The Scandalous Grace Of God
I’m going to invite you to John chapter 4. John chapter 4, and I want to say as a pastor, I come to passages in the Bible and I’ll often wonder sometimes. There’s a lot of chapters in Scripture, and I wonder, “In my lifetime, am I ever going to get the opportunity to teach all these chapters? I don’t know.” And some chapters I teach and I’m like, “That might be the only time. This might be the only time I ever get to talk about this chapter.” John chapter 4 is one of those chapters that I feel like I’ve talked about a few times over the years, and I hope that I get several more times to talk about. Because this is one of those passages of Scripture, no matter how many times you read through it, you go through it, it never gets old. You’re never weary of hearing the story. It’s a beautiful story. I think that Jesus takes the statements of John 3, “God, so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son. Whoever believes in Him will not perish.”
The idea of God loving the world and giving His life for the world. And you ask the question, “What does that look like?” And then you just turn to John chapter 4 and you see it playing out. Jesus in a very tangible way, demonstrating what the extent of His love looks like. In this chapter, He overcomes extreme social barriers to meet a woman in really the most dire of circumstances to extend God’s grace and God’s love to her. This chapter is a transforming chapter. In fact, when I get to the end of this chapter, my heart just says, “I want to be a John chapter 4 church. I want to be a part of a church that’s a John chapter 4 church.” Which I feel like I am, but I want to continue to be that. And really, in order to be a John chapter 4 church, you’ve got to understand what it means to be a John chapter 4 person. You can’t just say that you want to be that as a church, it’s compromised of individuals that live out what John chapter 4 entails.
This is an incredible story, a powerful story to read through. I’m excited to go through this story with you. In chapter 4, verse 3, it starts off by showing us what makes this story such a wonderful story, it will allow the Lord to speak into our lives. But what’s important to understand … Let me just make this as the first point, is that God’s grace is really scandalous. I mean, you think about when you read this story, this is what we’re going to come to recognize. But this story is one of the stories I think John tells for us to shock us at the power of really God’s grace for people. In that regard, it becomes almost scandalous to us. I mean, you know what it’s like to hear a scandalous story. It’s almost shocking, it makes you take a step back and in this bewilderment surprise and just go through all this emotion. It sticks with you, you hear a story like that. And with God’s grace in this passage, it’s the same way. That God’s grace is a very scandalous thing to consider.
As you read this passage of Scripture in verse 3, here’s what it says. “He, Jesus, left Judea and departed again for Galilee and he had to pass through Samaria.” You remember the story, Jesus starts His ministry up in Galilee, He goes down to the temple and now He’s making His journey back up to the region of Galilee. It says in verse 4, a couple of important things here, “He had to pass through Samaria.” Now, this phrase of had to, is to help us understand that whatever you’re about to read in the story, it’s important to know that this isn’t just some sort of happenstance of random luck and fortunate falls on behalf of this lady from the Lord. This is very intentional of God. Jesus is saying, “Look, it’s not just I want to go through this region, it’s that I have a divine appointment that’s going to take place, so we have to go through Samaria.” So very powerful thought to consider us as you look at all that lays out in this passage from this point forward.
And then the idea that God says what He has to do is go through Sumeria would have been a very challenging thought or His disciples, because Jesus is saying is, “I’m going to go through a region that Jewish people hate. We’re going to go through a region that you guys like to avoid.” In fact, I got a map on the screen just to … We’ll bring it up on the screen that’ll show you when Jews would travel from Jerusalem, if they wanted to go into the Northern route back to Galilee, they had such disdain for the people of Samaria that they chose rather than go through Samaria, they would actually cross the Jordan River … most of them anyway, would cross over the Jordan River and walk north to cross back over the Jordan River when they got past the region of Samaria to then travel north to the Sea of Galilee. This would add hours to their travel, make things much more difficult crossing in Jesus’ day, you can imagine over a river. But they would do this just because of their hatred for Samaria.
Now, you ask the question, “Why did the Jews have such a hatred for Samaria.” Well, this hatred has been building for hundreds of years. In fact, if you study a little bit of Israel’s history, if you’re familiar with it, you’ll know Israel only had three Kings in the united Kingdom. It had Saul, David and Solomon. After Solomon, they have a civil war and they split apart. Ten tribes go to the north and two tribes go to the South. Well, the 10 to the North end up being ransacked, attacked and taken into captivity by the Assyrians. When people would come into other neighboring nations or people groups and conquer them, when one group would conquer another, they would take the best of the land. They would capture the people and make them slaves, they would take the best of their produce, the best of their wealth, the best of everything that they can gather. But they couldn’t always get everything and bring it with them, they would carry what they could and what would be less than a region would still be a remnant.
And in order to make sure that that civilization didn’t rebuild itself and come back and conquer you at a later time, what they would do is they would say to their people, “Okay, we’re going to this land, we’re going to conquer this land. And now that we’ve conquered this land, if you want any of the land in this place, all you got to do is just move there, you’ll get it for free.” So the Assyrians sent people into the region of Samaria after they conquered it, and they started to live life there. And what happened is these Samaritans that are Jewish at the time when they’re conquered by the Syrians, start to intermingle with the Assyrians and they become what the Jews would call the half-breeds. So what they would say is they had this disdain for these people that left their heritage as solely Jewish. And not only that, what ends up happening in the southern region of Israel, the two tribes to the south, they ended up going into captivity by the Babylonians. In 586, the last conquest happens in the Southern kingdom of Israel.
And in 536, they’re given permission from Babylon to return to their land. So they were gone for roughly first conquest, 606 to 586, 20 years of just conquering the southern part of Israel. And then in 536, all of those that were taken into captivity, if they wanted to, they were allowed to return. And when they return, they want to rebuild the temple. And as they’re going to rebuild the temple what happens is the people in the region of Samaria start to harass them, start to attack them, start to hinder them from that process. So this built the frustration of the Jews towards this region, they couldn’t stand it. And then in retaliation to that, what the Samaritans end up doing is they end up building their own religion pseudo based off of Judaism. They believe in the first five books of the Old Testament, but that’s it. To rival the temple in Jerusalem, they built a temple in Samaria and they build this religion that resembles Judaism, but not in its entirety. So the Jews had this frustration for this region, so much so that they would avoid it.
They thought like this, “God’s, grace is good and God can love on people, but not them. They are the unreachable.” A story to get your mind to begin thinking about where do you perceive that, “God’s love is great, but there’s this one place that when I consider, they’re hellbound. There’s no rescue for that so it’s an impossibility.” That was the Jewish idea towards Samaria. Now Jesus, in this passage is teaching His disciples otherwise. They’re making this trip north, and He says, “I have to go to Samaria.” Very intentional in His purposes here. Verse 5, “So He came to the town of Samaria in Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son, Joseph. Jacob’s well was there.” In fact, you can still see Jacob’s well today, it still exists. You can google and watch videos on it if you want. But Jacob’s well was there. “So Jesus, wearied as He was from His journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour. A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, ‘Give Me a drink.'”
At first glance when you read this story, you see the sixth hour. The clock in Jesus’ day, the clock started at 6:00 AM. So 6:00 AM is considered zero hour, about the sixth hour means it’s around noon. So this lady goes to the well at noon. At first glance reading this story, you would say to yourself, “When I’m thinking about the middle of the day in the desert, if I’m telling you there’s a time I’m going to get a drink, it’s probably at noon. So what’s the big deal? This lady is going to the well at noon in order to get a drink.” But what the story is doing for us is it’s setting a picture. This may not look like a big deal to you or to me, but the story is saying to us, this is much like Nicodemus when he came to Jesus at night. Remember that in John chapter 3, he comes to Jesus at night in order to talk to Christ. And we talked about what the idea of night and light looks like in the gospel of John that night tends to be perceived as sin.
He comes in the darkness, and the story is saying the same thing to us about this sixth hour. In Jesus’s day, when people would take trips to the well, it was typically done by the ladies and they would go early before the sun came up and they would usually do it in a group. Just a month ago, I was in Africa. Africa, most of the homes don’t have running water and what the women of the village that I was in do as groups, they would take trips to the well, and they’d walk several kilometers to go there. When you think about getting water that way, there’s not very many of us used to the convenience of having water in our home that would like to do that. But the women in the village looked forward to that moment and the reason they look forward to that moment, it’s not because they get to carry water, but it’s because that’s when they get away from the kids and they get to socially interact as ladies.
They love that time that they get to spend together and talk about what’s going on in the life, just going to that well. And what it’s saying to us is that women would do that early in the day in Jesus’s day. And what it’s saying to us about this woman is not only does she not get to take the trips to the well with the women of the village, she has to do it alone and she has to do it in the hottest part of the day. This lady is abandoned. Every trip to the well for her is a trip of guilt and shame because her society has rejected her. Now, you think about this for a moment. In this region, the Jews have a particular feeling towards the Samaritans and the Samaritans are aware of it. You’ll see in just a moment. And now within this isolated group as the Samaritans, within their group, there is a woman that they don’t even like. Could you imagine how she feels? Every day, that trip to the well, the loneliness deep inside of her soul. And Jesus needs to go here.
When I think about the struggles in societies around the world, people that are impoverished and outcast tend to be the most vulnerable in society. And Jesus in these moments has a divine appointment. This action of Christ was so shocking, so scandalous, that the disciples and the woman at the well, both respond to this … Look at this in verse 27, look what the disciples say to Jesus. It tells you in verse 8 that when they were going to the well, the disciples left to go get food for the group and left Jesus there alone. But when they return in verse 27, look what they say, “Just then the disciples came back they marveled that He was talking with a woman, but no one said, ‘What do You seek?’ Or, ‘Why are You talking with her?'” In this culture, it’s taboo to talk to a Samaritan, taboo for a Jewish man to talk to a woman. Definitely taboo for a Jewish man to sit at a well with the ostracized person of the society and have a conversation with, that’s not something rabbis do.
They’re the religious elite, but Jesus is doing this and the disciples are shocked. In fact, the woman herself in verse 9, look at this, “The Samaritan woman said to Him, ‘How is it that You, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?’ For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.” It just doesn’t happen. But what we see in this story is very powerful, how God’s grace heals our guilt and shame. Look at this in verse 10. This looks like a casual dialogue over water, but in verse 10 it says, “Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God and who it is that is saying to you, “Give Me a drink.” You would have asked Him and He would have given you living water.’ The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, You have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do You get that living water?'” And it goes on with this conversation between Jesus and this woman saying … the woman’s like, “Do You think greater than Jacob? This is Jacob’s well, do you understand the historical power of this well? This is an important well.
You think You’re better than Jacob that You can offer me water that’s better than what Jacob’s offered us with this well that’s been here serving our people for hundreds of years?” And then verse 14, “‘But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’ And the woman said to Him, ‘Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.'” On the first glance, this may look just like a story or a conversation over just a glass of water, right? But do you see at the end phrase, what this woman is saying is much deeper than just glass of water? When Jesus says to her, “I can give you a drink and you’ll never have to make that trip to the well again.”
That woman says within her soul, “Jesus, if there were a way where I’d never have to walk that road of guilt and shame again, if there were a way where I didn’t feel alone, lonely, different than everyone else, if there were a way I could just feel accepted or loved, or if I could just hide and never have to get on that path again, if You could just do that for me, tell me, tell me where that water is.” You see, Jesus in the conversation of the water is talking about much more than water. He’s speaking to the heart of this lady. She’s thinking about every trip that she’s ever walked down that road, every disdainful eye that stared at her and thought less of her, and every one of those moments reminded her of her guilt and shame. When I think about this lady, I feel like in our lives, we have similar struggles. Maybe not exactly like hers, but we all wrestle with that, this idea of guilt and shame.
Guilt is what we feel as people when we do something wrong, and it’s not a bad thing to have in some ways. It can become toxic for your soul, but guilt in itself helps us identify when we’ve done something wrong. Thank God we have the grace of God to help us understand what to do with that. But guilt helps us identify when we do something wrong. Shame deals with your worth. It’s because of the wrong that you do, how you perceive yourself. And you can think what’s the voices that speak at this woman, how she may feel. That trip that she takes to the well and she does this because of guilt, some things that she’s done wrong … we’re going to see in a minute, that her society rejects, she walks in that guilt. But now she also takes that journey in her shame, the worth of how she perceives herself based on the judgment of others. One of the things as I read this story, it’s going to end obviously, in some hope in Christ for us.
But one of the things I love about this story is that we know that the well of Jacob still exists, the same well that Jesus met this woman is still in existence today. I hate to say, or just maybe it’s speculative for me to say this, that perhaps God’s intentions are for us to read into that a little bit. You can’t really die on that hill, but perhaps this is God is communicating to us to say, “Look, that well still exists because that same God still wants to meet you there too.” And that living water is still offered for you and for me. Well, what you see as Jesus has this conversation with this lady, He doesn’t just end there. I mean, they recognize they’re talking more about water here, but Jesus doesn’t end there. He does something a little bit more. Verse 16, “Jesus said to her, ‘Go, call your husband, and come here.’ The woman answered Him, ‘I have no husband.’ Jesus said to her, ‘You are right in saying, “I have no husband.” For you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband.
What you have said is true.'” So what Jesus has is helping her understand here is, “Look, I’m going to offer you the living water.” But He’s really putting His finger on where the battle rest for her in the guilt and shame, like “You’re looking for worth in your life, and you’re walking down this lonely road and you feel this guilt and shame. And in order to escape it, you keep running into the arms of someone else hoping that will satisfy you, but that’s not what you were designed for.” And Jesus, it wasn’t enough for Him just to leave the conversation of water. He wants to help this woman see the struggle she’s got warring within her own soul. And we’re all like that, we’re all like that as people. We walk this path of life and we want people to validate us, we want to know our worth, we want to know our meaning, we want to know our purpose. And if we can’t discover it, we’ll make idols out of anything to help us find our value. “Show me who I am, show me I’m important.
Help me get past the struggle of loneliness, guilt, and the shame that I feel.” And Jesus helps this woman to see, “Look, the things that you pursue in life, they’re bankrupt. And in fact, it’s enhancing your struggle because when you put your hope in these things and they end up not meeting your need, your shame and your guilt, they go even deeper.” And then in verse 19, “The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.'” She’s saying, “‘Look, You know more about me than we’ve had a time to even share on this well. I know You’re not from Samaria, how in the world did You get this detail about me? It’s only got to be because You’re some sort of prophet. I perceive that You’re a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but You say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know, we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.
But the hour is coming and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship must worship in Spirit and in truth.'” I love this conversation, it’s a beautiful conversation because it’s taken a preconceived … This idea this woman has, that’s really unhealthy. And Jesus was showing her how powerful the Lord is. But here’s what’s happening, the woman understands, “Okay, this man must be a prophet related to the religion in some way.” And therefore, she gets to the place of familiarity that she is accustomed to in her religion. She says, “You must be a prophet. I know the Jews worship in that temple, and we the Samaritans, we built a temple.” We talked about it a little bit ago. “We built a temple, we worship there, you guys worship here. And I get this, I know what this is like. You’re going to tell me how I need to live my life now, and I need to go to God, and I need to strive to reach Him.
I need to go to one of the temples, whichever one You tell me is right, prophet. And I need to put on this performance and reach out to God.” And He’s saying, “No, that’s not it at all. That’s not it at all. It’s not about the temple.” I love what Jesus does here. He says to her, “Look, lady, I don’t want to pander with the idea of religion, I want you to know what the truth is. The truth does come from the Jews, it’s not made of the Samaritan path.” He does say that, He said, “It comes from the Jews. But it’s not about the temple, it’s about a person. And it’s not about you reaching up to God, it’s about God reaching down to you because he who worship must worship in Spirit and truth.” And what He’s saying is, “Look, it’s not about you reaching to God, it’s about God and His Spirit reaching down to you. It’s not about you standing up to God, it’s about God demonstrating and giving His truth to you.” We’re not the origin of truth, we don’t determine truth, we don’t dictate truth.
That’s why it got Adam and Eve in trouble in the garden of Eden. We’ll become like God, we’ll tell God right from wrong, we’ll become as God Himself serving His position on the throne. We’ll take that position and we’ll live our lives as if we’re God. “I know it’s not about you, it’s about God coming to you in Spirit and truth. Not about building, it’s about your heart connecting to Him. God seeks such worshipers.” That’s what Jesus says. “The Lord is looking for those worshipers. He who worships must worship in Spirit and in truth. It’s not about all religions leading to the same place, it’s about understanding that truth comes from this living water and that living water has an identity and it’s in the flesh, and here He comes before you. It’s in Spirit and in truth.” And I love it, He identifies that a little bit further. He gets more particular in that understanding for us in this conversation as it transpires in verse 25. Because the woman says to Him, she says, “Look, Jewish person, I’ve been here before. You claim your right, our people claim we’re right.”
But she says this, “I know the right person’s supposed to come. There’s supposed to be a prophet that’s supposed to come.” That’s what she tells us in verse 25, I’ll read in just a minute. But she’s saying, “Look, I know at the very least there is a prophet, he’s supposed to come and he’s supposed to show us the way.” And the reason this Samaritans knew this … at least they knew this much, was because they held to the first five books of the Old Testament. And in the first five books in Deuteronomy chapter 18, Moses says that there would become a prophet like him to deliver the people. And she goes, “Okay, if You know so much, I know that this was going to happen.” Verse 25, “The woman said to Him, ‘I know that Messiah is coming, He who is called Christ. When He comes, He will tell us all things.'” Verse 26, “Jesus said to her, ‘I who speak to you, Am He.'” In our English translation, we don’t get this breaking down very well according to the way it’s spelled out in Greek.
But the way Jesus literally says this in Greek, He says, “I Am is the one who speaks to you. I Am is the one who speaks to you.” This is a very powerful moment for Jesus’s ministry and for this woman. Jesus, in these moments, this is the first time in the Gospels that He identifies Himself as the Messiah. And who does He choose to do it to? A woman that no one else thought was important, but God did. But God did. I love that. I love that about the story. When you think about the power of Jesus, Jesus could have come before Kings, dignitaries, rulers, leaders, people of authority and power and wealth, but that’s not the way Jesus ran His ministry. When He’s born, He’s born in the manger. The people that pronounce His coming are the lowly shepherds. When He ministers, He ministers to the broken and the outcast because what He communicates through His ministry is that everyone is important in the eyes of God. His grace is scandalous and His love knows no end. We don’t love that way, we should love that way. But Jesus loves that way.
And the first person He chooses to declare to the world that He is the Messiah is this Samaritan woman, an outcast by her own people. And not only does He say that He is the Messiah, but He also in the same sentence refers to Himself as the I Am. This is the phrase that God, the special name that God gave to Israel when Moses went to the burning bush. You remember that story in Exodus chapter 3? Moses sees a bush burning, but the bush is not burning down. It’s not being consumed, it’s just on fire and Moses is curious to that and he goes over to it and God says, “Moses, take off your sandals. You’re standing on holy ground.” And so he comes before God and God tells him to go before the leader of Egypt to declare to let the Jewish people go, let Israel go. And he says, “Who am I going to say to them that is sending me? They’re going to question that one, don’t you think, God?”
And then like, “When I go to the people and I tell them the one that’s sending me to say this message, who am I going to tell them? By what authority is this even happening?” And then God gives him a special name [foreign language 00:27:41], the great I Am. The one who finds the purpose for His existence within Himself, because He’s not dependent on anything to do what His Word declares. He can do it because He said it. And that’s the same one in this moment, talking to this lady at the well. “Do you want to know why I know you can have this living water? Because I Am is promising it to you, and what I say goes.” When this woman hears this message, this isn’t just a declaration of the truth of who God is. This is a declaration of the truth of who God is that gives this woman identity, purpose, worth, value. A God that loves her beyond her guilt and shame, that gives her a new identity in Him that says to her, “You are important because My life will be on your behalf.
And what greater value can there be than this?” This woman maybe for the first time in a long time, truly feels what it means to be loved because someone has set aside the past that she’s lived and just sees the beauty for her made in the image of God. As you read the rest of the story, this becomes a teaching moment for all of us. But I love this. As grace provides a new identity, look at this, verse 28, “So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, ‘Come, and see a Man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?’ They went out of the town and were coming to Him.” Why did the lady go to the well? She was thirsty, right? But now in verse 28, what happens? What does the lady leave at the well? Her jar. The very thing she came to quench, she finds satisfied in another way and she runs to the village and she begins to share this with others.
Now, I think in her day, she doesn’t just come out and say, “This is the Messiah.” Or, “I know this is the Messiah.” But she’s saying to the people, “Look, you need to come check this out for yourself because it’s been incredible just in my short time with this Person, what I have found out.” Because in her day, and at first century Israel, there are ways to vet the Messiah. There were people who had come along that had claimed to be Messiahs and the Jews, they came up with these rules on how to vet whether or not this person is the Messiah. And she’s saying, “Look, I’m just telling you what I’ve experienced here, but you need to come check it out for yourself.”
Her life has been transformed just by this encounter with this lady. And then verse 31 to 38. I’m not going to read through this because we don’t have all the time to do that, but the disciples return in verse 27. They’re shocked that He’s talking with this woman and they come with this food and they want to offer it to Jesus and Jesus is like, “I’m not eating this right now, I have something else to feast on.” And what Jesus is talking about is the need for the souls of the people from Samaria who are coming to Him. Through the story of this woman whose life has transformed, that village, that area, this town, Sychar, the people just come running to Jesus. They listen to Jesus for a couple of days and they believe in Jesus, and they even say about this. “Look, at first we were coming because of the testimony of this woman. But now even in our own hearts, we’ve come to know that what Jesus is saying is true. And now the belief for something we’ve taken ownership of, and we have put our faith in You.”
I want to be a John 4 church, but you become a John 4 church by becoming this John 4 person. You walk the same road as the woman at the well. Just like the town’s people, you have to hear His call and come to Him. That’s what this story is, it’s what John is sharing with us. It’s not just an end in itself, it’s the place, that calling in our lives is to say, “Look, and what are you going to do?” Because this is the same voice of God that offered the living water then is calling out to us to offer the living water now. Here’s what I want to conclude. I want us to recognize in this passage, God’s grace doesn’t seem efficient. God’s grace is inefficient, but God’s grace is certainly sufficient. But from our perspective in a lot of ways, God’s grace doesn’t look efficient. Let me tell you what I mean. As people, we tend love when we get something in return. My love is contingent on something. Sort of this mathematical equation life.
You only have so much to love, give in this world, only have so much love to share. I mean, why not do it in order to get something in return? But not God’s love. Not God’s grace. There’s nothing that we possess as His creatures that He needs from us. There’s nothing that He can’t by the snap of His fingers create for Himself. His grace is inefficient. Like if I were to say to you today, if I gave you a choice before you were born, I said to you, “Hey, do you want to be rich or poor?” I mean, how many of you are going to pick poor? “Do you want to be the disdain of society, or do you want to be Mr. Popular? Would you rather be weak or powerful?” I mean, how many of you are going to say, “I want to be the least popular person with no money and just no wealth in life. I just want to struggle.”? Nobody. I mean, some would be like, “Well, I’ll modestly take a comfortable life, but I don’t want to be lacking popularity and strengths and wealth.” But Jesus does.
Jesus does. He became weak for what? Not because of what He gets, because of what He had to give. I certainly would get to live life for His glory. But you see in that, His grace is inefficient. Jesus’s thoughts weren’t about what He could accumulate on the backend, Jesus’ thoughts were about giving His life so that you could become who He has created you to be. Have you been the woman at the well? Have you tasted the goodness of God and let Him lift you up in guilt and shame? Maybe I should ask it this way. How are you the woman at the well? One of the things that I appreciate about this story and why I love reading this story is because I feel like everyday I get to live the story. Every day, I get to realize the inefficiency in me and the sufficiency of His grace. And every day, I have an opportunity to make my own trip to that well to sit with Jesus and allow His truth to speak over my life. The most powerful persuader in your world is you, you share a message to yourself every day.
Sometimes that message is tainted by the words of an enemy who would like nothing more than the tear you down in the image that God has created in you. And then there’s Jesus who has given His very life so you can see the goodness of who He is and His favor for you, and that your identity could be lifted up in Him, and every day you have an opportunity to drink from that well. The goodness of that King. And can I tell you, you become a John 4 church when you do. Because that’s what you see in this woman, right? She drinks from this well, the goodness of this Messiah and what swells up within her? Well, that well comes busting forth and she can’t contain it to the point that she runs into the very city that’s ostracized her, that’s made her walk in this guilt and shame for years, and she shares the goodness of this God with them. Because she no longer cares about what they think, because she found her purpose for her existence within Him.
She’s been elevated in her worth, and she wants them to experience that grace as well. Because when they come to know this God, guess what’s going to happen in their life? They’re going to be more gracious in return. You become a John 4 church by being this woman at the well. What about this one? This is the last one. Where’s your Samaria? Where has God called you to love unconditionally and see change? Where is it that limit that you put on God’s possibilities in how He can transform someone’s life? Maybe I’ll say it like this. Who is your one? And you think about this store and you reflect on maybe chapter’s like Luke 15. Luke 15 is the story of the one that loses a coin and searches for it, the prodigal son who runs away from the Lord. Or even the lost sheep where Jesus talks about there’s a shepherd who has 100 sheep and he leaves 99 to go search for the 1, because the 1 has wandered away. Who is the one?
If you think right now, if you see yourself as someone who’s tasted the richness of Jesus and He’s filled you up and He is that living water, where is that one person that you know God has called you to go love on unconditionally and share His grace with? Not in an efficient way, but maybe in an inefficient way because grace is inefficient, right? I mean, it’s not about what you get, it’s about what you give. Where is it that God leads your heart to meet those people and to love the way that Jesus loved in that well? That’s how God transforms and that’s what God calls His people to do. If we would but taste and see that the Lord is good.