explain everything to us.”
26 - Then Jesus declared, “I Who speak to you am He.”
Before we go any further let’s do what all good students of the Bible should do. Let’s take a few minutes to look at the SETTING of this story.

The land where Jesus walked - Israel - was only about 120 miles long from north to south. But within that 120 miles there were THREE distinct DIVISIONS of territory. In the extreme NORTH lay Galilee. In the extreme SOUTH lay Judea and in between the two lay Samaria - the area of Israel that we refer to today as the WEST BANK. The incident recorded our text began at the conclusion of several weeks of Jesus’ ministry in Judea - after which He decided to return north to Galilee. Our Lord made this decision to avoid a growing controversy. Verse 1 says, the Pharisees heard that Jesus’ popularity had grown greater than that of John the Baptist - as John said it would. Remember? He had said, “He - JESUS - must increase. I - JOHN - must decrease.”

Due to the multitudes Jesus was attracting and due to His first cleansing of the temple, the Pharisees were now focusing their disfavor not only on John - but on Jesus as well. So, it was a good time to leave that region in order that Jesus’ ministry could continue - and it needed to continue because the time was not yet ripe for His arrest and crucifixion. Our Lord still had people to meet and places to go before His appointment with that Roman cross - and one of these people lived in this Samaritan village. The conversation that was to occur at that well in Sychar - that conversation was WHY John said that, “Jesus HAD to go through Samaria.”

Now - if you look at the map you can’t help but wonder why John put it that way. I mean, going through Samaria was on the most direct route from Judea to Galilee, so we think, “Well, of course He had to go that way.” It’s a straight shot of about 70 miles - or two and a half days’ walk. But as I’m sure many of you know, most Jews chose NOT to go through Samaria and as the disciples planned out their itinerary I’m sure they would have followed the custom of their peers and avoided this middle region of Palestine at all costs. You see, the preferred course - the customary route - when traveling north from Judea to Galilee would be to travel East across the Jordan and then North up the eastern side of the river, far enough to re-cross the Jordan NORTH of Samaria and THEN enter Galilee. THIS route would take SIX days - more than twice as long - and it was a much more uncomfortable journey. The climate was hotter and drier and the roads were much rougher.

But most Jews still opted for this route because it allowed them to avoid Samaria all together which was preferable because there had been a constant “feud” of sorts going on between Jews and Samaritans for centuries. It began back in 722B.C. when Israel fell to the Assyrians. As experienced “nation conquerors,” the Assyrians and had learned that conquering a country was one thing - but making it stay that way was another. So - to KEEP nations subjugated they forced most of the local population - especially the leaders - to move far away and they replaced them with people from another conquered land. That’s what they did in 722B.C. They sent foreigners into Israel to replace the so-called upper-class Israelites who they then deported to Assyria - sort of an ultimate “house swap.”

Well, these aliens - these new residents of Israel - they intermarried with the remaining so-called lower-class Israelites and their children - their descendants - became the Samaritan people. Of course, in 70 years the Jews returned from captivity and when they got back home they declared these Samaritans to be a traitorous, unclean, idol-worshiping people…half-breeds who arrogantly presumed to share a spiritual inheritance with them - God’s pure bloods - God’s chosen people. In fact, they hated the Samaritans so much that some of the Pharisees prayed that no Samaritan would be raised in the resurrection - and when they wanted to find a bad name to call Jesus, they called Him the worst thing they could think of. They called Him a “Samaritan.”

And the feeling was mutual! The Samaritans hated these Jewish “blue-bloods” right back. They resented their return so much that they opposed the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the temple. You see, they had built their own temple on Mt. Gerizim. The Samaritans even had their own version of Scripture which was limited to the first 5 books of the Old Testament. And they had actually re-written these books to present their distorted view of Jewish history. For example: the Samaritan version of the scriptures said that Abraham’s near sacrifice of Isaac took place on Mt. Gerizim and not on Mt. Moriah in Jerusalem. I think it’s interesting to note that whereas the Jews would never travel through Samaria, the Samaritans did not mind if Jews went through their land - as long as they were traveling northward from Judea, like Jesus and His disciples were doing. But the Samaritans DID resent Jews who traveled southward from Galilee toward Jerusalem because that was where their rival temple was located.

Well, suffice it to say that there was a long history of hatred and competition between the people of these two geographical regions. At best, you could describe their relationship as a “settled hostility.” And - I remind you of all this to help you fully understand that the word “must” that John uses in verse 4 didn’t mean “must” in the sense of geographical convenience. Jesus didn’t HAVE to travel through Samaria. No - He could have followed in the footsteps of most Jews and taken the normal route around the region. In fact I’m sure His disciples would have much preferred that He do so. I love Grady Nutt’s re-telling of this incident in his little book The Gospel According to Norton.In Nutt’s version the disciples are VERY upset when Jesus chooses this route through Samaria, Peter in particular. Referring to this Nutt writes, “Simon almost developed a permanent twitch! He argued loud, long, about Jesus’ chosen route of travel and climaxed his furious debate with an unbelievable burst of logic saying, ‘BUT, JESUS, THERE ARE SAMARITANS UP THERE!’”

In any case, when John wrote “must,” he referred to Divine necessity. Jesus went this way because He knew it was God’s plan. This more direct route would take Him to one of the people He HAD to see before the cross so He “MUST” go THROUGH Samaria and not AROUND it.

I think this famous conversation that took place between Jesus and this woman serves as a perfect template for the kind of conversations that we tend to have…whenever we follow the Lord’s leading and depart from our plans…and encounter people like this woman…people like Jasper Toe in Libera - friends and neighbors and family members - and even total strangers who are seeking God. Let me encourage you to pay attention because when we obey God and enter into these conversations He sets up - we experience a sense of fulfillment that energizes us in an amazing way. Remember - when the disciples left Jesus at that well, He was exhausted. When they came back the was energized. In fact, they thought someone else had brought Him food and water. But in verse 33 Jesus said, “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of Him Who sent Me and to finish His work.”

Listen - if your walk with God is anemic….if you feel a lack of purpose as a Christ follower…it could be due to the fact…that you aren’t paying attention to God’s course corrections. And because you aren’t, you are missing out on the ENERGY from above that comes from these interactions!

I have to mention one more thing. Current statistics say that of all the counties in Maryland, ours - Montgomery County - has the least number of Christians per square mile. Only seven out of every 100 people are Christ followers - so I would say that there is a VERY GOOD chance that God might invite you or me to “get off the boat” - to depart from your plans to talk to people who don’t know Jesus as Lord and Savior.

(1) Love Must be our Motivation Whenever We Share our Faith

Okay…here’s the first principle we see in this template: LOVE must be our motivation whenever we share our faith.
I mean, we won’t get far if we share our faith out of GUILT or even out of DUTY. No, if we follow Jesus’ example, we will witness out of a heart of love that breaks for lost people. This is one thing I saw in the heart of Lynn Davis, the director of the evangelism ministry of Ocean City Baptist Church - where we went mission a few weeks back. Lynn “wears her heart on her sleeve” in the sense that she sees the people of that resort area…vacationers who don’t know Jesus…she sees the international students who come there looking for work….she sees the homeless who constantly come to the church asking for a hand out. Lynn sees all those people - and the first thing she things is, “What can I do to minister to their needs? How can I tell them about Jesus?”

Well, our God-given, grace-driven love for people should DRIVE us to do the same. Remember - nothing - absolutely nothing in all creation matters as much to God as do people - fallen, sinful people like you and me. In spite of our sinful state and sinful actions - in spite of our constant rebellion against Him, God still loves us and longs for us to love Him back. Remember that’s WHY Jesus came. He came to “seek and save the lost” - lost people like this woman - He came seeking her because of His great love. Now - don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying that our Lord closes His eyes to sin. In fact, since, He is perfectly Holy and sinless, He is more sensitive to sin than you and I. But when Jesus looks at your life - at my life - He lovingly looks beyond our sinful behavior. He sees us not as filthy sinners but as His precious creation. He sees us as priceless treasure that has been lost and that He loves and yearns to get back. This reminds me of the following notice that was spotted in the lost and found section of a major newspaper.

“LOST - black and tan dog of poodle, German shepherd, and dachshund descent. Flea-bitten, left hind-leg missing, no hair on rump, and recently neutered. Answers to the name, “LUCKY.” $50 reward”

Now, many people would consider themselves lucky if they LOST this pooch! And who would be willing to pay $50 to get him back? I mean, it’s only a dog - a mutt at that! You can get all the mutts you want for free at any dog pound. But to this family, Lucky was more than a mutt. They saw this little decrepit pooch as something precious - valuable - something they loved very much and would go to any lengths to recover. Well this gives us a picture of how God sees us. In spite of the fact that we all bear the scars of our own sinful choices - in spite of our brokenness…He loves us…and this is the same way we must look at all people if we are to lead them to Jesus. We must let our experience of God’s grace empower us to look beyond their attitudes and actions and appearance and see them as human beings that matter infinitely to God.

Please hear me - I am referring to ALL people - even mean, selfish, hateful, unlovely people! Our hearts must break for them - just as God’s heart does. Our witness will be ineffective unless they sense the love of God in our words and actions.

Okay - back to the text.

About a half mile outside of the town of Sychar at the foot of Mt. Gerizim was a very historical spot, a famous water source known as JACOB’S WELL, first mentioned way back in Genesis 33. The well was located on the land that Jacob had bequeathed to his son, Joseph. It was the same land where Joseph’s bones had been buried after being brought out of Egypt with Moses and the people of Israel. Jacob had probably dug this well himself and it became a central watering place for the region. He did a good job because even to this day, people still drink fresh water from this well.

Verse 6 says that Jesus arrived at Jacob’s well on or about the sixth hour - or 12 noon - which meant He would have been tired from hours of travel. So, the disciples left our weary Lord resting by this well while they went into Sychar to purchase some food for the mid-day meal. John infers they had probably been gone only a few minutes when this woman from town approached the well carrying a huge water pot on her shoulder. Picture the scene in your mind’s eye. The pot was empty but in my mind she carried it like it was full. I think her features were hard - her gait lifeless - her eyes dark sockets of weariness. Perhaps Jesus’ disciples had contributed to her weariness by giving her a taste of Jewish hostility as they passed her on their way into town - with their “We’re disgusted with all you Samaritans” looks, or by refusing to yield the path - forcing her to move to one side until they went by.

So imagine how she felt when she arrived at the well and saw from His garb that another Jew was sitting there. She must have thought - what’s going on? Jews are everywhere today! This would have been a surprise to her because, as I said Jews avoided Samaria like the plague. And if that wasn’t enough of a shock, Jesus actually SPOKE to her…going so far as to even ask her for a drink of water. She replied by basically saying with a twinge of sarcasm in her voice, “What’s a nice guy like you doing here with a not-so-nice woman like me - and asking for a drink to boot?”

As John’s little parenthesis in verse 9 reminds Gentiles like you and me - Jews just did not associate with Samaritans - especially female ones. In fact there was a rule for Jewish men that stated: “A man shall not talk with a woman in the street, not even with his own wife.” Another rule said:“The daughters of the Samaritans are menstruants from their cradle…he that eats the bread of the Samaritans is like to the one that eats the flesh of swine.”

And yet, as I said, Jesus not only SPOKE to this Samaritan woman. He asked her for a drink! Think of it. He requested that His Jewish lips touch a container from which Samaritan lips had drunk. I’m sure she was shocked at His request - and the compassion behind it….which leads me to mention a second principle of evangelism in this template and it is this:

(2) Sincere evangelists don’t let BARRIERS keep them from lost people.

I say this because, with His request for water Jesus broke through several barriers: cultural barriers, religious barriers, gender barriers. Some would even say He broke through MORAL barriers because this was obviously an immoral woman, which is why some refer to her as the “BAD” Samaritan…in comparison to the “GOOD” Samaritan in Luke 10. Of course the Bible teaches that we are ALL “BAD” - we are all sinners.

But that’s not the way Jesus thought of this immoral woman. No - His great love for lost people like her would allow nothing to keep Him from them…and if we are to be effective evangelists we must be “barrier breakers” as well. In fact, let’s pause to do a little self examination. Let’s ask ourselves, “What barriers have I allowed to form between me and people who don’t know Jesus? Do I treat people of certain ethnic descent with disdain - people who look Muslim?

Do I think or act less than Christlike around people who vote differently than I do?
Do I withhold loving ministry from people who disobey God when it comes to sexual behavior?
Have I allowed my schedule to become so busy that it forms a barrier between myself and lonely people, hurting people who live next door or across the street or work in the office next to mine?”
Is there any kind of person that you look at and see as anything but a lost human being that Christ died to save?”
Listen - if we want to lead the lost to Christ, we must make contact with lost people. We mustn’t isolate ourselves from them. You see, when we do that - when we live according to a “barrier-building” philosophy…we are repeating the sin of the Jewish religious leaders who condemned Jesus for associating with sinful people - “BAD” people. Do you remember our Lord’s response to their criticism? In Luke 5:27 Jesus said,“Don’t you understand? I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” In Jesus’ last prayer before His arrest and subsequent crucifixion He said,“Father, My prayer is not that You take them out of the world but that You protect them from the evil one. As You sent Me into the world, I have sent them INTO the world.” (John 17:15, 18) In other words we are to be in the world, but not of it. We are to separate ourselves from the sinful PRACTICES of society but not isolate ourselves from the sinful PEOPLE of society!

When the Department of Health fears an epidemic of scarlet fever, it tries to isolate the germ-carriers. They realize that if everyone who has the disease is quarantined the disease won’t spread. And this principle applies to evangelism as well because a sure preventive against the spread of the gospel is to build barriers that isolate its carriers (Christians) from everyone else!

Even the first century Christians apparently dealt with this misconception. It was for this reason that Paul corresponded with the Corinthians and said, “I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with immoral men; not at all meaning the immoral of this world, or the greedy and robbers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But rather I wrote to you not to associate with any one who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of immorality…” (1 Corinthians 5:9-11) Paul was saying the only sinners we should avoid are Christians, who insist on rejecting our loving correction and continue to embrace sinful actions in an unrepentant way. The fact is, we must realize that separating ourselves from THOSE WHO DO NOT KNOW JESUS CHRIST is outright disobedience to the will of God. We need to follow Jesus example here and break down barriers so that we make contact with the lost people around us.

Okay - in verse 7 Jesus asked this woman for a drink of water and what followed shows us a THIRD principle we must remember when it comes to divine appointments, and it is this:

(3) A person’s sinful ACTIONS usually reflect their SPIRITUAL needs.

You see, so many times in a misguided attempt to satisfy their need for God, people will “drink” at the “wells” of this fallen world - wells that never satisfy. We see an example of this here, because as Jesus noticed, this poor woman was thirsty for more than water. I mean she not only had an empty water pot. She had an empty life. If we had grown up in that culture, we might have come to the same conclusion because most women went to the well in groups early in the morning in the cool of the day. But not this woman. No she came in the evening to get water, so it was easy to see that she was an intentional loner. She chose to come to the well at this time of day, in order to avoid the other women - who no doubt ridiculed her for her sinful lifestyle - a lifestyle built around her trying to slake her spiritual thirst at the “well” of sexual immorality. J. Vernon McGee puts it this way: “One of the reasons this woman was so unpopular with the WOMEN of this town is that she was so popular with the MEN.”

In His omniscience Jesus of course knew this - He knew that she had been married five times. Think of it this way - she had “flitted” from one man to another like a butterfly in a flower bed seeking the sensual nectar of a new experience. And after doing this five times….after five empty marriages, she had said, “What’s the use of even going through the formality of marriage?” And she just moved in with another man. But even this failed to satisfy the longing of her soul for something more because as the song says, “she was looking for love in all the wrong places.” And there are people like her all over this world. People who have drunk from the wells of the world and still thirst. Jesus referred to these people and their sad lives in verse 13 when He said, “Whoever drinks from THIS water will get THIRSTY again.”

King Solomon was one of them. He drank from all the wells of this world. Remember? He tried the well of WEALTH and it didn’t satisfy the thirst of his soul. He tried the well of PLEASURE and it didn’t satisfy. Like this woman he tried the well of LUST and it left him thirsty. That’s the way sin is. It’s like a drug; the more you take, the more you need. It NEVER satisfies. Drinking from the wells of this world is like eating Chinese food. In two or three hours you will be thirsty again. God referred to this in Jeremiah 2:13 when He said, “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken Me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.”

You know, our bodies are about 80% fluid. That means people my size, lug around about 160 pounds of water. As Max Lucado points out, “Apart from brains, bones, and a few organs, we’re all walking water balloons.” So - as water-based creatures - we NEED water. That’s the way God made us. In fact, like a gauge on a car’s instrument panel we have a built-in “low-fluid indicator.” If we don’t get enough water our body has built-in signals that let us know: Dry mouth. Thick tongue. Achy head. Weak knees. Deprive your body of fluid and your body will tell you.

Well we also have a soul with an inborn need - an inborn THIRST to know God. And this inner LONGING often manifests itself in our outward BEHAVIOR. Lucado writes, “Dehydrated hearts send desperate messages. Snarling tempers. Waves of worry. Growling mastodons of guilt and fear….Hopelessness. Sleeplessness. Loneliness. Resentment…Irritability..Insecurity. These are all warnings..symptoms of a dryness deep within.”

Well, Jesus saw this sinful woman’s ACTIONS as an indication of her spiritual NEED. He knew what she had not yet realized. Her lifestyle choices showed her thirst for God. King David described this thirst in Psalm 42:1 when he wrote,“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.” Christians who are effective in sharing their faith recognize this - they realize that when they see an individual who embraces sin, they are seeing someone thirsty for God. They know then when people are lonely or angry or depressed - it’s like a warning light flashing on a car’s instrument panel indicating the fact that they need what Jesus offers. Wise witnesses remember that Jesus is as necessary for SPIRITUAL life as water is for PHYSICAL life. They remember when that when they accepted Jesus into their lives, He came in and as He did, His Spirit poured down the “throat of their souls, flushing out fears, dislodging regrets and filling us with deep satisfaction and lasting peace. It’s like Peter said in his sermon on Pentecost Sunday - when we repent and turn to God,“…our sins are washed away and times of REFRESHING come from the Lord.” (Acts 3:19)

(4) We Must Confront People with the Claims of Christ

Here’s one last principle of evangelism we can see in this conversation. There comes a time when we must CONFRONT people with the claims of Jesus.

Remember, our goal is not just to TELL people about Christ - it’s to LEAD people to FOLLOW Christ. Jesus has commissioned us to “Go…and make DISCIPLES…” Well, in verse 19 this thirsty woman attempted to avoid her decision. She tried to divert Jesus from the matter at hand with a discussion of the Samaritan people’s version of the Jewish religion. Like a fish on the line, trying to wriggle off the hook, she brought up this dispute that Jews and Samaritans had had for hundreds of years. But Jesus wouldn’t allow that. He knew it was time for her to make a decision. So when she mentioned the prophesied Messiah, He said, “I Who speak to you am He.” (Vs 26) And that in essence drew a line in the sand. She could refuse to believe or decide to receive Jesus as Messiah and Lord - she could reject the “living water” He offered or she could drink from it. This same moment of truth will come in our Divine appointment relationships. There will come a time when we have to lovingly confront another person with their need to make a decision.


One way we know that time has come is when they try to divert us from the decision like this Samaritan woman. They may try to stir up a dispute about the existence of Hell, whether or not miracles are real, etc. They may try to evade the real issue by posing an intellectual or theological question like, “All these denominations confuse me. Which is the true church?” They may talk about a relative who was “religious.” “You know, my grandfather was a pastor…” Things like that. They do this because it is always more comfortable to discuss religion than it is to face our sins. And in these times, the Holy Spirit will often tap us on the soldier and tell us it’s time to lovingly confront this person with their need to respond to the claims of Jesus. This time will come because - people can’t experience the Living Water until they CHOOSE to drink it. We can stand knee deep in the Colorado River and still die of thirst. There comes a time when we must move from talking about Jesus to inviting Him in.