Sunday 27 October 2013

John 4:27-54 - Spreading the word

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In John 4:27-54 we have a perfect example of our role as disciples of Jesus. The Samaritan woman set an example for us, and no doubt it was an example for the disciples too. They were not there when Jesus spoke to the woman, though he clearly told them about it as otherwise John could not have written it down. But they certainly witnessed what happened next.

The disciples were curious about the conversation, and perhaps once the woman had gone back to the village Jesus might have shared it with them. The water jar would have been heavy and awkward to carry, why do you think the woman left it there at the well? Maybe it was no longer the thing most on her mind, or perhaps it would have delayed her.

For whatever reason, she left it by the well and rushed back to the village. She told them about Jesus and how he'd known all about her, and they all came to see for themselves. [Tweet it!] This is a crucial step in reaching people; tell them about Jesus until they're intrigued enough to come and see for themselves. While she's away Jesus tells the disciples that what really sustains him is doing his Father's will.

After a couple of days listening to Jesus, the villagers know who he is.

Back in Galilee, Jesus heals the royal official's son without having to see him or touch him, and this is the second sign in John.

Bringing people to meet Jesus, and healing people in his name are two of the most effective ways we can reach people in our own day and culture. We should therefore pray for the church to be doing these things and we should be open to be doing them ourselves. The first needs a little courage, the second needs a spiritual gift, both are useful and can have a profound effect on people.

Jesus said, "I'm with you to the end of this age. So go and do similar things." He means you and he means me.

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