By Sara Foss.
Patrick Henry College
Wayne Barnard speaking to students in Monday's chapel
Barnard drew many truths about Jesus’ earthly ministry from the story of the woman at the well. First, Jesus knew who sent him.
“I’m the sent one,” Barnard said of Jesus, “I’m completing His work, not my work.” This knowledge controlled Jesus’ every action while on earth. “Not only is He not supposed to be cutting through here, he stays for two extra days.”
Secondly Jesus’ food is to do the will of the one who sent Him and to finish His work. Barnard likened the disciples’ reaction to one of the dinner guests waiting for everyone else to leave the guest of honor alone so everyone can eat. They were further confused when Jesus told them he had food.
Third, Jesus’ Samaria is everywhere he finds injustice. "At IJM, we’ve decided that our Samaria is in a variety of places around the world, where people are marginalized, abused, unprotected by laws,” Barnard said, quoting Micah 6:8, Isaiah 1:17 and other passages about caring for and protecting those who cannot protect themselves.
IJM fights against injustice in many forms, including forced labor slavery, sex trafficking, land seizure, and wrongful imprisonment. Barnard called the Hill Tribe of Thailand the modern equivalent of Samarians, born into Thailand for generations, yet with no rights. IJM fights to protect those people in Thailand’s courts, and gain them citizenship.
Public justice systems are broken all over the world. Barnard said that IJM works toward the goal of “structural transformation, working ourselves out of a job, and literally bringing nations to a place where they can care for their own.” The fourth truth of Jesus’ ministry is that He knows the time is now.
And finally, He knows His place in God’s plan to redeem the world.
“Where’s your Samaria?” Barnard asked. Any number of factors can send us on our path in life, including parents, finances, and personal ambition. “Is it God who is sending you?