Water cooler disciplemaking

Last time we discussed what Jesus did when he “made” disciples who could make disciples.

13 Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. 14 He appointed twelve that they might be with him . . . Mark 3:13-14 [emphasis mine]

We left asking this question:
Who has God called to “be with” you by virtue of where are in the Marketplace? Who has God called you to “be with”—or perhaps more specifically—to “be with” you for a season in your marketplace life?

And how can we have conversations that “count” with them—even at the water cooler?

The Woman at the Water Cooler (the Woman at the Well)

It’s a classic story in the ministry of Jesus. The story of Jesus meeting the woman at the well in John 4—their version of the water cooler.

I won’t detail the story here. But here is a quick synopsis.

Jesus was tired. His “work” took him through the region of one of the Jews “competitors”—through Samaritan territory. They had a decidedly different take on God than the Jews. They even had their own spiritual claim to fame—Jacob’s well was in their territory. And frankly, it was a sin to associate with them—the Jews avoided them like a plague back in the day.

But not proactive Jesus—who was proactive with an extra “v.”

Proactive and ProVocative.

In what at first might have been a simple incidental encounter with this persona non grata, Christ, tired though he is, becomes intentional and in the moment.

And he did it in a proactive and even provocative way.

“Will you give me a drink,” he says (verse 7). That was so off the wall, even his disciples were amazed. He asked to drink from her ladle. For a Jew to do this with a Samaritan might be the equivalent of a racist white American sharing a plate of food and the same fork with a Black person in the Jim Crow South.

But notice more closely what he was doing.

He was seizing a moment to preach the gospel to whomever he could, any way he could.

Transcending a Conversation from the Physical to the Spiritual

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, as verse 9 shared, did not associate with Samaritans.

Notice how brilliantly, with just a sentence, Jesus can shift conversational gears.

Verse 10 reads:
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.”

This piques her interest. He’s speaking in “God,” she’s still speaking in “human” though. Notice how the conversation transitions:

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 livestock?”

13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

So Jesus simply adds the word “living” to the conversation. And it ups the spiritial ante. She responds with a request for an ever-pumping well of physical water. And Jesus transcends the conversation at each step from the physical to the spiritual. In what had to be the whole of about 10 minutes!

Why Is This Story Written

Is this story written so that we can simply be amazed at Jesus once again, and his supernatural abilities to speak the words of life? Or is perhaps an additional reason is to show us what we can also do in the even in most casual settings if we’re intentional and read—and if we tap into Jesus’ Spirit and example and learn how to have conversations that count?

Could we, if we dare, learn how to have conversations that count in 10 minutes even at the water cooler? Here’s a Smiling Icon challenge. Study John 4 this month. And let’s study it in this blog even more intentionally next month, to see how we too can start having more conversations that count in the workplace —at watercoolers or wherever.

The woman in this story gets the whole town to start seeing things differently. Could God call us to change our company’s business into a biznistry as well?

I’m willing to wager he could—if we start learning how we can make disciples at work by learning how to have conversations—and on the spot prayer—-that counts.

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