Meeting People Where They Are

Introduction

We’ve talked about how you should share and shine. As you do, remember to meet people where they are – physically and spiritually.

Scripture Reading

There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. (Joh 3:1-7)

Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour. There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. (Joh 4:6-14)

Nick At Night

Nicodemus was a Jewish teacher who sought out Jesus. He after dark because he didn’t want folks to see him coming to Christ, trying to figure out what life was about. Jesus met this religious teacher right where he was at. He had come to Christ, so he was a seeker. He was a dissatisfied religious teacher, so Jesus got right to the point and told him that he needed to be born again. Nicodemus had the Scriptural background to have this discussion with Jesus, so He didn’t spend a lot of time building a foundation for His comments. In other words, Christ met Nicodemun where he was.

Wayward Woman at the Well

Jesus told His disciples that He had to go through Samaria. (Jews in His day often took the long route to avoid the despised Samaritans.) He made a purposeful pitstop at Jacob’s well. There a despised woman – an outcast among a nation of outcasts – came to draw water in the heat of the day. This woman didn’t have the religious training Nicodemus had. Her nationality and her personal history both made it harder to open up a spiritual conversation with her. Christ asked for her help and it really got her attention. A physical need and the circumstances around it became the jumping off point that led to the woman’s salvation. Jesus talked about physical thirst, spiritual thirst and the sin that created that thirst. The way Christ met this woman where she was and guided her to where she needed to be was a work of art.

Admire and Emulate

It is natural to admire these brilliant example of sharing the good news – you should admire them. But God wants more than that. He wants you to emulate them. He wants you to follow Christ’s example of meeting people where they are so you can lead them where they need to be. You need to be a good observer of the people and cirumstances you are in. How can you use your circumstances to open up a conversation about Christ? What is the background and spiritual receptivity of the people around you? How could you approach them with the gospel in a way that would make senes to them?

What About You?

  • Are you meeting people where they are at – physically and spiritually?
  • What could you do to become a better observer of your circumstances and the people around you?

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