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Friday, June 27, 2014

John 4: From Messy Life to Messiah Messenger !

"Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and 
who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him 
and he would have given you living water.”

 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?"    -- John 4:10-11

It's really hot in the middle east at noon time.  I'm sure anyone in their right mind would not be carrying heavy loads of water pots under the hot noonday sun....unless she was hiding something.

John 4:4-42  tells a wonderful story of a mess turned to message...a shunned woman...a hiding woman... being transformed into someone who influenced many people to follow Jesus.

Zowee! -- How does something like this happen? Did this woman have super powers?  -Was she a leader of a dynamic ministry?  
-Was she well-liked, respected and influential? hmmmm....

Let's take a closer look at the woman at the well.  

Who was she?
Woman at the Well:

___She was a WOMAN -- Jewish men never spoke directly to women. Culture during Bible times considered women property -- of little consequence.  

When Jesus spoke directly to her, she was SHOCKED!

___She was a Samaritan. Jews traditionally despised Samaritans, considering them a "mixed breed" of folks. Jesus asked her to give him a drink. Jewish tradition holds  he would be unclean as soon as he touched the water she offered. Jesus did not seem to be worried by this. 

___She had a problem.  She had five failed marriages and was living with a man who was not her husband.  She was at the well at noon to avoid the gossip and piercing looks of the women who gathered water in the cool of the morning.  

As always, Jesus looked beyond this woman's checkered history and saw what she lacked in her soul.  

Jesus continued to talk to this woman: 

 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”
 “I have no husband,” she replied.
Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 
 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.” 
-- John 4:17,18

Busted!  How many of us have carefully "hidden" some embarrassing flaw from the world and foolishly thought we were hiding from God, also?

The woman at the well was SMART, though.  She wanted to learn more.  She asked Jesus several religious questions.  

“Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet." -- John 4:17-19

As Jesus answered her questions...this sharp woman began to understand....Jesus was not just a prophet.

The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. 
When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.” 
-- John 4:25,26

 Wowee!  The woman at the well knew she was in the presence of the MESSIAH!  She was so excited, she left her water jar and went rushing back to her community!  She had a MESSAGE to communicate! 

 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. 
Could this be the Messiah?”  They came out of the town and made their way toward him. -- John 4:28-30

The woman who came to the well at noon to hide from people was suddenly running down the streets of town telling people about Jesus!

She wasn't hiding her mess any more.  She had a message to share! In spite of her past, in spite of her mistakes, God used her to bring people to Jesus.  

Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. And because of his words many more became believers

-- John 4:39 - 41

OK...Let me get this straight.  The fallen woman, a woman who doesn't even get NAMED in the Bible, is used by God in a BIG way.....Hmmmm ... I'm figuring her life changed in a BIG way, too.

What does this mean to you?  

Stop hiding your mess.  Use it.  You could be hoarding a MESSAGE that could change a few lives!

Can you do this alone?  OF COURSE NOT!  Without an encounter with Jesus...I'm talking a significant "one-on-one" conversation - you and I will never get far with our message.

Talk to Jesus -- Ask Him to come into your life.  Thank Him for dying for you.  LISTEN to what He is telling you in prayer and in the Bible. 

Then - get out there and SHARE the message...but....

Keep it simple:  Here's what Jesus has done for me.  

Keep it personal:  Here's my mess and here's how Jesus turned it around OR helped me deal with it.

Oh, thank you, God, for the Woman at the Well!  I can relate to her in many ways.  

I like to hide from the disapproving eyes.  I would rather keep quiet than go to a lot of trouble speaking.  I have some messes to clean up.

I want to give them to you, Jesus.  Take them over.

Turn my mess into a MESSAGE.  I'll trust you with the results!  

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