Christ In The Crisis
Robert Wurtz II
And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did. So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days. And many more believed because of his own word; And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world. (John 4:39-42)
There is no telling how long the Samaritan woman had lived knowing she had missed God’s will for her life. One husband, then another; and another; and another; and another. If this had been in Egypt or Sodom and Gomorrah, the facts may not have stung quite as bad; however, this was Israel — the land where God’s word had formed the very conscience of society. Here she is living with a man who is not her husband at all. There is simply no way to put into words the feeling of knowing you failed God and everyone else at this level. She was shipwrecked, and she knew it. With a mere life preserver of grace keeping her head above water she risked going under for the last time. In the midst of her destruction, she heard a voice... “Give me to drink.” She had sat under the voice of many men in her life, but this was no ordinary man. When our lives are in an extraordinary mess, we need an extraordinary visitation.
Fast-forward to our passage and we find that she characterized our Lord’s words saying, “He told me all that ever I did.“ She was not upset about it. She received the word that He said to her. In fact, she couldn’t wait to tell someone what He said. It’s easy to listen to someone tell us all we ever did, and even did wrong, if we know the person loves us and has the solution. Some would say she received a ” fresh word from God. ” When we’re in a crisis, the last thing we need is criticism. Christ met this woman at her crossroad and began to speak life towards her. Great joy comes to the hearts of individuals when God singles them out to speak to their situation. There is nothing like a heart to heart with God.
I heard a dear woman say once, at a desperate time in her life, that God has to heal someone in order to break through into other peoples lives. Everyone is dead in sin, so someone has to be healed in order to become a vessel that God can use to reach others. God needs a beachhead from which he can land in the lives of broken humanity. This Samaritan woman was her peoples’ beachhead. She was that vessel God used to bring life to the rest. There was life in this woman’s testimony that had the power to bring faith to others that heard her. Consider how this one woman’s encounter with God blessed an entire community. Some would call this blessing the beginnings of “revival.”
When God Speaks
There are times in our lives when we need God alone to speak to us. We need a message devoid of commentary and human criticism. As Job well understood, sometimes men only darken counsel with their words without knowledge. Such treacherous advice will never do. We need to hear from the Mighty Counselor. This is what this Samaritan woman received. Sometimes just realizing that God is paying attention to us and is willing to make Himself known is a great encouragement.
You will recall that early in our Lord’s ministry, He called a man by name, to which Nathanael said unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou was under the fig tree, I saw thee. (John 1:48) Nathanael then declared Jesus to be the Son of God. This is the response of men when they come into contact with the Living God that sees and knows all — and yet in seeing and knowing, still looks on people with compassion and a willingness to call men and women to Himself.
When God gets ready to use a person for His glory — He needs someone who will look upon people as He looks on them — with great compassion. This is not to say that God would compromise His holiness or condone sin — but God looks on sinners with a desire to save them. As sinners saved by grace, we ought always to view others with compassion. This Samaritan woman was a prime example of how this plays out. Having heard the word of the Lord, she did not exalt herself — but she humbled herself. She agreed with God’s analysis. Coming back into town and testifying like she did, was paramount to admitting she was a sinner. She found salvation and wanted others to find it.
Hearing For Ourselves
The Samaritan woman gave her testimony and got out of God’s way. The people began to seek the Lord for themselves. Once they had heard how Christ and His word came to this dear woman, faith arose in their hearts as well. This was wonderful! God wants to speak to our hearts in a language we understand so we come away knowing that it was God who had spoken. It is undeniable; it is personal; and it is meaningful.
There is a certain comfort in knowing that God is watching, and He sees and knows. Many prescriptions are being written to meet the challenges of our times — but what each of us really needs is a fresh word from God. We desperately need the word of His grace that brings the healing necessary to meet us where we are. And when we receive that grace and are changed, we become eye-witnesses who have had an experience worth talking about and listening to. God desires that each one of us becomes that vessel He can use to pour Himself out upon this lost and dying world. He needs a beachhead that He can land His grace upon that He might establish faith among the people.
And many more believed because of his own word; And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.