Summary: Everyone wants to feel like they are making a deifference. By reading up to the Source, reaching in to our need to be healed, and then reaching out to others, we can experience God’s reaching out for us.
“Searching to Reach Out”
2003 Searching Series
September 21, 2003
Purpose: Everyone wants to feel like they are making a difference, By reaching up to the Source, reaching in to our need, and then, reaching out to others, we can experience God’s reaching out for us.
I’d like to introduce you to a woman, who is a lot like us. All of us before we come face to face with our Creator are like this woman. In listening to her story, we discover our own story. As we see her receive something from God, we ourselves learn to receive from God. I want to introduce you to this woman at the well.
She didn’t know she was in need of Christ, she didn’t know that she was dying of thirst. She didn’t realize that her life was parched, wilted, and dry. She didn’t realize what she was hungering for, or that she was longing for a true intimate partner, Jesus, the One who created her. All she knew was an unending sense of dissatisfaction, unsettledness, and uneasiness.
She had five husbands, each one different than the others, each one offering her a different balm or medicine to soothe her itch, to ease her anxiety. But none of them worked out. One maybe left her for another woman, another complained of irreconcilable differences. Still another she left because of the constant fighting. But though the excuses were all different, what was the same was her loneliness…her awful state of loneliness.
It’s interesting to note that she came to the well alone, in the heat of the day, when it was so hot she knew no one else would be there. She came to draw water from Jacob’s well, which was deep. What she found was the Spring of Living Water, Jacob’s Creator, who touched her in the depths, the part of her heart no one else saw. In fact it was a part of her scarcely known by her herself. (source: adapted from “Christ the Living Waters” by Lynwood Morriss Vineyard Christian Fellowship of Oak Park)
Let’s look at how our Lord brought her to that place, the place where he meets us in the deepest, most tender parts of our hearts, the place most wounded, most unredeemed as we continue our search…
A. An Invitation to Reach Up To The Source (verses 7-10)
In verses 7-8, we see that Jesus sees her as someone who he can receive ministry from and minister to. Even with her past, when though he was tired, Jesus invited her, a woman, a Samaritan woman, a Samaritan woman with a past, to minister to Him.
But we see in v. 9, that in her searching, in her woundedness, she saw him as only another Jew, another person to reject her.
But before we judge her too quickly, don’t we do that as well?
For many who find themselves searching, we look at our past and think that there is no way we can minister to ourselves, definitely not minister to others, and definitely we feel disqualified to minister to the Lord and His church.
But Jesus tells her and us something different. In the first six verses of this chapter, we see Jesus leaving Judea to go back home to Galilee because of a brewing conflict with the Pharisees over John the Baptist. To travel from Judea to Galilee took about three days on foot. But for most Jews it took longer, because they wouldn’t travel through Samaria. So, it was a shock for this woman at the well, to see this Jew. In fact, she could have probably counted on one hand the number of times she had met a Jew near her hometown.
What does Jesus tell her and us? Just as he told that woman at the well, we may think that we are unworthy, we may think that our past holds you back, we may think that because of our traditions, because of our hurts, because of our sin…we are unable to serve and be served…but Jesus says I’m not like anyone you have known before…I offer a living water…I offer what you are searching for, I have what you so desperately want, I’m am ready and willing to give. Although we may feel unworthy, the gift of God is available if we reach up for it.
In v.10 Jesus basically says, if you knew who I am, you would have asked me for the balm that quenches your thirst, heals your hurts, and binds your wounds. I have what you’ve been searching for…reach up for it, and you will never thirst again.
And once we’ve reached up, then there’s an almost automatic sense to reach in…
B. An Invitation to Reach In To Our Need For Healing