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Moments With The Master Series

Sermon #9

 

John 4:1-30

A TRUSTING MOMENT

Intro: Did you know that people will pretty much believe anything? For instance, the percentage of Americans who believe: That Elvis Presley is still alive: 10; In reincarnation: 30; In ghosts: 39; That aliens have visited earth in the past 100 years: 53; That the U.S. government is currently involved in cover-ups and conspiracies: 74. (Well, there may be something to that one!)  People will believe anything, but they will stop short of believing the most important thing.  People will accept all kinds of theories and beliefs, but they won’t accept what the Bible says about Jesus Christ.  The fact is, people are jaded!

      Our text today presents to us a woman who is jaded as well. She has been around and around, riding the merry-go-round of life and she worn out from it.  But, one day, Jesus Christ showed up outside her little town.  She meets Him and He opens her eyes to the fact that there is a new life.  A life that is free from the burdens and problems of the life she is now living.  Jesus takes this jaded, hardened woman and He leads her to a place of trust.

      I want to look at this passage today.  I feel that I am speaking to people who have grown world-weary. You are sick of walking the treadmill of life day in and day out.  You are tired of the way things are and you want a change.  This passage is all about how that can be a reality in your life.  Let’s take a few minutes this morning to look in on this Trusting Moment.  It may be that Jesus wants to bring someone in this congregation to a place of trust today.

 

  I.                               A MISERABLE SAMARITAN

A.  v. 6  The Misery Of Her Isolation – This woman came to Jacob’s Well to draw water.  But, she did not come when all the other women came.  The women came to draw their water early in the morning, before the sun rose high into the sky.  They came while it was still cool.  History tells us that it was about a mile from town to the well where they came for water.  Drawing and carrying water for the day was hot, sweaty work.  While they were there, they caught up on the local gossip and enjoyed a few minutes by themselves, away from the pressures of living in a male dominated society. 

      Why did this one woman not come with the others?  I think the answer can be found in verses 17-18 and verse 28.  Verse 17 tells us that she is a woman of much experience.  Perhaps she had been with men who belonged to some of the other women.  Perhaps she was often the topic of their gossip as they drew water from the well.  When she meets Jesus and wants to tell the people of the city that the Messiah has come, she does not go to the other women of the town, but she runs to the men, v. 28.  It would seem that this woman was an outcast socially.

      In the course of her conversation with Jesus, He tells her that she is even isolated from God, v. 20-22.  Even the little worship she managed to work into her sinful life was of no use for her spiritually.  She was an outcast spiritually as well.

 

(Note: She is a picture of every person who is not in a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.  Why? The Bible says that our sinful condition separates us from God, Isa. 59:2.  What a miserable condition to be in!  To lack the ability to pray, to worship and to fellowship with God is a horrible way to live.  Yet, many are in that condition this morning.  They pray, but God doesn’t hear, Psa. 66:18. They go to church to worship, but they cannot worship in Spirit and truth because they are lost in sin.  All their religious activity is merely an exercise in the flesh.  It does not reach Heaven and it does not touch the Lord.  They are lost and are isolated from God, His blessings and His salvation!)

 

B.  v. 7-26  The Misery Of Her Ignorance – In these verses, this poor woman tries to argue religion with Jesus.  At first, she sees Him as just another Jew, and she wants Him to know that she has some ideas about religion too.  She talks about their religious differences, v. 9.  She uses sarcasm and ridicule, v. 11-12, 15. She tries to bring up a religious dispute in verses 19-20, in an attempt to escape the penetrating statements of Jesus in verses16-18. Through all of this, Jesus shows her just how little she knows about God, about worship and about herself. 

            Notice the little word “if” in verse 10. Regardless of what she thought she knew, Jesus points out to her that there is one thing she does not know.  She does not know Who Jesus is and that is the main thing!  Jesus tells her that “if” she only knew, she could ask Jesus for “living water” and she would be forever satisfied!  Left to herself, this woman might have died thinking that she was alright spiritually.  Thank God that Jesus reached into her darkness and dispelled her ignorance about Himself and about the way of salvation!

 

      (Note: Someone has said, “What you don’t know won’t hurt you.”  I say, “What you don’t know can send you to Hell!”  Far too many people are living in ignorance when it comes to how to get to God.  Many are like this woman in our text.  They know just enough about the church and about Christianity to be a danger to themselves.  There are many things about the Bible and about theology that you may never learn.  Not knowing them will not keep you out of Heaven, nor will not knowing them send you to Hell.  But, if you miss the main thing, you will never see Heaven and you will go to Hell.  What is the main thing? Here it is: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.”, Acts 16:31!  That is the main thing.  Don’t miss it!)

 

      (Note: Many will die and go to Hell from the pews of Baptist churches because they missed Jesus!  They learned how to go to church and to Sunday School.  They learned how to tithe.  They learned what kind of Bible to buy.  They learned how to turn over a new leaf and how to live a clean live. They learned many things, but they never learned the truth that salvation comes only through faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ.  They never learned that salvation is by grace, through faith, Eph. 2:8-9.)

 

C.  v. 11-26  The Misery Of Her Inconsistencies – Here she is, a woman with a checkered past, living a wicked life, v. 16-18, yet she feels that she is qualified to argue religion with the Lord Jesus Christ.  She demonstrates a clear picture of hypocrisy in action!

 

      (Note: People attempt to do this kind of thing all the time!  Everybody thinks they are qualified to argue with God.  They say, “Well, I think this or that”, or “I believe this way or that way”, or “I know what the Bible says, but…”  What foolishness!  Who do you think you are?  Did you know that it does not matter what you think?  Did you know that God really doesn’t care how you feel?  Did it ever cross your mind that God’s Word is not up for debate?

            Here is the bottom line: God said it and it is settled forever, Psa. 119:89.  He has already told us that the only way to Heaven was through Jesus, John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Acts 16:31.  He has already told us that works will not get anyone in, Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:5.  He has made His plan of salvation crystal clear.  If you want to be right and go to Heaven when you die, then you will do it God’s way.  If you want to remain lost and spend eternity in Hell, then you go ahead and do it your way.  That may sound narrow to you and it is intended to!  God did not leave this thing open to debate, but He clearly, concisely and concretely stated how things are and it is settled!  Argue if you will, but it will do no good!  Besides, who are we to argue with Him, Rom. 9:20.)

 

 II.                                  A MATCHLESS SAVIOR

A.  v. 4  He Is Matchless In His Grace – The Bible tells us that “He must needs go through Samaria”.  Most Jews went miles out of their way to go around Samaria to avoid coming into contact with them.  The Jews hated the Samaritans!  They were considered to be an inferior race because they were descended from Jews who had intermarried with Gentiles that had been placed in the land by the Assyrians.

            Thank God that Jesus does not operate like other men!  He did not care about their heritage.  He did not care about the hated of others.  He did not care about the racial lines drawn by ignorant men.  He operates in the realm of grace!  Jesus went to that place and sat on that well because He wanted to save this poor woman!  Even His disciples were shocked by what Jesus had done, v. 27.  If Jesus had acted like any other Jew, He would have passed this woman and her town by.  But, He extended grace to them and brought salvation to Sychar!

 

      (Note: Think about it!  If you and I got what we deserved, we would have never gotten a second look from God.  But, I praise God for a Sunday morning when Jesus said, “I must needs go through Morganton!”  He does not look at people on the basis of our wretched, sinful condition.  He looks at us through eyes of love and grace!  He is not blind to our sin, because it separates us from Him, but His grace bridges the gap between us and brings Him near to offer salvation to you and to me.

            God’s justice demands that you and I die for our sins, Rom. 6:23.  But, when justice cried out to be satisfied, mercy answered and God sent Jesus to die in our place on the cross, Rom. 5:6-8.  Now, in grace, He offers salvation to all who will come and be saved, Rev. 22:17.  Listen, salvation is all of grace!  It is not about what you can give or what you can do.  It is about what Jesus did when He died for you.  It is about you throwing in the towel and realizing that you can unable to save yourself.  It is about you trusting Him and His grace alone to save your soul.)

 

      (Ill. A Missionary was trying to translate the New Testament in a local dialect in Africa.  When he came to John 3:16, he became stuck on the word “believeth”.  There was no equivalent in the native tongue.  After several weeks of waiting, praying and working, he still could not think of a way to accurately translate that word in a way the people of the village could understand.

            Then one day as he sat on the porch of his house pondering this word, a local boy came running down the dirt path to the missionary’s house.  The boy came up onto the porch and flopped down into a chair and said breathlessly, “It is good to cast my entire weight upon this chair!”  Instantly, the missionary knew that he had this translation.  For, that is what faith in Jesus is all about!  It is about our casting the entirety of our lives upon Him and trusting His grace to support us.)

 

      (Note: Friends, getting to Heaven will never depend upon you!  It depends entirely upon His grace!)

 

B.  v. 7-26  He Is Matchless In His Graciousness – Jesus works with this woman patiently.  He took her where He found her and gently led her to where she needed to be.  He brought her to the place where she was ready to hear about Him and about Who He was.  Then, when He revealed Himself to her, v. 26, she was at a place where she was ready to believe on Him.

 

      (Note: That is how the Lord always works with people.  He takes us where He finds us and gently leads us along to the place of faith in Him.  He is always the perfect gentleman!  He stands at the door of man’s heart and He knocks, (Ill. “Knocks” is in the present tense, active voice.  “He just keeps on knocking!”).  He patiently waits until that door is opened and He can come in, Rev. 3:20.  Ill. Most us who are saved can look back over our lives and she the patient hand of God guiding us to the point of faith!  Praise His Name!)

 

      (Note: This is another reason why we should not be discouraged when we are praying for lost loved ones.  God may be working in their lives, leading them along, and you just can’t see what He is doing.  Be patient and keep praying.  If the Lord has placed a burden on your heart for them, that in itself is evidence that He means to save them in His time!)

 

C.  v. 10-14  He Is Matchless In His Gift – Jesus promised this woman that He could give her a drink of “living water”.  He promised her that this water would satisfy her in the depths of her soul.  I would imagine that this probably appealed to her.  She had tried all types of physical relationships to satisfy the deep longings of her soul and they had all left her empty and thirsty.  Sex had not satisfied her.  Marriage had failed five times to satisfy her.  Living in the depths of sin on the fringes of society had failed to bring her happiness.  Here, Jesus offers her an opportunity to find everything she has been looking for, by merely receiving His offer.

 

      (Note: The words “drinketh” in verses 13 and 14 are worth noting today.  In verse 13, the word “drinketh” is in the “present tense, active voice”.  What Jesus is saying in verse 13 is this, “Even if you keep on drinking the water from this well, you will get thirsty again.”  However, the word “drinketh” in verse 14 is in the “aorist tense, active voice”.  In verse 14, Jesus is saying, “But whosoever takes just one drink of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst…”

            In other words, Jesus is promising that just one trip to Him will satisfy the soul forever.  Friend, you may have tried it all, and if you have I think I can safely say that it has left you feeling empty and unfulfilled.  But, if you will come to Jesus, receive Him into your heart and life, He will save you and forever satisfy the deepest cravings of your heart! Would you rather keep drinking from a well that can never satisfy, or would you rather take one drink from a fountain that never fails to give perfect and absolute satisfaction?)

 

      (Note: What is Jesus offering?  He is offering satisfaction and salvation for your soul.  He is offering you the opportunity to have all your sins forgiven.  He is offering you the opportunity to be right with God.  He is offering you the opportunity to miss Hell and go to Heaven when you die.  What is the catch?  There is no catch!  All He requires from you is everything!  He wants you to come before Him, confessing yourself a sinner and calling on Him by faith.  He wants you to take His death on the cross as the payment for your sins.  He wants you to believe what the Bible says about Him and He wants you to accept it all on the basis of faith, Romans 10:9.  If you will do that, He will save you and He will satisfy your soul.  The attractions of the world will lose their grip on you.  He wants to save you and He wants to satisfy you!  That is why He is a Matchless Savior!)

 

III.                               A MARVELOUS SALVATION

A.  v. 28  There Is A Change In Her Activity – When she hears that Jesus is the Messiah, v. 26.  She has all the information she needs.  She forgets about her mission to get some water from the well, v. 7.  Now, she wants to tell others about the well of living water she has experienced!  That “artesian well” Jesus spoke of in verse14 is starting to flow and she cannot keep it in.  She is different and she wants others to experience it too!

 

      (Note: This is what Jesus does in every life He redeems.  He changes old sinners into something brand new, 2 Cor. 5:17.  The old activities and attractions of sin and the world lose their appeal to the newborn saint of God.  They know they are saved, they know they are different and they want others to hear about how Jesus can change them too!  When Jesus comes in, He will change everything!  You will walk differently, you will talk differently and you will think differently.  You will have a brand new life and nothing will be as it was!  You will be a new person from top to bottom, and from the inside out.)

 

B.  v. 28-29  There Is A Change In Her Approach – Notice that she runs to tell the men about Jesus.  Why the men?  They all knew her, many probably knew her intimately!  The other women hated her, but the men loved her.  So, she runs to the very people who had shared her life of sin.  Imagine how their curiosity is piqued when she comes running in their direction.  However, this time things are different!  Now, she isn’t talking about a rendezvous; she is talking about redemption.  She hasn’t come to arrange an affair with a guy; she has come to tell about amazing grace.  He hasn’t come looking for a date; she has come to talk about a Deliverer!  Yes, she is different, and the ones who knew her best see the change first!

 

      (Note: Again, when salvation is real, there will be a change in your life. Old friends will see the difference and familiar activities will become something you used to before you met Jesus.  Everything changes when you meet Him!)

 

      (Ill. When Jack Eckerd, the owner and founder of the Eckerd Drug store chain was saved, the first thing he did was to walk into one of his drugstores and walked down through the book shelves and he saw Playboy and Penthouse. And he'd seen it there many times before, but it never bothered him before. Now he saw them with new eyes. He'd become a Christian.

            He went back to his office. He called in his president. He said, "Take Playboy and Penthouse out of my stores. The president said, "You can't mean that, Mr. Eckerd. We make three million dollars a year on those books." He said, "Take 'em out of my stores." And in 1,700 stores across America, by one man's decision, those magazines and smut were removed from the shelves because a man had given his life to Christ. Later, Chuch Colson, who lead Mr. Eckerd to faith in Jesus called Jack Eckerd up. He said, "I want to use that story. Did you do that because of your commitment to Christ?" He said, "Why else would I give away three million dollars? The Lord wouldn't let me off the hook."

            Through the influence of Jack Eckerd, other drug chains did the same and so did the 7-11 chain of convenience store.  And in a period of twelve months, 11,000 retail outlets in America removed Playboy and Penthouse, not because somebody passed a law, but because God wouldn't let one of his men off the hook. That's what brings change.

               --James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) pp. 46-48.)

 

C.  v. 29  There Is A Change In Her Acknowledgement – Notice how this woman moved from not knowing Jesus to proclaiming Him as the Messiah.  In verse 9, He is a “Jew”.  In verse 11, she calls Him “Sir”.  In verse 19, she sees Him as a “Prophet”.  By verse 29, she has reached the place where she calls Him “Christ”.  She sees Him as the need of her soul.  How did she make the progression from antagonism to acceptance?  She was led along gently, by the Lord.  He brought her from knowing nothing about Him to seeing Him as her only hope in just a few minutes.  It was a work of grace!

 

      (Note: Friend, if you expect to ever be saved, you must come to the place where you understand that Jesus is your only hope, Acts 4:12.  If you will follow the light the Lord gives you, He will lead you to that place!)

 

Conc:  Are you saved today?  Have you come to the place in your life where you are trusting Jesus and Him alone for the salvation of your eternal soul?  If not, then you need to do that right now.  If you will come to Him, He will save you.

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