From the Field – Open Door Pt. 2 – May 23, 2017

Written by | May, 2017
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As we approach the Pentecost celebration on June 4th, let us remember the ‘open door’ through which we proceed both locally and beyond. In Jn. 4:7-42 we have an exciting drama. A soul hung in the balance. It is an incident out of every day life. A similar incident could easily be repeated in your life right now. We approach this section to learn how our great Rabbi did it. What follows is a study outline.

vv.7-8 It all began with the need for a drink of water. Did our Lord need a drink? As you read it does it seem like a real thing? Yes. There was a real need in the woman. And our Lord used His real need for a drink of water to approach this woman. Thus in our ongoing life the opportunities arise. Our Lord could and would use such. He asked in order to lead into the water of life. The Lord has told us he will make us fishers of men. We do not stand on the seashore and hold the net and whistle for the fish to scurry on shore and jump into our net. We launch out into the deep and cast the net. Were we to stand on the shore and hold the net a few flying fish might land in our net. We go to where the fish swim and frolic in order to catch them.

vv.9-19 She wasn’t searching for truth, though the Lord was searching for the sinner. There is no blatant evidence in the narrative that she was hungering and thirsting after righteousness, nor do most today. The Lord does not hesitate to deal with sinners, those who one could never expect to become pillars in the church. Here is a great Teacher with an ordinary woman. Here is the full Jew with a half-breed Samaritan. Here is the upright and holy Man with a repetitious sinner. So dreadfully often we miss the opportunity(open door) that the Lord never missed because our thinking is not clear. It is befuddled by sin.
Each of us develops our physical skills as we grow. We learned to turn over, then to crawl, then to walk and finally to run. So also we develop our witnessing skills. We dare not use the excuse that the door is closed. We listen to our Lord to learn how to develop the skill of turning from earthly to heavenly things in our talk, and from the mundane to the glorious, from the admittedly petty to the life-changing.

vv.19-26 It is not a matter of coming to the temple, synagogue or church, but of coming to Him. Here is the Lord and His Word and the hearer brought to faith. This situation can be repeated many times in our daily lives. To grasp the concept of the ‘open door’ we need to fight against limiting our most holy faith. It is not just for the set apart, holy special times. Is there a waking moment that you are not Christ’s? We need to put down the devil’s attempts to distract us. One there is for whom I am living. In Him I live and move and have my being. I strive to make speaking of Him as natural as breathing.

vv.27-30 One would not have expected this! The disciples marveled not that the woman believed, but that Jesus talked to her! They had yet much to learn about the open door of witnessing opportunity. She who was not looking for the Christ was sought out and found by Him and won by the Word. She is so excited that she hurries back to town leaving her water jar!

vv.31-42 The gates of hell shall not prevail against the Word. The city was breached not by a vast military host bearing battering rams and siege equipment, but by a single woman entering the gate with the Good News in her heart and on her lips. Even more results were forthcoming from the city. We are born to multiply, born of water and the Word to propagate the saving faith. If the concept of the open door is clear we will seek to duplicate what our Lord did at Jacob’s Well and to replicate the apostle in thought and act. “For though we live in the world we are not carrying on a worldly war, for the weapons of our warfare are not worldly but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle to the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ…” 2 Cor. 10:3-5

Read Lk. 14:15-24. There still is room! There still is time! “Go out quickly to the streets and lanes” and bring them in. “Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that…”His house may be filled. The door to the great banquet hall is open to them. Before you also is a wide door, the wide door of opportunity to herald Him and His atoning sacrifice.
As Paul prayed, “that God may open to us a door for the Word…” Col. 4:3, so let us pray. God answered Paul’s prayer for such an opportunity in his Roman imprisonment. “I want you to know, brethren, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the Gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ; and most of the brethren have been made confident in the Lord because of my imprisonment, and are much more bold to speak the Word of God without fear.” Phi. 1:12-14. May it be so with us also.