SanLo Community, an update for the week of February 10, 2019…
Thank you Pastor Scott for the message from John 4, “Close Encounter of a Thirsty Kind.” It’s hard to share Jesus. It should be easy but that’s not always the case. It can be hard to find the right words because we don’t want people to think we are weird. We don’t want people to start avoiding us. How do I share Jesus with others?
1) We cross barriers. (vv.4-9) Many years earlier, the northern kingdom fell to the Assyrians and foreigners were brought in to keep the peace. Many of the remaining Jews had inter-racial marriages (Samaritans). The southern kingdom Jews considered these people impure and hated them because they felt they betrayed their nation. Jews did everything to avoid Samaritans. Jesus had no reason to be so biased. Samaria was between Judea and Galilee so He went right through. (vv.5-6) Most of the wells in that time were located outside the city along the main road. Women would go to the well twice a day – in the morning and in the evening. However, this lady came at noon (the sixth hour) probably to avoid meeting people who knew her reputation (vv.7-9) being a Samaritan; living in sin; this was in a public place. No respectable Jewish man would dare talk to this lady under these circumstances. But Jesus crossed those barriers to talk to her. The Gospel is for anyone and everyone. Jesus did not let anything stop Him from engaging with this woman. When we let things prevent us from sharing God’s love, everyone misses out. Everyone needs Jesus. Jesus crossed barriers to share with people.
2) We point to a need. Jesus shows that there is a need in her life. (vv.10-15) Jesus found common ground – water. He offers “living water.” By saying He can forever quench a person’s thirst for God, He is letting her know He is the Messiah. He continues (v.13), pointing to a need. This water will not fully satisfy you. This water is temporary. This water does not do what the living water can do! We live in a world where people are dying of thirst and don’t even know it. They don’t realize that things of this world do not last forever. So they live for the here and now and don’t give much thought to the eternal. They need to be told that none of this matters if you do not know the One who does matter – Jesus. We all have a space in us that we desperately want to fill. Most try to fill it with something that doesn’t satisfy. They try to quench their thirst with things that cannot fully quench. But there is good news! Verse 14 says there is a… Well = “life giving,” Eternal = “no beginning and no end; not affected by the limitations of time,” life – ZOE. Jesus points out a need AND a solution, and look at the woman’s response. (v.15) She wants this water but is still not sure what it is. When we meet people, we are called to be salt (Matthew 5:13). Salt is valuable as it preserves, cleans, and gives flavor, but also causes thirst. Our lives should make others thirsty. They should look at us and think, “I need what she has! I see a joy in her. I see peace in him.” When they see they have this need, you can point them to Jesus who is the Living Water.
3) We point to Jesus. (vv.16-18) Jesus lets her know that He knows her life. He knows what she has done. He knows who she is. But then the woman changes the subject. (vv.19-24) The question that the woman brought up was a popular question back then and even now. Where do you worship? Back then, Jews would worship in the temple in Jerusalem. Since the Samaritans were not allowed there, they built a parallel alternate center for worship on Mount Gerizim. But Jesus is saying it does not matter where you worship. It is HOW you worship. God is Spirit, He is not confined to the walls of any building so you can worship Him anywhere. How do you worship Him? Do you just go through the motion? Sing songs and just do what everyone else does? Or do you really give God your all? It’s a struggle I know. You may be thinking of unpaid bills or school or what’s for lunch. But if I may encourage you to try to put all those things to the side and give Jesus your full attention. It does not matter where you are but look to Jesus and worship Him! The woman was more concerned with the ‘where’ and ignored the ‘who’ and the ‘why.’ When we worship, it’s a time when we can give Jesus all of our attention and all of our heart; not worry about things of the world but to fall at the feet of Jesus and acknowledge that He is in control and ruler of our lives. Jesus is the Messiah! He is the Savior! She has been waiting for Him and He is right there in front of her! God in the flesh, the Creator of the universe, the great, “I am”; right there revealing Himself to her! And Jesus is here with us as well even though we do not physically see Him we need to point to Jesus. Look to Him when we worship and when we share Jesus with others. We live with hungry people all around us. They need bread and we give them things that won’t fill their need. They need Jesus and we try to give them church. They need a savior and we give them rituals. They need the Living Water. The problem is not that we don’t know how to give it to them, it’s that we choose not to. Maybe we are too scared, or shy, or busy, or feel inadequate. We know there’s a need. We know we can help. Yet many times we put our hands in our pockets, walk away and think – I don’t have time, maybe someone else will. But we need to make the effort, because when we do, extraordinary things happen!
4) We share our story. We let others know how we came to Christ. (vv.28-30) Then, leaving her water jar… First of all, her purpose changed. She came to the well for water but then something changed. An encounter with Jesus changed her whole perspective, her purpose, her whole reason for being there. She found new purpose, she wanted to tell others. She was no longer afraid to talk to people. Her encounter with Jesus gave her a boldness that was not there before. Before she avoided people, now she is confronting them with her story! She knows Jesus personally and wants others to know Him as well! Her desire to share Jesus with others was stronger than the fears she had of running into people. She didn’t worry – she just went and shared! This woman was the last person that anyone would consider to be an evangelist. She wasn’t a trained evangelist. She didn’t go to seminary. She didn’t attend Bible study. She was living in sin. And there she is telling others about Jesus. She simply shared about her encounter with Jesus. It says in verse 39, later that many of the Samaritans believed. All started with a simple conversation about water. Can you imagine the impact you will have on your community if you allowed God to use you to share His love with others? Now is the time to start that by sharing Jesus with others. Go and be salt and point to the Living Water!
Worship and Praise songs:
Thank You Lord He Knows My Name Lamb of God Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus