Woman at the Well: Why Not YOU?
Would you open bibles to John 4? (page X in your row bible) In Fishers, if you need one...
Last week we started a series called Lost; if your friends and loved ones don't know Jesus, they are lost--which is heavy
-If I may quote a blunt statement Dave made last week: “If YOU don’t begin to practice the art of evangelism then the people of your life who you worry about the most, are spiritually hopelessly, lost – permanently lost…and by permanently I mean forever…” Wow. Thanks Dave. Heavy stuff
How is this sitting with you? Whether you were here last week or just hearing first time now?
For those who've been 'found', I wonder if you're responding in one of 2 ways:
(1) someone else will tell my friends about Jesus
Or (2) where does a person like me get off thinking they can share with others? I know I've thought both
-As a kid in a in a good evangelical/evangelistic church (like this one); not enough to knowtruth but tell
-I remember hearing messages like this, and being stirred but thinking 'someone else will &I could never'
-And I remember getting involved in a parachurch ministry in high school and really being stirred for lost
-But I remember not only feeling anxious or intimidated (which makes sense, b/c it's always a risk)
-But feeling unworthy (especially further I got into my teens); Feeling dumb (speakers were smooth)
-Or feeling guilty (I cared re: friends, could see they were lost, but I still had own Qs working thru)
Does anyone here know what I'm talking about? Ever felt this way before? Now?
We all have our anxieties; But I want to challenge all who would say, “was lost but found”
If you think Jesus can't use a person like you to help your lost loved ones get found...think again
-If you think you have strikes against you that make you the wrong person, someone else better for it
-Whether it's who you are: 'I'm too young, I'm too old'; Or what you've done: 'I have this, um, past'
Or lack of knowledge or skill or even questions you might still have ('once I figure out the end times')
-If evangelism freaks you out, I GET it! Don't feel up to it? Join the club! Hear my word to you today
-No matter what your reason or struggle may be: no matter where you're from, or what you've done, or where you've been or even where you are now...Jesus wants to use YOU as He seeks lost people
Jesus uses formerly lost people to reach out to presently lost people to help them not be lost!
-In fact, it could be the very things you think (or that you tell yourself, or that others tell you) will keep you from being used by God...Might be the very things He seeks to use to bring others to Himself.
-Jesus doesn't just call unlikely people to follow Him: history of the church is of unlikely people
-Being the very ones Jesus goes to in order to call other unlikely people to Himself
If you don't believe me, consider story in John 4at the start of Jesus' ministry
-Maybe you remember it? Jesus is traveling from southern Israel (Judea) up north (Galilee)
-And on the way He travels through a place called Samaria, has a conversation w/a woman by a well
-Remember? This is the place He talks about living water; freaks woman out b/c knows her life story
-Ends conversation by telling her—1st person, btw--that He is the Messiah (long awaited king/Savior)
-She goes back to her village, tells people to come back w/her, & we have first large scale conversion
Have you heard the story? It's a long one—Jesus' longest conversation w/anyone in Gospels
-There is much here to learn about Jesus, who He is, and what He's about--but let's focus on evangelism
Jesus is the Seeker last week Dave talked about Nicodemus, who came to Jesus
-One of the kickers is that religious leader seeks/is confused (find out later believes, but doesn't share)
-But this woman isn't seeking Jesus out, seems to get what He is talking about, and goes and tells others
-If I might put twist on what Dave said last week; today is re: a seeker, but it's not really woman
-Story begins like this: “Jesus HAD (compelled) to go through Samaria” v4. Which bears comment
-B/c no good Jew ever had to go through Samaria; Good Jews actually HAD TO go around Samaria
(Which might seem strange b/c it was geographically right between Judea and Galilee)
-Maybe you know story of Good Samaritan; twist was that to Jews Samaritans were NEVER good
Why? They were heretics. Assyria took Israel into exile, few Jews left behind intermarried w/people
-From other conquered places brought in to repopulate; kept parts of Judaism, mixed in own beliefs
-Which is why first interaction between Jesus and woman, when He asks for a drink (v7) elicits
“How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans)
Why was Jesus there? Had to! Why? To seek and save what was lost! But something re: this woman
-In the midday sun, when no one came out into scorching heat, was there and alone and lost
-And almost certainly was there b/c, as we learn in a minute, had 5 husbands, living with a guy
(Which may have meant she was really sinful, but also might have meant she was really unfortunate)
(But whatever reason, she was not in a good place in her life, which seems to have made her open)
-But Jesus HAD to go to her b/c this woman (already a strike against her) from heretical sect
-With a questionable marital record was JUST the kind of person God was looking for!
"A time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks." (John 4:23)
*What does this have to do with YOU sharing Jesus with others? Well, this:
-Jesus is the ultimate Seeker; He is the one who loves your lost friends and family and neighbors
-He is the one who loved you in the 1st place, and while He used others to point, He was seeking you
-I want to take anxiety and guilt and stress off of you (which honestly doesn't work well long term)
*We love b/c He first loved us: & He loves our friends: last year Ang and I committed to pray daily
-For several old friends who are far from God: don't see any very often (out of town, diff life place)
-Had done this daily for months, started to wonder, Spinning wheels? Series of things have happened
-And God has made so clear to us, yes, we have a job, but HE is the one pursuing, seeking our friends
*Just like Jesus had to go talk to that woman, let's trust HE loves your friends, has put on your heart
The Woman was the Inviter(is that a word?)
Why did Jesus have to speak w/THIS woman?
-Partly, to show at outset of His ministry that He isn't just for particular people
-His disciples were probably freaked out to be in Samaria at all, then see Him w/woman
-And in short order they'd find out WHAT KIND of woman she was; they and WE get a lesson
-But this wasn't just a woman who heard and believed: she heard and went and testified! Invited!
-She had met the Messiah and she didn't keep it to herself (like Nicodemus seemed to & us) but went/told
Why? Here's what I think: she was really, really lost, & she knew it; when got found wanted to share
-And it prob helped spark people's curiosity that this woman (either sinner or bad luck) was talking
*And note what she says/does: She invites ('come, see!'); she tells her brief story ('everything I did!')
-And she's even honest about questions ('could this be?'). All of which, incidentally, not hard to do!
-You don't have it all together, but can you invite? Tell your story? Be honest about your questions?
If you think Jesus can't use a person like you to help your lost loved ones get found...think again!
What are the 'strikes' against you? A sordid past? Sketchy biblical andtheologicalknowledge?You still have some questions?
About 5 years ago, Jim started to attend my church; in/out; knew he had issues; 2 yrs ago, gave in
-You name it, Jim has struggled w/it (ask him, he'll tell you!); but Jim can't be quiet re: Jesus
-And Jim is coming to London; wants to tell everyone there his story; past not stopping but helping!
-Like Jim, I've seen so many times when people have been really lost and then found, stirs others
Why not you? What do you think limits you? She pointed to Jesus, told story, had questions, AND
Jesus took over from there whole village came out; initially some believed
-But after two days w/Jesus, it wasn't about woman and her story; they met Him for themselves
-v42 is what I long for people to say to me: “we no longer believe just b/c what you said”
-She did her part; and God wants you to play your part; as Dave said, we do our best to persuade, but
-Not your job to have it all together, to have all your own questions answered;
Look, I know Greek and Hebrew and have read more theological books than I can count, but I don't have it all figured out
*Hear me: I love me some apologetics & can be PART of what we do; but it's not about clever arguments
-The best answers don't change people's hearts (though they can help to confirm): Isn't that true in your own life? Yes, someone pointed but Jesus took over
-I grew up in good churches; in college Ileft the church; but shortly after, met a guy named Tim
-And he and others from his church invited me into their homes, and I saw Jesus; Tim was smart
-He knew a lot about the bible, and we talked, BUT it wasn't his answers; it was life he/friends had
-Friend was Tim Ayers, church was Grace—like the woman, pointed me to Jesus, told story, honest
YOU That's legacy of Grace church; that's what I long for us, YOU, to continue to do
-That's why I'm going to London--to do what's been done for me over there; invite, tell
-That's what I believe each one of us who was lost but has been found is called to do
-God has always used unlikely people for His purposes; people like those around you
-He loves your friends; He's pursuing them; & He uses people like Sam.woman: If you think not you
Why wouldn't YOU be the one to point them to Jesus? To simply invite them, well, here?
-Look, it's good to realize just how lost you were/would be w/o Jesus: but don't let that stop you!
Dave's 7 Identify your “1” person needing Jesus.
-Get in the room with them and stay in the room.
-Tell your story.
-Talk about Jesus – not religion, not spiritual journey, not morality.
-Persuade them to surrender to Jesus.
-Invite them to Grace with you.
I can do this. You can too...
Gospel Jesus had to go through Samaria; a few years later, He had to go to a place called Golgotha
-He was compelled by love to allow soldiers to nail Him to a cross, and to hang naked, ashamed
-And we believe on that Cross, the one w/o sin, who perfectly accepted those far from God
-Himself was cut off from Father (hell itself) &He took my sin & yours onto Himself and forgave it
-We believe He HAD to go there and do this, but He did it willingly, so you and I wouldn't have to
-I stand before you, sinful, skeptical, confused, recovering heretic, no business telling you this...
-Except for what Jesus did for me on cross; so I'll use this moment to point you all towards Him
-If you haven't let self be found, c'mon! And if you have been found, let's join together to invite
WE What if we all did this? What if, like that Samaritan woman, that first unlikely evangelist, you and I, said to those in our villages, “Come and see Jesus!”
Also, I have a verse fragment towards the end (John 4:42)
Here it is in full:
They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”