Jesus shows us that God takes all kinds. There is no one kind of response to Him.
Jesus’s nighttime meeting with Nicodemus (John 3:1-21) and His midday encounter with the Samaritan woman (4:5-42) show two of the many different ways in which He dealt with people. Whether it was with a respected leader like Nicodemus or an immoral streetwise Samaritan woman. Jesus approached people on His own terms, as individuals with unique concerns. He modeled for us what it means to live, work and communicate the gospel message in a pluralistic society.
Nicodemus was an upper-class Jew, a Pharisee from one of the prominent families in Jerusalem.. He approached Jesus alone one night. The Lord confronted him with the need to be “born again”, then let him go and think it over. Nicodemus didn’t openly identify with Jesus until after the crucifixion when he helped prepare His body for burial.
The Samaritan woman, on the other hand lived a scandalous life style having five husbands and then being with a live-in male companion. As a result her community despised her. She was spoken to by Jesus in broad day light, in public, by herself and then in the company of others. Jesus told her of “living water” and the need to worship in spirit and truth. She responded much more quickly than Nicodemus. Her choice was backed by the community.
John went on to record many other ways that Jesus dealt with people. Some became believers after they were fed, others after they were healed, and others after they saw the resurrected Christ. Some responded to the Lord’s miracles others to His teaching. There was no one kind of response to Jesus.
A note from me…
I connect with different people in my life in different ways. I talk on the phone for hours with my sisters. I share jokes and laughter with my kids. My husband and I ride bikes together. And so it is with God. He connects with us in the way that speaks to us, it could be prayer, meditation, journaling, reading scripture, serving. God is bigger than our differences. He says come to me if you are tired and overwhelmed. I will give you rest. He only asks us to come with an openness to receive and he will meet us where we are.