John 4: 5-42 tells the story of what happened when Jesus met the woman at the well. You know the story, noontime in Samaria, the disciples have gone to town to get food, Jesus is waiting by the well, and here comes a woman to get water. It was a telling visit. Jesus says, “Give me a drink of water.” The woman says, “You are a Jewish man; I am a Samaritan woman; why are you even talking to me?” Jesus, “If you knew who I was, you’d ask me, and I’d give you living water.” If you’re not familiar already, please read the “rest of the story”.
This story ends up being about discipleship. Discipleship is about service; service is about sacrifice; no sacrifice, no service, no service, no discipleship. Service is about sharing what God puts in your heart, like in John 4. The woman at the well was changed utterly from hearing Jesus tell her the truth about herself, and she was set free (as in: ‘You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’ (John 8:31-36) Freed, miraculously, from guilt and shame and fear, she couldn’t help but tell what she had seen and heard. (see Acts 4:18-20)
Our job as disciples of Jesus, if we choose to accept it, is to ”1 make disciples, 2 baptize them, and 3 teach them to observe what I [Jesus] have commanded you . . .” Matt. 28:19-20. ‘ To ‘observe’ what Jesus has commanded means to 1 surrender to His Spirit and do what he tells you on a minute by minute basis. Not just to adhere to the rules and customs of the faith but to be one with Him in immediate response to His immediate commands. It’s that kind of teaching that is required to make disciples.
Some of us, maybe secretly all of us, long to see the miracles of Jesus in our own day; the healings, the deliverances, the raising people from the dead. But miracles are happening all around us and we just aren’t seeing them. In fact, the miracle that happened in this passage, of Jesus telling the truth to the Samaritan woman about “everything she ever did, and her being delivered, set free, from guilt and shame, fear and anger, truly a miracle, was just the kind of supernatural event that goes on right here, right now, in our own time and place, when someone surrenders to Jesus and is set free from the bondage of alcohol, drugs, porn or slavery, or from their own fears, anger, resentment, shame and guilt.
Like a video I saw of a crusade led by Franklin Graham, for college kids and young adults, in Boulder. In closing, he said something like this, “We’ve all got troubles. You may be hooked on drugs or alcohol; you may be living on the street and haven’t talked to your parents for weeks or months; selling yourself just to get by; or trapped in an abusive relationship. I just have one thing to tell you: No matter what is wrong with you, Jesus can fix it. No matter how bad it is, Jesus can fix it. All you have to do is surrender and turn yourself over to Him, and He will miraculously, supernaturally, take care of you. He can and He will. Deliver you from the evil you’re trapped in. Set you free from addiction; turn you from the darkness to the light. I don’t know how. But I do know why. It’s because He loves you.”
And we, Jesus’ disciples for today, are sitting here saying, “Yes, that’s true, we’ve known that all along.” We’re almost saying, “It’s no big deal.” Well, it is a very big deal! to every person who has been set free from fear, anger, guilt and shame, right here, right now!
So what we, as Jesus’ disciples, need to be doing is 1 telling everyone we see [at least everyone who obviously needs help] that no matter what’s wrong with you, Jesus can fix it! 2 Then tell them how: surrender your self and your life to Jesus and trust Him to take care of you!
Almost sounds crazy, doesn’t it? What will people think? Some crazy fanatic running around telling people the miracles they’ve seen in them and other people because of Jesus. The crazy part is, because we have Jesus Spirit in our hearts we too can have the insight of Jesus about other people, and we too can tell them the truth about them and about God. We can BE LIKE JESUS, and for His honor and His glory, we can be his instruments to change people’s lives!