Thursday, February 11, 2010

Authenticity Part 2

The more I look at my life, the more I desire to be "real" like Jesus.

What is it that made Jesus so authentic to people? People would trust Him, share with Him, desire to be close to Him.

I want to BE that person and I WANT to HAVE people like that in my life.

Look with me at another passage of scripture that shows the beauty of what authenticity can do.

It is from John Chapter 4. Let me set the scene. Jesus and his disciples are in Samaria. They stop and Jesus sits down by a well while the rest of the guys go off to get some food. Jesus meets a woman here, asks her for a drink, and has a conversation with her. Let's pick up in John 4 vs 15 after Jesus told her about the living water.

John 4:15-30  The woman told Jesus, "Sir, give me this water! Then I won't get thirsty or have to come here to get water."
 Jesus told her, "Go to your husband, and bring him here."
  The woman replied, "I don't have a husband." Jesus told her, "You're right when you say that you don't have a husband.
 You've had five husbands, and the man you have now isn't your husband. You've told the truth."
 The woman said to Jesus, "I see that you're a prophet!
  Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain. But you Jews say that people must worship in Jerusalem."
  Jesus told her, "Believe me. A time is coming when you Samaritans won't be worshiping the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem.
  You don't know what you're worshiping. We Jews know what we're worshiping, because salvation comes from the Jews.
  Indeed, the time is coming, and it is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. The Father is looking for people like that to worship him.
  God is a spirit. Those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth."
  The woman said to him, "I know that the Messiah is coming. When he comes, he will tell us everything." (Messiah is the one called Christ.)
  Jesus told her, "I am he, and I am speaking to you now."
 At that time his disciples returned. They were surprised that he was talking to a woman. But none of them asked him, "What do you want from her?" or "Why are you talking to her?"
  Then the woman left her water jar and went back into the city. She told the people,
  "Come with me, and meet a man who told me everything I've ever done. Could he be the Messiah?"
  The people left the city and went to meet Jesus.

Don't miss what happens here. A woman who is obviously an outcast, she is at the well midday instead of in the morning, is surprised that this man even speaks to her.

But when Jesus asks about her husband, something I find very interesting happens here.
The way I see it she had three options.
#1 Lie. She did not know this person, how would he know anyway. (safe, easy)
#2 Tell him she had to go, and avoid answering. ( really safe and easy)
#3 Tell him the truth. ( scary, not so easy, unsafe)

I find it amazing that she chose option #3.
What did she see in Jesus, that made this woman feel safe enough to share, openly, of her own free will, her sorted past and present?
Was it in the way he spoke?
Was it the simple fact he was willing to talk to her when no one else would?
Could she see real love in his eyes?
I wish I knew what it was.

It is easy to see what was in the disciples minds.
They were shocked he was speaking to THIS woman. But notice, they were not even authentic enough to voice it. But it was so obvious. They did not have the same heart for this woman that Jesus did.

I want to be Jesus at well for people.
I want to find Jesus at the well in people.

Why? Why do I long for this so deeply?

Look at the last verse, and it is clear.

Then the woman left her water jar and went back into the city. She told the people,
  "Come with me, and meet a man who told me everything I've ever done. Could he be the Messiah?"
  The people left the city and went to meet Jesus. 

When authenticity shows up,  people meet Jesus.
Because of how Jesus treated this woman, many people met Jesus.

Every person I am authentically available for has the potential to lead an entire city to Jesus. I may never know the impact I can have.

You may never realize the impact on my ministries you have when you are authentically available for me. Safe. Walking beside me. I have the potential to introduce an entire city to Jesus.

Is being authentic important?
I believe it is at the very heart of our mission. 
People Meeting Jesus.

It's what I believe was in Jesus' heart every moment he spoke to that woman.
Or hung on that cross.

Authenticity. 100%.

Chasing After Their Hearts,
Glenda Johnson

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