Jesus is indeed the Savior of the World
† I.H.S. †
May the grace and peace of God be so clear in your life that you declare with the Samaritans, “now we know He is indeed the savior of the world!”
- Woman at the well
She was the first person Jesus to whom Jesus confessed He was the Messiah, the Christ.
He simply said to her, “I am He.”
She wasn’t a princess; she didn’t come from a powerful family major metropolitan city. She wasn’t even married, but so desperate she shacked up with someone who used her, but who could provide a roof over her head.
It turns out she was a princess, the daughter of not just any king, but the King of kings.
Because of that relationship, there were no games with Jesus’ answer. He would play with the Pharisees and Sadducees, never answering their questions, as they weren’t ready for them. She didn’t get a convoluted answer, as Jesus gave Herod and Pilate.
“when He comes…he will explain everything to us…” she said, with hope it might be…
Jesus replied, “I AM he!”
A relationship, long dormant, was formed in that moment, as this lady became someone’s daughter, and realized this man who knew all about her, loved her in a way she never knew she could be loved….
But that is only the beginning…
- Are we blind like the disciples?
There is an interesting reaction by the disciples, that sort of proves how naïve they were.
They ask, “What do you want with her”—at least that is what it translates out to in English. But the word is zeteo—the word for pursuing, it is the word for desiring something from someone.
After all, why would Jesus be talking to “one of them?” Why would He be interested in a lady who was one “their” castoffs?
I struggled with that word desire – and I think I understand why translators didn’t translate it more clearly. Why would you use the word desire, with all the potential mis understandings?
But that is where their sin comes in, as in their minds they are seeing this lady as, well, not a lady. I can leave it there.. right?
They bore false witness against their neighbor – they shattered the 8th commandment.
And because of that, they couldn’t understand a good reason for Jesus to want to be found in her presence.
They couldn’t understand his desire to reveal who she really was
She was a daughter of the King of Kings
And she proved it…. She went and gathered others who were meant to be God’s.
Leaving her bucket – the reason she was there behind, she went into the village, and invited others to see.
And this is where the gospel story gets interesting….
- Steps to believing
This lady, revealed to be the daughter of the King of King go and gathers everyone in the town. AND THEY LISTEN TO HER AND COME!!!!!
They are so enamored with Jesus that they ask Him to stay with them, and this Jewish Rabbi breaks every rule in the book and does so. He not only dines with heathers, he stays in their homes.
He invests them the very mysteries of God, for hear what happens.
So he stayed for two days, 41 long enough for many more to hear his message and believe.
They came to trust and depend on Jesus! This crowd of outcasts who weren’t part of the right ethnicity, the right culture, never mind from the right schools of religious thought. Heck – these people wouldn’t even be allowed in the synagogues of Jesus day.
Yet he stayed with them, and they came to trust in Him, for their salvation –for their life, even before the cross!
What’s more – the faith went deep—listen to these incredible words
Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not just because of what you told us, but because we have heard him ourselves. Now we know that he is indeed the Savior of the world.”
That word know there—they understand, they comprehend that He is not just the Saviour of the Jews, and not just that of those who are Abraham’s descendants – He is the Savior of the world—He is the savior of all!
They have begun to love and trust in God the way the Lady does, not just because she told them, but because they experienced His love for them. This is remarkable – this is what it is all about – this relationship that God wants with all people – everywhere.
This is the place where every parent should want their children – to know God is their Savior – not just because they said He is, but because they know Him. This is what every pastor wants of every person, not just in their church but their community—for every person to know Jesus, to experience His love, to be relived by His mercy.
TO experience the love of God, to experience how much He cares and He lifts your burdens off of you, as He cleanses you, as the Spirit dwells within you… this is what you need to know of Jesus.
To have that relationship with God that we encourage each other in, yet which is so intimate and shared with the Father who calls us His children, with Jesus who calls us His brothers and sisters and friends. With the Spirit who ministers to us in a way that is beyond words. TO know Jesus wants to have this relationship with everyone, no matter the depth of their sin – it can happen…
To have you depend on God – not just because I and the elders tell you about Him, but because you know Him… and knowing Him, lets us praise Him… forever! AMEN!
Encounter God amid Isolation
(and be happy!)
† In Jesus Name †
May the grace of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ simply leave you praising Him…
What is God Looking for
What do you preach on, when the world seems, unlike anything you have ever experienced? What do you wen everything doesn’t make sense, and you seem to be holding on by the edge of your fingers?
How do you cope, when the new term for the day is “social distance.” And we are being told and telling people not to shake hands, or even exchange elbows.
How do we cope?
Of all the people in scripture, the Samaritan woman at the well knew the frustration of isolation, She went to well at lunchtime, in the middle of the heat of the day, because there was no one there. Five times she had been abandoned by her husbands, and the latest jerk didn’t respect her enough to marry her, he just used her… and therefore the women in town treated her like trash if they even thought of her at all.
She was isolated, lonely, probably more than a little bitter.
And then it happened, she encountered God.
We need to hear her story today, and realize we encounter Jesus the same way,
The problem – do we really know Him
As the encounter goes on, as they move from an odd discussion about water to an odder discussion about her past, Jesus then says something that seems a bit… abrupt.
You Samaritans know very little about the one You worship…
The original language is blunter – you don’t know the one you worship.
That is harsh, especially if you want to keep a conversation going!
This God you claim to worship – you don’t know who He is, or anything about him.
I am surprised she didn’t run off at that moment!
Or at least say, “What do you mean, I don’t know who God is? Who do you think you are?”
But it is true, that there are times in our lives when we wouldn’t recognize God if He was standing right in front of us, or if He dropped right into our hands.
That is one of our challenges in life, that when we all to often isolate ourselves from God. That all to often we self-quarantine and miss out on the love we so desperately need. It is not coronavirus that does this, but our own sin, as if we think w could infect God, or maybe he has some kind of scanner that will toss us out of His presence.
How the problem is being taken care of.
How we need to encounter Jesus the way this lady did!
Right in the middle of her self-isolation, right in the middle of her questioning what was going on in life, right in the middle of her brokenness.
God showed up.
It wasn’t even the normal route from Jerusalem to Galilee, not even a secondary route. Peter must have been navigating for them to come to this place.
That day, that moment, she encountered God, and of all the people in the middle east, this Palestinian woman with a life that didn’t make sense encounters God, and hears Jesus confess something he was vague about until the resurrection.
Then Jesus told her, I AM the Messiah!
This lady would run to her village, and without realizing it, shatter all her isolation, her self-imposed quarantine would disappear, as she shared with all the others the Messiah. Jesus would stay with them a while, but the change he made in her life, in that encounter was amazing.
It is the encounter He would have with each one of us this morning.
In the middle of our brokenness, in the middle of our questioning, in the middle our frustration, our questions, our fears.
He is here.
I am the Messiah is an incredible statement, for it means God anointed Him to come here for her, and for you. To be more than your savior, more than someone who lifts you up and gives you hope.
To be the Messiah, your Messiah means to reveal to you that you are loved by God.
It all begins there, with the love of God, that brings God to weird places, like beside a well, or to a church in Cerritos in the middle of a pandemic in Lent.
To people who need to know that their past will be forgiven, that their deepest thirst will be satisfied, that God will reveal Himself to them…
This is our miracle today, whether here in person, or “out there” watching the service. You are not alone, you are not quarantined from God, you are not isolated any longer from Him, so let us worship the Lord.
The Lord God is with you! AMEN!