Blog Archive

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

One Man's Ministry

[Jesus] left Judea and departed again to Galilee. But He needed to go through Samaria.
~ John 4:3-4

For those of us who know Jesus as God, we may forget how very human He was, and that His ministry included very ordinary components.

Though we call John "The Baptist," we are told that Jesus the Baptist baptized more people (John 4:1-2). Though Jesus and His disciples sometimes received the hospitality of others, they sometimes did not, utilizing money to buy needed food (John 4:8). And like many other ministers, Jesus worked and traveled hard enough to become weary (John 4:6).

Perhaps most significantly, Jesus evidently considered Samaria more than the most direct route to Galilee, and more than an opportunity to reach Israel's "lost" tribes. His itinerant ministry pressed upon Him the need to go where other ministers didn't go, to reach the people other ministers didn't love.

If you are willing, forget about the globe's distant corners as you ask yourself a question:

Is there a Samaria in your life—a convenient opportunity—to minister to those others don't see? It might be as near as the people inside the church, to whom no one else reaches out with love.

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Copyright 2011, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.


  1. i have those dirty samaritans in my neighborhood, at my workplace and even in my family. Those are the people that I have never shared the gospel with.

  2. David, I don't believe for one minute that you've never shared the Gospel with those people.

    First, "Share the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words." (attributed to St. Francis of Assisi) We are stamped with the mark of Jesus Christ, whether or not we think we do so openly. All of our actions are testimony to Him and His Gospel, for better or for worse. Yes, we fumble about sometimes, like any child does as they continue to learn. But Jesus said that our mouths speak out of the abundace of our hearts. We can't help but share Jesus in who we are as Christians when our hearts abide in Him.

    But secondly, what I wish I heard preached more often is that Christians should be less concerned about whether to check the box "saved" or "unsaved" as we categorize people around us. Ministry isn't about evangelism first. It is about reaching out in love to EVERY neighbor around us. Most certainly, the Bible defines a different level of relationship and ministry among those who name Jesus as Lord. But if we are willing to define ministry as love first, to both those of Christ's body and those who might not yet be part of His body, and then share whichever part of the Gospel fits each situation, evangelism will flow naturally from us when the Holy Spirit prompts our love to include it.

    The Great Commission sent us to "make disciples." Evangelism is but one part of that. Ministry is so much more. We limit ourselves if we believe we only minister on those occasions when we are actively evangelizing.

    Now quit whining that you've never shared the Gospel, so I don't have to come out to Denver and yell some more. : )


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