Friday, February 13, 2015

Celebrate The Messiah

Are you excited about Jesus?

John 4:26-30, 39-42  Then Jesus told her, "I AM the Messiah!"

27  Just then His disciples came back. They were shocked to find Him talking to a woman, but none of them had the nerve to ask, "What do You want with her?" or "Why are You talking to her?"

28  The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone,  29  "Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could He possibly be the Messiah?"  30  So the people came streaming from the village to see Him.

39  Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, "He told me everything I ever did!"

40  When they came out to see Him, they begged Him to stay in their village. So He stayed for two days,  41  long enough for many more to hear His message and believe.

42 Then they said to the woman, "Now we believe, not just because of what you told us, but because we have heard Him ourselves. Now we know that He is indeed the Savior of the world."

None of this makes any sense. A Jewish rabbi speaks to a Samaritan, worse yet a woman, and even worse than that she was a woman with a very bad reputation. Jews hate Samaritans, so why did Jesus need to go there? Why didn't Jesus stop somewhere for food along the way instead of sending his disciples off to get the food and bring it back to him? (John 4:4-9, 8:48)

The woman didn't think that it made any sense, she wondered why in the world this guy was talking to her, and when the disciples returned they wondered the same thing. Chances are that they had passed this woman as they were going to buy their lunch. Perhaps they took a wide path around her; surely, they did not speak to her. Now they come back to find Jesus speaking to her

It all made perfect sense to Jesus. He had a divine appointment to spend some time with her, unlike Nicodemus who went looking to talk to Jesus, she didn't know anything about Jesus. So Jesus went looking for her.

In her excitement she took off without her water pot. She didn't want to be slowed down by a pot that she had just filled with water. She was still going to need physical water but she could haul that thing home later. She wanted to get back to the village to tell everybody that she knew about the Messiah.

As she runs into town she tells them that she met a special man that knew all about her. I wonder if some of them were scared when they heard that. No doubt that some of her ex boyfriend's were there and they were probably concerned that their secret was out.

In her excitement she could have forced her opinion of Jesus upon them but instead she asked them "Is not this the Christ?" It was up to them to decide what to do next. The excitement that the woman had was contagious, everybody in town was running out to the well to see the man that might be the Messiah.

Isn't it amazing that this is the first group of people to get excited about Jesus? Well there was the religious leaders, they got excited when Jesus was making a scene in the temple but thats not the same. (John 2:13-25)

The last time that somebody was this excited about Jesus, for the right reason, he was just a little baby. So far the people that accepted Jesus for who he really is were some lowly shepherds and some wisemen from the east.Somebody finally takes notice and has the proper reaction to the Messiah.

The woman was way ahead of Nicodemus, she didn't have an education in religious studies and she had a far worse background than his. She didn't have the benefit of seeing Jesus perform a miracle like the servants at the wedding where he changed the water into wine. She probably never heard John the Baptist preach. All that she had was one conversation with Jesus on a hot day.
John 8:56 "Your father Abraham rejoiced as he looked forward to My coming. He saw it and was glad."
Father Abraham looked forward to the day of the Messiah as many other good Jews did but God's people lost their focus. They had rebelled against him and ignored his prophets for so long their hearts had grown cold. The gods of the world were good enough for them. They said they believed the Messiah was coming but they were not excited about it anymore.

That sounds too much like us! Many churches today are just as indifferent and lacking in passion as the Laodiceans of Revelations chapter three. Many people today are saved and sour, there is a good chance that they are not saved. How can you be so sour if your eternal destiny has truly been changed and you have escaped such a tragic ending?
Luke 15:32 "We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!"
Salvation and celebration go together! In Luke chapter fifteen Jesus tells three stories of something that was lost which became found. In all three stories Jesus tells us how much joy there is over the lost not being lost anymore. It is time to party, it is time to dance and sing for joy, we should be ready to celebrate when somebody meets the Messiah and their relationship with God is fixed. We should have immeasurable joy for the difference you make in our own life.
1 Peter 1:6 "So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while."
The New Testament believers would be shocked to see how mediocre we are about Jesus. They would be shocked at how much our worship is consumed with self. True salvation is exciting, it offers me new life, I become a fruitful person, and it changed the eternal destination that I deserved.

My joy will be challenged by Satan. While I live on this broken planet I will experience temporary setbacks, times when my joy will wane, but the source of my joy is much greater than the circumstances that I have to deal with. My overall state should still be joyful because I am on the winning side!

Forgive me Lord for being a lot less excited about you than I should be. Help me to comprehend the difference that knowing you makes in my life and help me to appreciate it more.