Relational Baggage

My baggage travels with me

So (Jesus) left Judea and returned to Galilee. He had to go through Samaria on the way. Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 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 refuse 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 4:3-9 NLT

Jesus cares more about me than my baggage

Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.” “But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?” Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” “Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.” JOHN 4:10-15 NLT

Jesus wants to help me with my baggage

“Go and get your husband,” Jesus told her. “I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied. Jesus said, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband—for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!” JOHN 4:16-18 NLT

Don’t ask why, ask what

What does Jesus see in me?

Just then his disciples came back. They were shocked to find him talking to a woman, but none of them had the nerve to ask, “What do you want with her?” or “Why are you talking to her?” JOHN 4:27 NLT

What does Jesus want me to learn?

Jesus replied, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”
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 4:21-27 NLT

What is Jesus calling me to do?

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 NLT

Release my past

Reimagine my future

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:28-29 NLT

Community Group Discussion Guide

  1. What are some of the baggage from the past that you routinely carry around with you? What makes that baggage so important to you?
  2. What relational baggage do you carry around with you from past relationships?
  3. In what ways is that relational baggage affecting your current relationships?
  4. How does it make you feel to know that Jesus cares more about you than your baggage and that He wants to help?
  5. What would life look like for you if you could release the relational baggage of your past and reimagine your future freedom with Jesus?
  6. What is the most important thing you can release to Jesus this week and how can we help?

Personal Reflection Guide

Find a quiet place where you can be alone with God. Spend a few moments sifting through your own heart. Is there something in your heart that continues to follow you around? Imagine that secret is hidden inside a piece of baggage; it’s not just an overnight bag but more like a suitcase holding diplomatic secrets, handcuffed to your wrist until you find the person to whom you’re supposed to deliver it. What does carrying that baggage achieve for you (e.g. privacy, independence, pride)? What does it keep you from (e.g. freedom, safety, begin known and loved)? Now imagine yourself sitting with Jesus as the Samaritan woman did, knowing he is the one who is to receive your secrets. In fact, he knows and expects their delivery. This week, reach out to someone you can trust, and begin the process of unlocking the handcuff and letting go.

My Notes