Verse 12 says she asks, Are you greater than our father Jacob? I love this woman basically she s asking Show me your credentials!

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1 An encounter with the woman at the well (John ) This passage is often used to talk about sharing faith. Something we try to focus on in our church is that the first step before external action - is to make an internal reflection. To ask who am I in the scripture, in the encounters Jesus has - in the parables he uses! Am I willing to see differently because when we see differently, it changes the way we engage the world. It s: The person who was deaf and is enabled to hear loves just to listen to people talk The person who was blind but can now see loves just staring at the colours of the world around them The person whose heavy burden of sin is removed by Jesus sees the weight upon others and can t but let others know they don t have to carry their burden any longer So tonight I want to encourage you to see yourself in the woman maybe because you experience what she does- or you need to understand what she feels either way I pray you understand the power of Jesus message in her story Jesus leaves Judea - heads for Galilee - and goes through Samaria. I don t believe Jesus left Judea for fear of the Pharisees. Perhaps the Pharisees stirred up trouble to get rid of Jesus. But his hour was not yet come - he left. Perhaps he left because the Pharisees used Jesus popularity to discredit John. John had embarrassed the Pharisees by calling them to repent and be baptized. Perhaps Jesus thought the Pharisees would discredit he and John as they re ministry had not yet been solidly established. Or, perhaps, Jesus felt a divine impulse to go through Samaria because God planned a divine appointment there his actions were purpose filled. PURPOSE FILLED relationships Verse 4 says: he had to pass through Samaria. However it was possible to go to Galilee another way. I don t know what drove Jesus specifically - but I do know Jesus was never controlled by circumstances his steps never seemed be to governed by his circumstances even when those led to his crucifixion. So Jesus wasn t merely responding His actions were PURPOSE FILLED. God never seems to do just one thing there s always more going on than we can see.

2 This is the first point just as Jesus is purpose filled in this story God is purpose filled in the things for our lives and uses us to be multi-purpose filled in relationship. When you let God s equations guide your life, it may not always make sense but the final solution will. GRACE FILLED relationships The main relationship here is between Jesus and the woman at the well. Jesus asks for a drink and Verse 9 says: The Samaritan woman said to him, How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria? Jews normally travelled around Samaria because they viewed Samaritans as unclean Assyrians captured Samaria in BC, and banished the Israelites - they settled the land with foreigners, intermarried with the surviving Israelites and took on a form of their religion. After the exile, Jews viewed the Samaritans as the children of political rebels - as racial half-breeds - with a dirtied religion So there is ethnic, racial, and religious issues that made Jews despise Samaritans and see them as: This woman is seen as - Ceremonially unclean - racially impure - religiously heretical. Jesus as usual does all the wrong social things for his time and it all started with asking for a drink - not for permission to get a drink - but for a drink from her bucket. If you have seen some of the movies or read about an earlier time when segregation was socially acceptable Jesus actions was similar to a white man walking over to a coloured water fountain and asking a black woman for a drink. So she says - Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Basically what you re asking isn t socially acceptable. Verse 10: Jesus responds, If you knew the gift I m offering, and who it is saying, Give me a drink, you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water. This isn t so much about her grace filled response but rather it s her opportunity for a grace filled encounter Verse 11: she says, Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Have you done this? Thanks God here s a list why what you re asking from me won t work.

3 Verse 12 says she asks, Are you greater than our father Jacob? I love this woman basically she s asking Show me your credentials! I did this- I felt God was leading me to go to Thailand with YWAM but I didn t have enough money. I said God show me your cred s provide the money and I ll go. God said sure just give away the money you already have WHAT? So I did, it didn t make sense, people told me it didn t make sense, I believed anyway and 2 weeks later I had more than I needed when I submitted to his guidance, God s grace made a way So Jesus responds - I hear you thanks - however here s a different answer Jesus just says - Yes, I am superior to Jacob because this water will leave you thirsty and having to return my living water mean you never have to come back to a physical well and it leads to eternal life (Verses 13 14) Like us she misses his point - again. Verse 15: The woman said to him, Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water. Then things seem to get a little hostile Jesus says: Go, call your husband, and come back. She says I don t have one! This woman was well-known but her reputation had to do with the number of men she had been with. There is no way Jesus could have naturally known about this woman s life Here s my second point as I said, God s equations don t make sense Extending grace to others doesn t always make sense. Jesus extended grace however because what made sense was God was pursuing her. Jesus knew: Relationship with God was more important than social and religious barriers. Relationship with God was more important than others perceptions. Relationship with God was more important than all the objections she could raise. God pursues us and always extends grace. God wants us to see with GRACE FILLED eyes Why? Because we will see and respond to multi-purpose filled opportunities. We will see and therefore extend grace filled opportunities to others when there is need.

4 Jesus has modelled what it is to purse relationship that is - PURPOSE FILLED and GRACE FILLED. Now he models for us pursuing relationship that is - SPIRIT FILLED When God pursues us there s stretching - this is why we need the Holy Spirit as our comforter Does it surprise you Jesus said she spoke the truth even though it was a half truth? We do this we admit a half-truth because the full truth is too painful Jesus says to her you re correct in what you said for you have had 5 husbands and the one you re with now is not your husband you spoke the truth It s a devious, subtle, manipulation of language to conceal the truth by saying true things. Devious people don t usually lie. We deceive by the way we use the truth. Perhaps her heart is saying: I don t like coming out in public like this. If I could avoid this every day, I would. This is the place the women gather where they talk about the community this is the place to be accepted yet this is the place I m excluded because I m the topic of conversation Her life is dry it can t receive spirit and truth because it s been so beaten down So Jesus moves into her inner life where she has learnt to shut others out. It s a door locked and sealed. So Jesus uses a SPIRIT FILLED key to open it. Her life led her to an inner spiritual dryness. It s like that imagery from Isaiah - pouring water on dry land however the problem is if the land is so dry and hard - the sun evaporates the water before it has a chance to soak in Jesus intentionally breaks down her walls down by exposing her sin. So she responds as we would she put up walls She only focuses on what separates - all she can relate to is superficial things Jesus goes there - but again - not to respond as she wants or as we might in getting into an argument he sees past her statement, focuses on her heart & speaks to her spirit. Jesus says, The hour is coming when geography won t matter. and also The hour is coming and is now here - true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth.

5 This is a purpose-filled, grace-filled, spirit-filled relational response. Jesus is letting a broken woman know she is pursued by God A God who loves her and frees her as she deserves The Holy Spirit brings spiritual life we re spiritually born again through his Living Water. God has pursued us we don t always understand the equation but we know the affects we feel washed clean, overflowing with a peace that transcends understanding. Many of you know God pursued you you are his Living Well he wants you to live purpose-filled, grace-filled and spirit-filled lives to bring him glory Yet there are those on the margins, excluded, isolated, burdened they re the woman at the well - they need to know there is a spring of water gushing up to eternal life Did you see yourself in her tonight? If you are her and need healing receive Jesus Living Water. If you know others who are her let them know Living Water is available. When you see those at the well sit with them - be the Living Water that refreshes their soul. Let s pray

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