Bethel Baptist Church Service: October 14, 2018: 10:15 AM
God’s Mission of Reconciliation and Individual Agency explores the encounter between Jesus and the unnamed Samaritan woman at Sychar’s Well, as recorded in John Chapter 4. It does so as an example of God actively seeking individual agency in His mission of reconciliation of the world. God’s Mission of Reconciliation and Individual Message points to the fact the conversation between Jesus and the Samaritan woman was not a chance occurrence as indicated by the statement: ‘Jesus must needs to go through Samaria’. Further, Samaria and Samaritans had a planned place in the public ministry of Jesus as evidenced by Jesus’s parable of the Good Samaritans; His pointed reference the grateful Samaritan leper in contrast to the nine lepers who were Jews; and the command to His disciples to preach the Gospel in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the utmost part of the earth.
To establish the need for inclusion of Samaritans, God’s Mission of Reconciliation and Individual Agency points out that Jacob’s well, located at Sychar, was a historical reminder of the shared origins of Samaritans and Jews from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their inclusion in the Covenant made by God with the household of Israel. At the same time, the nearby city of Shechem had been the site of great controversies, conflicts, division and hatred between Jews and Samaritans heightened by atrocities committed by both groups. God, as a Covenant keeper, required Jesus to actively recruit someone who would choose to participate in the mission of reconciliation. Jesus’s choice of a possible recruit was feisty, hurting, bruised, unconventional and socially sanctioned Samaritan woman, who despite the adversities of her life, desired to worship God in truth and had hope and faith in the coming of Messiah.
God’s Mission of Reconciliation and Individual Agency described the conversation between Jesus and the Samaritan woman starting with their shared interest in water; their cross-talk on the subject of water; their back and fort movements from the material to the spiritual plane; their common interaction on the spiritual plane; the Samaritan woman’s request for resolution of the true place of worship; Jesus’s explanation of true worship; her confession of hope and faith in Messiah; Jesus’s revelation that He is Messiah; and the Samaritan woman’s immediate and spontaneous decision and action to proclaim Jesus as Messiah to the villagers of Sychar.