PRM sermon part 3

In light of all that has been said in parts 1 and 2, I wonder how these stories affect our lives.  How can we identify with the story?  What does this story tell us about Jesus, and what does it tell us about ourselves?  First and foremost, I thought about how we relate to the Samaritan woman.  Often we are the Samaritan woman.  We are living our day-to-day lives, going to the well to draw water, going to school, or working our 8-hour-a-day job.  Like the woman at the well, we are trying to hide our true selves from the people around us because we do not want them to know us deeply.  We fear that once they know us, they may not like us, or they may disown us and never speak to us again.  We do not want people to know all that we have done, so we try and keep our past a secret.

In the midst of our hiding, we encounter Jesus one day.  He offers new life to us like the living water that he offers to the woman.  We long to have new life like the woman wanted the living water, but then Jesus reveals to us that what is keeping us from new life is the very sin that we do not want to face, give up, or confess.  Jesus asked the woman directly about her husband, knowing full well that she has had five, but he knows that she needs to face her sin too.  What’s really funny about the next part of this story is that the woman is almost exactly like us in this part.  What do we do when someone points out our sin or our wrong action?  We change the subject because we really do not want to deal with the issue, which is exactly what she does.  She asks Jesus about why the Jews worship in Jerusalem and the Samaritans worship at Mount Gerizim.  I could tell you the background to this question, but it’s not really that important to this post.

Like the woman, we often try to change the subject or distract God away from our sin and the fact that we need to face it and experience healing in it.  It may seem like Jesus is distracted by her question until he gets to the end of his comment, and he tells her that the true worshipers worship in spirit and TRUTH.  Jesus knows that in order for us to experience true freedom and worship in his presence, we have to deal with the truth.  We have to deal with reality.  Only after we face the truth of our reality and surrender to Jesus will we experience the new life that he told us about when we first encountered him.  Finally, after we have responded to Jesus, we want to tell others about this God that loves us in spite of all that we have done in the same way that the woman goes back to her community and tells everyone about what Jesus has done for her.

To sum up the main points of the sermon, I told the audience that water in both situations is vitally important to those who need it, whether its physical water in the wilderness or spiritual water for a broken, abandoned, and destitute heart.  But this water requires that we trust God because he is the provider of both to us.

Finally, I challenged the audience by asking them about what we learn from Jesus in this passage.  While we can identify with the woman and we can see that her character reveals a lot of our character, we also know that we are followers of Jesus.  He is trying to tell us something in this interaction with this woman.  That message is that in the same way that his love and words brought living water, our love should also be life-giving, showing our neighbor that we value him or her.  Because Jesus love inherently gives value to everyone and shows them that they are valuable, so our love should empower those around us.

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~ by randallkoehler on March 30, 2011.

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