Winning Souls, Not Arguments
“20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, 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 the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the 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, the one speaking to you—I am he.” John 4:16-26 NIV
As we continue the conversation between Jesus and the Samaritan woman in John 4, we see her suddenly make a shift. When Jesus brings her sin to light, the Samaritan woman does something interesting. She all-of-a-sudden turns the conversation to a theological question.
This is something people often do. When they are convicted, uncomfortable, or a nerve is hit, people tend to shift the attention to vague theological questions. Well, if God, is so good, why is there evil? Well, if God is all powerful, can He create a rock so heavy He cannot lift it? The Samaritan woman moves on to ask Jesus, “which mountain should God be worshipped on?”
“20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem”
The Samaritans believed Moses commissioned an altar on Mount Gerazim, the mountain of blessing. This was their justification of the system of worship on that mountain. The Jews claimed that the place of worship must be in Jerusalem – at the temple. Here is where we as believers often fail. We fall into the traps of getting into theological arguments and disputes.
Jesus shows us in his interaction with the Samaritan woman to be more concerned with winning a soul than with winning an argument.
Here are some things Jesus did with the woman at the well to show He valued winning a soul, more than He valued winning an argument.
1 – Make time to be with lost people. Jesus was intentional about being at the well where he would encounter the Samaritan woman. Are you intentional bout spending time with people who need Jesus?
2 – Start from where people are at. At the beginning of the conversation, Jesus started where the woman was at. He related to her on a level she understood.
3 – Get to know the person for who they are and not what you want from them. Jesus didn’t immediately call her to repent or burn. He got to know her first. Are you personally getting to know people who need Jesus?
4 – Give what the person is ready for. Jesus met the Samaritan woman where she was at. He didn’t force His message upon her. He tested the waters to see what she was ready to receive. He gave what she was ready for.
5 – Stick with the main issue. Jesus didn’t get off topic and caught up in endless arguments. He kept with the main topic.
6 – Point people to Messiah. Jesus pointed to Messiah. When we share our faith, we need to take the attention off ourselves and point to Jesus. Point to His goodness, His faithfulness, and His mercy.
Jesus gives keys to win souls, not arguments.
Heavenly Father make my heart more like Jesus. I want to win souls and not arguments. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Ty Tamasaka is an author who hold a Master of Arts Degree from Pacific Rim Christian University in Christian Ministry He is a Bible teacher who loves to encourage people to enjoy Jesus’ grace and extend His Kingdom. Ty just released his new book More than a Conqueror: 5 Pathways to Personal Revival.