About a month ago, I started a journey to find my life’s purpose, or at least I’ve begun documenting it. I’ve learned some things and have shared those with you through this series of posts. But I wasn’t sure I’d made any progress.
Yesterday, I’ve discovered something very important. Looking back, I almost had it figured out on my first day in my journey. It’s not about me, it’s all about Jesus.
But let me take this one step further, and this is what I came to realize yesterday. It’s my purpose, it fact I think it is all of our purposes, to share the love of Christ with others. To share the hope we have in Christ, with those we meet. Our purpose is to believe and share the gift of salvation that Jesus freely gives.
How did I get here?
Yesterday at our Saturday night service (as of this writing, the sermon is not posted, but it soon will be), we heard the story from John 4 about Jesus and the Samaritan woman. Go and read it for yourself. I’ve read it many times in the past, but have never really studied it. In the brief hour last night, I found what God needed me to see in that passage. It answered a large number of my questions.
Let me set the stage: Jesus is traveling through Samaria on his way to Galilee and stops at a well where he meets a Samaritan woman.
Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food.
The woman was surprised, for Jews refused to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?” -John 4:6-9
So why is this section important to this discussion. Well as the woman stated, Jews generally refused to interact with Samaritans. Doing some reading, I’ve found there is a long history of hatred between the Jews and Samaritans. Suffice it to say, they went out of their way to avoid each other. Strike two against this woman was just that…she was a woman. Rabbi’s would not have been seen talking to woman in those days. So for Jesus to travel through Samaria and then to talk to one, and a woman on top of that, would have created quite the controversy.
So my first realization came there, well it was really more of confirmation of things I’ve talked about already. Jesus uses the least of us to do great things in his name! While at this point in the story, we’ve yet to see how he uses this Samaritan woman, in the eyes of the Jewish world, she was very insignificant. So when I question myself, “Who am I that God would use for any purpose”…well there is my answer. When I ask, “My problems are too small to bother God with,” well God already knows and cares.
The verses following, continue to show how Jesus eventually leads her to the realization that he is the Messiah.
The woman said, “I know the Messiah is coming — the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” Then Jesus told her, “I AM the Messiah!” — John 4:25-26
Then after that declaration by Jesus, the woman believed:
The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?” So the people came streaming from the village to see him. — John 4:28-30
She went and told her family, friends and neighbors about Jesus and they came to see for themselves.
Then an amazing thing happens:
Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, “He told me everything I ever did!” When they came out to see him, they begged him to stay in their village. So he stayed from two days, long enough for many more to hear his message and believe. Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not just because of what you told us, but because we have heard him ourselves. Now we know that he is indeed the Savior of the world.” — John 4:39-42
The woman went and shared Jesus with a few, they came to see with their own eyes. They then came to believe, not just because of the woman’s testimony, but because they discover Jesus for themselves. Because of what that lowly Samaritan woman did, simply to go tell others to “Come and see”, many believed.
What does all this mean to me?
Well, I can say I’ve discovered my purpose in life! I’m to share the love of Christ with others. I’m in essence called to go and say “Come and see this man Jesus”. God has called all of us to do that, so I’m in no way unique. How we each do this is unique to us. Some may become pastors, others will share through worship, some through their writing and others through song. Some of us may simply shout this by living a life that others see and say “I want the peace that he has.”
This by no means ends my Life’s Journey (or any associated blog posts), in fact I can now call this a beginning, one with clarity of purpose. What I’m still seeking, is the mode that I carry out my life’s purpose and least for today. I suspect that being tuned into what God is telling us, able to hear his quiet voice or to recognize that slap on the side of the head he gives us sometimes, will allow us to hear God’s will for us at that moment in time.
And as in the story of the Samaritan woman, it doesn’t matter how “insignificant” we see ourselves or how unimportant we may think a conversation we have with another may be. We may think that it doesn’t matter much if we follow that prompting from God to talk to a stranger and just ask how they are doing no matter how awkward that really is. We see from the story, that the one small thing you may do, God can use to do great things.