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Thoughts and insights from Jubilee Church Wirral

Jesus the speaking one

By Dave Frodsham, lead elder, Jubilee Church Wirral

Have you ever found yourself in a place where you don’t know anyone and everyone seems to be talking to someone?

How did you feel? Perhaps you have been to a meeting and as you look around the only the person not talking is someone you don’t know. This person seems to be the complete opposite of who you are in every way and you think the conversation is going to be difficult.

In John 3 we read how Jesus engaged in conversation with Nicodemus – a male Jewish leader, part of a group of people who were suspicious of Jesus but who should have known better.

He came to Jesus at night, possibly so the other Jewish leaders didn’t know.

Jesus was happy to speak to him as a Jewish man but he is quite straight with him and doesn’t make it easy.

John 3:3-4 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”

In John chapter 4 we see Jesus speaking to a Samaritan woman – someone whom a Jewish man would normally have nothing to do with.

The Jews hated the Samaritans but this woman was also full of shame. As we find out later, she had had five husbands.

Jesus crosses not only racial and cultural divides but also the moral divide. He initiates the contact by asking for a drink.

He shows that the gospel is for all people and should reach across what divides us. Are we prepared to follow his example?

In Galatians 3:28–29. Paul says “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.” (ESV)

So, let us look at what Jesus said to her and why we could use it as an example to follow. The woman replies to His request by questioning why he is talking to her and he offers her living water instead.

She wonders how he will get this water and Jesus continues the conversation by drawing out the woman and what she is thirsting for.

He says that the water He gives will satisfy her thirst for ever! In John 7:37 Jesus says to all: “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” (ESV)

Going back to the woman at the well, she now wants this water but it’s still thinking in natural terms. It’s good to help people with practical needs but we mustn’t neglect helping them with spiritual needs too. Jesus now changes his tack and says, “Go and call your husband.”

The woman answers, “I have no husband” and Jesus affirms her and says, “Yes, you’re right, you do not have a husband – for you’ve had five husbands and the man you are living with is not your husband!”

I am sure at this point, the woman pauses, and then answers “Sir, I see you’re a prophet,” but wants to the change the topic of conversation as this is a subject she doesn’t want to discuss.

So she asks a religious question in reply. “We are told we have to worship in Jerusalem and not here where our fathers worshipped. Why is that?”

“You worship what you don’t know,” says Jesus, “or you thirst for the wrong thing. A time is coming when it won’t matter where you worship, just who.”

She knows who is expected and answers, “When the Messiah comes, he will tell us all things.”

Jesus then declares “I am He who is speaking to you.”

Jesus enters into a conversation with someone who is not expecting it but is expecting the Messiah. Are you expecting him to speak? He is the speaking one – are you hearing what he is saying to you?

Start with: “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.”

Much love and God bless you,

Dave

Andrew Greenhalgh and Julie Greenhalgh Upton Life Group leaders Jubilee Church Wirral

Dave Frodsham, Jubilee Church Wirral

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