Last week we said in this series that we would walk through some of the encounters that Jesus had with people that Jesus had, with people that dramatically changed their normal. And we said that the goal of this series is not to get back to normal, but instead to learn to be better, to… See more
Last week we said in this series that we would walk through some of the encounters that Jesus had with people that Jesus had, with people that dramatically changed their normal. And we said that the goal of this series is not to get back to normal, but instead to learn to be better, to be changed, to adapt to the circumstances that God has given us. And so maybe use the opportunity that we’ve been given to do something profoundly different in our life. Our goal is not to get back to normal. It’s to use this time, to use this opportunity, that God allowed us to have to blaze a new trail for what it could look like for our lives to be in this new season. We don’t want to miss the opportunity to grow or to learn. We do want to miss the opportunity to become the people that God has called us to be. And the point is that we should be working now to get to what we hope to be. That we should be thinking now about what we hope to be in our character, in our love for God, in our care for our family, and in our compassion for the lost. When seasons change, in some ways it’s going to be like the teacher telling us to put our pencils down and we will have no more opportunity like we had at this exact moment. And so we don’t want to miss.
We don’t want to miss this opportunity to strive for something to be changed in our lives. It reminds me of the parable of the talents where at some point at the end of our life, God is going to say, ‘Hey, I want you to give an account for what it is you did with what you had, with the time you had, with the money you had, and with the opportunities you had.’ And we don’t want to be like the wicked and lazy servant who did nothing, who just thought that their old normal was OK to be given to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
I want after COVID-19 look for God to be able to look at my face and say, ‘Hey, well done. You did a lot with what you’ve been given, especially in a spiritual way.’.
And today we’re gonna continue in that same vein. We’re going to have the same discussion about Jesus’ encounter with people that changed their normal. Today, we’re gonna look at one of the most famous passages in all of the Bible, probably one of the most famous stories with people that Jesus interacted with. If you grew up going to Sunday school and you heard this story as a child, it’s probably very familiar to you. And the temptation when we look at familiar stories is just to skip to the end and not allow our hearts to be touched as we walk through it.
I want to encourage you not to do that today. I would encourage you to experience this encounter afresh, as a new story. The story we are gonna read today is found in John chapter 4. In my Bible, it’s summarized by the heading, Jesus talks with the Samaritan woman, and maybe your Bible it says, Jesus and the woman at the well. You know the story. Even if you’re relatively new to the Bible, you know the story. You’ve heard this story before. This conversation is quite famous. It’s an encounter with Jesus that He had a dialogue with a woman that was at a well, a woman whose name we never catch. Because the story, I believe, is not only about this woman, but it’s about every woman and every man who is longing for something more in their life. It’s a story of me and it’s the story of you, and it’s the story of all people who have allowed their circumstances to define them, who are stuck in life’s worries, life’s troubles, and life’s misgivings. It’s a story about what happens when a thirsty soul comes into contact with a living well.
I’d like to go through a little bit of background because this really does set up the story as a defining moment in our life. In the year 1722 B.C., that’s about 720 years before this story is told, there is a guy by the name of Sargon. He’s the king of Syria. And what happens in the history of Syria is that Sargon begins to take over a different capitals of different countries. And one of the places he takes over is a place called Samaria. And it’s not only a historical fact that this happened, but it’s also sprinkled throughout the Old Testament. We hear this story in Isaiah, in 2nd Kings, Chapter 17. I think we also see it in The Chronicles as well. And what we get here is we see that Sargon the Second, imports a bunch of foreigners into Samaria, the same area as the northern part of Israel. But at the same time, he also removes and exports hundreds and hundreds and thousands and thousands of Jewish people living there and just totally decimated their country. And over time, what happens is that the group of people that were brought in and whatever group of people was left over, they began to intermarry. And not long after that, there’s a whole new mixed race of people and they’re known as the Samaritans.
Religiously, the Samaritans followed a faith called Samaritanism. It’s an Abrahamic religion that basically is related to Judaism, but says, you know, the Old Testament, the Torah of the Jews is kind of incomplete. And what needs to be clarified is the Samaritan principle. And so the Samaritans claim to be the true religion of Israel, the true religion of Abraham. And so the Jews over in the southern part of Israel and Judah thought this was absolutely ridiculous.
And because of this religious tension, there was a dramatic racial tension. Jews and Samaritans hated one another. That’s why the parable of the Good Samaritan is so powerful, because Jesus looks and says, you know who the good person is in the story.? A Samaritan.
That would have shocked all of the people who would have heard the story. It’s like a contradiction in terms to call someone a good Samaritan. It’s like to say there’s a good Miami Dolphins football team. It’s a contradiction in terms. Eight and eight for 20 years is not good. And if you’re not laughing and if you’re just sad, I’m sorry. But that’s that’s where we are. This is the historical tension that serves as a backdrop. Because in John chapter 4, Jesus, a Jew, is about to have a conversation with a woman who is a Samaritan. And it’s not just any Samaritan woman. It’s a woman with a past. This was a woman who had some real demons in her closet. This was a woman who had been married five times. And the man she was currently with wasn’t even her husband. This was a woman who had a lot of issues in her life.
What we do know about this woman, because of all her issues and all the ways that she kept on seeking for more and more and more men, is that she was a woman who was thirsty because life had led her to be thirsty. So, she settled for what life had thrown her way. She was thirsty for a sense of dignity. She was thirsty for a sense of unconditional love. And at the start of the story, John actually tells us a really interesting detail. He says that the woman who meets Jesus at the well goes at high noon, that she left her city and she began her journey all alone at high noon. And the reason that’s important is because women in that day and age didn’t go to the well at high noon. They went in the morning. They went in the evening when it was cooler. But instead, she went at a time where she knew there would be no one else at the well. She wanted to be alone. She realized that her setting and her life had set her up to be a person who was a religious outcast, who was an outcast in her society, a woman who had been married five times. And there she is all alone.
And if there was any way for us to just pause and not know the end of the story, I think we could be changed. By the way, Jesus exposes her heart in this because as she left her city of Sychar and as she made her way to the well of Jacob, carrying her very large and very heavy water jug, and as she went, she looked up in the distance and there she saw a bunch of people walking beside her and she realized, ‘wait, those are Jews, why are they here?’
And then as the dust settles, she sees in the distance a man sitting at a well.
Sitting on the edge, but little did she know that she was moments away from a one-on-one conversation, a conversation that everything in this story seems to point that is not a casual chance conversation. But instead, we realize in the story that Jesus had set an appointment with this woman. This lone Samaritan woman who was an outcast, who realized that maybe there was no hope in life. And little does she know that this conversation would turn her normal on its head and that years and years later, we would be singing songs about her. And there’d be plays done in her honor and that she would find herself in the greatest story that was ever written in the gospel message. And that for two thousand years, people would be reading about the woman at the well at that moment.
All she knew was that she was physically thirsty. She was looking for something to drink, that her thirst felt unquenchable, that she was tired as she tried to be fulfilled. That she tried to be satisfied that she was fine with just settling in as the Lone Ranger coming to the well.
At noon, she kept on coming back and she kept on looking for men. And little did she know that this conversation would change everything about her. In that dusty place in the middle of Israel the Savior of the world was waiting for her to arrive. She had an appointment with the Son of God. She had no idea what was going to happen.
Again, I want to encourage you to read this story afresh this morning, to read it with new eyes and maybe God can speak to any of us who are feeling hungry and thirsty this morning. Right from the beginning, I want to give you the main thought. The main thought of this lesson is this: that oftentimes our normal is settling for less when Jesus wants to give us more.
There are times we are too afraid to come out of our comfort zone and be impacted. But God is about to speak to woman who is willing to settle for less, and God is about to blow her mind. John, chapter 4 verse 1 says:
“Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John, although in fact it was not Jesus who was baptizing, but his disciples. So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.”
Jesus is in the south, a place called Judea, and he’s heading back up north to a place called Galilee.
And what’s interesting about this is that the verse makes a remark. It says that in verse 4 “Now he had to go through Samaria.” And I’m intrigued by this verse because it says Jesus had to do something. Whenever you think about the Son of God, you don’t ever think He has to do something. Jesus does whatever He wants to do. He’s God. But it should intrigue us because it said He had to go through Samaria, of all places. Most Jews, because of the racism that we talked about earlier, would actually avoid going to Samaria.
They would just go around some area. So heading from the south to the north, they would just go around Samaria. But the Bible doesn’t say that Jesus goes around Samaria, it says He had to go to Samaria, verse 5.
“So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.” Jesus sits by the well. And this is what happened:.
“When a Samaritan woman came to draw water. Jesus said to her, ‘Will you give me a drink?’ (His disciples had gone into town to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, ‘You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink? (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)”
Now, before we move on, I want us to see something that’s really encouraging here and also should should stir our souls as we think about this idea of removing our old normal or settling for our old normal. Here’s something to consider:
Anytime Jesus asks something from us, it’s always because He wants something greater for us. Anytime in the scriptures where where God is asking from His people something, it’s always because He has something greater to give them. So this is exactly what’s happening here. The woman walks up to the well and Jesus goes, ‘hey, would you get me some water?’
But Jesus is not really all that thirsty. It’s not really about Him desiring water. It’s more about what she needs and He has something remarkable for her. Verse 10:
“Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God and who it was that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.'”
This interaction wasn’t about Jesus wanting something from her. It’s because He had something. He had something for her. So He reverses the situation. He begins asking for water. He starts out as the thirsty one, asking for a drink. And then He turns the table and identifies that she is the thirsty one.
The lady goes like ‘look, Jews and Samaritans don’t interact with each other. I don’t want to give you a drink of water. How dare you? How dare you even ask me?’ And Jesus just looks back at her and was like, ‘if you would know who you were talking to you would have asked me now to give you something greater.’ See, the conversation started out about a dialogue about water, but eventually became a conversation about thirst.
Thirst. It’s been said that men have a hole in their heart. You’ve heard this before. We were born with a hole in our heart and our whole life is about trying to fill the hole in our heart. And we try to fill up with different things. And it’s interesting because scripture doesn’t necessarily talk about the hole in the heart theory, but it does talk about the thirst of the soul.
Look at these passages. This is Psalm Chapter 42, verse 1 “As a dear pants for flowing streams, so my soul pants for you, Oh God. My soul thirst for God, for the living God.”
Revelation Chapter 22, verse 17: “‘Come.’ And let the one who hears says, ‘Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who desires take the water of life without price.”
John 7, verse 37 “Jesus stood up and cried out. If any one thirsts, let him come to me and drink.”
Thirst of the soul. Jesus wasn’t there because He was thirsty. He was there because He knew she was thirsty. Jesus didn’t need any water.
He wanted to expose her thirst, her need, her longing, her void, her emptiness.
And maybe as I talk now, you identify yourself in that place. Maybe as I’m talking now you begin to take shape that maybe my normal has been that I’m thirsty. I move from one thing to the next thing to the next thing, to the next thing. And I never really find what I’m looking for. I search and I search and I search and I search.
I get a promotion. But that doesn’t make me feel good. And I get a raise. And that doesn’t make me feel good. And I have more time with my family and that doesn’t make me feel good. And I’m just longing for something more.
So I buy more toys and more toys and a bigger house and a nicer car. And I’m just thirsty. Take another drink and another drink, Another drink. I’m just longing for something more.
If that is you, this is the conversation that Jesus is having with you as well. Jesus needs to expose her thirst because she believes it’s okay to live this way. She believes it’s okay. Jesus needs to expose that. Her life actually doesn’t need to be a life of constant thirst, but that her life can be satisfied, that she can be fulfilled, that she can have purpose, that she doesn’t have to just settle for who she always was, but that God with the Spirit of God and with the Living Water of God, God can move her and change her life forever.
Greater life can be found through Christ. She doesn’t need to settle.
And so He says, ‘OK, look, if you knew you were talking to, if you knew what was available for you, if you only knew, you would have asked Him and He would give you exactly what it is that you’re looking for.’.
Look at the woman’s response, though, “‘Sir,’ The woman said, ‘you have nothing to draw with.'” She still thinks this is a conversation about water.
“‘You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?'”
OK, I hear you offer Jesus. But but there’s a couple of things. One, you have nothing to draw with. And two, the well is too deep. And if you look at this statement with spiritual eyes, if you just kind of drop the exact words she says but you start backwards, she basically says, You can’t help me.
Sure. Look, look, look, look. I would love your living water, but you can’t help me. You can’t help me. Even if I wanted the water, you wouldn’t be able to provide it for me. You don’t have a bucket and the well is way too deep. What could you possibly do?
I noticed in my own life that this is where I find myself often. Many of us listening today, watching this, reading this, it’s not that we’re ignorant to what God offers. We just don’t believe that He’ll be able to bring it to fruition.
Like we’ve read the scriptures, we know the promises. We’ve heard a thousand sermons that God can change our lives, that God can take us from one degree of glory to the next, that God can leave our life satisfied. This guy can help us overcome sin and help our family. And on and on and on and on. We’ve heard it. We’ve heard all that the scriptures have to offer. We’re just not sure if God can actually make it happen.
We’re stuck here alone. We’re angry. Some of us lost enthusiasm in the midst of this whole crisis, our lack of zeal for the world or lack of joy.
We don’t have peace. We don’t feel like we have any sort of satisfaction. And sure, we know our struggles are real. We know they’re there. We know what God is offering.
We just don’t know if He can actually help us get out of our own way because my issues are too deep and I’m too complicated and I’m entangled. And so, we decide that instead we’re just going to settle for who we’ve always been. This is just who I am. I’m not going to grow through this because this is just who I am. I’ve tried and I’ve tried and I’ve tried and I’ve tried. This is who always be. God, you you can’t help me. I’m willing to settle for less, but God is trying to give us more.
God is trying to breathe life into us, to breathe life into dry bones, to give us opportunities that we never had before. So listen to Jesus’s response. I love it.
“Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again,'” If you stay at this well you’re never going to be satisfied.
I used this illustration before, but I just love it. Some of the brothers in the church, we were doing this several years ago, we would take hiking trips. We take hiking trips and have some time of staying overnight. And we try to hike for about 20 miles. It’s like three days.
And the first year we ever did it, we had some people that didn’t take it very seriously. The whole idea of hiking in the wilderness, we took it seriously. But some people didn’t take it seriously. And so they didn’t bring a lot of water. Actually, one of the guys brought just a couple of jugs, gallon jugs of water, which is just like the funniest they ever like. He’s carrying them as we’re taking a 20 mile hike. Not very serious about the whole thing. And so that brother actually ran out of water very quickly. I had to give him some of my water. He drank all of my water. It was a terrible situation.
We were kind of scarred by our first year because not only did we run out of water, but there was one guy in our group that had a life straw. So the place we went, where we hiked there was there was water everywhere. But the only water you can drink was from this pump.
And when you pumped out out the water, it tasted like you were drinking liquid aluminum foil. That’s what it tasted like. It was just delicious. So anyway, it was terrible. So, we get there and there’s one brother with a straw. We realize no one wants to drink the aluminum foil water. No one wants to do that. And so what we started doing was all sharing a single life straw, which life straw is basically maybe a little bit longer than this, but it has a knob that’s about the size here, close up camera people. You basically put your mouth around it and you suck it in. This would be a terrible thing during the coronavirus because everyone would get sick with one another. But we all were sharing the same life straw because we were all so thirsty. And many of the times we found ourselves laying prostrate on the ground with our heads in a creek, drinking from the water.
And the thing I learned during that trip was that water is a cruel master because pretty much for the entirety of the trip, we were looking for water. It wasn’t fun at all
This is what Jesus is saying, saying, ‘Look, if you keep coming back, you’re gonna be thirsty again and then you’re gonna have to suck on all your friends life straws together. It’s the same thing over and over. And you keep it. You’re gonna be thirsty again. And I have something for you. I have something for you that you’ll drink and you’ll never be thirsty again.’
He says “Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst again. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
What a beautiful comparison. What I give you will quench your soul. Now the woman is intrigued. OK, I mean, that sounds really exciting.
“So the woman said, ‘Sir, give me this water so I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming back here to to draw water.'” This is a significant request. The point that Jesus is making is not really about physical water. But she’s just kind of thinking still in a physical state. And so now He just kind of pokes and prods and here it comes. This is so classic.
Imagine you didn’t know the story and just listen to this anew. Here’s this offer by Christ and then here’s her. And then here is her response, “I want the water.” Look at what Jesus does.
“He told her, ‘go call your husband and come back.’ ‘I have no husband,’ she replied. He said to her, ‘You’re right to say you have no husband.'”
Well, what we often forget is that Jesus knows the darkest places of our soul. You know the next line here that I didn’t put up on the screen, but it says “You have no husband. In fact, you have five husbands and the man you’re currently with is not your husband.”
Can you imagine that moment for this woman? She is shocked. She’s shocked because this is her secret. This is the thing that she’s been hiding.
And I think one of the points that Jesus wants to make to us this morning from this story is this, that the place we keep our secrets are the places that drain us.
Now she’s empty and I think the reason she’s empty is because she’s been carrying some really dark secrets for a really long time. Sleeping with man after man after man after man. I feel for her longing for more and more and more, but just feeling like I don’t have it. So she kept a secret. And it’s destroyed her soul.
I read this article in preparation for this sermon, a Forbes magazine contributor, a brain scientist, a woman by the name of Christine Camford. She said that she speaks about the facts of keeping secrets. And this is the article I was reading. This what it says, “When we keep secrets, our amygdala is on overdrive. And so our irritability increases. Your hippocampus is compressed due to the stress and excess some chemical in the brain. So learning memory and immune system are compromised is all because keeping secrets.”
She goes on with this, “As your prefrontal cortex is likely off-line a great deal since you’re in a critter’s state. So your ability to communicate, collaborate, innovate basically to be your best self all goes down the tubes.”
She says this, “Secrets cause isolation and hurt us emotionally. Secrets ruin our lives.”
I remember being a teen. I think all teens have the similar story. But I just mean, even to this day, some of those lies that I told my parents, stick with me.
I remember the weave that I tied myself in trying to figure out how to escape it? And being asked a question and trying to figure out, OK, how does that connect to that lie that I told before? And how I connected this other lie before then and now? Do I kind of backslide?
And I would dig myself a deeper and deeper and deeper and deeper hole. Because the secrets had just destroyed my life.
My secrets were just a drain field for everything awesome that God was trying to do in my life. God wanted me of life to the full, but my lies stole my joy. Secrets stole my peace. It stole my love. And I think Jesus is looking at her and going ‘Look, hey, hey. I know your secrets. You don’t have to hide anymore. I know it’s wrong. You don’t have to hide anymore.’
He’s exposing that drain field. It says, “the fact is you’ve had five husbands and the men you now have is not your husband. What you have said is quite true.”
I know you. Your normal is relationship after relationship after relationship after relationship. Your normal is person after person after person after person, they use you and you use them. They abuse you and you abuse them.
This is your normal and it has left you wanting. It has left you for a life that’s better than the life that you have right now. You keep going back to the well and you’re never satisfied. I know you have no husband. I know that you’re stuck. I can see it. I’ve watched you and I’ve come here to get you through.
You’re thirsty for something. You’ve been hoping for that that thirst to be fulfilled in men. And I’ve seen you. I know you’re thirsty and I know the well is deep and it’s complicated. It’s five husbands deep. I know you feel like I can’t help you, but I’m here before you. I know you. I’m pursuing you.
See, this is a message for any of us who are searching, who are listening now, hoping to be more. But we’re still stuck in our mundane life.
We’re still just like the woman at the well, we believe God. We believe that God has pursued us through all kinds of nonsense. We know that He’s trying. We know we’re thirsty for something. We know we want more in our lives. We just keep on trying to fill ourselves with things that will never satisfy with money and with career and with success. And then there’s the other side of it. We’re just not even ambitious. We’re just settled for less. So we watch Netflix all day long.
We go from video after video. We’re just social media addicted to fill ourselves with maybe my life will be as a blogger, you know, I’ll just like blog because I have no other life. I have no other thing to pursue.
And we fill ourselves, even with good things, with our children, with some material things. And yet we are still longing and yet we are still searching. And yet we are still thirsty. We’re not satisfied. Searching, searching and searching. And then we can’t find anything. And we’re nervous.
And we go, you know, fine, I’ll just be who I’ve always been. Maybe if I just, maybe if I do that, maybe I eat more, things will make me happy. I sleep in a little bit more, things will make me happy. If I get a husband. If I get a better husband, maybe we get a kids, some kids, maybe those kids obey and anything that would make me happy. There’s an addiction to the next thing just because we’re not satisfied. And the funny thing that Jesus makes clear, it’s not even funny, the thing that Jesus makes clear is that it’s not because we haven’t been drinking enough water or haven’t been drinking enough. It’s because we haven’t been drinking from the right well.
It’s not because we haven’t been drinking enough, we’ve been drinking so much, we’ve just been drinking from the wrong well. Here’s a question I thought about bringing a prop up here, but I decided not to. Here’s a question: How much sand does it take to quench your thirst?
Think about it first. How much sand do you have to consume to quench your thirst? Or maybe a different question, how much salt water do you have to drink to quench your thirst? To be fully and finally satisfied? How muchdo you have to drink? And you might answer, you know, no amount of sand will quench thirst or no amount of salt water will quench it, as a matter of fact. What is sand and salt water? Do they compound thirst? Follow me here. They compound your thirst.
And what many of us do, unknowingly, because we don’t even know any better and we’re ignorant to this truth. We’re ignorant to some of the truth that we were taught as a kid that instead of quenching our thirst, we dive into things that compound our thirst. Instead of finding real satisfaction in life, our normal is just a constant additional, more and more and more and more needing to be consumed more and more. And what ends up happening is we are just dying for something else, not something more. We’re longing for something else.
Not the same thing that we’ve been consuming because it has compounded our thirst through our misguided experience. We compound thirst. In fact, the truth is, if I would ask you rather to put in the chat right now, if I were to say, hey, if you could just put in the chat the worst season of your life, the worst season of your life or the season you regret the most in your life. Just write down the thing that was just the worst chapter, the thing you wish you could erase. Never have to go back to the worst day or the worst moment of your life or the worst period of your life. Chances are most of us would tell a story of trying to quench a thirst that could not be quenched by what we were hoping to have it quenched by.
We would tell a story about the worst moment of our life diving into a relationship that we know we shouldn’t have been a part of. We were doing it because we felt lonely. Or we would tell a story about starting to get into alcohol because, you know, we were just stressed from the day and then that compounded our thirst. And now we were longing for something more. We couldn’t break the addiction of our alcohol use.
We would talk about a day where we made a decision that we know we shouldn’t have made, but we just felt like we had no way out of it. And instead, it just compounded our loneliness, and our anxiety, and our fear, and our frustration, and our heartache, and our brokenness.
It provided no relief at all because we were looking to drink from that well. Our hearts and our souls were longing for something better.
In the midst of this process of getting more and more at the end of the day, often it’s just that we are more and more thirsty, more dissatisfied with our lives. Our normal, is consuming. Things that will never quench our deepest need.
Here’s the woman’s response, “‘Sir,’ The woman said,”
Remember what just happened though. Let’s just pause for a second, remember what just happened. Jesus just said one second ago, you have had five husbands. It’s a secret she’s been keeping forever. You’ve had five husbands.
And her response to that is this, “‘Sir,’ The woman said, ‘I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshipped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we should worship is in Jerusalem.'”
What is she talking about?
This is what I call spiritual deflecting. There’s a go-to move. Look, you’re talking about my soul. I don’t wanna talk about that. How come you guys in a church do this this certain other way? How come nobody ever reaches out to me to call me up? All I said was that you had five husbands. You having five husbands has nothing to do with a mountain. You diving into some addiction is nothing to do with no one calling you.
Spiritual deflection. What do mountains have to do with any of these things? You know what we do when God begins to poke and prod and challenge us in our lives, you know? We often just change the subject.
Somebody says to you, you know, what are you doing with your life, bro? What are you doing? Come on, man. Like, you shouldn’t be doing that. And then we just make excuses. We go, you know, I’m doing that because of this, this, this, this and that. We just change the subject. This is just who I am. And why can’t you just love me for me, bro?
What are we talking about? I’m trying to have a real conversation about your life. Why don’t you just love me for me? You know, hey, like you guys are living together. You know, you shouldn’t be living together. Well, we’re basically married already. It’s fine. No, no, no. No big deal.
Just spiritually deflect, spiritually make excuses and excuses or we blame it. When people come to us and start poking and prodding, we do exactly what this woman does. We just deflect because that other place is very painful, isn’t it? It’s painful to talk about who you really are. In the eyes of God, it’s painful. It’s painful to have real discussions about your life. And so we blame. And all the while we know that the real issue is about our five husbands and has nothing to do with the mountain. We know that no matter how much salt water we drink, it’s not quenching our thirst. So sure, you can change your subject and you can argue. But what is said is still true.
And Jesus answers her and we don’t have a lot of time to unpack, so I’m just going to read it. It’s a perfectly crafted response to her. He doesn’t disregard her question. He goes right towards it, but then moves it back to the place it ought to be, says “‘Woman,’ Jesus replied, ‘believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know.
We worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks. God is a spirit and his worshippers was worship in spirit and truth.’
The woman said, ‘I know that the Messiah called Christ is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.’ Then Jesus declared…”
On the heels of this conversation about fulfillment, in this conversation about spiritual thirst, on the heels of this conversation, He says, I, the spekaing to you, I am he.”
I am the One.
I am the one you’ve been waiting for. The one you’ve been hoping would answer all your questions, I made an appointment with you. I’m sitting here at your well, just me and you. And you’re willing to settle for way too little in your life? You’re willing to be the person that you think you’ve always been. But I’m here to give you much, much more. The one sitting beside you is the Son of God. I am the one on the one you’ve been looking for.
I’m the one that could fill the thing that you’ve been looking for your husbands to fill, what your religiousness could do for you. I’m the one who can do it for you. What all the comfort in the world couldn’t do for you and all the money in the world and all the success in the world couldn’t do for you. I can do that. I can fill you and I can quench your thirst.
And I am your peace, and I am your only source for joy, and for love, and for satisfaction, and for quenching your thirst. I am the one. Jesus looks at her because the one you’re looking for, He’s right here.
Can you even begin to imagine what it does to the woman?
He’s basically telling her, look, you’re feeding the thing God is trying to have you die in your life. You keep on feeding the thing that God wanted to kill in your life. And here I am. I’m giving you a way out. You can be more than what you’ve been. Come on, you can be more than what you are right now. Come on, you can quit. You can give it up. You can have life to the full. You can do it. Come on, I made an appointment with you. I’m here. The reason you’re giving up trying is because you didn’t know that I was here for you.
Come to the spring of life. Taste the water I have for you. Come and you will see.
And if you’re hearing this and you’ve been just frustrated with your life, frustrated with your lack of ability to be satisfied in life, your lack of ability to be fulfilled in this life, it’s probably because you’ve been searching for something greater than yourself. You’ve been searching for something greater than your career and all the things that the world has to offer. You’ve been searching. You’ve tried to fill up your life with stuff, and yet you still feel empty.
You tried to fill up your life with relationships, and yet you still feel empty. I want to encourage you to start believing, to start believing what God spoke to this woman. He speaks to you. The thing that you are looking for is found in Christ.
The heart that you’re looking for is found in Christ. The peace you’re looking for is found in Christ. The change you’re hoping in your own life to happen is found in Christ.
And this woman, she just totally gets it.
Look, look what happens next. “Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman.” I just love this. This woman has had her life utterly changed and they just walk out with a bag of lunch.
“But no one asked, ‘What do you want?’ or ‘why are you talking with her?’
That’s a smart question.
“Then leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people…”
The transformation is pretty fascinating. She came with a bucket. Jesus sent her back with the spring of living water. She came rejected. She’s a center back, accepted by God himself. She came wounded. Jesus sent her back whole. She came ladened with questions. And she found in that moment the answer to everything she had been asking. She came with desperation and she ran back, overflowing with hope. She came normal. She went back, changed for ever. This is what she said to the city.
“‘…Come see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?'”
She met the one who saw her. She met the one who knew her. She met the one who loved her. I want to encourage you today, you don’t have to settle for less. You don’t have to settle for something that won’t quench your thirst, that’s been your normal. You don’t have to do it. You don’t have to do it because Jesus is here to give you more. While she was happy with temporary satisfaction with a drink of, you know, lukewarm, tempered water, she was OK with that. Jesus sent her back whole. She got it.
And here’s how the story ends. This verse, 29, skipping down a little bit, but it says, “Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony. ‘He told me everything I ever did.'”
You know, what I love about this story is that here is a woman who had given up, who had stopped believing that she could have any impact in life. She wanted to be all alone, left to herself.
She wants to be all alone. She thought she had no ability to have impact.
She was just trying to survive on equivocall stuck, totally and utterly stuck. A woman with no purpose. A woman with tremendous need. And this was just her life. She had nothing to offer. Nothing to offer the world. But in a moment, she was changed forever.
What happened after she changed forever is that God led through her a revival of the Samaritan people.
The reason that the Samaritans became disciples of Jesus is because of this utterly broken woman, this woman who seems like has no place in society. God used her to transform a community. And here we are, the reason you know about Samaria at all is because of this woman. The reason that songs have been written and a legacy has been forged.
And today, 2,000 years later, we’re still talking about her heritage and her blessings that she’s given to her people is because there was a broken, thirsty, unmotivated woman who came in contact with Jesus and it changed her normal for ever. God can do the same thing for you.
So I ask you today, are you thirsty?
If you’re thirsting, you’re a perfect candidate for salvation. You’re a perfect candidate for restoration your faith. You’re a perfect candidate for growth.
You’re a perfect candidate for God to break some of the shackles in your life, give you opportunities. But if you think you have it all together, it’s going to be hard. Man, if you’re thirsting, God has something to offer you.