“The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.” Just then his disciples came back. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you seek?” or, “Why are you talking with her?” So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” They went out of the town and were coming to him. Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” So the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.” Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.” After the two days he departed for Galilee. (For Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in his own hometown.) So when he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, having seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the feast. For they too had gone to the feast.”
John 4:25-45 ESV
Spiritual Blindness: if we begin talking about blindness this morning in this passage, I suspect most of you will likely assume that the blindness I’m referencing is either the blindness of the woman at the well, or perhaps the townspeople of Sychar. But, in reality, I want you to notice the blindness of the disciples…
Notice how they are overly concerned about Jesus’ eating and physical health. I say overly concerned because they’ve already acknowledged his authority and position as Messiah, yet they fear for his health. They returned from town buying food and they begin to grow concerned that he hasn’t eaten. It appears that Jesus seems to brush aside their concerns by telling them that he has food or nourishment that they don’t see or understand. They are blind to it. They are worried about physical things, and he indicates they are blind to God’s will and work.
“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”” John 3:8 ESV
Have you ever flown a kite? I enjoyed flying kites as a kid, and I still enjoy it. When you get ready to fly a kite, there are some essential elements necessary. A good kite design, plenty of string, just the right tail, and a good breeze. But, to fly a kite you have to understand one very important thing about the process. The wind is going to take the kite whichever direction it blows. You cannot fly a kite against the wind and you cannot fly a kite without the wind. It simply isn’t possible. So, you need the wind and you have to expect and plan for the wind to take your kite the direction it is blowing. What does this have to with our story?
Jesus is aware of and sensitive to the breeze of the Holy Spirit. He realizes that the time to fly a kite or, rather, to speak to this woman about spiritual things is now, not after lunch. We need to be sensitive to the same thing. We need to be able to sense the breath of God’s spirit blowing on or in people’s lives and respond accordingly, pushing aside our physical desires or needs for the moment. (We will talk about the contrast to this issue this in a few weeks – when we need to rest)
Next, they are amazed at his response to this woman. They are shocked that he is speaking to her. Culturally, a rabbi would never speak to a woman in public. Women were considered to be unworthy of teaching or hearing scripture. The rabbis considered them incapable of understanding or learning scripture. I want to stress that this is NOT biblical and is a sinful perversion of God’s design. God DID make men and women different intentionally. Differences are not bad, they are design. Differing roles require differences in temperament and skill. Men and women were created equal, complementary but uniquely distinct and different.
“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.” Galatians 3:28 ESV
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27 ESV
The church must be willing to buck the trends of culture to the left and to the right. We must resist the temptation towards radical feminism and male dominance. We must fight against the exploitation of women by men, but also by a misdirected cultural correction to the other extreme. We ought to support and push for equal pay for equal work. We ought to fight against the exploitation of women in sex trafficking and slavery. The church should be, must be, the cultural leader in declaring, pursuing and, yes, fighting for the rights of women. Any issue that deprives women of their biblical role and position before God ought to be opposed by the church.
“All humans—male and female—bear the image of God with equal rights and responsibilities. While men and women differ physiologically, they are made for the purpose of completing each other in a unity (Genesis 2:24); domination has no place in God’s created order. Justice entails interdependent partnering between men and women who have equal access to gifts of the Spirit.” – Amy Buckley
“Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives… Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.” 1 Peter 3:1, 7-8 ESV
“”The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”” Luke 4:18-19 ESV
This woman is so overwhelmed by the actions, words, power and presence of Jesus that she leaves behind her water jar and runs into town calling out the very people she avoided to tell them what she had found…
So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” They went out of the town and were coming to him… Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.”
Jesus took the time to respond to this woman’s spiritual prison, and in the process opened the doors for scores of others. Her declaration brought them out to hear, but upon hearing Jesus themselves they declared, we no longer believe because of what you said but because we have heard for ourselves and know this IS the savior of the world! Has Jesus impacted your life in such a way that you can’t remain silent? If not, then you may not have met my savior. You may know about him, but not truly know him personally. To believe is to relinquish authority and control of your life to Him and his commands. When you truly believe something it affects your actions, your decisions, your motivation and your goals or direction. Has your encounter with Jesus affected you in these ways? If not, then he’s not truly LORD of your life. Will you surrender the right to run and control your own life? Will you drink from His cup?