Summary: Jesus collects those who know they have failed and changes them
Jesus’ Collection of Failures.
reading: John 4:7-30
Today with the kind of drive for academic excellence which is being reflected in the requirements needed for even the most mundane of jobs. There are more and more people feeling and knowing that they have failed. More and more people are finding that they just cannot cope. From the first memories in childhood, people are conditioned to shoot for the sky. What is sad, is that all too often they do and fall back to earth where no provision of a safety net has been made. From here they discover they are dumped on the rubbish tip as rejects, not likely to succeed.
This is also found in relationships, yet it is nothing new. It was just the same in Jesus’ day, there were masses of people who had just been dumped.
One such woman was to meet Jesus at a well. He was tired, very dusty and thirsty. Her life up to this point had been a continual lurching from one emotional crisis to another. We don’t know what had happened to her first husband, yet she is to go through five in the coming years beforet his meeting with Jesus.
She knew plenty about marriage break-up, and the emotional scares that are left. Her scars were deep and painful, causing her to live with her latest man instead of marrying. Little realising that there is more pain that way.
Suddenly, one day at the well, a strange thing happened to her. A Jew spoke to her, not just any Jew, but a male, Jew and a rabbi at that was speaking to her a Samaritan woman. He spoke to her in away that portrayed His inner tranquillity and peace.
(John 4:7) “Give Me a drink.”
was his request. She tries to rebuff Him because of the so called differences of faith. Yet He is persistent, He tells her He will give her living water. This intrigues her, but still she tries to move on. Yet this man of peace say’s to her;
(John 4:14) “...the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
Jesus cut right through the outer show case and got right to the heart of the problem. This woman was frightened, she was frightened of many things, but in particular, of REJECTION and DEATH. Both are related and both can be dispelled by Jesus.
This is the one thing that is guaranteed to come to all of us. It is also the one thing we prepare least for. Yes we do often take out insurance so that those left behind might not be left wanting. That is right and anyone who does not make provision for their family is described in the Scriptures in these terms;
(1 Timothy 5:8) “...if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than and unbeliever/infidel.”
Yet as for ourselves, we all too often push on regardless, with little or no though to the eternal. We hope that it will come right in the end, or push such thoughts to the back of our minds, hoping that it will not come to us, yet being frightening because we know it will.
Death is this mystical barrier that has baffled and frightened man throughout successive generations.
(Hebrews 9:27) “...it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgement.”
The scripture clearly shows that their is life after death. This woman just like many before her and after her, was frightened of death. They were afraid that all would not work out well, the element of the unknown was playing on her mind. Yet the bible says;
(1 John 5:13) “... that you might know that you eternal life.”
How can I know? If I were to drop dead now, would I have eternal life? I’ll give the you answer in a moment.
Fear of Rejection
This women knew all about rejection, she was the talk of the town. The DECENT folk would not even let there shadow cross hers. Five husbands all, gone, she was unable to form a lasting relationship because she was unable to fully trust.
Her religion has failed her. Week in week out she would go to her place of worship, with the growing guilt of wrong but can find no relief. She tries to see her religious leader who rejects her by his words and actions. So she leaves, to lead her own life style.
Yet here at the well, when she met with Jesus, she senses that she had found what she was looking for, and He was willing to bring it to her.
She feels that God had rejected her, but here was Jesus assuring her that God was not going to reject her. Her mind repeats His words over and over again; “I WILL GIVE YOU ETERNAL LIFE.”