Monday, August 15, 2011

You Are Known (Recap from Sunday's Fusion Message)

Pastor Andy invited me back to teach at Fusion last night. I stinking LOVE hanging out with our youth. We have an amazing group of young people in our church. I’ve said it before and I hold to it, this generation is poised for great things and I’m stoked to see what God does in and through them.

Anyway, I just wanted to share some of the stuff that I shared with them. I talked about the Samaritan woman at the well. That encounter with Jesus can be found in John 4:4-42. I have read the story of this conversation so many times before and there are SO many lessons that can be drawn from it.

For one, it is so obviously a passage that talks about salvation and how it’s offered to everyone (equally) regardless of whom you are or what you’ve done. It also addresses the power of testimony and evangelism. And as near as I can tell (someone correct me if I’m wrong, like I even need to say that), the Samaritan woman was the first person that Jesus declared who He was to, which is a sermon all its own. Did you get that? A Samaritan WOMAN! Jesus told a Samaritan woman that He was the Messiah before He told anyone else! Crazy. But that’s not any of the stuff that I felt God saying to me. This time it was about being KNOWN.

As people we have this desire to be known. We want others to know us deeply and intimately. We spend time with those we love and share our hearts so that others might know us. The joy and fullness that comes with realizing another person KNOWS you is indescribable, but pales in comparison to the joy and fullness that comes with the realization that you are known by the Messiah. You are known by a King, by the Creator and Savior of the world, by our God.

So here’s the take-aways from last night:

1.  Jesus knows everything about you.

When Jesus encountered the woman for the first time, He asked her for a drink of water, to which she questioned why He (a Jew) would ask her (a Samaritan woman) for a drink. There was some very deep and rich dialogue between the two about living water, then Jesus tells her to go get her husband. Her response and Jesus’ response are seen in verse 17 and 18.

17 “I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied. Jesus said, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband—18 for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!”

She didn’t exactly lie to Jesus, but she did try to hide her real situation from Him. But, here’s the thing, she didn’t need to tell Him anything because He already knew. He told her about her circumstances and the best part is, it didn’t matter. It didn’t matter where she had come from or where she currently was, He didn’t condemn her. He understood her pain and offered the same living water to her that He offers to everyone else. A Samaritan woman, the lowliest of the low, was given the same offer of life as everyone. Once the junk she was trying to hide from Jesus was exposed, she was ready to hear what Jesus had to tell her, but not before. Jesus knows us. He knows EVERYTHING about us, so maybe it’s time we ask ourselves:

     -  What am I trying to hide from Jesus?

2.  Jesus will reveal Himself to you.

Once she opened her heart to Jesus and laid it exposed before Him, she was ready to receive what He had for her. And can I tell you that He didn’t split hairs. He was VERY clear. Verse 26 says,

26 Then Jesus told her, “I AM the Messiah!”

He flat out told her who He was. Jesus used the same “I AM” as God did in Exodus 3:14 when Moses asked God His name. He said tell them “I AM has sent me to you.” Jesus straight said, “I AM HE! I AM THE ONE YOU”VE BEEN WAITING FOR! I AM THAT SAVIOUR YOU WERE PROMISED! IT’S ME!”

And here’s the beauty part, He offers us the same thing to us. The Bible is God’s declaration of who He is and who Jesus is. But Jesus also reveals Himself in other ways. In His creation, or the way that someone extends love you, or helps you in a difficult time, through the study of His word, in prayer, or even through the blessings we might receive and often (though it seem odd) through our times of suffering. Jesus is active in our life and wants to reveal Himself to us. Once you open yourself to Christ, you should be looking for ways that He reveals Himself and ask:

     -  How is Jesus showing Himself in my life?

3.  Jesus wants you to tell others about Him.

Once Jesus told her who He was, she couldn’t keep it to herself, she had to tell others. Jesus told us to go and make disciples (other Christ Followers). Jesus reveals Himself to us so that we will tell others that are hurting and lost. The woman was so excited that she left her water jug. After Jesus revealed Himself to her, she wan back into the city saying,

29 “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?”

(Ftr, I think it’s funny that Jesus flat out told her and she still said “Could he possibly be the Messiah?” HE JUST SAID HE WAS! WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!! But, maybe we all do that with Jesus from time to time. I do, sometimes.)

There are lots of ways we can tell others about Jesus. One of the best ways is to live what He teaches us. Our lives should reflect Christ to others. People should see Jesus in us. So maybe we ask ourselves:

     -  How do I tell others about Jesus?

4.  Jesus will use you to reveal Himself to others.

Once we start telling others about Jesus, He will use those encounters to reveal Himself to others and we get to be a part of that! Part of our relationship with Jesus is meant to involve other people. If we are fully surrendered to Him, Jesus will show Himself, to others, through us.

And when that happens, hopefully people will respond to you as they did to the woman:

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.”

So we should be asking:

     -  How am I letting Jesus use me?

The last thing I left the students with was this:

There is nothing you can do to save others from anything. You are not their savior and you’re not meant to be. But, you can introduce them to their Savior.