Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.” (John 4:26)
Expanded Passage: John 4:25–26
One of my neighbors has a salon in the lower level of her home, and she started cutting my hair several months ago. Lori’s exposure to spiritual things and her on-again, off-again experiences with church have left her unresolved regarding her understanding and pursuit of a relationship with God and Jesus. Nevertheless, she maintains a genuine curiosity about spiritual matters. As she was barbering my hair, I invited her to come church. While she was open to the idea, she went on to say, “Going to church intimidates me, because I really don’t understand some of the religious jargon, terminology, and clichés that are often used.” I agreed with her that, yes, too many times churched people create unintentional barriers with their phraseology that unnerves people regarding their interest in knowing more about Jesus.
Regarding Jesus’ conversation with the woman at the well, certain misunderstandings had to be faced. She voiced murkiness about religious matters—her comprehension having been influenced by her Samaritan culture. She had some cloudy notion of a Jewish Messiah and fuzzy ideas about worship. Then Jesus became explicit. Without using religious verbiage, he cut through her hazy and vague comprehension about who the Messiah was and declared: “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”
In our conversations with the spiritually curious we would do well to curtail churchy jargon when talking about Jesus.
Shelve religious jargon and cliché when sharing Jesus with the spiritually curious.
Ed Rotz has served The Wesleyan Church as a pastor and district superintendent. He currently works for PastorServe, Inc. and lives in Topeka, Kansas, with his wife, Sharon.
© 2023 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.