February 14, 2016 – Over The Hill Gang @ Glen Helen REM
Good morning and thank you for coming to the first chapel service of 2016 with Moto Ministries here with Over The Hill Gang at the Glen Helen REM track! It is my honor and privilege to be able to speak to you this morning and I continue to ask the Holy Spirit to guide my words this morning to fulfill the message He wants you to receive this morning.
This morning I would like to share with you what the Lord has been putting on my heart recently. I was thinking/talking out loud some ideas, trying to work through it for this week’s message … in the shower of course! (I’ve heard other people say they think better in the shower!) As I started with one topic in mind that I thought for sure would be a good message, the Holy Spirit led me to something different. I find it interesting to notice how the Holy Spirit always seem to find a topic, that just so happens to be relevant to something in my life, right now! There hasn’t been message that I’ve given to you that didn’t have something of my own life as supporting details and/or conviction! My pastor and friend has said that it’s been true for him as well that it’s usually something he’s going through will somehow surface up in the message! So I hope I will be able to show you what I’ve come to understand and I hope also that you too will find a measure of conviction!
How many you here today remember of the account of the woman at the well? This is a very popular account from the Bible. In fact the church I attend went through this very same passage recently too! For those who don’t already know, there is a Samaritan woman who has an encounter with Jesus at a water well. Jesus had been walking all day with the Disciples, but at this point they had gone into town to buy food and Jesus was left alone at the well. The Samaritan woman had walked from her town to the well carrying an empty water pot that she would fill up there.
Know that, at that time, Samaritans were not looked upon with favor by the Jews. Although Samaritans were technically Jewish, they were effectively half-Jewish … half-breeds. They were the Jews who came out of the captivity from Babylon who had intermarried. In the eyes of the Jewish religious elite, the Samaritans were not to be even spoken to! They were considered a “lower” class of people and were to be treated as such. (Isn’t there some of that still going on today between other people groups in our world today?) So we’ll now read a portion of this account that is found in the book of John, Chapter 4, verses 7-19.
John 4:7-19 ESV 7 A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her,”Give me a drink.” 8 (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) 9The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” 17 The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” 19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet.
So now I would like you to consider yourself to be in the shoes of that woman at that moment of time and be that person at the well standing before Jesus. We’ll make this acting role just for you and I’ll re-read some the verses and freeze-frame the situation as we go along.
Firstly, by all accounts you’ve probably been walking for a few miles, carrying an empty water that you’re going to get filled up at Jacob’s well. Because you’re a Samaritan you can’t just go to the well anytime you want, you have to wait for all the Jews to be done first before you can even get near the well. So on this day we could suppose that it’s hot, and you had to wait an extra hour even to get to the well and now you’re finally able to go in and draw some water. As you begin to work with the well rope to finally being able to work on your to do list, this man, and a Jewish man at that, speaks to you and asks of you “Give me a drink” (v7). What’s your response going to be?
Let’s compare to what she said (v9). “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” I would like to submit to you that she responded culturally to the request. She responded in the likeness of her expected “role”. Her thought process could have been something like: There’s a Jew, I’m a Samaritan … I’m lower than him, He better than me … He’s a man, I’m a woman and men are better than women … but wait he is a Jew and he is talking with me … he’s a man and I’m woman and he’s talking with me … something’s just not right with that! This thought process seems plausible, at least generally for the sake of argument.
So then Jesus responds and basically says if she would have asked Him, He would have given her living water. How would you respond, being the in shoes of the woman at the well when Jesus replied? How does the woman respond (v11-12)? Let’s freeze-frame those verses. In verse 11 she’s responding from her own experience, and then adding some religiousity to support her v11 statement by stating some words from Scripture. This response doesn’t have a cultural basis like the first, but it instead has some personal and some religious overtones. Although high level, not too deep, maybe even superficial, her responses changed somewhat from the first but not too far.
We’ll skip forward now to v16 when Jesus asks the woman to call her husband. Now Jesus is getting personal and so her response is also personal. Her response was to indicate that she didn’t have a husband. Yet Jesus responds back to her and says that she has spoken true, although she is living with another man … who is not her husband! I find it interesting that she answered with “no husband”, when it seems from Jesus’ request that she likely claimed to be married or pretended to be married back home.
So let’s draw some things together now. You’re standing before Jesus, you’ve never met him before and he asked you to do something. You responded first from a cultural perspective. Upon another statement from Jesus you responded from a little deeper down and gave some real world facts or information, and proceeded to throw in a little religion. Upon the next interaction, you’re convicted in the heart, although what you’re now feeling is nothing like what you’ve been living and you are now, finally, actually tell the truth.
There’s a pattern here that’s important. Isn’t it true that for much of our day, and even probably most days, were respond to situations culturally, or in another way worldly? Doesn’t it take a few deep things before we get down to responding from our heart? Why is that? What is that?
My understanding of this new view of the woman at the well, comes down to one very simple thing. How do I see Jesus? Is he just another person along the path of life? Is he someone I should pay attention to? Is he really Lord over my life? Is he really God in the flesh? I can picture myself saying the same kind of words in the scene at the well, but now I see that I’ve been doing the cultural responses in other places in my life! I have found some situations where I didn’t speak entirely from my heart and there have been some times where I had to be broken down emotionally before I started responding biblically!
We can see this kind of pattern between Peter and Jesus when after Jesus was resurrected he asked Peter three times “Do you love me?” (John 21:15-17). You can clearly see Peter being humbled more and more with each question… but note that it took several questions to get there!
The big question now is, how do we see Jesus? Do we see Jesus as just a friend, your best bud, your pal, your safety net?? Is he a knight in shining armor to sweep in and carry you off to happily ever after? Or is Jesus, the actual son of the living God? Is Jesus Lord over your life? Do you actually love Jesus? Do you respond to people in a way that reflects His teachings?
Let’s take a moment and ask God to help us to see Jesus properly! To help us see Jesus in every situation that we would remember to honor everything that he’s doing in and through our lives! Ask the Lord to soften our hearts so that we don’t put our shield of experience or our shield of self-righteousness ahead of our faith in Jesus!
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