22 Sep Jesus, Facebook, and the Modern Day Well
In John chapter 4, we see the story of Jesus, walking through Samaria. Samaria was hostile territory to the Jews. The Jews and the Samaritans were not friends, to say the least. But, Jesus was unaffected by this, and He walked through town to the well.
While His disciples were in town getting some food, Jesus sat down at the well. In Bible times, a well’s primary function was to supply water for the people. Towns were commonly built around a water source and because the well was centralized, a necessity, and an open location, it naturally became a social gathering place.
Jesus knew that when He sat down at the well. He knew it was noon and that the area around the well would be full of people getting something to drink at lunch time, He knew that He was in hostile territory. He didn’t draw away from the crowds, but I don’t believe that He went to the well to chit chat either.
Facebook and other social media platforms are modern day wells. Yes, I admit that they can be tremendous time wasters. I’m not the only one who has been looking at my phone while the minutes ticked away, with nothing to show for my time. But that doesn’t mean Facebook is wrong or that we should stay away from it. We just have to use it the way that Jesus used the well.
Jesus went to the well with a purpose.
When Jesus came through town, He didn’t go to the well on accident. He wasn’t roaming around, passing the time until His disciples went back. He needed a place to rest and He choose the well on purpose. He went there with the purpose of impacting a life.
Jesus used the well to His advantage.
When He went to the well, Jesus went at a time that meant the most people would be there. He didn’t hide out in the shade, He didn’t shy away from the people. He didn’t let the meeting place take advantage of His time, He took advantage of the opportunity.
Jesus spent His time at the well intentionally.
Jesus took the initiative. He spoke to the Samaritan woman first. He asked a question that knew would get her attention. In His beautiful, gentle way, He related the well to her life. He spoke with intention, no unnecessary word, no wasted moment.
We can learn so much from this small story. We can look at Facebook, and other social media platforms, in a shallow way and say they are time wasters with no redeeming qualities. Or we can take the responsibility and put it on ourselves and work to change our thinking and bad habits so that we can use platforms like these as just that, platforms. Platforms that we can stand on and (for free) reach thousands with the message of Jesus.
We can go to Facebook with a purpose.
When I use Facebook, I go to that site with a purpose and a plan. I have specific posts that I want to share, sometimes funny, sometimes meaningful. I go to that site at a specific time and even schedule posts so I don’t waste time there.
We can use Facebook to our advantage.
Facebook has incredible features that we, Christ’s church, can use to our advantage. Churches can post thoughtful ads to targeted people in their area for pennies on the dollar. Groups can be created that give people support and access to God’s Word in a truly personal way.
We can spend our time on Facebook intentionally.
Who doesn’t appreciate a kind word? Who doesn’t smile when a genuine and specific compliment comes their way? We can use our time on Facebook intentionally. What if every Christian who has a Facebook account used it to invite three people to know Jesus every day? What if every church who has a Facebook like page commented daily on visitor posts with encouraging words? What if you sent a message on Facebook Messenger to that friend who has skipped church the last few weeks and said, “Hey, I’ve been thinking of you, I missed you at church”?
What if we stopped using Facebook as a way to make the time pass and instead we used it to further the Kingdom of God? I think it’s time to stop blaming Facebook for wasting our time. If we don’t use it with purpose, if we don’t use it to our advantage, and if we don’t use it intentionally, then we are the ones wasting our time and on top of that, we are wasting a truly, valuable resource to reach the lost.