Christ calls us to take the Gospel to everyone––even to sinners such as the woman at the well––and to witness to Christ as the woman did after her encounter with Jesus. Jesus demonstrates His care for all, regardless of their social standing. We can also be inspired by the Samaritan woman’s excitement in sharing the good news of Jesus
SCRIPTURE: John 4:5-42
Having moved into my own home, I used my holidays to decorate and sort the small courtyard behind my house. I love trees. In the suburb where I grew up in Australia, the streets in my suburb were utterly tree-less; however, many were planted in people’s back gardens. I think there are not many trees because of the scarcity of water, and trees need lots of water. Local councils didn’t want the residents to waste their water, particularly during times of drought, for those who did, were issued heavy fines. So, when I came to Wales Uk to live, I was so pleased to see the trees everywhere!
I bought a house in Wales, where I am surrounded by beautiful Parks, a river, mountains lined with trees, and a sandy beach.
I love trees and enjoy looking at them, so I bought two big pots and a lot of potting soil, bought a cherry tree and an apple tree, and planted them. New buds form within a few days, and fruit appeared after 3 years. I am looking forward to them producing some fruit for me in years to come. I chose cherry because cherries are expensive to buy in the shops, and I really enjoy cherries, and they’ve got very high antioxidant properties being a dark fruit. Usually, apples are easy to grow, and I can do all sorts of things with apples like apple pie, sauce, and much more an added bonus, apples are very high in vitamin C. Then I got thinking about apples and cherries because they have seeds.
SEEDS AND NEW LIFE
A traditional gift for a teacher from the student is an apple. Think about a good teacher that you may have had. A good teacher plant seeds of ideas in our thinking and helps us explore those ideas, and they explain things to us in an exciting way. A good teacher is a teacher because they love to teach and want to help the student be all they can be and pursue a successful future.
Most teachers never know what the results of their teaching will be. It takes many years for the student to mature and become an adult. During that time, they will discover their interests and talents and decide how to use them. A good teacher plants a seed, in their student’s mind, and years later, others will see the results of that teacher’s work, and the teacher may never know the outcome of their student’s life.
WE ALL HAVE A PURPOSE IN THIS LIFE – John 4:5-42
Jesus talks about this idea in (4:37)- He says, “One sow and another reaps” – one person plants the seed, and another person may harvest the fruit. So, when we say something helpful to another person or do something kind, it is planting a seed of God’s love.
We may never know the result; we may never know the outcome of that planted seed. However, we can be sure that there will be a good result when we work with God’s love. This is what we are focusing on in this text today: Sowing Seeds of hope, love, and faith.
JESUS AND THE OUTSIDERS
Briefly looking at the context, we find that Jews had little to do with Samaritans. Ever felt like an outsider? I have many times. Jews considered Samaritans as outsiders who hold little worth.
Samaritans were hated so much by the Jews that they tended to avoid even travelling through Samaria. But Jesus didn’t share this hatred towards Samaritans. He travelled from Judea to Galilee to go through Samaria rather than bypassing it. He was not trying to save time, but Jesus continually sought out the outcasts, the outsider of society––the tax collectors, the prostitutes, the lepers, all those who were considered to have little worth. Jesus loves all people regardless of how others may devalue a certain section of society, Jesus accepts them.
THE WOMAN AT THE WELL
Travelling left Jesus exhausted, and hot and he needed a rest and a drink of water. So, when Jesus came to a little town in Samaria he stopped at the local well for a drink. As Jesus approached the well, he discovered a lone woman drawing water.
Usually, women came to the well in the mornings and evenings, but this woman came at noon. It was very hot at noon, but she was alone at the well and free to draw water without ridicule. But today, a strange man approached. It was not suitable for men to converse with women in this culture. The rule was,
“Let no man talk with a woman in the street, no, not even with his wife.”
Jesus spoke and ministered to the woman and in doing so, he was getting rid of old Jewish prejudices and rivalries that were held against the Samaritan people. Jesus addressed the discrimination of women, particularly toward women who were regarded as sinners. God is spirit, so our worship cannot be confined to a particular place or a particular people. God is everywhere, so He can be worshipped everywhere by all people. True worship is an affair of the heart.
After the conversation with Jesus, the Samaritan woman left her water jar at the well and excitedly ran into the city to tell the people there of her conversation with Jesus. “Come, see a man who told me everything I did. Can this be the Christ?” (v. 29). Many people “believed in Jesus BECAUSE OF THE WORD OF THE WOMAN” (v. 39). How amazing! In that time and place, people didn’t take a woman’s word very seriously.
Until Jesus came along, this woman was practically invisible; no one would have sent her into town as their spokeswoman. But her contact with Jesus transformed her life and status in the community. The people heard her and said, “You are right. This is the saviour of the world” (the meaning of v. 42).
William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, said: ‘Go for souls and go for the worst’.
That’s what Jesus did when he turned this so-called outcast into a well-received evangelist.
Jesus planted seeds of hope, love, and faith in her heart, and she received them, and she let those seeds grow to where she acted and shared her story.
Jesus does that. He changes people’s lives, and we do that too, we are seed planters, and if God wishes, we help to grow those seeds by protecting and nurturing them – and we may or may not see the final result.
Jesus especially loves to help outcasts because they most need help, and so should we.
The late Billy Graham said:
“Jesus stopped dying on the cross long enough to answer the prayer of a thief.
He stopped in a big crowd one day because a WOMAN touched the hem of His garment,
and He’ll stop to touch your life, change you, and forgive you – that’s Good News”!
As the church, we are Christ’s hands for service in this world, and he uses you and me to do his work, to change people’s lives: How?
• We plant the seeds of Christ each time we CARE;
• We plant the seeds of Christ each time we LISTEN;
• We plant the seeds of Christ each time we REACH OUT;
• We plant the seeds of Christ each time we TOUCH EACH OTHER IN LOVE.
A quote from John Wesley “The Church has nothing else to do but to save souls; therefore, be devoted to this work. It is your business to bring as many sinners as possible to repentance”.
This week let us resolve to allow God to plant seeds of hope, faith, and love to fill us with His Spirit so we might plant the same seeds in the life of others.
Let us pray that we will touch lives with seeds of hope, love, and faith this week and see the transforming love of Christ in action!
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