No Ordinary Man
All of the gospel according to John is beautiful, from the 1st to the 21st chapter. It begins with the Word, and ends with saying that all the books in the world are not enough to contain the things that Jesus did. My favorite book has always been John's gospel, for he captures so beautifully the love of God through Jesus Christ! (For that matter, the whole Bible is God's special gift to us!)
The 4th chapter is where we'll stop today, a gem! Christ and His disciples start early, on foot, but cheerful. There is Peter with them, so it must not be too quiet. They pass by peasants coming the other way toward Jerusalem, and merchantmen as well. These all see Jesus, but see only an ordinary man. Peter and the other disciples know that He's not ordinary, for they have witnessed His work at the wedding feast and the cleansing of the temple. Yes, they were there on that day when His divinity flashed through His humanity as He contemplated the unholy traffic in the court! Thousands were there—priests, merchantmen, Pharisees, but also true seekers for God.
In walks the Saviour, and everything stops. Nature discerns its Creator, the oxen are silent, the doves stop cooing, and the sheep recognize their Shepherd! Even the disciples tremble as Christ stands as the Judge. And then the children, seeing love in the Master's face, approach Him—only to find in Him their Friend. Look now as He is blessing them! Look now as He is healing them! Look now as they are singing Hosannas to His name! What a different place now, for the Saviour is there! Yes, Peter and the disciples see all this, and in awe they acknowledge that He is no ordinary Man! Jesus, the Creator, Saviour, High Priest, and Redeemer is walking on the way to Galilee.
Today, in a special way, we see Him as the Saviour, for He will save one (verse 29), He will save many (verse 39), and He will save many more (verse 41). Yes, the Creator, and Saviour, our blessed Lord!
What think ye? Which day did He prefer, one of creation's days, or this day, where He would save and rescue one, many, and many more? As the Saviour continues on His journey, priests and Levites pass by that way and see only an ordinary man, nothing more than a Galilean among others. Nothing stands out, for they're too busy with their “holy responsibilities” to notice what the Baptist did when he first saw Jesus.
“When Jesus came to be baptized, John recognized in Him a purity of character that he had never before perceived in any man. The very atmosphere of His presence was holy and awe-inspiring. . . . Never had He come in contact with a human being from whom there breathed an influence so divine.”1
You can imagine John the Baptist, a man of God, seeing God in this Man. He must have lit up, the Baptist. No wonder he uses the word “Behold” and again “Behold”—it flows out so freely from him!
Mothers with their little ones also cross His path. O! Would you look a little closer, please? He would love to bless your children! Only an ordinary man, they see! Well, let's ask the angels what they think. What think ye, angels, ordinary? “Oh no! No! No! A thousand times NO! He is our blessed Creator, and the Redeemer of the world.” Ask them again, and they will shout, “Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory” ().
And now our Saviour is at the opening of the beautiful valley of Shechem, and soon at Jacob's well! The beloved in his account tells us inthat He “must needs go through Samaria.” Yes, yes, He must needs go through Samaria, blessed Samaritans. Surely the road passes that way, but you and I know the real reason He “must needs go through Samaria.” There was one, and there were many, and many more whom He must save! O yes, Saviour, pass by and bless them!!!
The woman in our story, the woman of Samaria, has left her house, pitcher in hand. To the well she would go and back. Her heart was heavy, a secret she held made it so. Coming to her destination, she sees an ordinary man—an ordinary Jew, that is. But her heart He had read and her secret was known to Him. Free her of her burden He would, thereby letting her know that He was not quite as ordinary a man as she thought.
“Give me to drink,” was His request, when in reality what He was more interested in was the Living Water she needed.
Surprised she was, for this was not ordinary! Never had a Jewish man spoken to her before in a conversation, “for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans” (). She little knew how much this Jewish Man had to do with her. But she catches the difference in this Man—impossible not to notice if you look a little closer. Soon she's calling Him “Sir,” 3 times actually. She must have seen something special! He offers her a different type of water, one that quenches thirst! Living water, He said.
Wow, this conversation was no longer ordinary. Then it was that He mentioned her burden: “Go, call thy husband!” I have none, says she—and O surprise when He says, yes, I know. Five you've had, and the one whom you're with is not yours. No longer ordinary to her, this Man had revealed her secret in less than 5 minutes. She was convinced that He knew all things that she ever did. “A prophet you are,” said she, soon enough wondering what kind of prophet. Her heart was opened to this stranger, at least a prophet. But there's a question kept coming up, and ask she must:
“I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when He is come, He will tell us all things” ().
Could it be? O friend, please appreciate this moment. Satan and his host were there, powerless to intervene. Had they just lost a soul? There was silence in heaven, as the angels waited for the answer. God's universe beheld and wondered. O blessed Saviour!
Jesus said unto her, “I that speak unto thee am he” ().
Settled, she thought, too good to be true. The Messiah here, at the entrance of the valley of Shechem, so close to the city of Sychar!
Dear friends, Jesus said that He is the Messiah, no ordinary man, and the Father confirmed it 3 times, calling Him, “My Son.”
“It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me” (, ).
Well, that settles it for me! How about you? Does He pass by as an ordinary man or as your Saviour?
The woman then left her water pot—there was too much in her heart! How different from her walk to the well with a burdened heart. It is now a run to the city, for her heart is joyous, for the Messiah was at Jacob's well. Everyone needs to know!
“Come, see a man,” she said to all in the town. I rather think she yelled as loud as possible. Much noise, much commotion, too much to miss if you didn't listen!
He “told me all things that I ever did” (). How many times she repeated these words, we'll know only in heaven. She doesn't say He is a Jew, but says instead, “Is not this the Messiah?”
They came out of their houses and shops and it made a beautiful line of people walking to the Saviour. Look at them, for they walk quickly. Admire them we shall, for they saw that He was a Jew, but they nevertheless heard Him. Into their home He was invited, and there He abode. What a fuss they made about His lodging and eating. You see, hospitable they were, and when they saw the love of God in the face of their Guest, O how special He became! I can see them all wanting Him in their homes and giving Him the best sleeping quarters they had. The best place at the eating table no doubt was given Him.
Pomegranates, figs, dates, and raisins were set before Him. They spared nothing. There was very little sleeping that first night for many of those Samaritans; their hearts were filled with God's love for them. They were assured by Jesus that God loved them, that God loves each individual. Some searched the scrolls, reading over and over the prophecies concerning the Messiah. Others went to their relatives and friends in nearby villages. Come, come, the Messiah is in Sychar, the Messiah is with us. Those two days went by too quickly, the hours seemed like minutes. The Messiah was with them, and their homes felt like mansions in heaven. First an ordinary Jew, but after two days they confirmed and said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world” ().
They also knew, they were SURE, they said. He had done no miracles in the 2 days, but they were sure! Why? They heard Him, and they saw the love of God in His face!
O friend, have you invited Him to your home for 2 days? It'll never be the same, never, ever! He is a Friend, He is the Saviour, No ordinary Man, this One!
Now, how do I personally know that He is no ordinary Man? Dear friend, please listen a moment:
I have stage 4 cancer, time limited on this earth, but “he that believeth on the Son HATH eternal life” (). In our recovery efforts, I say ours, because the whole family, church family, and friends, all who are praying for me are involved, are at a clinic in Mexico! Three weeks of therapy, treatments, challenges, and blessings! Saturday night, the 28th, brought a crisis, the blessed Holy Spirit, always working to draw all men unto God! My sinful life was too much, I had slipped from the Lord; we always do when in our own strength. As I said, a crisis came, and I needed to be brought back to the not-so-ordinary Man, to the Saviour. Well, in Mexico, Saturday nights are extremely noisy, in a district where the nightclubs and event centers are. The clinic happens to be in this district. Impossible to sleep!
The Holy Spirit would try again, this time reminding me of Jacob's struggle with the Angel. And that story kept getting bigger and bigger in my mind. Is it possible that God still loves me, the filth I have been? “O Lord, if so, You're going to have to teach me to live for You, 24 hours a day. I don't know how to do that. Always getting tempted by the entertainment of this world! O Lord, I don't have the strength of Jacob, but I won't let you go, Lord, till You bless me!” Dear friend, tears and more tears, I needed to know that He still loved me! “I won't let You go, blessed Saviour, You supply the strength for even bothering You!”
Well, true to a heart of God and only God, the answer came in the form of two words. Now I want to tell you that it was audible, for so it seemed. But through the conscience, these two words were expressed, “My son!” Two words, but said so beautifully, “My son.” I sensed His smile as He spoke that precious phrase! My son, My son, My son! Those two words have not stopped ringing in my ears! He knows exactly how He spoke to me, but it was clear; and now I know, He still loves me. Now I have my Jesus again!!! Dear friend, I, too, came to the well with not only a burden, but chains! But there was the Saviour!
“When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first” ().
At His command, I was freed. He specializes in breaking chains! Now I also left the pitcher, and am running to the city. I also need to shout to everyone, the Messiah is come, and He has living waters.
The next morning I told my boys, “I've given my heart to the Lord Jesus, and I'm cleaning up my phone from things that have distracted me.” I did, and haven't missed any of it a bit! I talked to the nurses and doctors, if not once, then twice about my Jesus. As many patients as are here, I'm telling them about Jesus. I called my friends far and near, they need to know, Jesus saves. I talked to my friend Bosco in Africa, and he said to me, “Brother Charles, if I don't see you on earth, I'll see you in heaven!” I said, “Yes, by God's grace, in heaven. But first I want to come to Africa one more time to tell all my brethren there, Jesus saves, Jesus saves!” Then I talked to my friend Flavio in Brazil. He said, “I want to see you at the General Conference here in Brazil in 2019.” I told him, “Yes, I'd like to be there.” But I told him that I want to come before that, for I want to go to all our churches in Brazil and shout, “Jesus saves! Jesus saves!” He told me that I need to stay at his house, and I said, “Yes, pick me up at the airport!” I also want to visit our brethren and youth in Peru. Samaritan woman, maybe you can outrun me, but I still have a very loud voice. Jesus saves, Jesus saves! All in God's hands, if He will give me strength!
O blessed Saviour—No Ordinary Man!