I didn’t quite finish chapter 3, last week so this week we pick it up…
Jesus had just cleared the temple both physically and spiritually. He challenged the people to remember their recalling. He left Jerusalem for the Judean countryside to begin bringing people to repentance. Jesus’s disciples are baptizing, and John and his disciples are baptizing, and there is a bit of confusion. Let’s wade into the discussion (get it?).
Then Jesus and his disciples left Jerusalem and went into the Judean countryside. Jesus spent some time with them there, baptizing people.
23 At this time John the Baptist was baptizing at Aenon, near Salim, because there was plenty of water there; and people kept coming to him for baptism. 24 (This was before John was thrown into prison.) 25 A debate broke out between John’s disciples and a certain Jew over ceremonial cleansing. 26 So John’s disciples came to him and said, “Rabbi, the man you met on the other side of the Jordan River, the one you identified as the Messiah, is also baptizing people. And everybody is going to him instead of coming to us.”
First, what do we know about John?
He knew his call was fulfilled but until the Lord called him to something else, he kept doing what he was called to do…..I often challenge people practically to never quit a job until you have another one…spiritually it is the same I believe if you feel one ministry winding down, stick with it until God opens the next doors….In the parable of the servants in Luke 19:13 Jesus reminds us that we are to be about always investing our skills, abilities and talents until it is time for us to meet the Lord…..he opens and closes doors and brings blessings by our faithfulness
Then we see John’s disciples being jealous for him….had God called them to follow Jesus too as John and Andrew had? Because they didn’t, now they had plenty of time to be busy-bodies and allowed their insecurities to overwhelm them…..this happens a lot when people are not doing what God has called them to do….John deals with this
John 3: 27 – 36
John replied, “No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven. 28 You yourselves know how plainly I told you, ‘I am not the Messiah. I am only here to prepare the way for him.’ 29 It is the bridegroom who marries the bride, and the bridegroom’s friend is simply glad to stand with him and hear his vows. Therefore, I am filled with joy at his success. 30 He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.
31 “He has come from above and is greater than anyone else. We are of the earth, and we speak of earthly things, but he has come from heaven and is greater than anyone else. 32 He testifies about what he has seen and heard, but how few believe what he tells them! 33 Anyone who accepts his testimony can affirm that God is true. 34 For he is sent by God. He speaks God’s words, for God gives him the Spirit without limit. 35 The Father loves his Son and has put everything into his hands. 36 And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment.”
Second thing we know about John is, he knew God, He recognized Jesus’ call and anointing and for now recognized that it was different than his and encouraged those around him to see it too! Do you realize people are going to be different from you and that God is going to use them differently than he will use you but it doesn’t mean their call and anointing is any less valuable than yours, in fact honoring their anointing honors you and the Lord
Third thing we know about John was, he knew and understood his call…he saw himself as the forerunner the one to alert people as to the role and purpose of Jesus….notice he recognizes he is the last prophet of the Old Testament….how you might ask? He doesn’t see himself as part of the bride….the church is the bride of Christ, he calls himself the best man of the groom. It gave him joy to fulfill that role…..does your calling give you joy? If not then you need to recognize your call and do it! Chances are you are trying to be something you are not called to do….yet!
John 4: 1-4
Jesus knew the Pharisees had heard that he was baptizing and making more disciples than John 2 (though Jesus himself didn’t baptize them—his disciples did). 3 So he left Judea and returned to Galilee. 4 He had to go through Samaria on the way.
Jesus knew John’s arrest was imminent so the Holy Spirit led him out of Judea into Galilee. The other three Gospels spend most of their narrative on the Galilean ministry of Jesus while John’s focus is more on Judea. The phrase, “Jesus had to go” was not saying it was the only way to go but instead that the Father was leading him into Samaria.
The Samaritans – Jews among the 10 northern tribes when the nation divided after the death of Solomon. When the northern tribes were conquered the Assyrian conquerers took the Jews and spread them throughout their kingdom so they might inter-mingle and inter-marry among other races. Their theology began to become as inter mixed as their people were
The Jews believed in the 5 books of Moses and all of the other prophets, Psalms and Proverbs
The Samaritans only believed in the 5 books of Moses
The Jews worshiped at the temple in Jerusalem, the Samaritans at Mt. Gerizim
The Jews believed in the resurrection and the Samaritans do not
The Jews believe the Messiah will come from the tribe of Judah….Samaritans believe the he will come from Joseph or Levi….there are other differences but these are the main ones….the Jews look at Samaritans as swine’s flesh….Jesus knew all of this as he felt the Holy Spirit guiding him to Samaria
Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. 7 Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” 8 He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food.
Did you know Jesus got tired? Did you know he got thirsty, hungry? Jesus was all God and all man….he felt everything that you and I will feel….notice he comes to the woman, already weary and thirsty but his love overwhelms him.
Think about the ethnic hatred and add to that she is a woman and Rabbis were never to talk with a woman alone nor have anything to do with Samaritans. Jesus asked her for water, this was still or dead water in this well of Jacob’s
John 4: 9
The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?”
Are there people in your life you refuse to have anything to do with? Family members you may have a grudge against, people of a different age than you, political persuasion than you, different race, different economic status, different region from you that you can’t stand?
If you treat people with love and respect you will get a certain shock value
Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.” 11 “But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? 12 And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?”
Living water was water from a stream or river water that was moving, from a natural point of view. She is questioning if Jesus has some nearby (there are no rivers or streams in Samaria)her question is how are you getting this water from a stream, this is Jacob’s well one of our only water sources and it is dead water do you think you are better than us and you don’t think we would have found or our ancestor Jacob would have found this living water?
How often do we hear something from the Lord and only look at it through our limited human view point? Rather than stopping to ask, Lord, I think I know what you have said to me, I think I know what this means but help me to understand what you are saying so I don’t miss it!
Can I also point out here that rather than Jesus dealing with her politics or theology, he focuses in on her main need…..God has a gift for her….God has a gift for everyone and we have that gift within us and are called to share it. Our flesh and the enemy always want us to be focused on everything but God’s purpose for our lives
Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. 14 But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”
15 “Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.”
All of us want a quick fix to our problems, we want God to “poof” magically make everything go away. She is thinking naturally, rather than supernaturally. She is thinking if I could get this fresh bubbling water that permanently satisfies my thirst, I wouldn’t need to come to this well in the heat of the day to avoid the gossip and the derogatory remarks. I would never need to haul this bucket up the 100 feet from the bottom of the well I would be free…..how many have come to me thinking if they just hot the lottery for several million dollars all of their problems would be taken care of but God would rather have us deal with our handling of money to teach us to overcome debt and invest wisely with our time and finances to learn to give…Jesus does the same with this woman
John 4: 16-18
“Go and get your husband,” Jesus told her.
17 “I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied.
Jesus said, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband—18 for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!”
Jesus seems to switch gears here….he is not being mean pointing out her failure and sin but instead showing her what is blocking her from receiving this living water, the Holy Spirit. She was looking for satisfaction, security, protection, fulfillment from people rather than the Lord. The way to freedom and to begin the process of change to be able to receive the fullness of God is to speak the truth to yourself….Jesus saw she had in her heart the ability to see the truth in herself so she could recognize the truth Jesus was offering her.
Let’s pause here in the story and wrap it up next week…
Let me ask you a few things
Do you know your calling?
Do you value the calling of other people?
Do you have people in your life that you have a grudge against or are prejudice toward? God wants you to value all of his creation.
Is there something in your life that you have struggled with that you know is blocking you from receiving all the Lord has for you? Can you choose to take the leap of faith to let that go today?
The only quick fix to our problems and struggles is giving them to Jesus