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First, I’m batching it for a little while. My wife is out of town and I’m cooking for myself. I’m trying to keep the dishes done, the hoover run, laundry clean, you know, all the household stuff. The only thing she reminded me about before she left was, clean the toilet. She knows me so well. Yes, I miss her. Especially as today is valentine’s day and my valentine is far away. Can I get an Ohhh….? Ok, maybe not. I get it.
Holidays are kind of hard to deal with publicly because, there are always people who can’t celebrate. You know, on mother’s day, people who’ve lost a child, or maybe can’t have them. And on Valentine’s day, today, many people are out there, maybe someone listening, who has recently lost your valentine to death, or you’ve just gone through a troubling break up, a divorce. The last thing you want is to hear about people passing around cards and chocolates. I get it. It can be a hard day. For you, I sympathize. You are on my mind. But for those of you who can celebrate, I hope you do. I hope you remembered to get a card, some flowers, or something. If not, get it done now. If you’re listening to this after Valentine’s Day, and you forgot. You got some serious make up to do. I’ll pray for you.
Hey, we’ve got a really neat story to look at today. It’s in the 4th Chapter of John. Just a reminder, John is the 4th book of the New Testament. Jesus is on his way home after being in Jerusalem. And he stops to rest in Sychar in Samaria.
He sends his disciples out to Harry Gow to get some lunch, while he sits by the well. There’s a whole bunch of weird and cool stuff about this. First, no one who is a Jew liked to stop in a Samaritan town. Jews hated Samaritans and vice versa. It’s kind of like Glasgow Rangers and Celtic fans used to be. I mean they still don’t like each other, but you probably remember how ugly it used to be. Or even better, the problems between Catholic and Protestents in Northern Ireland. The hatred was deep and it went back hundreds of years.
And Jesus sits out in public in Sychar. How risky is that. And then a woman comes to the well and Jesus just starts talking to her. This is not a sexist thing. She isn’t surprised by the fact that he’s talking to a woman, but he’s a Jew and she’s a Samaritan.
But see, that’s the whole nature of Jesus good news. Back in Chapter 3, Jesus has a private conversation with Nicodumus. Nick is a prominent Jewish leader. But Jesus tells him he needs to be born again. Here in chapter 4, he is having a private conversation with a woman who is not Jewish. His gospel is for everyone. Rich, poor, male, female, it doesn’t matter. He came to offer salvation to us all.
We find out that the woman has been married 5 times and is now living with some other guy. How 21st century is that? This woman could have a reality show on the BBC or MTV. Her life is a wreck. She comes to the well at lunch time. That was not what people did. They came at morning and in the evening. But she want’s to avoid the crowds so she comes right at lunch. And there is Jesus.
First, this story reminds us that we don’t have any secrets. Whatever we’ve done, wherever we’ve been, or who or how many we’ve been with, God knows. Even when we try and hide from him, he meets us at lunch time. We can’t get away from him. But Jesus doesn’t come to judge her. He comes to offer her a chance to start over. Who doesn’t want that? What if that were true? Would you be interested? Jesus tells her that he has a ‘living water’ that would be so tasty for her soul. She would never be thirsty again. She immediately runs back to tell everyone about this guy.
One of the things I love is the enthusiasm felt by people when they first meet Jesus. They want to tell everyone about Him. Sometimes people laugh and make fun, but lots of time they can see the change, that somethings different and they come to find out.
That’s what happened here. The people in the town all came out to meet Jesus. We’re not told a thing about what happened. But they invited him to come and stay with them for a few days. And He did. These people were natural enemies of the Jews. And Jesus decides to stay in the village.
This is so different that many of us think about Him. We think we have to be all cleaned up and churchy to spend time with Jesus. And we either can’t or won’t do that. But Jesus just comes and stays.
After he finally leaves, they all say to the woman. “wow, we came to see this guy because of what you said, but now we know him. Thanks so much.”
People see me, and they assume many things. After all I’m a preacher. A clergyman. And an American one at that. Some people avoid me like the plague. That’s ok. I get it. But the reality is, I’m more like the woman Jesus met than I am anybody else in the story. My life has been messed up and messed with so bad that that you would have a hard time believing it. But Jesus met me and told me he could give me a new start. I grabbed it. And I’m just trying to tell people about Him.
Yes, I go to church. But I’m not churchy. I’m a pretty normal bloke, for an American. My wife could tell you the same thing about her. See, Jesus did change us. And I’m so glad He did. He is still doing the same things for people he’s always done.
I don’t know you. I don’t know whether you’re more like this woman Jesus met at the well in Sychar or whether you’re more like Nicodemus Jesus met in Jerusalem. He tells you the same thing. Whether you’re a religious leader or you’ve been married 5 times and now living with someone outside of marriage. You need a new start. And He will give it to you.
Please, read chapter 4, then go back and read chapter 3 of John and see what I’m talking about. It’s quite amazing. Any man or woman is capable of Having Jesus meet your deepest need.
It might feel kind of weird, but I’m going to ask you, Do you want to start over. Be born again? You can. You can come to him right now. Where you are. You can do it.
If you have any questions about what I’m saying, write me: firstname.lastname@example.org and ask away. I will answer them right away.
This is a short session again this week, you’re welcome. I do want to tell you that in the very near future, I’m going to be relaunching another radio show called, Rediscovering the Bible. I did that show for a year and a half and people keep asking for it to come back. It will be up within the month. I’ll keep you posted. I’ll tell you, each episode is about 30 minutes. Some more, some a little less. But it’s been tons of fun. I’ll let you know how to tune in.
For now, Thanks for tuning in. Please tell your friends. Thanks to all of you. And a special thanks for those of you who re-post the show to your friends. You rock. I’ll talk to you in about a week. That’s it for now. I’m out.