Christine Caine - Living Water, Part 2
What I love about this story is that Jesus connected with the Samaritan woman around water, before he revealed himself to her. So could we learn from this example? We need to connect with people before we start trying to preach to people. And sometimes we can be so heavenly minded, that we are no earthly good. So what we need to do is take a chill pill. We need to relax, we need to enjoy life and connect. I'm not saying at all being worldly, but I am saying being cognizant of what's going on in the world, what are people's likes? What are people's dislikes? Where are common entry points that we could enter into people, so that they can see that our God is actually interested in their every day life? One of the things that has always amazed me about Jesus is how he took notice of what so many people wouldn't even look at. Now, he was inclusive, he loved wholeheartedly. He was compassionate, and he's created you and me to follow his example. So, let's not wait another moment to dig deep into his word, and discover our calling on this earth. I'm Christine Caine, and I am so thankful that you've joined me today.
I am so happy that you've joined us again this week. I believe that God has a word for you, a word that will inspire you, and impact your life to make you more fruitful in the Kingdom of God. Now, we are in a series where we are talking about living water. Who doesn't want water that makes you never run dry, where you will never spiritually thirst again? Or you will be able to have every thirst that you have, quenched by the living water, that is Jesus. Friend, I don't know what your needs are today, but God does. And some of you have had a challenging week. You have tried to meet those needs through a whole lot of different things. Man, some of you don't even remember your week. You've just been binge-watching some major series. Others of you, you have just had an extra glass of wine, or popped an extra pill, or just kind of gone from one relationship to another, looking for a sense of meaning, looking for a sense of significance, looking for a sense of security. Somehow, trying to fill and quench that thirst that is on the inside of you.
And you've tried people, and you've tried stuff, and you've tried position, and you've tried titles, and you've tried accolades, and you are still dry. You've tuned into the right broadcast today, because I'm going to talk to you about water, living water, that will ensure that you never run dry again. And you will find ultimate peace, ultimate hope, ultimate joy, ultimate fulfillment. His name is Jesus. And Jesus, the Bible tells us in the Gospel of John chapter 4, I mean, we read a large portion of scripture in our first part in this series, and 42 verses where we read how Jesus had to pass through the town of Samaria, and there he encountered a woman. He had a conversation with that woman. That woman's life got turned around, and she ended up going back to all of the people in her village. She told them about this awesome man, Jesus, all of the village comes out to check out this man, Jesus. They are so astounded by him, their life is turned around, and we read about the first revival in the Bible.
I mean, you know what? If you know me at all, you know that I'm a revivalist at heart. And so the fact is, if I saw this work at the first revival, I believe it could work through this broadcast right now. The same Jesus in these scriptures is the same Jesus that comes through these airwaves to connect with you, to bring you hope, to bring you purpose, to bring you life, to bring you joy. As I'm speaking, I just sense that there's somebody, and right as I'm speaking, you know before you turn this on, you had thoughts in your mind of just ending your life. You had thoughts that life was too hopeless, and life was too helpless, and that no point going on. You have a family situation, and you have lost access to your children. But I want you to know right now, I want you to look at me, it's not too late, it's not too late. I want you to contact our phone lines, our helplines, and we will connect you with people that you can have help from. But I want you to know that Jesus sees you, Jesus knows, Jesus cares.
Don't do it, God's got a plan, God's got a purpose. God's going to turn a situation around. Don't believe the lie of the enemy that would tell you that it's too late, that it's over, that there is no hope. You matter, your life matters, your purpose matters. Your destiny matters. God's got his hand on your life. Don't believe the lie of the enemy. The same Jesus that filled this woman with his living water in the scripture, is the same Jesus that's with us today, ready to fill us with rivers of living water. So Jesus came, he came to the well. Remember, he was weary and he was having a break. The guys had gone to the supermarket, metaphorically speaking, in order to get some food. We're at the hottest part of the day, it's now mid day, it is so hot. Jesus is thirsty, and a woman comes up, but Jesus did something that was a cultural taboo. You have to understand that this is a major cultural taboo. He spoke to a woman in public, he spoke to a woman.
In verse 7, we read that he said to the woman, "Give me a drink". Now, you have to understand how counter-cultural this was during biblical times, that a Jewish man would speak to a Samaritan woman was inconceivable, incomprehensible, he actually spoke to a Samaritan woman. I need you to catch this, she was twice an outcast in Jewish thought, absolutely. Because racism and misogyny was alive and well back then, too. So not only was she a Samaritan, but she was a woman. So there's the racism, and there's the misogyny, right there, it's nothing new. So Jesus was so counter-cultural, that he defied racial and gender protocols in order to allow this woman to know that she mattered. I want you to know that everyone matters to Jesus. Everyone matters to Jesus. See, Jesus did not leave the well, he could have got up, as a Jewish man, a Jewish rabbi. He didn't ignore the woman. He did not diminish the woman. He did not devalue the woman. He did not despise the woman. He did not discriminate against the woman. He actually looked her in the eyes, and he spoke to the woman.
I want you to know, Jesus loves you. Jesus looks deep into your heart and he loves you. I don't know what your relationship with religion has ever been in the past, but I want you to know that your God loves you. Your God's got a plan and a purpose and a destiny. So Jesus must have known that something was obviously a little off, because the woman came to the well alone. Now let's contextualize this, women in times normally moved together in groups. We still do it, I mean, this was going to the well, but have you ever been to dinner with a group of chicks? And my husband always laughs, because if I have to go to the restroom, there's a bunch of us at the dinner table, I'm like, "I need to go to the restroom," like I'm making a public service announcement. And all the girls are like, "Yeah, me too, me too, me too". My husband goes, "You never see us guys doing that". But it's just something, we like to travel in packs, us chicks.
So Jesus could have used this as an absolute excuse to definitely not talk to her. I mean, she's on her own, it's the middle of the day. Now some commentators that I studied, they think that this woman was alone because perhaps she had been ostracized by her community. And she went to the well at mid day, because the women would not have gone to the well at mid day, this was the hottest part of the day. It was obvious nobody was going to be there at that time. So it sort of stands to reason for these commentators, that perhaps she had come through so that she would be with nobody else. And she'd be 100% sure that she would see nobody else there. So it was here that Jesus actually initiated the longest private conversation that he had with anyone in the New Testament. This blows my mind. Can you hear how much Jesus valued and loved women?
The single longest conversation with any human being that Jesus had, that was recorded in the New Testament, was with a Samaritan woman. That will show you how much Jesus values women, how much Jesus values the poor, how much Jesus values the marginalized, how much he loves, and values, and esteems, and dignifies, and affirms women. That's the kind of Savior that we serve. So if you and I are going to be more like Jesus, then we have to be willing to speak to all people, even to those that are most unlike us. I think in the era in which we're living, and with so much chaos and contention, and divisiveness, and fighting on social media, we all are in our camps and all are in our tribes, and never want this camp to speak to this camp, or this tribe to speak to that tribe. And the only one that wins with all of that is the enemy. God has sent us to be bridge builders. God has sent us to tear down walls, be the person in your workplace, be the person in your school, be the person in your community that is willing to build bridges, that is willing to go across the street, that is willing to talk to those that nobody else talks to.
This is what Christians ought to be defined as, not as people that put up walls, and people that pull up bridges, no, no, no. We are the people that tear down walls. We are the people that build bridges. We are the people that talk to people that are unlike us. People that don't think like us, don't believe like us, don't look like us. We need to be the people that cross barriers, that cross over, in order to meet people. I mean, God himself came from heaven to earth. He came from the comfort of heaven into this natural realm of earth, entirely unlike us, God became like us, man, so that he could commune with us. How much more should we become people that are willing to cross a bridge, so that people can feel us, people could talk to us, people can taste us, that that's how many people are going to know Jesus, are going to know God.
God has sent us to be bridge builders. God has sent us to tear down walls. Most of us, we are the only Bible most people are going to read. We are the only Jesus most people are going to meet, until they meet the real one. So are we willing to go? Whatever that might mean, in our workplaces, in our schools, in our communities, if God calls us overseas, wherever it might be, that we will not be a people that just sit in our comfort zones, but are people that are willing to go, willing to be sent ones, people that are willing to drink, and expose others to the living water that is Jesus.
So Jesus says to the woman, he asks her for water. I particularly love this, because he starts exactly with the thing that they both need. He starts with a shared humanity. He doesn't start up here in super spiritual land. He doesn't start up here with deep theological huge concepts that are disconnected from everyday reality. He begins with common ground. The common ground is, I need water and you need water. Yes, I'm a Jewish man, you're a Samaritan woman. Everything else about us is uncommon. And little as she get to know that I'm God and you're not. They are entirely unlike each other, but he starts right where she is. I wonder if that's what you need to do. Some of you are having great conflict in your home, and you're trying to be a super Christian. You're trying to play the role of the Holy Spirit in your marriage. It is little wonder that your husband's not listening to you. You are not the Holy Spirit. Let the Holy Spirit be the Holy Spirit, and you be his wife. You be her husband, you be a mother, or a father, or whatever it is that you are. Let's not try to take the place of God.
A lot of us, we've forgotten how to just be real with people, how to connect with people's humanity, how to talk about normal things that are happening in the world, sports, or you know what a Netflix series you like, or what's going on, whatever it might be. What we need to be is a generation of people that know how to connect with people. Sometimes I wonder, I think Christians are so relationally dysfunctional. I think, "How do we not know how to connect with"? We ought to be the most relationally functional people on the earth. We ought to have a breadth of things to talk about. We ought to have a breadth of interests. See, we are in relationship with Jesus Christ, and he gives us abundant life. There ought to be something about us, where people look at us and go, "What are you on? There's a spring in your step. There's a smile on your face. You seem to enjoy this thing called life".
Let's find things to connect with people on. Let's find common, temporal, human things to connect with other people's humanity. Jesus was saying to her, "Hey, I'm thirsty, just like you are". Now water was a life source back then, just as it is today. Every drop of water used in the household had to be carried from the local well, that's what we're seeing in this text. The woman, all the women, would go out every day. They'd fill their heavy earthenware jars, and carry them home, up the stairs, on their heads. You may see in many regions of the world, that still happens today. Girls, teenage girls, are walking for miles, with jugs on their head, full of water, bringing it home. And so what I love about this story is that Jesus connected with the Samaritan woman around water, before he revealed himself to her.
So can we learn from this example? We need to connect with people, before we start trying to preach to people. Some of you, you're wondering why nobody wants to hang out with you around the lunchroom, or why none of your family wants to talk to you anymore. Listen, I'm not pointing a finger at you. I was the biggest culprit of this. I remember, I got saved, and my family was from a Greek orthodox background. And so in our home, we had icons, and you know, statues of Mary and Jesus on a cross. And because I had no brain, so I'm now telling you how not to do it, I would walk in and I would tell all my family, "This is all evil, this is all idolatry, this is all demonic, and you all need to be born again. You all need to be saved, you don't even know Jesus".
Let me just say that is not a good way how to win friends and influence people. I was not very smart. It is little wonder that my family didn't even want to speak to me for several years when I got saved, because I brought home anything but the love of God, the grace of God, I brought with me self-righteousness. I was full of opinion about things that I knew nothing about. I wanted to tell everyone else how to live their life, when I probably could have started with living my own life a little bit better. I'm saying this 'cause I've no doubt there's someone else on the other side of the screen, and you're wondering why nobody in your family, or your friendship circle, or your workmates don't want to hang out with you. And sometimes we can be so heavenly minded, that we are no earthly good.
So what we need to do is take a chill pill. We need to relax, we need to enjoy life and connect. I'm not saying at all being worldly, but I am saying being cognizant of what's going on in the world. What are people's likes? What are people's dislikes? Where are common entry points that we can enter into people, so that they can see that our God is actually interested in their every day life. Don't make the same mistakes that I did. Don't make the kind of mistakes that ostracize people, and caused people to be repelled by you, rather than attracted to you.
See, the thing that we learn from Jesus in this text is people were attracted to him, not repelled from him. He had a way about him that endeared people to him. He cared about people, he connected with people. Christians ought to be a people that are constantly looking for entry points and connection points to people. So we start with where people are. There's no point starting with where they're not, start where they are. So the Samaritan woman, she responds to Jesus. And I think she was a bit sassy, 'cause in verse 8 we see right here in the text, she responds to Jesus and she says, "Why are you asking me for something"?
Now listen, she's basically going, "Look, we women know the rules. Men like you, Jesus, don't speak to women like me. Jewish men like you do not speak to Samaritan women like me. So hey you, why are you asking me for anything"? So she may have known that he was Jewish because of the way he spoke, I guess his accent was Galilean. And she sounds a little bit sassy, a little bit sarcastic. And she throws out at him, in verse 11, "Hey, you don't have anything to draw with". Basically, "Do you think you're greater than Jacob"? But I love Jesus, he didn't get offended by her. He didn't get offended by her tone. He just kept pressing in.
See, I wonder there's some people in our lives, they push back to us. We've tried to talk to them about Jesus. We've tried to talk to them about our faith. And we've tried to build up a relationship, but you know what? We get offended because they push back. Now you see this on social media a lot. People come back with, you know, and they're angry, and they sprout their opinion, really, really strongly, perhaps like this Samaritan woman. She kicks back at him and she's like, "Who do you think you are? You don't even have anything to grab your water with". She just kind of throws it back at him.
I wonder if God has you watching this today, because he's asking you, you know what? It's time maybe to pursue those relationships again. You got offended because you didn't like their tone. You got offended because you didn't like what they said to you. You got offended because really, it wasn't kind, and it wasn't fair. But Jesus is asking you, "Will you build that bridge again? In your family, will you build that bridge again? To your children, perhaps to your spouse, to a sibling, perhaps in your workplace, would you go back 'round to that lunch table again and begin to build a bridge, even though perhaps your work mates maybe were just a little bit offensive, and hurt you in some way? Would you go back again? Would you go back and build that bridge again in your school, in your college"?
You see the fact is that in this text, we see in John chapter 4, Jesus is using the metaphor, the image of temporal water, because he's going to get into a discussion about the eternal living water. So what you and I need to do is we need to learn how to connect with people in real life, about real issues, issues in the here and now, what's going on with them relationally, what's going on with them emotionally, what's going on with them financially, if that's appropriate, what's going on with them in terms of their hopes or their dreams? Start where we are now, before we get to eternal issues. Let's understand, most people are not thinking about where they're going to spend eternity. People do not wake up, it's Christians that think about that stuff. Most people are not waking up going, "Where am I going to spend all of eternity"?
So back in the old school days was, "Here is your 'four spiritual laws' tract. 'If you were to die tonight, where are you going to spend eternity'?" Most people would look at you like you're smoking something. They don't really care. They're not thinking about that. Most people are trying to make sense of what's going on on earth. They want to know about answers now. What does all this life mean now? How am I going to make it now? What do I do with my hopelessness now? What do I do with my despair now? What do I do with my helplessness now? What do I do with this relationship now? How am I going to pay my bills now? Why is there so much pain in the world? Why is there so much suffering? Why's there so much loss? Why is this so much grief? How do I find love, and joy, and hope, and peace and happiness now?
We have got to start here and now, before we ever get to talk about then and there. Aren't you grateful for our living water? You and I were created to find fulfillment in Jesus, and then point others to him, the source who will never, ever run dry. And if there's any need in your life today, I want to encourage you that God can provide for it. He's not distant or unaware, he's close. He's Emmanuel, God with us.