But He said to them, “Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth.”
Jesus went and met the woman at the well in Samaria because she had an appointment with God. In Jesus’ detour into enemy territory, we see two important concerns as we bring the message of the gospel today.
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First, we have to go to where people are. Jesus did not say that the whole world should go to church; He said the church should go into the whole world. As Mark’s Gospel tells us, “And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature’ ” (Mark 16:15).
When Harvest Ministries was doing an outreach in Disneyland a number of years ago, I was asked, “Why are you doing this in a place like Disneyland? Why would you come and hold an event in a place like this?”
I said, “Because Jesus said, ‘Go into all the world,’ and He did not exempt Disneyland. There are people there. And we want to reach people.” The glorious thing is that many people came into the kingdom through that outreach. We need to go to where people are.
Second, we need to care about the people we speak to. Jesus needed to go to Samaria because He cared about this woman (see John 4:4). When the apostle Paul was in Athens, he saw the city that was given over to idolatry, and his spirit was stirred within him (see Acts 17:16–17). He felt righteous indignation as he saw so many turning to false gods.
In the same way, any effective sharing of the gospel must always begin with a God-given burden. We have to care. Jesus cared. Do you? Do you want to reach out to perishing people?