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Summary: WHEN TRANSFORMATION MOVES US FROM OUTCASTS TO ACCEPTANCE.

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Outcast to Acceptance

John 4:4-42

March 20, 2011

INTRODUCTION

Transformation Stories. People have been posting their transformation stories on line and some this week shared forward to me a transformation stories.

Each Friday night after work, Ole would fire up his outdoor grill on the shore of Lake Erie and cook a venison steak. But, all of Ole’s neighbors were Catholic. And since it was Lent, they were forbidden from eating meat on Friday.

The delicious aroma from the grilled venison steaks wafted over the neighborhood, and all the way from Huron to Vermillion, and it was causing such a problem for the Catholic faithful that they finally talked to their priest.

The Priest came to visit Ole, and suggested that he become a Catholic. So over the next week Ole attended and evening classes and met with the priest. Then on Sunday he went to mass. There the priest sprinkled holy water over him, he said, "You were born a Lutheran; raised a Lutheran; but now you are a Catholic."

Ole’s neighbors witnessed the event and were relieved.... until Friday night arrived. Again the wonderful aroma of grilled venison filled the neighborhood.

The Priest was called immediately by the neighbors, and, as he rushed into Ole’s yard, clutching a rosary and prepared to scold him, he stopped and watched in amazement.

There stood Ole, clutching a small bottle of holy water.... which he carefully sprinkled over the grilling meat and chanted: "You vuz born a deer; you vuz raised a deer; but now you is a walleye."

Unfortunately for some people transformation doesn’t amount to much more that what occurred in Ole’s life. Real transformation is much deeper.

Turn with me to John 4 and let’s examine what happens . . .

WHEN TRANSFORMATION MOVES US FROM OUTCASTS TO ACCEPTANCE.

Jesus Talks With a Samaritan Woman

4 Now he had to go through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.

7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, "Will you give me a drink?" 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

9 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.)

10 Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water."

11 "Sir," the woman said, "you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 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?"

13 Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

15 The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water."

16 He told her, "Go, call your husband and come back."

17 "I have no husband," she replied.

Jesus said to her, "You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true."

19 "Sir," the woman said, "I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem."

21 "Woman," Jesus replied, "believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth."

25 The woman said, "I know that Messiah" (called Christ) "is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us."

26 Then Jesus declared, "I, the one speaking to you--I am he."

P. S. WHEN TRANSFORMATION MOVES US FROM OUTCASTS TO ACCEPTANCE.

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