“Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life….many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him, because of the woman’s testimony”. – John 4: 13, 39
Jesus gives the world eternal life. It is the most astounding offer a person could ever receive. The great unconquerable, death, is finally overcome in Christ, ‘the firstborn raised from the dead’. It took a bit of time, but when that Samaritan woman finally grasped what was on offer, she dropped everything, forgot about her appalling life, and ran off to tell someone. As you read this passage, soak in what Jesus is actually offering you, what is your reaction? Are you inclined to drop everything, forget about all that is wrong with your life and run to someone…either him or someone to tell. She was mesmerised.
We see the power of Jesus come alive whenever we speak of him to others. His very name lights up people’s often miserable lives. What he promises, is that one day he will do that for eternity to all who put their faith in him. I can think of nothing more profound than that promise. Nothing else in this world comes close.
Last weekend, as my wife and me were about to go home after a fairly bland day on the streets, we stopped to speak to Gitte, Elizabeth and Lindsay. Between them, they shared more sickness than most; chronic stress, cancer, 2 strokes and traumatic stress disorder. Not bad for an odd little threesome on the street. We have rarely seen people welcome prayer more enthusiastically. We shared the Gospel of Jesus equally enthusiastically with them, and they promised to remain in touch. Hopefully, they will be persons of peace and we can start a Discovery Bible Study with them when we get back. We are so genuinely excited!
We stopped to talk to them right outside a large and well-known ‘church’, where people go regularly to worship God. As Jesus said though, a time is coming when people won’t worship God either on this mountain (building) or that mountain, but in Spirit and in Truth. All the time we are told that it is different here, that Aussies don’t want to hear the Gospel, that you can’t just roll up to people and start discussing religion, especially in this area, people are too closed. Instead, we ask them to come into a culture that they don’t understand, nor wish to know about and one that doesn’t always welcome them. Honestly though, I don’t see Jesus doing that at all in the Gospels.
We emphatically believe that God put those people in front of us, because we bothered to go out looking for them, and he did so right at the end when we were about to go home. It was a source of great encouragement, quite probably for him and us. The point of telling you all this, is not to blow our trumpets – trust me, there have been many times when Sunday lunch or a Saturday surf is much more appealing than telling people the Gospel. No, the point is that anyone can do it and it needs to be done. Why? Not because we need to feel good about ourselves, although there is nothing like the feeling that comes after sharing Jesus. No, it needs to be done because Jesus commanded us, and because if not us, then who?
Jesus tells us that he offers people – all people, living water that springs up into eternal life. Nobody else has an offer like that to make to the world. The method by which he chooses to spread that message, is through you and me. I read this week, that in Manchester, 2 teams of 7 people, 14 in all spent a few hours on the streets. Before they went, the ‘church’ presented them with the same arguments as to why it wouldn’t work. Really? Try prayer and gospel sharing with 56 people, of which 4 people put their faith in Christ, 11 want to meet again to hear more, and many more were interested. Just in an afteranoon.
Do we believe that we go out into the world empty-handed? Jesus, the Lord of all the Universe promises to be there in person, to prepare the way, and to prepare the hearts of people he wants us to meet. He does almost all the work, we simply need to pray and show up.
As believers, we have something that many in the world are desperately seeking. You are quite likely the very person God wants to use to show them the way. You can have a vote in helping someone to eternal life in Christ, so can I ask, do any of us having anything better to do this weekend?