Our scripture today comes from John 4:1-4
MUCH HAS BEEN SAID ABOUT THIS WOMAN - She like many women today think that there is a certain man who will meet all their needs. And so she became the “Liz Taylor” of the New Testament looking for her perfect man. If I can just meet that one man – he will fill my life and give me everything I want. Men and women alike are looking for a Quick-Fix and simple solutions to their loneliness and lack of self-esteem. David McCasland tells about a woman whose car was stalled at an intersection. The hood was up, and she flagged McCasland down to help. "I can’t get it started," she said. "But if you jiggle the wire on the battery, I think it will work." McCasland grabbed the positive battery cable and it came off in his hand. Definitely the cable was too loose. "The terminal needs to be tightened up," he told her. "I can fix it if you have some tools." "My HUSBAND says to just jiggle the wire," she replied. "It always works. Why don’t you just try that?" McCasland paused for a moment, wondering why her husband didn’t ride around town with her so he would be available when the wire needed jiggling. Finally he said, "Ma’am, if I jiggle the wire, you’re going to need someone else to do it every time you shut the engine off. If you’ll give me two minutes and a wrench, we can solve the problem and you can forget about it." Reluctantly, she fumbled under the front seat and then extended a crescent wrench through the window of the old car. As he tightened the battery terminal, it occurred to McCasland how many times he had tried, in his own life, to get a "quick fix" from God. "I have this problem, Lord, and if You’ll just jiggle the wire, things will be OK. I’m in a hurry, so let’s just get me going again the quickest way possible." God doesn’t want to jiggle our wires, but to reconnect us. If you haven’t made a conscious decision to follow God, you don’t know him. You don’t start with it and lose it - you have to gain it first. The answer to our inner thirst is a complete surrender to God. The woman at the well had been “looking for love in all the wrong places” One Quick-Fix after another. The reality is that there isn’t a perfect man who will fill a woman’s life any more than there is perfect woman who will fill a man’s life! In the process of hunting for someone to fill her life this woman became as empty of self worth, significance, and value as a dirty worn out sock in the corner of a basement laundry room.
Read John 4:1-42
In the words of the hymn writer,
"I tried the broken cisterns, but ah the waters failed,
Ev’n as I stooped to drink they fled, and mocked me as I wailed."
I’M SURE THE PHARISEES AND OTHER RELIGIOUS PEOPLE OF THE DAY, WOULD HAVE LOOKED AT THIS WOMAN, AND FELT THAT SHE WAS A LOST CAUSE - SO STEEPED IN SIN AS TO ’NOT BE THE TYPE’ TO BE SAVED! Jesus always looks deeper than the surface. He looked much deeper, and saw the deep searching in her heart that had been left so long unsatisfied! He doesn’t concentrate on what we are, but is aware, and wants us to be aware, of what we can become – with his help. Jesus spoke to her before he ever opened his mouth and gave one religious word. She was a Samaritan – part Jewish background and part Babylonian trash. She was a woman – of no account in the culture and society of that time. At noon – an outcast who came when no one else was there. When he took the water and he drank it he spoke the most powerful words of all: Before he said another word this stranger had said a tremendous amount. He had said ’You are not worthless. You are someone who can help me. You are worth talking to.’ He had said "I am not afraid to cross over barriers of gender and race that put people down.’ He had even said ’It is all right to ask favors, and reach out to help and be helped by others.’ And he said a lot more beside before he ever opened his mouth again.
BECAUSE JESUS CARED ABOUT THIS BROKEN WOMAN SHE CAME TO FACE FOUR SIGNIFICANT FACTS
Fact #1: NOTHING IN THIS WORLD GIVES LASTING SATISFACTION! SO OFTEN, PEOPLE ARE CONVINCED THAT SOMEWHERE IN THE EXPERIENCES OF THIS WORLD, THERE MUST BE SATISFACTION! They are led a merry dance in trying to find it, often ending up with wrecked lives, as it just slips through their fingers time after time. A little lad in the Sunday School, was called Callam. Now we were out on the Sunday School trip, and Callum had an Ice Cream, which unfortunately slipped of the cone, and fell on the floor. We were all most amused to see him desperately trying to pick it up with his fingers, only to find it was to no avail, it just slipped through his fingers again. NOTHING IN THIS WORLD GIVES LASTING SATISFACTION. Not wealth; Not power; Not a man (or a woman)! JESUS WAS MAKING THE POINT TO THIS WOMAN! Here was a woman that thought there was some man who would meet her needs and satisfy her life. Six men- Five husbands – last one was not her husband. She had been looking for love in all the wrong places. In the process of chasing after the wind she became empty. The water, or anything else from this world does not give lasting satisfaction.
Fact #2: JESUS KNEW ALL ABOUT HER! HE KNEW ALL ABOUT HER MANY MARRIAGES! HE KNEW ABOUT HER IMMORAL LIFE! He knew all about her fruitless search for satisfaction! He knew all about her loneliness and rejection. She didn’t need to tell Him any of these things! THERE IS NOTHING THE LORD DOES NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU OR ME - SO WE NEED NOT TRY AND HIDE ANYTHING FROM HIM! I’m reminded of a minister who arranged to meet for counseling, a woman who had made a decision for Christ the previous Sunday. She was late in arriving for the appointment. During the counseling, the minister, through the gift of knowledge, had a sudden insight flash into his mind. He turned to the woman, and said, "I know why you were late! You are a prostitute, and you have just been with a client!" The woman broke down in tears, being forced to admit the truth, and becoming painfully aware, that nothing is hidden from the Lord! We are transparent to His gaze! He says, "I the Lord, search the heart!"
Fact #3: JESUS GIVES “LIVING WATER” JESUS OFFERED HER LIVING WATER WHICH WOULD SATISFY FOR EVER!! Real Life with lasting satisfaction comes only from God. Not religious rituals (not this mountain and not that mountain). God doesn’t really care if we sing hymns or “camp songs”. He doesn’t really care if we sing contemporary or traditional, with or without instruments, upbeat or slow and quiet. He just wants us to worship him! It comes from the worship of God in spirit and in truth. Do you remember the shootings in Littleton, Colorado. I do. THE NATION WAS SHOCKED AND ANGERED BY THE ACTIONS OF THOSE TWO YOUNG MEN. The news has played up the fact of racial motivations and hatred of jocks. It becomes increasingly clear that one of the targeted groups on that HS campus was Christians. Cassie Bernall - Cassie was a 17-year-old junior with long blond hair, hair she wanted to cut off and have made into wigs for cancer patients who had lost their hair through chemotherapy. She was active in her youth group at Westpool’s Community Church and was known for carrying a Bible to school. Cassie was in the school library reading her Bible when the two young killers burst in. According to witnesses, one of the killers pointed his gun at Cassie and asked, do you believe in God?" Cassie paused and then answered, "Yes, I believe in God." "Why?" the gunman asked. Cassie did not have a chance to respond; the gunman had already shot her dead. Cassie’s martyrdom was even more remarkable when you consider that just a few years before she had dabbled in the occult, including witchcraft. She had embraced the same darkness and nihilism that drove her killers to such despicable acts. But two years before her death, Cassie dedicated her life to Christ, and turned her life around. Her friend, Craig Moon, called her a "light for Christ." According to the Boston Globe, on the night of her death, Cassie’s brother Chris found a poem Cassie had written just two days prior to her death. It read:
"Now I have given up on everything else I have found it to be the only way
To really know Christ and to experience The mighty power that brought
Him back to life again, and to find Out what it means to suffer and to
Die with him. So, whatever it takes I will be one who lives in the fresh
Newness of life of those who are Alive from the dead."
SHE LOST HER LIFE AND GAINED THE WORLD. THOSE WHO TOOK HER LIFE WANTED THE WORLD AND LOST THEIR SOULS.
Fact #4: “LIVING WATER” CHANGES EVERYTHING SHE LEFT HER WATER POT, AND RUSHED BACK TO THE TOWN! Her purpose in coming, had been to draw water - yet she goes off without it! Why? Suddenly, the whole purpose and direction of her life had changed completely! HER FIRST PRIORITY WAS NOW TO TELL OTHERS ABOUT JESUS! She wanted to tell them her personal experience of Christ! I find it interesting that we read she told "the men". Perhaps her lifestyle meant that the women had rejected her - she obviously had many male friends. The transformation in her life, must have been amazing, because many came to see and hear Jesus because of her witness. In verse 39 we read, "Many of the Samaritans of that city, believed on Him for the saying of the woman which testified, ’He told me all that ever I did’."
BEING A WITNESS FOR JESUS IS NOT COMPLICATED OR COMPLEX
Being a witness is telling and showing
Being a witness is telling and showing others
Being a witness is telling and showing others you know about what you found
BECAUSE OF THE WOMANS WITNESS… A GREAT MANY BELIEVED AND FOLLOWED JESUS! THEY SAID TO THE WOMAN, "NOW WE BELIEVE, NOT BECAUSE OF THY SAYING, FOR WE HAVE HEARD HIM OURSELVES, AND KNOW THAT THIS IS INDEED THE CHRIST, THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD!" No second hand experience was going to do for them! They had sought the Savior in a PERSONAL way! "Not because of what you said - but because WE have heard Him ourselves!" They had very obviously accepted this Jewish Messiah, to be the "Savior of the World", with the inference that they had accepted Him as a PERSONAL SAVIOUR! IT ALL CAME ABOUT OF COURSE BECAUSE OF THE WITNESS OF THE WOMAN! All those people swept into the kingdom, and saved from a lost eternity, because of her willingness to TELL. Often people say, "I couldn’t witness - I wouldn’t know what to say." Hey….People….just BE LIKE THIS WOMAN - JUST TELL PEOPLE YOU’VE MET JESUS!! What made them listen to the woman was the CHANGE IN HER LIFE!! If they see that same change in you and me - they will listen to us too! If you do that, then it will be a simple matter of directing them to Christ. After all when you’ve been there - you know where to go!! The nail prints in His hands and feet are a daily reminder of just how much He loves you….and me.