The Power of a Single Conversation

lady at the wellIn one conversation, God created the heavens and the earth. In one conversation, Satan led mankind into mortal sin. In one conversation, God called Noah to build and be a part of something that had never been experienced. In one conversation, God called Abraham. In one conversation, God convinced Moses of his mission. In one conversation, an angel explained to Joshua whose side he was on. In one conversation, God clarified exactly who He is to Job. In one conversation King David was humbled by the prophet of God.

Without end, these onetime conversations continue through the Old and New Testament. In Luke and in one conversation, the angel informed Mary that she would conceive and give birth to Jesus the Messiah. In one conversation held in a dream, Joseph realized he needed to keep Mary as his wife and was told the name to give the child Mary was carrying. In one conversation, Jesus called each of his disciples. In one conversation, he convinced Nathan he was and is the Messiah. In one conversation, a leper was healed. In one conversation, a dead girl was raised. In one conversation, Lazarus rose from the dead. In one conversation, a thief made it to heaven on a promise from Jesus. In one conversation, Jesus breathed his last finishing his mission to bring salvation to all mankind and reversing the penalty of the conversation that led to mortal sin. In one conversation, doubting Thomas understood that Jesus had risen from the grave defeating death once and for all. In one conversation, Peter was forgiven and commissioned. In one conversation, Paul quit killing Christians and started serving God. Again, the singular conversations continue, all the way to end of Revelation. Here and other places like Matthew 24-25, we find single a conversation. You know the one where God judges all mankind and separates the sheep from the goats? One conversation!

To drive home my point for those who still haven’t quite figured out all it takes, I want to use a story in the Bible that outlines this point. It is the story of “The Woman at the Well: One Conversation”:

“Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), he left Judea and departed again for Galilee. And he had to pass through Samaria. So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour.

A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”

Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”

Just then his disciples came back. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you seek?” or, “Why are you talking with her?” So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” They went out of the town and were coming to him.

Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” So the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”

Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.” – John 4:1-42

03_Australia_director_Bob_Mendelsohn_sharing_the_the_gospel_at_our_shop_2The bold italics is mine for emphasis and to drive home the point. The Samaritan woman first called Jesus a Jew. Now we have no idea the emphasis, tone, inflection, or body language used in her response, but I am sure she was animated in her delivery. Second, she called him Sir. In today’s terms it would be like saying, “Now Sir, you have nothing to draw with”! Notice the sarcasm? Thirdly, she calls him Sir. This time she is insistent. Weary from drawing water daily and being ridiculed, she was ready to be done making the trips to the well. Fourth, she calls him Sir but follows it with identifying Jesus as a prophet. You may even say she was fishing in her response to see if she was right. Feel the excitement building, the anticipation? Fifth, she reveals her curiosity and wonderment by mentioning the coming of the Messiah. In response, Jesus confirms her thoughts and statements. Can you imagine? In one conversation!

How many conversations do we hold per day? How fruitful are they? Is the content anywhere close to the address of Calvary? In reflecting on this entry, I realized, I have many pointless conversations throughout the day. I am trying to think if any of them can hold a candle to the ones mentioned here. Perhaps the ones where I prayed with someone to receive Christ, or the one I had with each of my daughters affirming their salvation prior to baptism, or the one where I asked my wife to marry me, or the ones where I honored our fallen in combat. Aside from these and few others, most don’t match up. As you go about your week, think about conversations like D.L. Moody did back in the 1800s. He determined that before he went to sleep in the evening, he would share the salvation of Jesus Christ with at least one person. You never know, all it may take is one conversation.

Mijikai Mason
Disclaimer: The thoughts and views published on the Veterans to Christ blog are those of Mijikai Mason and in no way are meant to represent the United States Army or the Armed Forces.

Bio: Mijikai Mason is an Ordained Southern Baptist minister and Chaplain in the United States Army. He has been in the Army for 26 years both as an enlisted Soldier and now as an Officer. He has been stationed at various bases in the United States and in United States Army Garrison Schweinfurt, Germany. He holds an undergraduate degree in Religion from the University of Mobile, a Master of Divinity degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in Theology and Evangelism and a Master of Arts degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Webster University. Chaplain (MAJ) Mijikai Mason was selected by the Army in 2013, to become a Family Life Chaplain and began his service in this field starting 15 May 2015. He is the Deputy ESC Chaplain and Family Life Chaplain for the 593 Expeditionary Support Command at Joint Base Lewis McCord. He has deployed four times: Desert Storm (1991), Iraq twice (2005-2006; 2007-2008), and Afghanistan (2012-2013). He has a total of 42 months deployed in combat and logistics operations. Mijikai and his wife, Ashley, have been married for 17 years this May and live near Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington with their four daughters.