Thursday, January 30, 2014

John 4:27-42, Conclusion

 27 Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?”
28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” 30 They came out of the town and made their way toward him.
31 Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.”
32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”
33 Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?”
34 “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. 35 Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36 Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. 37 Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. 38 I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.”
39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41 And because of his words many more became believers.
42 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.”

This is our final look at this passage, and I feel we can learn two more things from this Samaritan woman . . . let's dig in!
We've been talking about how to tell our story, and we see here that it's important to talk like ourselves. What do we mean?
Well, after a talk with a Samaritan (shocking in itself) who happened to be female (even more scandalous for Jesus to speak to her) we see that the disciples return from their food run. They have backpacks and coolers full of food, and the woman leaves to go back to her town and its people. The disciples just have time to be told of the fields that are white and ready for the harvest, and then she's back! And she brings a boatload of people with her!
Please excuse my tongue-in-cheek text, but I'm trying to establish something here: there is a huge contrast. The disciples could be seen as the "pros" in this situation. They came back with food, and really missed the point of what Jesus was saying. He had to lecture them a little.
Now, the woman was an "amateur" but she had really different results from her encounter -- she came right back to Jesus with an army of seekers!

I wonder why her results were so different? Could it be that she talked plainly, and not like a religious professional? That her speech and what she had to say were both so plain and so engaging that others wanted to see what she was talking about?
Yep, I think so!
You see, we don't have to use five and ten-dollar words, and we don't need to sound like we have studied this stuff for years and years . . . telling our own stories in our own words is enough!

The last thing we can notice from when the Samaritan woman told her story was that the unexpected happened . . . and we, too, can hope for the unexpected. Look at the passage again -- Jesus didn't perform a miracle for these people. There was no amazing event, just a woman who told it "like it is." And on top of that, these people were Samaritans, and this preacher she met was a Jew. Remember when we talked about how these two groups disliked each other? But here they are, placing their faith in Jesus!  This is unexpected. But God can work in totally, completely unexpected ways.
Here's the truth of this passage in a very tiny nutshell: if God could use the story of the woman at the well to draw her entire town to the well to meet Christ, then God can use your story to bring folks to know Him. If God could use that band of twelve "diamonds in the rough" to transform the world, then He can use us, too!
When we are considering God and His power, all bets are off! Just tell your story and hang on -- God may be up to something!


Carrie P. said...

God use me!is my prayer.

Belinda said...

This is a very inspiring post! I am always timid when it comes to witnessing, so maybe this will help me strengthen my resolve!!