Christine Caine - Living Water, Part 3
First time Jesus reveals that he's the Messiah to anyone in the Gospel of John and no joke, it's a chick. So the religious people had asked him and he hadn't told them. He told a woman of a despised race who he really was. I love Jesus. He just defies every norm. 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 grateful that you've joined us again. It is always my honor and privilege to serve you in this way. Now, I am so fired up. We're continuing this week, our series about what it is to have living water. Man, which one of us has not been weary in just recent times, feeling like heavy laden, feeling burdened, feeling like, man, I got no more to give. It's like everybody's sucking the life out of me. If you're married, it's spouses, or if you've got children or perhaps your friends or your boss or your employees, or just seems we are being torn, and ripped from limb to limb, and it's like, I've got nothing less. I'm dry, I'm parched, I feel like I have nothing left.
Well, you've tuned into the right program. We're talking about what it is to be filled with rivers of living water, Jesus himself. Jesus himself is the piece that we're looking for. Jesus himself is the hope that we're looking for. Jesus himself is the love that we're looking for. He is the grace. He is himself the living water that will satisfy our deepest needs, quench our greatest thirst, satisfy our most ravenous hunger. We find these things in Jesus Christ himself. And we've been looking at a beautiful text in the Gospel of John chapter 4 where Jesus had to go through a place called Samaria, and there at a well 'cause he was so thirsty, he was so weary, he met a chick.
Now, you've got to know this is like a big deal back in these days. Jesus a Jewish man speaking with a Samaritan woman when racism, sexism and misogyny was rampant. Jewish men never spoke to Samaritan women ever, and in the midst of all of this, Jesus transcends cultural barriers, gender barriers. It shows that Jesus is inclusive. Jesus is loving. That's what I love about the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. It's the Gospel of whosoever will, whosoever will. Jesus constantly talked to those people that others would never talk to. Jesus constantly included people that others would never include. Jesus constantly reached out to the margins and the marginalized and the ostracized and the poor and the needy and every sector of society, every sphere of society, Jesus is so loving and so inclusive.
I don't know who you are or where you are, but I do want you to know that Jesus loves you, he's got a plan and a purpose and a destiny for you. And we pick up this story. It has been so fascinating over the last couple of weeks that we see that Jesus has been speaking to this woman and he has been using the whole imagery of water to open up her heart, to open her up to eternal truths. It's a thing that we love about Jesus that is he uses natural things to step into spiritual eternal principles. And so he talks about living water springing up, springing up to eternal life. So I want you to picture what's happening. Jesus was at a well, he was talking about rivers of living water. And he took where they were right there by the well and what they needed in the natural because they were both thirsty, and he introduced her to the eternal.
Don't you love that about Jesus? He's always looking for entry points to eternal truth. So I wonder if you're listening to the people around you, and the world around you, in your sphere of influence looking for entry points to eternal truths. People are looking to quench an eternal thirst with natural means. We see this all the time. Many of us in our own lives, we have done this. People do desperate things to quench thirst. People will sleep with a myriad of people desperately wanting to feel love. People will hang out with gangs desperately looking for a sense of belonging or community. People will work crazy hours just so that they can feel valued. People will take drugs just to numb their pain. People will binge watch some series on TV just to somehow pass the time so they don't have to think. The issue is that you're only ever going to pacify, but not satisfy your deepest longings when you put people and things in the place that only God can satisfy. We don't want to just pacify our longings. We want God to satisfy them.
Some of you have been wondering why it just seems like Chris, it doesn't matter how much I drink, Chris, it doesn't matter how many people I go out with, Chris, it doesn't matter how much money I have or how many things I have or how many vacations I take or how many friends I have. I feel so empty, and the reason is that only Jesus Christ can ever quench that need on the inside of you. Nothing else will satisfy you. It might give you a bit of fun for a season. There is no denying that, but it's not going to ultimately satisfy you. Only an eternal God can satisfy that eternal longing on the inside of you. You see, the fact is you and I must consistently go to Jesus to have the needs met that only Jesus can satisfy. And when you let Jesus satisfy those needs, well then, you can let people be people in your life.
Your friends can be your friends, your spouse can be your spouse and your boss could be your boss. They don't need to be your Savior. But when you're looking to your spouse to be your Savior, or your boss to be your Savior, or your friends to be your Savior, you are putting a demand on those relationships, that those people will never, ever, ever be able to meet. Some of you live constantly dissatisfied in your relational life because you are looking to get from people what you can only get from God. Your spouse is not God. Your friends are not God, your bosses, your workmates, whatever realm of life you're in, they are not God. So what happens is we try to suck the life out of them, but they don't have rivers of living water to give us. Your spouse can only be your spouse. Your friends can only be your friends. Your boss could only be your boss. They cannot be God to you. Only Jesus can be Jesus.
Would some of you just let those people off the hook? Would some of you stop making some demands on people and you are destroying them and you're destroying yourself or will some of you stop trying to be Jesus to people? You can't. Some of you have got family members with addictions cycling in and out of rehab, cycling, and you are trying to play the God role in their life, and it's tearing you apart. It's tearing you apart emotionally. It's tearing your family apart because you are taking both the blame and the responsibility for things that are not yours to take responsibility for. You've got to let them, it's not a sign and some of you, even me saying this you're like, "But Chris, if I don't do it, they may end up not being here anymore. Chris, if I don't do it, they're going to end up back in hospital. Chris, if I don't do this, and if I don't bail them out one more time, then"...
You know what? You are just enabling a destructive pattern of behavior. You've got to allow God to be God, and you just be that person in your life, but take the pressure off yourself because they, if they're not your responsibility, they're not your children, they're not your responsibility. And some of you have got an over realized sense of responsibility when you're actually trying to be a Savior to people, but you're not their Savior, God is their Savior. So you don't need them to be clingy or obsessive because Jesus is the prize. Jesus himself blesses us with rivers of living water so that we alone will be satisfied in him. Now, I love it when he says out of you, out of your belly will flow rivers of living water. The inner most being is literally the belly. Now, the belly is the inner part of us that's always craving something. Our inner cravings, I want you to know this, can be satisfied by the Holy Spirit. Some of you are cycling in and out of destructive patterns relationally, physically, emotionally. I do want you to know the Holy Spirit can meet those needs. God himself can.
So he cut to the underlying issue and really to the root of her pain. And the reason he did this is because he wanted to set her free. He was not in any way shaming or exposing this woman. Her morality or immorality is actually not the point of this text. Now, I know many of you have heard this text preached so many times, and it's almost like for so many preachers, the whole point is like was this woman immoral or not moral? Like, listen I don't even think that is the major point of this text. Jesus was healing her by revealing her deepest longing to her. When Jesus told her to go and get a husband, we find out that this was a woman who's had five husbands, and now she's living with a man who is not her husband.
So many commentators have jumped to the conclusion that man, she's an immoral woman, and she's been divorced five times, but I think that maybe they could have missed the point. There were at least three possible reasons why this woman has had five husbands. She easily could have been widowed more than once, and in the first century, almost every woman was married. So if you were widowed, you're going to get married, and then widowed, get married. She could have been barren and thus divorce. You know men could have just, a woman was property. A woman had no rights. She was just property. So if she was barren, she could easily have been divorced. And a woman's whole value was dependent on her ability to produce a male heir, and care for the family and carry the name. And so if she couldn't do that, then these guys would have divorced her. She could have also been in a forced relationship, kind of as a concubine. In the Greco-Roman world, women concubines were not uncommon.
So there are many other reasons that she could have ended up. It wasn't just that she was an immoral woman. It could have been any of these scenarios where she ended up here. The point Jesus was making was not, how did you get here? It's like, now that you're here, now that you're here, what is it that you're longing for? You see, some of you come from a religious background where you have been so filled with shame all about the how, the how, the how, the how. How did you get here? And you did this, and religious pharisees love to basically pour shame and guilt and condemnation all over you. And you are paralyzed and crippled. And you feel like you can't get out of your past or out of your sin or out of your shame 'cause people keep harping on you. Well, it's your fault. This is what you did. You are immoral. You were this, you were that. And they are so consumed with the how, they never stopped to go, "Hang on a minute. Now that we're here, how are you going to get free? How are you going to get free"?
Jesus cares about your freedom. Jesus cares about getting to the root so that you could be free for your future. I want to remind you today your history does not define your destiny, and how you got to wherever you are. Now, the ramifications of that so that you don't repeat patterns of destructive behavior yes, that is important. But I want you to know that your God doesn't shame you or put guilt or condemnation on you. He's saying, "I see, I perceive that you're a woman. You've been married five times". He's not going, "Let's go back and rehearse the why. Let's just acknowledge this is where you are. And I'm going to show you grace and mercy," which is what Jesus did. I wonder if we, the people of God could be a people of grace and a people of love and mercy in a very cruel, in a very unforgiving culture.
Could we be a people who hear what it is that people are longing for? Could we be a people not full of judgment or shame or condemnation, but a people that are full of love and a people that are full of mercy. I want you to know today that Jesus sees you. Jesus knows you. Jesus loves you, and he desires to heal and free you. Did you notice he doesn't buy into a religious argument with this woman? The woman was talking to Jesus about how and where you should worship God. I mean, off she goes. She asks what is probably the most pressing question for first century Samaritans. She says, "Where is the proper place of worship"? She knew the temple in nearby mount Gerizim had been the central place of worship for Samaritans rivaling the temple in Jerusalem. So she was saying, "I was brought up to think this mountain here in Samaria was God's holy mountain, but you Jews, you think that God must be worshiped in Jerusalem".
So Jesus does not engage the Samaritan's woman debate about it. It didn't matter where one worshiped God. It was how God was worshiped. You see a lot of us, we get caught up in a lot of superficial debates that we start thinking, "I've got to be Jesus's protector, and I've got to get out there on Twitter or I've got to get out there on Instagram or I've got to get out there on Facebook and I've got to be a defender of the faith". Jesus did not enter into that kind of dialogue. Jesus was simply saying, "Hey, there'd be no longer any limitations of geography in worshiping God for God is spirit, and he will be worshiped in spirit and in truth". Jesus said, "None of these arguments are going to matter because the Messiah was coming and he would change everything". And then he drops a Mic. He tells this Samaritan chick that had had five husbands, he tells her he is the Messiah. First time Jesus reveals that he's the Messiah to anyone in the Gospel of John and no joke, it's a chick.
So the religious people had asked him, and he hadn't told them. He told a woman of a despised race who he really was. I love Jesus. He just defies every norm. Does it disturb you that Jesus would reveal himself to people you don't even think should know him? It cracks me up 'cause sometimes self-righteous pious, Pharisaical, Christians would just think Jesus would never speak to them. And Jesus is like, "I don't need your permission to reveal myself to whoever I want to". He made a momentous claim. He told her that it was him. She reveals her faith in a future Messiah, and her hope that even she a Samaritan woman would be included, and Jesus is basically saying, "Honey, I am that Messiah". And although no one else sees you, I see you and have gone out of my way to find you and others like you.
When Jesus said that, when he said, "I am he," that is the moment of truth. At that moment, she sees him for who he is. He'd already seen her. And you know what? Being seen and being chosen by Jesus empowers her to be sent and go and tell her story. This is what I'm telling you today. When you are seen by Jesus, when you are chosen by Jesus, Jesus sends you and empowers you to tell your story. I mean, the disciples, they came back with lunch. Can you imagine? All this is going on, and then they come back from the Jerusalem market, and they're like, "Well," the scripture says in verse 27, "And they marveled that he was talking to a woman".
Sometimes you have to talk to those that no one else in your world is going to talk to so that you can see a revival spark. When we see that the woman was so blown away, she left her water jar. She's likely going to come back and get it later, but I want you to know in a moment when you've been nourished, nothing else matters. When you encounter Jesus, you just drop everything you used to hang on to. That water jar was her source. That water jar was her provision. That water jar was what gave her her identity. She dropped that water jar and she ran to tell everyone else. Can I tell you, when you truly encounter Jesus, you drop that stuff that used to give you a sense of significance, a sense of security. You just drop the things that used to give you value, that used to water you and you lay a hold of him.
She dropped it all and she could not wait to share the news with the people in her village. Some of us, we don't share the news because we want to hang on to our water jars. What are you still holding onto as a backup plan? What do you think might still refresh you? If Jesus doesn't come through, I still got my water jar. What account do you need to cancel? What people do you need to leave behind? What habits do you need to drop? What blows me away is that this woman didn't sign up for an effective evangelism course. No, no, she had to go and tell her faith. She had to go and share her faith. She was not embarrassed about sharing her faith, she encountered Jesus and she simply wanted others to do the same thing.
How I long for a generation of Jesus followers who encountered Jesus and have been so obsessed by him, so consumed by him, so transformed by him that they cannot help, but go and tell everyone in their home, in their community, in their workplace, in their schools, in their colleges come and see a man who told me everything. She feels infinitely safe and known by him. She tells them that Jesus knows it all, and I'm free, he didn't shame me. Who else can tell you every single thing you've ever done in your life and you don't feel shame, and you don't feel guilt and you don't feel condemnation? You only feel freedom. She became the first evangelist in the Gospel of John. She went and told all her people about Jesus and brought them to him, so they could see and hear for themselves.
The point of this whole story is not her supposed immorality, it is her passionate evangelism. This Samaritan woman's testimony right here on the pages of John 4 sparked a revival. God can and does use broken and messed up people to take his Gospel around the world. She ran right back to the community that had judged her and isolated her and mistreated her, and despite what they had done to her, she gives them the greatest gift she could ever give, the story of how living water changed her life.
One woman's testimony led to so many being saved. Do not minimize the power of your testimony. Don't allow your past to limit your future. If God could use an unnamed, unwanted, abused, adopted chick from the back of Sydney, Australia, he could use you. No matter where you've been, no matter what you've done, I want to remind you that it's never too late. The woman in this story is nameless because we could all be her. Our job is to lead people to Jesus and they will see for themselves. They will come because of you but they will stay because of Jesus.