The 4th in our series of sermons entitled “Sketches of the Son of God” looking at some of the portraits of Jesus in John’s Gospel.
On a long journey many will stop at the motorway services for a break; and while on his way to Galilee Jesus takes a “pit stop” at Jacobs well, where he had a rather interesting encounter with a Samaritan woman. After a long conversation the woman returned to the town – “LEAVING HER WATER JAR.” But why did she leave her water jar by the well? I offer you three possibilities:-
1 – That it might be used at Jesus’ DISPOSAL.
The well was deep and Jesus had nothing with which to draw the water that would quench his thirst. By “Leaving her water jar” the woman was not being absent minded; instead this was a deliberate decision to leave it at Jesus’ disposal.
What “water jars” are you leaving at Jesus’ disposal? Here are four that might well be left:-
A – Your Time – We must steward it wisely practicing his presence and giving him periods of uninterrupted attention (Ecclesiastes 3 v 1 & Ephesians 5 v 16.)
B – Your Money – We are to steward our finances wisely, giving proportionately of the “first fruits” of our income to God (1 Corinthians 16 v 2.)
C – Your Talent – We are to develop and deploy our gifts and talents in the service of God and of others (Romans 12 v 6.)
D – Yourself – We are to give not just a part, but our whole self in passionate surrender to God (Romans 12 v 1.)
2 – That it might not DETAIN her.
The woman immediately desired to return to the town and share her testimony (v 29.) But a large heavy water jar carried on her head or shoulder would hinder her progress, so by – “leaving her water jar” she was able to make a fleet footed return to town, enabling the curious residents to come to the well and meet Jesus.
What “water jars” are you leaving behind so as not to be detained when it comes to effectively sharing your testimony? Here are two that might well be left:-
A – Sin – This will compromise and blunt the effectiveness of our testimony (Hebrews 12 v 1.)
B – Fear – This will freeze the mouth and restrict the impact of our testimony (2 Timothy 1 v 7.)
3 – That it might symbolically DENOTE her previous empty life.
By “Leaving her water jar” she was walking away from the symbol of her previous empty life; having now embraced and drunk of the living water that Jesus had offered her.
Is the empty “water jar” a symbol of your hollow life that needs to be left behind? You can try and fill the vacuum with all kinds of things, but they will never satisfy and quench your thirst, because the vacuum is God shaped, and only a relationship to him can fill the emptiness and satisfy the thirst (John 10 v 10.)
Challenge – Do you need to leave any, or all of these water jars behind?
Reading: John 4 v 27 – 30 & 39 – 42
Preacher: Chris Hughes
Led by: Bev Sills