The Core Sunday Gathering

October 23, 2011

Series: The Sexes
Week 5: The Ladies’ Man, part 1

-Question: Who was the first female Christian preacher?

        -Not Mary, or Elizabeth or Anna, from the Nativity Story

                -They were all pre-Christian

        -[SLIDE] Here are some hints:

        -She was a half-breed hillbilly

        -She was an outcast even amongst the other half-breed hillbillies

        -She was divorced five times and living with her boyfriend

        -The Samaritan Woman at the Well (Turn to John 4)

Assign Scripture: John 4:5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon. 7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, "Will you give me a drink?" 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)

-There are several surprises going on here

-The first one should not be new to you. The first surprise is that Jesus even talks to her.

        -Like Rob’s message two weeks ago, There were no “outsiders” in Jesus’ life, nor should there be in ours.

                -1st Century Jewish society couldn’t say enough bad things about Samaritans, their faith, their pedigree, etc.

        -What kind of BS is society telling us about this group or that group?

        -Jesus didn’t buy it, and we don’t have to buy it.

                -To me, the coolest kids in my school were the ones who could be friends with anybody

                -I couldn’t do it. If you’re trying to notch your way up in the world, you have choose your contacts carefully

                -But if you’re really confident in your personal worth, and your value in Christ, you don’t have to calculate

Assign Scripture: 10 Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water." 11 "Sir," the woman said, "you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?

-It’s obvious right away that this encounter is not a coincidence

        -It’s unlikely that Jesus’ party would have been traveling without a well bucket

        -But the woman observes that he didn’t have one with him… he probably let the disciples take it

        -Because he wanted an opportunity for conversation with this woman.

                        -[SLIDE] He sat down on a well like this to rest, but the well doesn’t have a built-in bucket.

                        -It’s like having nothing but canned food in the house, but no can opener.

                        -It’s fascinating how Jesus intentionally put himself in this helpless position

-As Christians we try so hard to put ourselves in a position of one-way ministry

        -We don’t need anything from the world, we only give to it.

        -There is a dangerous type of pride in that. No wonder the world sees us as arrogant.

                (Read Bailey quote, bottom of 203)

        -We’re too good for any of their stuff. But they badly need our stuff.

        -Jesus is not like this… he set the tone by coming first as a helpless infant

                -and now he intentionally makes himself needy, to ask for a favor from a woman.
                -And from a particular woman
whose help is most likely shunned in her village. She has nothing to offer.

                -And even though he is God in the flesh, he allows her the upper hand, he assigns her value

Assign Scripture: 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?" 13 Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but those who drink the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life." 15 The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water so that I won't get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water."

-Question: What does the woman think Jesus means by “Living Water”? [SLIDE] It’s the Fountain of Youth!

-The Woman counted on water every day… it was part of her reality

        -The idea of Living Water… a Fountain of Youth… doesn’t even make sense at first. It’s a myth or a legend.

                -But Jesus isn’t talking about the Fountain of Youth, he’s talking about Spiritual Water and Eternal Life

        -We compare the tangible to the Spiritual, and the tangible usually wins. We trust the tangible; doubt the Spiritual

        -But we have it backwards. Jesus is offering REAL water, But the woman is hung up on an earthly substitute

        -Don’t get hung up on all the substitutes, when Jesus is offering you the REAL thing, that never disappoints.

Assign Scripture: 16 He told her, "Go, call your husband and come back." 17 "I have no husband," she replied. Jesus said to her, "You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true."

-Question: Is this a trick question on Jesus’ part?

        -Remember that Jesus didn’t know everything automatically. He only knows what he’s shown

        -And this may represent the Holy Spirit’s timing. I can see Jesus processing “I have no husband”

        -And even though he is revealing her embarrassing personal life, twice he affirms her truthfulness.

Assign Scripture: 19 "Sir," the woman said, "I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem." 21 "Woman," Jesus replied, "believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth."

-Jesus is not talking down to her at all. He is allowing her to represent her entire race

        -And he is teaching her deep truths, about the past, the present and the future.

Assign Scripture: 25 The woman said, "I know that Messiah" (called Christ) "is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us." 26 Then Jesus declared, "I, the one speaking to you--I am he."

-Although the Samaritan woman is socially marginalized, she is spiritually sharp… she is a thinker and a seeker

        -No other Jewish male besides Jesus would have imagined this.

        -It’s only through Jesus’ eyes that we see tremendous potential in strange places

        -And it’s only through his eyes that we can understand the part he longs for women to play in ministry.

                -We may be guilty of holding many people back, but this is not the heart of Jesus

                -He is a remover of obstacles

        -Peter, in the book of Acts, was convinced that he should steer clear of Gentiles in his ministry

                -And that this was a Biblical attitude.

                -But when God gave him the vision of the unclean animals on the sheet

                -He knew that the inclusive heart of God had trumped the exclusive spirit of tradition

        -We are in a very similar position, convinced that God had a very narrow plan in mind for the genders

                -But can we at least be open to another vision, if it should come to us? Because I believe it has.

Assign Scripture: 27 Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, "What do you want?" or "Why are you talking with her?" 28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 "Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?" 30 They came out of the town and made their way toward him.

-Not only does Jesus assign value to the woman in their encounter

        -He gives her the opportunity to gain respect in her community.

        -He knows there’s something in her that her peers can’t see, and he shows her the way back into fellowship

        -So that her hopefulness for the Messiah is translated into salvation for her whole village.

-I don’t think anyone in here has been divorced five times, or is the outcast of their community

        -But I’m going to speak especially to the women whose value have been minimized

        -Because we as men, and society in general, have worked really hard to drag you through the mud.

                -And there is a repentance in order, for every type of abuse, oppression and sexual objectification

        -For you women, it’s easy to lose hope, and to believe all the lies

                -That you’re only worth as much as your figure, or your career, or your children. Lies from every direction.

        -It’s your only way of obtaining some shred of respect, so you buy in.

        -But when Jesus shows up, everything is different. He looks through the makeup, and the skin-deep beauty

                -To see the immense value of your heart, of your individuality, of your character, and your potential

                -And if we chose to believe his words, we can expose all the other lies for what they are.

-Let me to pray a blessing over the women in this room, that you can see yourself the way Jesus sees you.

        -And a prayer of repentance on the behalf of the men