It took place in the 1960s - when a lot of strange things took place. It was an experiment where some scientists placed some dogs in a cage, the floor of which was wired to generate an electric current. The scientists locked these dogs in the cage and then they activated the current. It was strong enough to shock the animals, but not to injure them. Needless to say, every time the electricity went through that cage floor, the dogs jumped around and yelped in pain - for a while. It wasn't too long before they got used to the shock, and their only reaction was just a slight twitch. At that point, the scientists opened the door of the cage. But when they turned on the voltage, the dogs just took the shock again - not one of them got out, even though the door was wide open. Now, they had been hurt so many times, they were just conditioned to it. The final step in the experiment was to send a dog into the cage who had not been conditioned to that voltage. As soon as the current went through the cage, that new dog yelped and made a mad dash out the door of the cage - followed by all the other dogs.
Well, I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Leading Them Out of the Cage."
I don't really like that experiment, but I am intrigued by what it demonstrated - that you can get so conditioned to pain or dysfunction that you don't even take a way out when there is a way out. Unless someone comes into that ugly cage and shows you there's another way to be. Until someone comes to where you are and leads you out.
I believe your assignment from Jesus Christ may be to do just that with the unreached people around you. They have lived without peace for a long time, they have lived without any lasting meaning for so long, they have lived with loneliness and guilt and a fear of death for so long, that they don't know there's any other way to be. Unless someone who knows the way out - a way called Jesus - goes into that cage to show them the way out.
It happened in our word for today from the Word of God in John 4:39. Jesus has met a sinful Samaritan woman at the well. He's introduced her to the eternal life He can give, and has sent her back to her village to tell her friends about Him. And the Bible says, "Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of the woman's testimony...They urged Him to stay with them...and because of His words, many more became believers."
Look at the impact of one woman's life on the people in her world. Jesus rescues people from the cage of sin and its consequences with the awesome power of one changed life. Jesus came into the cage of her immorality and her lifetime search for love and showed her the alternative of His new life. So, first, she becomes the changee. Then she becomes the changer. That's what Jesus wants to do in your life - make a mighty difference in you so He can make a mighty difference through you.
You may say, "They'll never be interested in Jesus in my office, or my neighborhood, or my school." Well, that's what people would have said about this Samaritan village ever turning to the Jewish Messiah. Don't underestimate the power of one changed life! Your life! As in the case of this woman at the well, Jesus often uses the most unlikely candidate to be His life-giver!
The people around you live in a cage that may have left them numb, hardened, or distrustful - without hope. Just presenting an open door won't change that. A person who has tasted something better has to go into that cage where they are and help them get out. Someone has to say, "Follow me to something better." It might mean some pain, some risk - but you could be the one God is calling to go into that cage and lead them out. Let God use you to display the awesome power of one changed life!