|Jacob's well, Nablaus-Shechem, |
(click photo to see larger picture)
Living Water (John 4)
Message #5 of "A Story to Believe" by Pastor Jeff MacLurg, Our Savior's Baptist Church, Federal Way, Wash.; 04/03/11 (Notes are mine, I pray they will be helpful to you.)
--- The Story: A Woman, a Well and Water ---
Israel - 120 miles north to south. Traveling from Judea in the south to Galilee in the north. Part of Jesus' reason for traveling now is because he's starting to become "the next great" after John and Jesus wants to avoid the "fad" mentality. Hostility to Samaritans caused most to travel to the east along the Jordan to avoid Samaria, even though it took longer. Samaritans were looked down upon, maybe even moreso than Gentiles. Dispute had been going on for over 400 years. And it wasn't just one way - the animosity of Jews by the Samaritans was just as strong. (Makes the story of The Good Samaritan so much more compelling.)
So Jesus didn't have to travel through Samaria, except that he had to.
A Jewish men would not have asked a woman - a Samaritan no less - for a drink of water. A rabbi would never be seen talking to a woman alone. And also he knows her background. No one who knew her background would drink from or touch her cup because it would have been considered unclean. A half mile out of town and she had to draw water in the middle of the day because she would have been unwelcome or uncomfortable at the time the rest of the women drew water. (Earlier in the day when it was cooler.).
(Showed a cool photo of well in early 1900s. These days an orthodox church sits on the well site. See http://dqhall59.com/mt_ebal.htm )
--- Jesus' Living Water ---
* It's for both the DOWN & OUTER as well as the UP & OUTER.
(The healing of the official's son at the end.)
Is Jesus only for the desperate? Only for the people who have nowhere else to go? Only for people who are searching, yearning to find something to fill a need? Yes - but that's all of us. (If that's not you the you're fooling yourself.)
* It's a GIFT that Jesus WAITS TO GIVE to those who ASK.
Isaiah 12:3 - "God's people will joyfully draw water from the Lord's well of salvation."
Jeremiah 17:13 - "The Lord is the spring of living water."
"In every person there is this nameless unsatisfied longing; this vague discontent; this something lacking; this frustration." -- Barclay
* It satisfies YOUR INNER NEED that outward SATISFACTIONS can't fully REMEDY.
Her five failed marriages and then live-in boyfriend were all attempts to find something. She was trying to find something to fill a longing. Or we eat. Or drink. Or smoke. Or gamble. Or shop. Or escape into the virtual world of their computer. (Jeremiah 2:13 - "My people have committed two sins: they have forsaken me (God), the spring of living water, and have dug for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.")
* It makes you ALIVE!
15 "...a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
Jesus didn't come to satisfy needs, but to give us eternity. Once we accept this, God transforms the entirety of our lives, in the process, some of those needs become met (often in ways we never imagined or even needs we didn't know we had) and other needs fall away.
Then why do many Christians seem stagnant? (see Jeremiah 2:13 again)
Ha... My "in a rut" post from a few days ago? Filling my life with the wrong stuff?
Time to drink from a different well.
* It gives you Someone to BELIEVE, to WORSHIP, and to SHARE.
--- Take a Drink ---
1. Now, your FAITH IS UP TO YOU.
verse 39 - they believed because of her testimony but then they listened and believed for themselves.
2. Tend to YOUR WELL.
Are there things that must be set aside? Connect with Jesus. Find ways to be encouraged and grow and you can encourage others (like a small group)