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Lost And Found John 4

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LOST AND FOUND: WHAT ARE YOU WORTH?

JOHN 4

INTRO: IF I OFFERED YOU $10 (PREACHER’S CANT OFFER BIG BILLS) YOU WOULD TAKE IT—BUT WHAT IF I WADDED IT UP OR DROPPED IT ON FLOOR & STOMPED ON IT OR SNEEZED ON IT OR RUBBED IT UNDER MY ARM? YOU WOULD STILL WANT IT BECAUSE IT STILL HAS SAME VALUE (WELL SOME VALUE). SO PEOPLE HAVE INTRINSIC VALUE—CREATED BY GOD. LIFE IS PRECIOUS EVEN IN WOMB. OUR SELF-ESTEEM & SELF-WORTH IS VERY IMPORTANT TO GOD/PARENTS/GRANDPARENTS. NOW WE CAN OVERDO THAT—WE CAN REFUSE TO LET KIDS FAIL—SO THEY GET NO BAD GRADES/NO PAIN OR DISAPPOINTMENT (EX: ONE SCHOOL SYSTEM CANCELLED THE ANNUAL SPELING BEE BECAUSE SOME KIDS MIGHT FEEL BAD ABOUT THEMSELVES WHEN THEY MISSPELLED A WORD)  (EX: TENNIS DAD STORY) NOW NO ONE IS PERFECT OR ABOVE FAILURE (PRES./PREACHERS/BUSINESSMEN/ETC.) BUT WE ARE LOVED BY GOD & CREATED IN HIS IMAGE. IF WE DON’T LOVE OURSELVED WE CANT LOVE OTHERS. THIS WOMAN LOST HER SELF-WORTH. SHE WAS IN DESPAIR—YET LORD OF UNIVERSE SAT DOWN & TALKED WITH HER. GOD WANTS LOST PEOPLE FOUND! HE WANTS NONE TO PERISH—SO LETS GO BACK TO 1STS CENT. TO JACOB’S WELL.

I.                  GOD SET THE EVENTS IN PLACE

A.   A MUST MISSION:  JESUS LEFT JUDEA TO GO BACK TO GALILEE. THEN HE “HAD” TO PASS THRU SAMARIA. THIS WAS A GOD-DIRECTED (MUST) MISSION.  SO THE CHURCH MUST GO INTO TROUBLED/DIFFICULT AREAS TO CONNECT WITH BROKEN/SINFUL HEARTS. MANY JEWS HAD INTENSE HATRED FOR SAMARITANS (HALF-BREEDS WHO OVER 700 YRS EARLIER INTERMARRIED WITH ASSYRIANS WHO INVADED THAT LAND)—JEWS WOULD WALK AROUND JORDAN RIVER TO AVOID BEING DEFILED BY THEIR LAND—BUT WE HAVE VERY INTENSE FEELINGS TOWARD CERTAIN PEOPLE IN OUR OWN LAND (CANT EAT WITH THEM OR RIDE BUS WITH THEM). BUT JESUS WAS CONCERNED WITH INNER DEFILEMENT---ITS NOT WHAT COMES INTO MOUTH BUT WHAT COMES OUT OF HEART.  HE COULDN’T BE DEFILED—HE MAKES PEOPLE & THINGS CLEAN & WHOLE.  JESUS WAS DIVINE & HUMAN—HE GOT TIRED/HUNGRY/THIRSTY—SO FROM A HOT WALK HE SAT DOWN ON THE WELL—WELLS THEN HAD A STONE OR WOODEN COVER OVER THEM LIKE A DONUT—SO KIDS NOT FALL IN & PLACE YOUR BUCKET ON IT.  JACOB’S WELL IS STILL THERE IN SAMARIA (SHOW SLIDE). JESUS KNEW THE WOMAN WAS COMING. HE WANTS TO FIND LOST PEOPLE

B.   A BROKEN HEART: THIS WOMAN CAME IN HEAT OF DAY---WOMEN IN THAT CULTURE GOT THE WATER—IN MORNING OR LATER IN DAY—AND THEY WOULD GO AS GROUP—TIME TO TALK—PLUS IT WOULD BE HARD TO LIFT FILLED BUCKET TO THE HEAD ALONE. WELLS HAD NO BUCKET—EACH GROUP HAD TO HAVE THEIR OWN—THIS WAS A LEATHER TYPE BUCKET THAT COULD BE UNROLLED—DISCIPLES TOOK THEIR BUCKET INTO THE CITY—SO JESUS WAS IN NEED OF WATER FROM WHOMEVER WOULD COME ALONG.  NOW WHEN SHE CAME JESUS WAS EXPECTED TO WITHDRAW AT LEAST 20 FT—BUT JESUS DIDN’T MOVE & SHE NEEDED WATER (AND MORE!)

1.     MEN DIDN’T TALK TO WOMEN IN PUBLIC—LET ALONE A STRANGER WITH NO ONE AROUND. THEY ALSO DIDN’T MAKE EYE CONTACT. BUT JESUS TALKED TO WOMEN & LET THEM BE DISCIPLES (MARYSAT AT HIS FEET—MOST RABBIS WOULDN’T ALLOW THAT). SEVERAL WOMEN HELPED FINANCE HIS WORK AND SOME TRAVELLED WITH HIM (LK 8:1-3)

2.     JESUS IGNORED JEW/SAMARITAN HOSTILITY. HE HUMBLED HIMSELF & REQUESTED HELP “GIVE ME A DRINK”—VIOLATING ALL THE CULTURE TABOOS. THEN HE BEGAN TO ELAVATE THE WOMAN’S WORTH. THE IDEA HE WOULD ASK HER FOR A DRINK SHOCKED HER.  JOHN EXPLAINED IN V.9 JEWS/SAMARITANS DIDN’T SHARE DISHES/EATING UTENSILS—BUT NO DOUBT THE WOMAN WONDERED WHAT WAS BEHIDN THIS REQUEST

3.     THE WOMAN CAME ALONE—SHE DIDN’T WANT THE WHISPERS/LOOKS. ITS NOT A GOOD FEELING TO BE AVOIDED/CUT-OFF. SHE WAS HURTING/NEEDED TO BE FOUND—LIKE SOME OF YOUR CO-WORKERS/NEIGHBORS/FAMILY MEMBER/ SHE HAD 5 FAILED MARRIAGES & SHE WASN’T MARRIED TO THE MAN SHE WAS LIVING WITH—THAT IS NOT A BIG DEAL IN TODAY’S CULTURE. MAYBE SHE THOUGHT WHY RISK ANOTHER FAILURE—BUT PEOPLE DIDN’T LIKE HER OR WANT TO BE AROUND HER. HER HEART WAS AN OPEN WOUND—SHE FELT ALONE & ABANDONED (EX: WOMAN SUFFERED FROM POLIO)

II.               GOD OFFERED HER A GIFT

A.   A LIFE-CHANGING CONVERSATION: LITTLE DID THIS WOMAN KNOW HOW HER LIFE WOULD CHANGE THAT DAY. NO MATTER WHAT YOU HAVE DONE OR BEEN THRU (WADDED UP OR STEPPED ON) JESUS SAYS YOU ARE LOVED & VALUABLE.  “IF YOU KNEW THE GIFT OF GOD” JESUS TOOK TIME WITH THIS WOMAN-HE NOTICED HER & STARTED A CONVERSATION.  WE CAN BE RIGHT NEXT TO PEOPLE AND NOT PAY ATTENTION TO THEM. WITH THIS SIMPLE REQUEST JESUS VALUED HER PRESENCE AND ASKED FOR HER HELP. SHE DIDN’T UNDERSTAND WHAT HE WAS OFFERING HER BUT JESUS GRADUALLY OPENED HER HEART.  JESUS NEEDED A COOL DRINK & RECLINER BUT HE TOOK TIME WITH THIS WOMAN---WILL WE?  “LIVING WATER”--- IN O.T. JER. 2:13---ISRAEL TRIED TO DO THINGS ON THEIR OWN—THEY LEFT GOD FOR FALSE GODS—THEY COMMITTED SPIRITUAL ADULTERY.  BUT IT NEVER WORKS. IT LEAVES US HURTING & LOST. THIS WOMAN WAS ATTACHED TO THE PHYSICAL WELL “OUR WELL” SHE SAID—JESUS WOULD NOT DEBATE THIS ISSUE. WE SHOULD TRY NOT TO JUMP INTO SENSELESS DEBATES (YOU CANT DO THIS; CANT USE THAT; THIS IS RIGHT INTERPRETATION; THIS IS RIGHT BIBLE) YES SHE WOULD LOVE TO HAVE DRINK THAT WOULD CONQUER THIRST & NOT GO TO WELL ANYMORE  (ANYTHING TO EASE THE PAIN & MAKE ME FEEL BETTER/ LIFT MY FEARS/DEPERSSION.  THEN JESUS CHALLENGED HER: “YOU (A SHUNNED WOMAN) GO , TELL THE MEN!”  JOHN TELLS US THE WOMEN REPORTED TO DISCIPLES THAT JESUS WAS ALIVE!  JESUS AFFIRMED THIS WOMAN’S WORTH  (ISA.6:1-5—ISA. SAW LORD IN HIS TEMPLE—HE WAS OF UNCLEAN LIPS & NEEDED CLEANSING).

B.   SHE WANTED TO CHANGE THE SUBJECT TO AVOID THE TRUTH---SHE WAS SO HURT/ISOLATED SHE WANTED TO HIDE BUT THE WATER OF LIFE WAS STARTING TO FLOW AROUND HER—GETTING DOWN TO ROOTS.  SHE GOT UNCOMFORTABLE (MOST OF US WOULD) SO SHE CHANGED SUBJECT TO A DEBATE OF WORSHIP---AND JESUS DIDN’T IGNORE THIS QUESTION OR SAY “DON’T CHANGE THE SUBJECT” –HE JUST EXPLAINED GOD IS NOT CONCERNED WITH WHERE WE WORSHIP (EVEN SOLOMON KNEW GOD DIDN’T DWELL IN TEMPLES MADE WITH HANDS)  GOD DOESN’T A PLACE/STRUCTURE---CHURCH IS ALIVE & WELL IN CHINA/INDIA/AFRICA AND THEY HAVE LITTLE OF WHAT WE HAVE.  NO, JESUS SAID—GOD IS WORSHIPED IN SPIRIT & TRUTH—WITH MIND/HEART. WE SING “HERE I AM TO WORSHIP”  OR “I LOVE YOU LORD” AND SAY BLACK PEOPLE CANT WORSHIP HERE (YOU CANT USE THOSE INSTRUMENTS; WE DON’T BAPTIZE THAT WAY; WE HAVE COMMUNION QUARTERLY; WE DON’T SING THOSE SONGS; WE DON’T USE THAT BIBLE)—JESUS TAUGHT YOU CANT PUT NEW WINE IN OLD WINESKINS—IT WILL BURST.  THE O.T. COVENANT IS DONE—THERE IS BETTER COVENANT WITH BETTER PROMISES!  WORSHIP IS OUR WILL BEING FULLT SUBMITTED TO GOD.  SO JESUS SAID TO HER “I AM!” THIS TAKES US BACK TO GEN. MOSES & BURNING BUSH. GOD SAID TELL ISRAEL “I AM” SENT YOU.  THERE WAS GOD IN FLESH TALKING TO THIS LOST WOMAN!  I AM “BREAD OF LIFE; RESURRECTION & LIFE; GOOD SHEPHERD; LIGHT OF WORLD; WAY TRUTH, LIFE”  PS. 35:3 “SAY TO MY SOUL, I AM YOUR SALVATION”  THE ETERNAL GOD OFFERING ETERNAL LOVE—LIVING WATER WAS FLOWING AROUND THIS WOMAN—I IMAGINE HER HEART WAS BEATING FASTER & A SMILE WAS FORMING.  JESUS SAID “I AM MESSIAH!  HAVE YOU MET HIM?  DO YOU REALLY KNOW HIM? 

C.   THIS WOMAN FOUND GENUINE FREEDOM—NO MORE JUDGMENT/CONDEMNATION/NO NEED TO AVOID PEOPLE. SHE WAS FOUND—HER LIFE NOW HAD PURPOSE/MEANING. SO SHE LEFT HER BUCKET (NOT THAT IMPORTANT ANYMORE)—AND SHE STARTED TALKING TO PEOPLE. HER FEARS GONE. SHE WAS NEW & INSPIRED TO TALK TO PEOPLE WHO MADE HER FEEL WORTHLESS/INSIGNIFICANT—AND THE RESULT WAS MANY IN THAT TOWN FOUND JESUS THAT DAY.  WHAT JOY!  SHE CAME SEEKING WELL WATER & LEFT CARRYING LIVING WATER BACK TO HER VILLAGE. THE SEED WAS SOWN & A GREAT HARVEST WAS COMING. 

CONLCUSION:  (EX: JASON MCELWAIN STORY)  THE VALUE OF SOMETHING IS DETERMINED BY THE ONE WHO OWNS IT. IF I OWN CAR, CAMERA, FURNITURE –IF I SAY ITS WORHT A MILLION DOLLARS THEN IT IS BECAUSE I OWN IT—WHETHER ANYONE THINKS SO OR NOT.  SO CHRISTIANS BELONG TO GOD. HE DETERMINES VALUE. HE PROVED OUR WORTH BY SENDING JESUS TO SAVES US!  NOTHING COULD BE BETTER.  SO WHAT DO WE DO?

          BE JESUS TO SOMEONE: SLOW DOWN & NOTICE PEOPLE—LISTEN; PRAY WITH THEM & FOR THEM. LET THEM KNOW THEY ARE VALUABLE

          LOVE THE ONE WHO LOVES YOU MOST.  MAX LUCADO SAYS IF GOD HAD A REFRIGERATOR YOUR PICTURE WOULD BE ON IT—IF A WALLET YOUR PICTURE WOULD BE IN IT.  HE SENDS FLOWERS EVERY SPRING AND SUNRISE EVERY DAY.   GOD IS CRAZY ABOUT YOU!

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