It is a good thing that there is no formula or specific way in how we come to Christ. For those of us who’ve grown up in church, we can easily think or assume that salvation comes to us in Sunday school, bible club or youth group. But our path to Christ can look vastly different from one to another, whether a Sunday school grad or not.

Three women in the gospels had different encounters with Christ. Each were desperate for salvation whether they knew it or not. But the three had very different mindsets upon meeting Christ. I will call them: the Debater, the one Forced-in-His-Presence, and the Pursuer.

The Debater


Jesus:  “Give me a drink.”

Woman:  “How is it that you, a Jew, ask me for a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?”

Jesus:  “If you knew the gift of God, and who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink’, you would ask him, and he would give you living water.”

Woman:  “Sir, you don’t even have a bucket, and the well is deep. So where do you get this ‘living water’? You aren’t greater than our father Jacob, are you?”

Jesus:  “Everyone who drinks from this water will get thirsty again. But whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty again. In fact, the water I will give him will become a well of water springing up in him for eternal life.”

Woman:  “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and come here to draw water.”

Jesus: “Go call your husband and come back here.”

Woman:  “I don’t have a husband.”

Jesus:  “You have correctly said, ‘I don’t have a husband,’ for you’ve had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you say is true.”

Woman: “Sir, I see you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem.”

Jesus:  “Believe me, woman, an hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know. We worship what we do know, because salvation is from the Jews. But an hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth. Yes, the Father wants such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and in truth.”

Woman:  “I know that the Messiah is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

Jesus:  “I, the one speaking to you, am he.”


Most of us are familiar with the woman at the well. Her noon-day routine was to gather her daily supply of water. In her life, she may have been content or comfortable by doing what was familiar, avoiding the scorn other others. She could’ve been relieved to not be strapped to another broken marriage, and she might have been enjoying the company of her current relationship. This woman had her religion, she was knowledgeable in it, and she was living life her own way.

But the state of this debater’s heart was revealing when Christ encountered her. She had her guard up fearing the tension between her race and the Jews. She continually questioned Christ and asked him for his water that quenches, desiring the benefits yet wanting it on her own terms. She had knowledge in her faith and knew of the coming Messiah, but her life was tattered by failed marriages and she hid from Christ her current live-in. This woman was intentionally hiding her broken and sinful self while debating her knowledge with Christ.

Weary from his journey, Christ did not let a divine appointment pass him by. He saw her. He initiated the conversation with her first by begging for a cup of water; she responded. The woman questioned, and questioned, and questioned and Christ continually engaged with her.

There was no alter call, nor was she in a church or synagogue. The woman was going about her daily routine when encountered. Christ won over this debater’s heart as he loved and ministered to her right where she was at. She discussed, questioned and finally came to the end of herself; she met her Savior.

“Now many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of what the woman said when she testified, ‘He told me everything I ever did.’” John 4:39     

Many lessons can be drawn from this well known story; only the Holy Spirit knows what we need from the depth of his Word. That is the beauty of Christ. He meets us right where we are. He is a good, good God.

Taken from Matthew 4:1-42

Next time: Forced Into His Presence