Summary: For 2000 years she has been labled as a loose divorcee living with a man. But what if she was misjudged?
“His name is Bill. He has wild hair, wears a T-shirt with holes in it, jeans and no shoes. This was literally his wardrobe for his entire four years of college. He is intelligent. Kind of esoteric and very, very bright.
He became a Christian while attending college. Across the street from the campus is a well-dressed, very conservative church. They want to develop a ministry to the students, but are not sure how to go about it. One day Bill decides to go there. He walks in with no shoes, jeans, his T-shirt, and wild hair.
The service has already started, so Bill starts down the aisle looking for a seat. The church is completely packed and he can’t find a seat. By now people are really looking a bit uncomfortable, but no one says anything. Bill gets closer to the pulpit, and when he realizes there are no seats, he just squats down right on the carpet. (Although perfectly acceptable behavior at a college fellowship, this had never happened in this church before!) By now the people are really uptight, and the tension in the air is thick.
About this time, the minister realizes that from way at the back of the church, a deacon is slowly making his way toward Bill. Now the deacon is in his eighties, has silver-gray hair, and a three-piece suit. A godly man, very elegant, very dignified, very courtly. He walks with a cane and, as he starts walking toward this young man, everyone is saying to themselves that you can’t blame him for what he’s going to do. How can you expect a man of his age and of his background to understand some college kid on the floor?
It takes a long time for the deacon to reach the young man . The church is utterly silent, except for the clicking of the man’s cane. All eyes are focused on him. The minister can’t even preach the sermon until the deacon does what he has to do. And now they see this elderly man drop his cane on the floor. With great difficulty he lowers himself and sits down next to Bill and worships with him so he won’t feel alone.
Everyone chokes up with emotion. When the minister gains control, he says, "What I’m about to preach, you will never remember. What you have just seen, you will never forget.”
Were you surprised by the outcome of the story? Most of us would be. We have the tendency to jump to certain conclusions about people. And with modern technology, like face book and text messaging, we can jump quickly. Thus, we see conversations like these.
Jack: “Guess who came to church today?”
Jack: “Flo Gooseheart.”
Jill: “OMG. Hasn’t she had like 5 husbands?”
Jack: “Yeah! And she’s living with a man now.”
Jack: “Oh, there’s more. Guess who I saw her talking with.”
Jack: “The pastor. I wanted to go ask him ‘What do you want with her?’ or ‘Why are you talking to her?’ but I didn’t have the nerve.”
Jill: “Thanks for filling me in. I haven’t been to church in several weeks but I certainly will not be going back.”
Jack: “Me too. I am glad I picked this week to return myself.”
Today we will meet the fifth character in our list of the Dirty Dozen. John 4:1-8 “Jesus knew the Pharisees had heard that he was baptizing and making more disciples than John (though Jesus himself didn’t baptize them—his disciples did). So he left Judea and returned to Galilee.
He had to go through Samaria on the way. Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, ‘Please give me a drink.’ He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food.”
Here is the picture. Jesus is on his way to Galilee and decides to take the short route through Samaria rather than taking a longer route around it. He makes it to Jacob’s well around noon and sends his disciples into town to buy some groceries. Soon a woman arrives to get water from the well. This is a strange situation.
The routine would have been for her to get water in the morning for the daytime chores and in the evening for the night time chores. By noon, it would have been extremely hot and too late for the water needed for the morning chores. So why was she there at that time of day? That is where the gossip begins. The other women must have rejected her. Most of us know the story. She has had five husbands and is now living with a man to whom she is not married.