“An Unlikely Candidate”
a devotional by Jackie Tahtinen

Have you ever thought to yourself, “Oh no, not me!  I can’t do that.  God must be making a big mistake; there are better people, more godly people out there to do that. No, I can’t do that!”?

The account of the Woman of Samaria is found in John 14:1-42.  God shows us through her life that He is able, and willing, to use sinful people like you and me to spread the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection!  We may feel so inadequate, and we are in our own strength; but Jesus wants to use YOU, an “unlikely candidate”, to bring glory to Himself.

What we know about the Woman of Samaria:

*she lived an immoral lifestyle

*she was shunned in her community

*Jews would not have spoken to her; especially a Jewish man

*she was “looking” for something…she had a spiritual need

*Jesus uses her, an “unlikely candidate” to fulfill His purpose…to spread the Gospel

What is her story?

Jesus, a Jewish man, came to her – an “unlikely candidate” for a conversation with Him.  During the conversation with Jesus, we can see the Woman’s many emotional responses to what she was hearing.  She initially responded with curiosity/surprise – “Why is this Jewish man talking to me?”  Then it goes to confusion or doubt because she doesn’t completely understand what Jesus is talking about (water vs. Living Water).  She becomes curious, but then immediately judged when Jesus confronts her about her lifestyle (sin).  Lastly, after being made aware of who Jesus is (her Savior); she accepts Him (and goes to tell others about Jesus and bring them to Him).

What can I learn from the Woman of Samaria?

*Jesus already knows everything about me, even my sins.  He still loves me and wants me to have a relationship with Him.

*Jesus may ask me to give up something for Him; like He asked the woman to give Him her water.

*Sometimes Jesus will give us back what He asked us to give up, but only better – Living Water.

*Similar to how Jesus used “ordinary” water to show the Woman to Himself, Jesus uses ordinary things and “ordinary” people, you know “unlikely candidates”, to show Jesus to others and the world.

*The water the Woman spoke of was water that would fulfill a physical need she had – thirst.  Jesus was offering Living Water; something that will fulfill all our spiritual needs –  most importantly, salvation.

What can we take away from the account of the Woman of Samaria?

*There is nothing on the earth that can truly satisfy us.  We may have tried many things…doing good things for others (so they will like me), achieving academic success, being a good athlete, becoming the popular person; maybe you have gone down another road and have become self-destructive like taking too many medicines/drugs, drinking alcohol, hurting your own body or allowing others to hurt you.  There are many ways to try to fill the God given “hole” in our lives (Rom. 1:19), but the only way to be truly satisfied is to come to Jesus and allow Him to be our Savior.

*God uses “ordinary” people, like us – the “unlikely candidate”, to do extraordinary things for Him!

You may be in a place right now, feeling so unqualified for the task God is asking you to do.  You may be thinking of how God has it all wrong thinking, “I am not the person for this job”.  Trust me, I have been there many times, doubting God’s decision.  I have learned that through my own strength, I am not able to do anything for Christ that will have eternal value.  I must rely on God and allow Him to use me, an “unlikely candidate”, to do extraordinary things for Him!

II Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

Jackie Tahtinen