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October 3, 2020 4:00 am
The Gospel of John chapter 4 we read about an encounter between Jesus and the woman who was retrieving water from a well in Samaria today entry for life. Alistair Begg shows us how Jesus used this visit to demonstrate to his disciples how to engage in personal evangelism.
Alister begins by imagining how the Samaritan woman might have summarized her day. It started out for me, the way most days due to just a routine trip well. I always go there by myself not because I want to but because I have to go in the middle of the day when it's hot and sticky and lonely so you understand when I say that I was caught off guard, even by the presence of someone else there and even more so when the individual proved to be a man. Then when he spoke to me. I find myself immediately recalling I said hey we don't do that you you are a man. I'm a woman and you Jew and I am a Samaritan and we don't really converse, but he aroused my curiosity because he created the sensation that I was the one in need of the water although he was the one who is asking for a drink of water and really didn't make any sense to me because he had no way of getting water out of the well and that was why he had said to me, could I have a drink of water. If I actually asked him if he thought he was greater then our forefathers who built this well, but he let that go and just pointed to the well, and he said everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst again while I sit sign me up for that. I like that program because I don't have to keep coming back to this well to draw water. You know when you sense that there's more to it all than meets the I noticed something behind it all.
Some more substantial matter that you're not grasping. That's the notion that I have that's how I felt and it was then right out of the blue he says to me go, call your husband and come back. My first reaction was which husband does he want me to call but all I could get out was. I have no husband.
We know you and trying Pro and find it quickly became clear that he knew it all and I immediately said to him, I can see you must be a prophet, and indeed I started with a question about where you would go if you were worshiping God, should you go where the Samaritans usually go you should go where the Jews go. Is it Gary Ziemer is in Jerusalem, and he quickly said all that aside, said that really that wasn't the issue. Find the story was that God was seeking God's while I sit there and let's just fold this up now. Why don't we wait until the Christ, the Messiah comes.
He will explain everything and it was then that I was somewhat batting an eyelid that you look to me and he said that's me the one speaking to. I'm the Messiah speaking to me.
I know named some parrots and woman at this point my life a broken series of failed beginnings and shattered hopes speaking to me the Messiah meeting me, knowing me. Just then all his friends came back blustering in around the well and asking who had the turkey on rye and all of that kind of stuff I realized it was over. So I guess I left my waterpark.
I left it right right near the well, and I get I can back here as fast as I could I come back right here to you, my friends and to my community have come right back to my town here and I want to say to you. Could this be the Messiah. Why don't you come out let you come out and meeting you will come and meet this man. He told me everything I ever did. That's the encounter. Now we go to the impact back into the words of John as he returns and foreigners when you consider this woman's history of relationships for her to reappear in the town, shouting see a man is ironic, isn't it. After all, that was the thing she was notorious for.
In the time you know what was it, what will once it was she saying today what I just had to come into the market. She's going through the mark is I want you to come and meet a man all goodness. She said she's had five husbands you get a live and leverage wants to meet a man what is this, the seventh nine showed somebody she's on number seven now there was a sense in which he was on number seven. This man was like no other. This man was someone entirely different, and the impact of the encounter with the man is clearly seen as you look at your text verse 28.
She issues the invitation, see a man who told me everything I ever did you think this might be the Messiah. Verse 30 they came out of the town and made their way to wants it is remarkable is not why we didn't listen to her in the first place what what streak Craig does she have staff people put down their task for the day and to start walking out of the town makes you think of him as like I know not how the spirit moves convincing man of sin, revealing Jesus through the word creating faith in him you know when people dreamt up all of our most strategic plans for evangelism and when we conceived of all that needs to be done necessarily God is comes in and picks up a no-name lady in a well and says look at this for evangelism and they all came out of the town verse 30 and in verse 39 we are told that many of the Samaritans from the town believed in Jesus believed in Jesus because of the woman's testimony and then in verse 41.
Look at the impact and because of his words. Many more became believers, that is, as a result of Jesus. Now, spending time in the town with the people as per their invitation and then the grand finale in relationship to impact in verse 42 they said to the woman. We no longer believe just because of what you said, now we've heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is.
Notice the phrase the Savior of the world. This is evangelism is not the gospel to tell people that there are benefits that attach if they will believe the gospel is not the gospel to tell people that there are great tragedies that await them if they reject the gospel. The gospel is to tell people who Jesus is why he came what he did, why it matters, and that he is the self-proclaimed Savior of the world I see people fishing here all the time as I go home every day. There's a little group there, they might as well be eating doughnuts for all their catching.
I'm assuming I find I dry roll the window down every day and say you like me to get you some donuts while you're sitting there taking the sun because of the polls don't move. There's nothing happening. I don't really know why they go there as I do catch any no, yesterday.
No, what's happening, what we influenced a few you know well so who gives our red about you influencing a few have you led anybody to Jesus. Have you taken the opportunity to encounter somebody with the claims of Christ on on on on that I influenced a few I told him about the importance of family life as a Christian while the Hindus know a lot about family life as I can do and I told them a lot about the importance of premarital morality well very good and so do the Islamic friends in my community and many of them are doing a lot better with that in the average Christian youth group in the local church. So you see, when we've done all of those things we still haven't done what the woman did. She says I want you to come and meet a man. Jesus, the personal evangelist produces personal and land trusts. Those who in the everyday run-of-the-mill events of life without as a biochemist or as a bank teller or as a mom or as a carpenter or whatever we might be are simply living out the gospel in a way that might cause people to ask a reason for the hope that we have.
Hence the impact and I can only imagine the two days that Jesus spent in this town. As a result of the opportunity opened up for them by this woman were days in which he explained to the people all of the prophets had said in much the same way as he did as we discover in Luke chapter 24 I wonder did he turn to Isaiah and let these dear people know the prophets voice the word of God when he said Isaiah 4522, turned to me and be saved. All you ends of the air, for I am God and there is no other.
And when he said, and what do you think he meant by that and they said what were not entirely sure what and he led them through to the fulfillment, the time is now fulfilled. He said he began to proclaim the kingdom of God. In other words, all that God has purposed to do finds its expression now in this Galilean carpenter Jesus as he makes his way towards the cross. It is loved ones. The message that we are called to take across the street and around the world, namely that Jesus is the only Savior because Jesus is the only one qualified to say and one day at the name of Jesus every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the father, while the encounter is there the impact of lease we get a start on it.
I what shall we say then, in terms of lessons learned while it is in light of this, that Jesus takes his disciples and uses it characteristically as a teaching moment. My food, he says, verse 34 is to do the will of him who sent me, and to finish his work. You can imagine them saying to each other. I wonder what he means finishes work. I wonder what I wonder when his work will be finished I'm going to finish the father's work, but for now he says I don't want you going around saying that you know in four months. I think we could have a pretty good harvest. He says we understand that in the physical realm, but I wanted tell you if you open your eyes and look in the field you will find the right for harvest. I've always been intrigued by the idea that and of course this is conjecture.
But the idea that since this is taking place in the context of the woman having gone into the town and calling the people out of the town that the people coming out of the town.
The man dressed in white with their normal headgear on with a golden band often around holding it in place. As he says this to his disciples, he may actually be pointing to the great mass exodus that is coming out of the town and in the distance. The bobbing heads of the people may actually look like grain bobbing in the breeze, and he says if you look right now. You will see is right for harvest. Look at these people look at all those lonely people where they all come from that. All those lonely people. Where do they all belong. Remember, God said of his people, my people have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and they have dog out their own cisterns, broken cisterns, which can hold no water. They have forsaken me, the spring of living water.
That's bad enough.
But no, they determined to create their own power source. Now, they determined that there is water from another source that may quench their thirsts and of his own people were doing those who knew nothing often were doing and surely it is the story of our generation to look out on the lives of those longing for love, longing for freedom and digging out pathetic little watering holes that will dry up faster than they can take them covering their eyes and putting their fingers in their ears to disregard the message of one provides living water whereby you will never thirst again gobbling up silly books on the New York Times bestsellers list fascinated by the cries of the atheists like Dawkins and Hitchens swallowing up new age mantras that are frankly ridiculous at their core, hastening to believe Norton nothing but to believe everything while rejecting any notion that in this Jesus that this lady met there is that spring of living water that will quench the thirst of their souls, our friends and neighbors are there to be met there to be loved. They are to be spoken to their to be intrigued. Our congregations need to be marked in their pool puts and in their pews by our sense if you like is my friend Tim Keller puts it, a sense of gentle irony, not a sense of bombastic privilege. If you go to certain churches. You will find it from the pool for the person speaks as if there is no possibility of there being unbelievers present so they speak of unbelievers as if they are somehow or a breed that are out there.
And of course legitimately.
In many cases because of Monica's unbeliever hasn't darkened the door of the place for 100 years. It would seem. And so if you do bring a nonbeliever, you immediately feel uncomfortable because there spoken about in the third person is in it or something or whatever. The way in which the story comes across sounds presumptuous, may sound bombastic venting of the gentle, sensitive initiative, taking Jesus flavor to the begins with excuse me but you think you could give me a drink of water out of this well. Please do you know how what a great line. It is both in business and in interpersonal relationships to begin.
Could you help me with something none of it until salesman how to sell but I've discovered that in the vast majority of places. It is a nonthreatening way to begin anything, may I ask you for your help. Could I have a drink of water. Well of course you may now we've made a contact. Now we have an opportunity to go forward. This is different from walking around with a Thompson chain reference Bible and given people a good over the back of the head with seven of your favorite verses or suggesting to them that there always books that they if they were a sensible person they would want immediately to read. Of course he wouldn't want them to read. Do you not realize that the unconverted are unaware of the fact of their blindness unto God by his grace shows the leather blind to know they're not sitting there going. I'm a blind man. I'm a blind woman.
Could you please help me know this and I see everything perfectly.
I'm not a looney like you I'm not a looney Christian like you is good is weird take on the world. I can see it perfectly and so we have to say Lord help my son to see that he can see anemones easily can see and will go from there. And the lesson is clear to resident and with this we must finish in nature is unusual to reap where you haven't sown the farmer souls and it's his fielding goes out to reap the unexpected, along the road and find the combine harvester working his way through his eye so that what you doing reading that I make perfect sense. But Jesus is in the spiritual realm is actually usual that one reaps where another has so I'm not sure just exactly what he has in mind when he says others have done the hard work you there entered into the fruits of their labors is on the work of the prophets before them.
I'm not sure, but what he makes the point is clear. Let the sore, not complain and let the reaper remain humble solid links in the chain, one can plan another can water, but only God can make things grow. I wonder what happened to this lady.
I'm sure you do too. If you have an inquisitive mind and we don't need to know because if we needed to know would be in the Bible. And there's nothing we need to know this left out, and there's nothing in that we don't need, but still wonder what happened to I wonder did she show up in Jerusalem on the day the sun turned dark. I wonder did she stand with other women, brave women around the cross. I wonder did she look up and hear the man in the middle cross tryout. It is finished and then I wonder did she say oh I get it now I get it now. He knew everything I've ever done. And yet, his blood has canceled everyone all Lord such grace to qualify me as your own. Jesus, the humble servant the compassionate Shepherd, the personal evangelist listening to the weekend edition of Truth for Life.
How stupid will conclude his message in just a minute prayer.
Our current series is called to know Christ. If you'd like to download the nine messages in the series for free or purchase the CDs our cost go to Truth for Life.org and search for to know Christ. In addition to this Bible teaching program Truth for Life offers a variety of other materials including books available for purchase. Our cost without any markup along with audio and video studies from Alastair on CD, DVD, USB if you prefer, you can download the audio and video messages for free. Today we want to let you know about a book were featuring Britain by pastor and blogger Tim Kelly's Tim's book is titled epic and around the world journey through Christian history.
One of the most encouraging things a believer can realize is that our faith is grounded in history. You've often heard Alastair say that when we read the Bible were learning about real people who lived in a real place of the real time. This book epic gives us a glimpse into some of these people used by God by looking at 33 artifacts that have played a role in Christian history Tim log more than hundred and 80,000 miles traveling the globe to write this book, he found things like Charles Spurgeon's preaching rail Billy Graham's traveling pulpit. Even John Calvin's chair, the book includes dozens of colorful photographs and detailed descriptions for each item. These artifacts are not only intriguing, but they confirm God's faithfulness to his people down through the generations to find out how to request a copy of the book epic or to see a sample of the book go online to Truth for Life.org now to conclude today's message Alastair leads us in prayer and our gracious God, we pray that all that is of yourself. You will seal in our hearts and minds that you will draw those who don't believe to see their need of you and we pray that your compassion and kindness may lead them to repentance. We ask your forgiveness when we are more preoccupied with our sandwiches and our fellowship than we are with those who have yet never heard of Jesus.
We don't say that to ourselves so that we can luxuriate in a guilt trip, but in order that it might be a stimulus to us here the silent cries of our hearts that our prayers come unto you, for Jesus sake. We ask it today.
We studied Jesus as a personal evangelist. Next time, look at Jesus role as the suffering servant Bob Lapine hoping you can join us next weekend for the continuation of Alistair's series called to know Christ. The Bible teaching of Alastair beg is furnished by Truth for Life or the morning is for living