Summary: (PowerPoint slides are freely available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org) Looking at the Power of your Testimony - Witnessing the Jesus Way
Journeying with John - It’s a Blast (JWJ-17)
The Jesus Way
This morning I want to invite you to look with me at the rather simple but profound way Jesus turned a Samaritan village upside down - and it started with a conversation with one woman - a lonely Samaritan woman at a well.
• She may not have been the type of woman that you and I would typically hang with - but in a very real sense she is like every one of us.
• She may not have had a handle on the theological truth like you and I do, but her pursuit of truth was not unlike ours.
• She may not have been exposed to the privileges and opportunities that most of us have, but her struggles, her pain and her dreams were exactly like ours.
She has been called morally weak, theologically confused, intellectually limited and publically despised - but Jesus used her as a beacon of hope not only for the village but for all the world. You see, I believe she is everybody - not a single one of us hold the high ground of perfect moral virtue, absolute theological orthodoxy, complete intellectual discipline or total social perfection. She is you. She is me. She is everybody. And if Jesus can meet her needs, make her whole and use her powerfully and profoundly - He can you and me.
How did Jesus impact this woman’s life? In three ways I guess.
i. He Showed Her Love
But it was in a different way - many other men had loved her - too many - and that love was anything but love, it was self serving. With Jesus she knew it was different - different to the way others had loved her, different to the way the village thought of her.
Have you ever wondered why this woman had to go in the heat of the day to fill her jar?
It’s a good possibility that she didn’t gather in the morning when everybody else was the well talking as they do in small villages. I cannot help but wonder if what kept her from going in the morning was perhaps because she was the talk of the town. She carried a huge burden of shame. After all, she had been married 5 times and the man she was with now lived with now was simply a lover. He was just using her and she was so broken that she had got OK with that. Even in these days of relaxed morals and extreme permissiveness - being married 5 times carries something of a stigma - let alone in those days when thing were probably more conservative or at least less exposed - especially in the Samaritan faith. In all likelihood she had become the talk of the town - the woman with loose standards and easy morals. Had she lived today, she’d have probably been a guest on the Jerry Springer show. But she was not satisfied.
I read a news brief about a prostitute this week who had been arrested in a police raid. As they brought her into the station, took her picture, and fingerprinted her . . . she kept protesting: “I’m really not like this! This isn’t who I am!”
I could not help but be reminded that there is a dream inside even the most broken of us that recognizes instinctively that we were created for something infinitely greater than the pain of this broken life, and infinitely higher than the pleasures of this human life and infinitely longer than this short span of this limited life. Despite the fact that this world had broken her, she never lost the dream that she was made for something better.
Jesus Showed Her Love - Because that is Who He is.
Can you imagine Jesus standing there with a posterboard saying that “God Hates Loose Women” or “God Hates Immoral Men?” May I suggest to you that the opposite is true. If Jesus had a posterboard it would read, “I love you, I love you, I love you.” God loved this woman in the Bible and God loves each and every one He has ever created.
Listen to me if you would this morning - this is important - The love of Jesus is the only thing that can satisfy the human soul.
You can try and satisfy your soul with the admiration of others, the pleasures of your flesh or the accomplishments of your hands - each one of these things will leave you empty. Friends will let you down, pleasures will leave you hungry and your accomplishments will never quench the thirst within you.
What you and I need is the love of Jesus.
i. He Showed Her Love