In my Bible study this last week we talked about the Woman at the Well. Her name is not recorded in scripture, which is so sad for a name nerd like me - but as we discussed, it makes her more accessible. More relate-able. She is us. You. Me. All of us.
If you're not familiar with it, I'll paraphrase her story.
It's about noon - the hottest hour of the day in ancient Samaria. Jews and Samaritans do not get along, yet Jesus and his men are there. While the others go into the city for food, Jesus sticks around the local watering hole - literally, a well. A woman comes out alone. The other women did not like her. She was a bit of a hussy. No girlfriends offered to walk with her to get water.
Jesus asks the woman for a drink. She thinks he's fooling him because in that day Jewish men and Samaritan women even talking was a big no-no. And remember - she's the town hussy. He said he could give her water so that she would never thirst again.
At first she doesn't get it - then when Jesus tells her all about her past - including her 5 previous husbands and how #6 isn't really her husband - she gets it. He is the Messiah.
Our girl is amazed - she drops her water bucket and rushes to town proclaiming how the man at the well must be the Messiah - he's told her everything she ever did. They believe her and become followers.
The nameless woman - the town hussy - becomes one of the very first recorded evangelists EVER! ("Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, 'He told me everything I ever did!'" John 4:39) How awesome is that?
From the moment she met Jesus she was changed and her past was of no consequence to her at that point - it was a teaching tool! She was not embarrassed, she was empowered thru Christ. She RAN ("The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village..." John 4:28a NLT).
And while most of the town knew what she was, she pretty much admitted it and didn't care - so great was her faith.
The woman was what I called, "Sweating Faith."
Exuding it out of every pore every fiber of her being. She was aglow with faith and love for her savior. She was washed over with his grace and mercy. She RAN and TOLD EVERYONE about her encounter with Jesus.
Why can't we do that? Why don't we do that? In her day, our girlfriend at the well could have been stoned for being a fornicator. That's right - I said it. That's what she was ("...for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now." John 4:18). That was punishable by death, my friends, yet she freely admitted to it when Jesus came into her life because admitting it as a sin gave God the glory - not her.
What do we have to fear? Will we be stoned to death for proclaiming Jesus as the Messiah? No. Will we be thrown in jail? No. Will we be given a ticket and forced to pay a fine? No, thanks to our freedom of speech.
So why do most Christians NOT openly and publicly and constantly proclaim the salvation of Jesus Christ?
We're afraid of rejection. We're afraid someone will tell us, "No." We're afraid we'll step on someone's toes.
STEP ON TOES, PEOPLE!!!!! If you are a follower of Jesus, the enemy wants YOU to be AFRAID. Don't be!!! Step on toes - step out in FAITH, sisters! (and brothers if you're out there)
(Someone mop me down, I'm on a roll!)
SWEAT FAITH! Let it pour out of every inch of your body and let it flow freely from your lips. Let Christ's light SHINE through YOU today.
And as for our ancient sister - we don't know what happened to her. Did she marry the man she was with? I would doubt it. She probably kicked him to the curb. My bet is she opened a little diner just outside of Samaria and called it, "The Living Water." (Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.” John 4:10) Inside her little diner she would provide a hot meal to weary travelers and proclaim the Truth of the Living God who quenches any thirst they might have had. Maybe she found a forever man - maybe not. She had the only true love we need - the love of our God.
So dear friends, sweat faith today. Sweat it out. Mop it off your brow in the name of the Living Water who will always quench your thirst. Jesus is at the well, waiting for you.
"Jesus, You're the Well that won't run dry. Jesus You're the Drink that satisfies. Living Water, Bread of Life, Jesus You're the Well that won't run dry!"