What is your best motivator? What motivates you? What drives you?
THE TEXT ??? John 4.31???38
Most of chapter 4 in the gospel of John is the story of the woman at the well. That story is important for many reasons. The most notable reason is Jesus’ willingness to talk to someone who he wasn’t supposed to be talking to. 1) she was a women, and 2) she was a Samaritan. It’s encouraging to see Jesus bending the rules of society in order to talk to others about God and about life.
But, nestled in the story of the woman at the well is our text for tonight; an interesting little conversation between Jesus and his disciples that is totally different than what is going on in the surrounding scriptures.
Jesus tells the disciples that his motivation is ministry, doing the will of God. This is what feeds him. During Lent, this is such an appropriate topic as we attempt to suffer through our sacrifices in order to know God and ourselves better. Jesus was fed, day-in and day-out, by the activity of God. Most of us would be in much deeper relationships with God if we would be driven by Godly activity like Jesus. The lesson, though, is to see the activity of God in everyday life by understanding what ministry really is. Ministry is relationships. And Godly relationships are recognized, made, and sustained through love???God’s love.
V.35 is very important, Do you not say, ???Four months more, then comes the harvest???? But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting. Jesus knows full well that what drives us is our appetites. What we are hungry for is what controls our lives, our thoughts, our moods. These things drive us. In v.35, Jesus calls us out, acknowledging that we are driven by the harvest, a time when all the good food is ready and we can FEAST. So, we mark the date on our calendar and everything else becomes secondary to it. But for Jesus, his appetite, his hunger, is to do the will of God, in the present moment. At that time, in that place, there were people who needed healing, they needed God’s love.
What we as Jesus’ disciples have to be careful about is our motivation for loving others and talking to them about eternal life. Saving people wasn’t something that was impersonal or something to check-off a list for Jesus. We are NOT talking to other people about Jesus, church, and eternal life in order to score numbers or compete in a game. If you look, Jesus met people where they were at, warts and all, and met a need that was intimate and important. Salvation is wholeness, not security. The relationship of love was the security, the promise of faithfulness.
Jesus treated everyone as if he was in close relationship with them, as if he had known them his whole life. Jesus told people things that most friends wouldn’t tell each other. He told the hard truth but in love, and gave people new life because he wasn’t afraid to love on a level that is deeper than many of us know.
The motivation behind Jesus’ hunger is what separates His efforts from many of ours. Jesus seeks our salvation because he loves us, because he is love. Therefore the trick to doing ministry like Jesus is to embody love???to have love for others inside of us that comes through relationship. Even the woman at the well believed in Jesus because he told her things about her personal life that no one else knew. She says in v.29 Come and see a man who told me everything I had ever done! Jesus got personal. And so must we if we are going to do more than simply witness. Sharing our faith is nothing without love. God does the saving, all we can do is be a testimony to love, to have a strong, powerful presence of love in our life, a transforming love that moves others closer to God.
Written with Essay on iPad