Summary: Open Doors Divine Appointments, part 6
Divine Appointments, part 6
November 3, 2013
The biblical idea for intentional living is walking in wisdom. The psalmist prayed, 'teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.' Or as we saw last few weeks by Paul, walk in wisdom toward those who do not know Christ by making the best use of our time. We do this when we seek to accomplish as much spiritual good as we can with the relationships God has placed in our lives. Paul is talking about living intentionally. So Paul asked the Colossian church to pray that God would open a door to declare the gospel and that he would make it clear. Remember an open door is a New Testament metaphor describing how God opens an opportunity for the gospel to be shared and that sharing is fruitful. So we ask God to open doors, we look for open doors, and we walk through those doors by sharing the gospel.
Last last week we said that the gospel is narrow, meaning that Jesus is the only way to God. This week we see an open door in John 4 where God the Father leads Jesus to an encounter with a woman and at the same time opens her heart to receive the gospel. This a divine appointment, God weaving two lives together for a divine purpose.
Jesus was Intentionally Purposeful (3-5)
We don't know why Jesus was leaving Judea except that John tells us that 'he had to go through Samaria.' Jesus lived intentionally, as one sent, and God the Father was taking him on the next leg of his journey. We see God fulfilling his sovereign plan through the life of his Son and his people. God weaving two lives together not just for her salvation but the salvation of her people. There were two routes one could take from Judea to Galilee. The most direct route was to go straight north through Samaria which took about three days. But any 'good Jew' would go east to Jericho then follow the Jordan valley coming back west toward Galilee which took about six days. A 'good Jew' would take the longer route because there was intense animosity between the two groups - religiously, racially, and politically - which is reflected in this Jewish saying, 'may I never set eyes on Samaria.' Jesus was intentionally purposeful; he lived on mission. God did not send him into the world to condemn the world but to save the world.
Jesus Was Intentionally Relational (6-10)
Jesus comes to this well weary from travel; he is both tired and hungry. The stage is set, enter a woman from Samaria to draw water. God is weaving two lives together, a divine appointment with destiny. It is a very awkward encounter but Jesus acts totally oblivious to the social, political, religious, and racial tensions. He asks the woman, 'give me a drink.' How we see people determines how we treat people. But she is not so oblivious, 'how can you, a Jew ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?' John tells us why she responded this way, 'because Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.' Without skipping a beat, Jesus responds, 'if you knew the gift of God and who it is that is saying to you give me a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.'
Jesus Intentionally Pointed her to the Savior (11-26)
The Samaritan woman responds to Jesus, 'sir, you have nothing to draw water with and the well is deep. Where will you get that living water?' She is skeptical yet curious but she does not get it yet. 'You are not greater than our father Jacob. He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.' Jesus does not give up nor does he scoff at her, 'everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again but whoever drinks of the water that I give them will never thirst again. It will well up in him into eternal life.' He is speaking of salvation by the Spirit who draws and saves people. She is much more interested now, 'Sir, give me this water so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.' Jesus, the hound of heaven, pushes deeper, 'go call your husband and come here. And she responds, 'I have no husband.' Then Jesus in turn responds, 'You are right to say I have no husband. As a matter of fact you have had five husbands and the one you now have is not your husband.' The most loving thing we can do is to show people their sinfulness. Unless one recognizes their sinfulness they will never see their need for the Savior. Then the woman, uncomfortable with the subject matter, seeks to divert the topic, 'Since you are a religious man, let's move away from my moral failings to my religion. Our fathers worshipped on this mountain but you say Jerusalem is the place where people are supposed to worship.' Jesus responds, 'The hour is coming where neither this mountain nor the temple in Jerusalem will have any significance for worship. But the hour is coming where true worshipper will worship in spirit and in truth for the Father is seeking such people to worship him, including you.' That is the point of this story. Jesus is the hound of heaven, intentionally purposeful, intentionally relational, and intentionally pointing her to the Savior. Did you notice her thought process? She calls him you, a man, a jew, sir, then a prophet, and then the Christ.
Take aways . . .
• Pray for open doors; look for open doors; walk through open doors
• Pray for Divine appointments, look for divine appointments