If you are just joining us this week, welcome.
We have been looking at the idea that Vacation Bible School has just as much to teach us adults as it does the children who attend. You can read the first posts How Great Is My Faith?, The Result of Great Forgiveness, and A Spiritual Rebirth by clicking on the highlighted links.
Today we will be looking at the story of the Samaritan woman at the well from John Chapter 4.
If you are familiar with this story, you know that Jesus, weary from his journey, stops to sit and rest at Jacob’s well in a city of Samaria. He asks a Samarian woman to give him a drink of water. On the surface, none of this is intriguing, but the woman is shocked that He is even speaking to her because Jews and Samaritans didn’t get along well at all, to say the least.
Jesus tells the woman that if she knew who He was, she would have asked Him for living water. Of course, she doesn’t understand that He is speaking in a spiritual sense here so she questions how this can be so when He has nothing with which to draw His water. She then asks Him where to get living water and if He is greater than Jacob.
Jesus explains to her that he who drinks well water will thirst again. He who drinks the water from Him will never thirst, but “the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” (v.14)
The woman asks for this water so that she will no longer have to come draw from the well. Jesus tells her to go find her husband and come back, to which she replies that she has none.
Jesus reveals to her that she not only doesn’t have a husband, but has had five of them and that the man she is now with is not her husband. She replies, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshipped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.” (v. 19-20)
Jesus replies, (in part) “…the true worshipers will worship in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (v. 23-24)
The woman then reveals to Him her knowledge that the Messiah (the Christ) is coming and when He does, He will tell them all things. “Jesus said to her, I who you speak to am He.” (v.26).
The woman goes back to the city to tell the men, “Come see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” The men left the city and came to see Jesus for themselves.
Verse 39 says, “And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, He told me all that I ever did.”
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.” Matthew 28:19-20 (NKJV)
I am certain that there are several learning points in this story, but in the interest of time, we will focus on just one. This story is an example of Matthew 28:19-20 in action.
“…always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have…” ~1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)
Today, let us prayerfully consider these two mandates of Scripture to see if they are true in our lives. You see, I believe that they aren’t merely suggestions, but commands. These verses aren’t couched in language that suggests that we should do these things only if we feel like it, but that we should be doing them. Period.
I think some of the following may be the reasons:
- We don’t know Jesus well enough to be confident about sharing Him with others. John 1:1 and 14 remind us that not only was the Word God, but the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Once we know Him, we can’t help but want to tell others. If we are lacking the confidence in our knowledge of Him, let us resolve to spend more time in His Word. It is a gift we should never take for granted.
- We are afraid of persecution. In Matthew 10:33, Jesus reminds us that if we deny Him before men, He will deny us before his Father in Heaven. He also reminds us that we should consider ourselves blessed when we are persecuted for His namesake. (Matthew 5:11-12) My Pastor often reminds us that if we aren’t being persecuted for Christ once in awhile, we should wonder why. Spend some time reading some stories of persecution, both in Scripture and in current news. This will remind us all that a little heckling doesn’t even come close to the persecution others have faced.
- We just aren’t bold enough. We’re afraid to speak up. We need to remember that God does not give us a spirit of fear but of power and of love. (2 Timothy 1:7) Let us focus on the love He has poured out on us. Out of gratitude let us then not be afraid, but go in His power to share His goodness with those who desperately need it.
- We don’t realize that it is God doing the work. Sometimes we forget that it is the Holy Spirit that reveals to a person their need for a Savior. It is God who changes hearts, not us. We are asked to obediently tell others. That is our responsibility. We need to let go of our ideas of how they are to respond. That’s God’s job. We just need to open our mouths and let the Holy Spirit have his way. We plant the seeds, the Lord waters them. (1 Corinthians 3:6-7). We don’t even need to be concerned about seeing the fruit.
- We aren’t praying enough. I say this because Scripture tells us that whatever we ask for, according to His will, will be given to us. We know it is His will for us to share Him with others. (John 14:12-14) If there is a reason we aren’t doing it, then we need to go to Him in prayer to help us figure out why. This is a life and death issue here. We need to ponder the seriousness of those who are without Christ, and ask God to give us a heart for them. He will give us the boldness. Faith in Him will remove fear and doubt. Time in His word will give us the encouragement we need. We just need to want it.
Let us consider that question today. How badly do we want to share the gospel with others?
Heavenly Father, that You would give us a hunger and a thirst to tell others about Your saving grace! That we would burn with the desire to share Your love with a dying world! Help us, Father, to cast aside our fears and our weaknesses that we may obey Your word. Help us to go and make disciples in Your name, for their good and for Your glory. In the precious name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
Have you heard Casting Crown’s The Well? You can purchase their album from Amazon by clicking here.
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You might also enjoy – Musings On Music.
What do you think? Do you find it difficult to share your faith, or do you hunger and thirst to tell others about your Savior?