John 4:5-42. WOW, that is long reading! There is so much in this passage to preach and to teach from that I have trouble knowing where to begin.
The fact that Jesus has no issue being among "those people," you know, the Samaritans, reminds us that Jesus has no bias or hate toward any of God's children. Every place is His home.
John Pinson reminded us in Cabinet last week that the Greek for "well" means a bubbling up spring of life. There is one awesome sermon there. He did a great job preaching it, too.
That Jesus knows us and we don't even have to tell Him about ourselves is mind blowing. More amazing than that is Jesus still wants to have something to do with us even as He knows all about us.
In the passage Jesus claims to be the Messiah. Now there is a huge revelation that stops the woman cold and makes her run into the city to tell others about a man she just met who knew all about her, and I bet she told more than a few ... "He said he was the Messiah!"
The satisfaction of sharing love and life with this woman took away Jesus thirst and hunger. He was filled with satisfaction from doing the work of God. Might we find such satisfaction?
The most important part of this passage for me is found in the last part, verses 39 - 42. The people believe in Jesus, at first, on the word of the woman. But after spending time with Jesus themselves, they believed because they heard it for themselves. Our task as pastors is to tell the story, over and over and over again. We must not get weary of telling of Jesus and His love. We must make it fresh and full of expression (see what I did there?) and keep on telling the old but new story.
If we are faithful, the people will eventually get it. Maybe not in your time as pastor, but you will have planted the seed. Another will water it, and still another will harvest it. We all celebrate this harvest together. We are in this together; no one is the Lone Ranger.
As we prepare to tell a story that people have heard so many times, I encourage you to hear from Jesus' mouth and heart in a new way. Spend some time in prayer, in quiet, in reflection, and see if something new comes to you. Share the old story in a new way after Jesus shares it with you. Then, maybe a seed will sprout, and the people will believe on their own. This is our goal after all, isn't it?
Just thinking about ministry and how blessed you all are to tell the story, to share with your belief week after week. You will find satisfaction, and you will find joy.
Envious of you,