John 4:1-6

“I was only doing my job. I didn’t mean to upset anyone.” I think this with a deep sigh, head down, palm pressed firmly against my forehead. Then I ask aloud, “What have I gotten myself into this time?” 

What about you? Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a sigh-inducing situation, stuck between a rock and hardened faces? Worse still, have you ever been in a dilemma without knowing why it was happening or when you became pitted against one side or one person. You didn’t sign up for this. You don’t want to play this game. But someone found a jersey in your size and you’re up. 

In today’s passage, the disciples are the ones baptizing people, but the Pharisees single Jesus out, intent on putting Jesus and John the Baptist on opposing teams. They are keeping score and Jesus’ disciples are baptizing more people. But this is not what Jesus came to earth for. He didn’t come to compete, and baptism is not a dunking contest. 

So Jesus walks away from Judea and heads back toward Galilee, disciples in tow. He needs to get back to work. He just wants to do his job. One bad experience will not derail his purpose. With determination, he sits down at the well in Samaria.

Ministry has been described as a thankless job. Jesus can testify to this. But like Jesus, we have to keep moving. We have to put our witness above warring factions, competitions, and score keepers. We have to realize that significant moments may occur when we least expect them.


Who are the scorekeepers in my life who detract me from my purpose? How can I keep the focus on my calling?


God, deliver me from the Pharisees, who come with a crowd ready to pick a side and cheer. May I focus on my calling rather than their competitions. Amen.

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