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Friday, 07 August 2020
Paolo Veronese - Christ and the Samaritan Woman at the Well Paolo Veronese - Christ and the Samaritan Woman at the Well

Betting on the “Wrong” People. Just Like Jesus

Whenever a woman comes into one of our ministries, we are—in the wording of Las Vegas—“betting” on her. We invest our time, our financial resources and our human capital in her, believing that if empowered by our assistance, she will make sound decisions for her and her child.

We don’t win every “bet,” certainly. But each day, we put our cards and all we have on the (figurative) table, making the same bet again and again.

We are betting that she will win, despite so much seemingly stacked against her. We bet her child will win, even if the circumstances surrounding his or her birth are less than optimal and sometimes even downright desperate.

We bet against the world’s odds, time and again. We appear foolish, naïve. It’s okay, we don’t mind. And we have the best example in the world.

In John 4, Jesus came upon a Samaritan woman at a well and innocently asked her for water. A conversation ensued and Jesus offered her something amazing; a water which would spring up into eternal life for all who drank of it.

When she asked him for the water he proposed, Jesus asked her to call her husband.

She couldn’t. She told this to Jesus, who then pointed out to her that she had blown through five marriages and was currently living with a man to whom she was not married.

But in this conversation, Jesus saw something beyond just another morally-questionable woman with a checkered past. Instead of berating her for her lifestyle, Jesus compliments her honesty in sharing that she is not married. Jesus sees transparency and as the conversation continues he sees her hope for a coming Messiah; a hope shared by an entire nation.

Jesus is about to place a bet. And he chooses to bet on a longshot, a person the world would tell him had no chance to be a winner.

When the woman at the well tells Jesus she believes the messiah is on the way (John 14:25), Jesus tells her something he has never told anyone before. She is the first to hear, “I who speak to you am he.” The first.

Later, Peter will make his famous declaration, “You are the Christ, the son of the living God,” and Jesus will tell the disciples to keep this to themselves. They would later declare this at Pentecost, but that’s later.

With the woman at the well however, Jesus gives no caveats; no commands to keep his identity a secret.

She tells. A lot.  In fact, this woman of five husbands and a live-in boyfriend might be properly identified as Jesus’ first evangelist. She tells her story to her people, and “from that city many of the Samaritans believed in him because of the word of the woman who testified, ‘He told me all the things that I have done.’” (John 14:39).

Did we get that? Her words. Her story. And many believed in Jesus. She changed the world with the message of Jesus. And she was the first.

Jesus’ “bet” on the most unlikely of all paid off. 

Tweet This: Jesus’ “bet” on the most unlikely of all paid off.

Jesus could have chosen anyone else to be first to tell his story. Anyone. And no one would have blamed him. But he didn’t.

Let’s keep in mind that each day, throughout the Pregnancy Help Community, we bet on the most unlikely. We not only bet on them, we advertise and ask them to come in our doors. We want the most unlikely. We wish to love and support the most unlikely.

And we place these bets for a grand reason: Jesus did so first, so we’re in good company.

Place your bets, friends; the odds are in our favor.


Kirk Walden

Kirk Walden is a senior writer with Pregnancy Help News, an Advancement Specialist with Heartbeat International and author of The Wall. For banquet speaking engagements, contact Gloria Leyda at Ambassador Speakers Bureau. His new Faith Revolution Podcast is online at

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