Greg Laurie - Jesus and You
The title of my message tonight is Jesus and you. I heard about a lady that went to a pet shop to get some food for her cat. I am not going to say anything critical about cats tonight. I just have one question about cats. Why? I am not going that way. She went into get some food for her cat. There is a parrot right in the front there on his perch. He is one of those parrots that could talk. He took one look at this lady and he said, "You know lady you are the ugliest woman I have ever seen". She stopped. "What"? She turned to this parrot and said, "What did you just say to me"? The parrot said, "You know you are the ugliest woman I have ever seen".
She was outraged. So offended. She demanded to talk with the man who ran the pet store. The manager is brought out from the back room. She says, "Sir I demand you do something with that parrot. He insulted me". The man said, "Ma'am I am sorry. I will deal with it". He takes the parrot off of the perch, goes in the back room, and slaps the parrot around a little bit. Feathers are flying. The parrot said he was sorry. The manager said, "Don't say it again". The parrot said, "I won't". The pet shop manager put the parrot back on his perch. The lady got her cat food. She was walking out. She looked at over at that parrot and kind of smiled like, "I got you". The parrot said, "You know what"? She said, "What". The parrot said, "You know".
I don't know if we have met. There are a few things that I know about you personally. No matter who you are. Regardless of whether you are a man or a woman or if you are rich or poor. I know this about you. I know that there is an emptiness deep inside of you. By the way, you were born with it. You are not the only one. We all were. Sort of a hole in our heart if you will that sent you on a search from the earliest days of your childhood. You probably thought when you were a little kid, "If I just get this toy I know I will be happy". Now you are an adult. You are saying, "If I just get this car I know I will be happy". What is that saying? "The only difference between the men and the boys is the price of their toys".
I know you are empty. Here is something else I know about you. If you are not a believer in Jesus Christ yet, I know that you are lonely. Maybe that occurred to you recently. Maybe you were hanging around with a bunch of so-called friends and supposedly having a good time. You just thought to yourself, "I feel like I am all alone". Single people feel this loneliness. Married people have this loneliness as well. Ironically this is the most connected generation in the history of the world but at the same time the loneliest. When you get down to it this is really a loneliness for God.
I know this about you. If you don't believe in Jesus yet, you are guilty. You feel guilt. It is like a wet blanket that hangs over you. You try to pretend it is not there. You know it is there. I tell you why you feel guilt. You are guilty. We all are. We have all sinned. One final thing. I know that you are afraid to die. Death freaks you out. You have been thinking about it more lately. Maybe it is because someone close to you died. Maybe it is because you had a close brush with death causing you to realize your own mortality.
I want to talk to you tonight about how to resolve all of those issues. How to fill that void. How to lose that guilt. How to never be lonely again. There is nothing I can say to you tonight that will make death go away. Death knocks at every door. Death is no respecter of persons. What I am going to tell you tonight will prepare you for death so when that day comes, and yes friend it will come, you will know that you can go into the presence of God to heaven. You want to pay very careful attention. I want to talk about Jesus and you. Thousands of people are in this stadium. Thousands more are watching online. They are watching on television and listening on radio. I want you to know something. Right now Jesus sees you. He doesn't see a crowd. He sees you. He cares about you. He loves you.
The Bible tells the story of when Jesus went into the town of Jericho and there were people all around him pressing and pushing and trying to touch him. There is this guy that lived in Jericho. Kind of a little dude. His name was Zacchaeus. He couldn't see Jesus because he was so small. He climbs up a tree. He is watching Jesus. Here comes the Lord with this giant crowd around him. Suddenly Jesus stops and looks up. He says, "Hey Zacchaeus come down from there. I am coming over to your house for lunch today". Loose paraphrase there. That pretty much sums it up. Here is this big crowd. Jesus looked right at Zacchaeus. Here are all of us and Jesus is looking at you.
Listen to this. Jesus Christ knows you better than you know yourself. He knows what your dreams are. He knows what your fears are. The Bible says, "The very hairs of your head are numbered". In my case that is not a big deal. It is like four. Some of you have a fine head of hair. I was up there on one of the balconies looking down on all of that wonderful hair. Envying it. Reassuring myself I will get it in the hairafter I suppose but not now. He knows all about you. When Jesus walked this earth 2000 years ago he always took time for people. He had time for individuals.
Here is another interesting thing. Jesus never dealt with any two people in exactly the same way. I want to look at two people tonight. They are very different. One is a man. The other is a woman. One was very religious. The other was not religious at all. One was wealthy and famous. The other was poor and somewhat infamous. They both needed Jesus. That is really what you are looking for tonight. You need Jesus.
The man's name was Nicodemus. We don't know what the woman's name was. She is just described as the woman at the well. Let's start with her. She lived in the city of Samaria. She is often called the Samaritan woman. She was a social outcast. She lived an immoral life. She had been married and divorced five times and was living with a guy at the time. That was back when that was not socially acceptable. She would go and draw water from the town well like everybody else. She would go at 12:00 noon in the heat of the day. Normally the ladies would go and get water in the early part of the day. Catch up on the town gossip. Hang out a little bit. She was not welcome. She was ostracized. She was rejected. They didn't want her around.
She comes to the well at noontime to get some water. I am sure she was an attractive girl. I am sure in her day she was kind of a hot chick actually. The years have passed. The beauty is beginning to fade. She has been through a bunch of men. Life has taken its toll on her. I kind of feel like I know this woman because she reminds me a little bit of my own mother. My own mom even beat the woman at the well's record. The woman at the well was married and divorced five times. My mom was married and divorced seven times and had a bunch of boyfriends in between. How do I know this? I had a front row seat for the whole adventure. Add to that the fact that my mom was a raging alcoholic.
I saw my mom who was on a search. She was a beautiful woman. Somehow in my mom's mind she seemed to think that a man could fill that void deep inside. I kind of feel like I know this woman at the well. Little did she know on this particular day that her life was going to change radically? Sitting at that well was God in human form. Jesus Christ was waiting at that well. This woman didn't know it but she had an appointment with God. Some of you have an appointment with God tonight. I know it didn't pop up on your phone. You have it. This appointment is an opportunity for you to believe and have your life changed for time and eternity.
You don't have to keep the appointment. Jesus will not force his way in anybody's life. Jesus says, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock, and if you will hear my voice and open the door, I will come in". He does not say, "I am standing at the door knocking and if you don't open it I will kick it in because I am God. That is how I roll". He wants you to invite him to come inside. You have a choice in the matter. Here is this woman. She has come to the well and sees a guy sitting there. She already knows this is going to be trouble. Plus he is a Jewish guy. The thing is Jews and Samaritans didn't want to have anything to do with each other. She knows this is going to be a confrontation. She is sort of bracing herself. She comes up. Jesus says, "Can I get a drink of water from you"? She is shocked. Taken aback. She says, "Why would you a Jew ask for a drink of water from me a Samaritan woman? Don't you know that Jews don't have any dealings with Samaritans"?
What I love about this is Jesus broke all of the cultural rules and reached out to her. Jesus says, "I will tell you what. Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but if you drink of the water that I give, you will never thirst again. This water will spring up as a fountain of water into everlasting life". Jesus wasn't talking about the well and he wasn't talking about physical water. He was using this well as a metaphor if you will. He is saying, "Lady if you drink of this well, you are going to thirst again".
The same could be said to us. If you drink from the well so-called of materialism, you will be excited for a while. Like when you get the new car. Nothing is better than the new car smell. You get in your new car and say, "No one is ever eating in this car ever". Then one day you are late for work. You have got to go through the takeout place. You get a burrito. You lose the burrito. You don't know where it is. You find it a month later. It has climbed up into the baby's car seat and strapped itself in. Then the first dent shows up. The newness has worn off.
If you drink at the well of materialism you will never be satisfied. If you drink at the well of drugs and alcohol you will never be satisfied. That is why people start with this drug and move on to a harder drug. Then they move on to another one. You take the one drink. Then it is five drinks. Then it is drinking in the evening and the afternoon. Then it is drinking, evening, afternoon, and morning. You will never be satisfied. If you drink of experiences, you will never be satisfied. If you drink of relationships you will never be satisfied. Girls listen to me. No guy is going to meet the deepest needs of your life. I know little girls like to sing, "One day my prince will come". Your prince is the King of kings and the Lord of Lords. You want Jesus. That is who you want.
You might say, "Wait Greg. You are wrong. If I was famous I would be happy. If I had a reality show all about me I would be happy. If I was a pop star I would be happy". Would you? Have you ever heard of Lana Del Rey? She has had her share of fame at the age of 27. She shot to the top and has been very successful in her career. However in a recent interview Lana Del Rey said, and that is not her real name, but she said she has never felt any pleasure from the fame in the three years she has been in the spotlight. Lana says she slept her way to the top. She says, "I slept with a lot of guys in the industry but none of them helped me get the record deals. Which is annoying".
That is the woman at the well she went home alone. The woman at the well, like Lana, slept her way to the top. Now she has hit bottom. The guy she is with now doesn't even want to marry her. She is all alone. Now she comes and sees Jesus. Am I talking to a young girl that relates to this woman? You think if you give your body away to some guy he is going to love you. Get a clue. It is not going to happen. Am I speaking to some older woman who still thinks she is young? Am I talking to an older woman who still thinks she is a teenager? I think we call them cougars. Right. Scary. How many of you are cougars? Raise your hand. Don't. Do you know what the woman at the well was looking for? She was looking for love. But she was settling for lust.
Everyone is looking for love. Believe it or not. Even in this cynical society. I read about an extensive survey that was conducted by a leading polling agency. Its questionnaires were distributed to people of various ages and occupations. They asked them this question. "What are you looking for most in life"? When the results were compiled, the analysts were surprised. They expected to find people thought material things would satisfy them. Top of the list what people wanted more than anything else was love. People are looking for love. People want to love and be loved.
What is love? If you look to Hollywood for your example you are going to be really disappointed. These celebrities hook up and break up in a nanosecond. So many people go for lust instead of love. Here comes this woman. She sees Jesus. He tells her he is going to satisfy the deepest thirst of her life. Do you know what? As a result of that conversation that woman turned from her sin that day and she believed in Jesus Christ. You can do the same thing she did and turn from your sin and be forgiven of all the wrongs you have done.
He blew her cover. She was a little sarcastic at first and said, "You can give me living water? Where is this water"? He says, "Why don't you go ask your husband"? She says, "I don't have a husband". He says, "True dat. You don't have a husband. You have had five husbands and you are living with a guy right now". She is like, "I perceive that you are a prophet". That's right. What did he do? He exposed her sin. Why? To send her away in misery? No. To show her the solution.
God will make you aware of your sin so you will come to him for the solution. The solution is forgiveness. To be forgiven of your sin. Have you crossed the line morally? Have you crossed the line sexually? Have you crossed the line in some other way? God offers his forgiveness to you if you will admit it to him. If you will fess up to your mess up, he will clean your mess up right now by believing in Jesus Christ.
That is the woman at the well. She is in John 4. In the chapter that precedes John 4 in John 3 is the story of a guy who was the polar opposite of this woman. She was the immoral woman. Now we have the moral man. She was unknown. Infamous as I said. This guy was really well-known. In fact, he was famous. His name was Nicodemus.