There was a town called Sychar, there was a woman who had been through five marriages. You could say that things had not gone so well for her. She was now living with a man she was not married to. I guess at this point she thought, ‘Why try to get married again?’ She was thirsty and went to a public place to get water. Sometimes life takes an unexpected turn. As she gets a container of water, a man she has never seen asks her for a sip. She is a little surprised at his audacity. He goes on to explain that he has something far better than water. She is intrigued and wants to know more. He tells her to go get her spouse and she explains that she is not married. This stranger agrees with that and tells her about the previous five marriages that she had been in. (The song, “Whats up with that” starts to play) She tries to change the subject but there is something about the stranger; the way he speaks, the love in his eyes, the compassion in his voice, the words he utters. She explains that she is waiting on a hero: a savior, who will make everything better, who will right the wrongs that have happened in her life and the lives of everyone she knows. He looks at her with a confident compassion and says, ”I am He.” The woman was so moved that she went and told everyone in her town about the man she met. They all went out to the public area where she had met him and asked him to stay for a couple of days. After spending some time with the man, they knew that he was indeed the Savior of the world.
The woman’s world changed. One encounter with this man filled her with hope. She also became an evangelist as she shared her testimony with her community. Her life was changed because Jesus visited her town.
Jesus told his Disciples, “Do you not say, there are yet four more months and then comes the harvest? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see the fields are white for harvest.” God’s compassion for those who are hurting is as great now as when his son stated it in John 4:35. There are many like the woman at the well, who are broken. How do we find them? Jesus said something very powerful; he stated, “I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”
What does that mean when Jesus says, “reap that for which you did not labor”? Labor is work. This means that God wants to send us into specific encounters with people who are ready to receive the savior. We just have to be willing to share the words he gives us. When Jesus had the encounter with the Woman at the Well, he was just sitting there. The woman came to him. He did not start off prophesying to her. He simply asked her for a drink and from there started a conversation. That eventually led to him sharing the truth with her.
My mother was recently sitting at a table outside a health food store. She had been witnessing to people very pro-actively that day without success (two people she spoke with had been downright mean). She was feeling defeated but asked the Lord to bring someone her way that needed him. At that moment a woman came up to her and explained that she was new in town and needed directions somewhere. My mom offered to give her a ride and while they were in the car, my mom shared hertestimony and asked the woman if she wanted to receive Jesus as her savior. The woman said yes and prayed with my mom, asking Jesus to be her Lord and Savior.
There are people out there who need life to take an unexpected turn in the right direction. The Lord’s word to us is to make ourselves available to help facilitate this event. We need to say what the prophet Isaiah said when he shouted, “Here am I, send me!” We need to get outside of our home, church, and comfort zone. We need to get out there where God is working in people’s hearts and ask him this, ‘Lord, where do you want me to go today?’
Go where God says to go and keep your eyes open.
Pastor Brian Mason, March 27, 2017