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April 22, 2022 4:00 am
One of the names given to Jesus. Interesting ones is friend of sinners he pursued lost people no matter what their social or cultural background.
Today on Truth for Life.
Alistair Begg examines an extraordinary encounter between Jesus and a person who was an immoral outcast studying in the fourth chapter of John's Gospel verses 145. Here we find a friend of sinners crossing the established boundaries of race and gender.
But we should not be a total surprise because as we discover in verse 42.
What we are dealing with here is he who is the Savior of the world know some in teaching this passage will immediately get bogged down on the history and geography audit. I find I personally rather tedious. I'm trying to understand that my congregation can very quickly find out all those things are themselves with a good study Bible, or with with a just a fairly routine, entry, so I'm not going to spend a lot of time about psych and Samaria, and Jacob, and everything else. Not because is unimportant because it's not the thrust of what we are considering in this encounter, nor my going to stumble over the fact that it says that he had to go through. He had to pass through Samaria is that an expression of geography or is that a divine must is the kind of thing you can talk about when you're falling asleep this afternoon. All we want to keep in mind is what John is already told us in verse 17 of chapter 3 that God is not send his son into the world to condemn the world. Jesus is not come with a ministry of admonition. He has come with mission and as we ended yesterday morning we at least confronted ourselves by the possibility of those of us who are seeking to follow Christ are in danger of adopting a posture in relationship to our culture which is not the posture of Jesus, which is one of mission but rather is the posture of ourselves which is one of admonition, so that in encountering an individual such as this lady, we need desperately to learn at the approach of Jesus know there are various talks taking place in chapter 4 and I want to start at the end with the talk of the time and then we'll come back to the talk of the well and then we will end with the talk between Jesus and the disciples so first of all, then the talk of the town. If you have an NIV are you will notice that there is a little paragraph heading towards the end which yard simply reads many Samaritans believe some is like a newspaper heading and of course that's what we discover as we have read the passage together. If we had been able to arrive and sign her the day after Jesus had departed once again for Galilee and you see that in verse 43. If we had arrived in Saigon we were to find the place was absolutely buzzing. We would have discovered that some of our friends and our relatives were recounting the events of the previous 48 hours. Some of them actually professing our newfound belief in Jesus of Nazareth, we would've then had to say to them what in the world has happened here.
How did this come about. Somebody would've said well Jesus of Nazareth has actually been here for the past couple of days.
Yes, we might've said we had had that, but how did he ever come to be here in the first place.
Why did he arrive in cycle of all places. Well, they would've told us as very interesting.
One of our more notorious residents alleviate are just a couple of days ago I had come back into the town are calling out in the bazaars and in the third affairs come and see a man come and see a man some of the menfolk in the time said somewhat cynically, who whom all people should be walking through the town, shouting like this and some of those that I wonder if this is man number seven regards she'd already had five husbands, and she had a live-in lover and she's walking through the time shouting about coming to see a man well of course we were all ears. But we never realized at that point, just the man about whom she was speaking. Apparently this man had engaged in conversation out of the well. The conversation had had a dramatic impact on her when we encountered and we urge them to stay for a couple of days and it is as you can see that he has turned many of our lives upside down, and although they say love is only true in fairytales. I'm a believer and that was the story that was then told well that was the buzz of the town and you can read it again for yourself. We need then to back up from the talk of the town to the talk that took place at the well verse 27. If you notice it helps us to understand just how dramatic this encounter wars will come to that in a moment, but I want you to notice it in passing, just that his disciples came by and they marveled that he was talking with the woman they were surprised. They were shocked. No one actually said what they were thinking, but their faces showed Jesus speaks to a woman speaks to a Samaritan woman strike one gender strike to race and strike three or way of life because the inference from her solo appearance at the well and in light of what we discover in the conversation that ensues is that she was ostracized that she was not only a Samaritan woman but she was an immoral Samaritan woman. The time for her to shop at the well was a strange time usually were told people he merrily in the morning or the game when the eight when the evening shadows were beginning to fall. Why because it's incredibly hard in the noonday sun and we all know that only mad dogs and Englishmen are intrigued by the noonday sun. It was also unusual that she would be there by herself because it would've been part and parcel of the activities of the women, the towns women to make guides social encounter to go together to the well is something that was part and parcel of their daily routine and as a result of that would be the opportunity to catch up with one another on life and so for this lady to have arrived on her own, was striking in itself. And furthermore, Jesus was alone leaders is a work take your Google Earth and and and click on it and and you narrow down your going down down down eventually. Things are getting larger and here you are done at Jacob's well and just see the heads of two individuals know what what what what has happened in the entire universe to bring these people to this particular point on the compass at this exact moment in time. Do you believe you live in a random universe. You believe that you are bobbing along on the sea of gents, do you believe that your held in the grip of blind deterministic forces, or do you believe in the providence of the you believe that nothing happens except by him and through him according to his will.
You believe that Jesus as he announces here is seeking to fulfill the will of his father and he is here at this exact moment in time in the providence of God in order that this encounter might take place.
Jesus all along.
The disciples are going off to subway they're going off to get the runoff together sandwiches were told by John that Jesus sits down by the well. He sits down at the well because he was really and apparently he was thirsty. Of course he was. He was human. If liberalism is introduced us to a less than divine Christ Evangelical is and is in danger of introducing us to a less than human.
Christ Jesus sits down truly God and truly man truly tired and truly thirsty and truly interested in a drink of water from a well that is deep and he is nothing with which to draw water. There's no legend, read mythology, stupidity in our Bibles about Jesus, the miracle worker saying that equivalents of abracadabra and then sucking water up out of the well in some miraculous way and turning it into a filings and then drinking from know there's no foolishness like that in the Bible. Now here he sits, and the conversation ensues's wonderful incident begins. So naturally, give me a drink. All that's immediate impact is not verse nine the Samaritan woman said to him, how is it that you a Jew asked for a drink from me woman of Samaria.
He begins naturally. He arouses her curiosity Jesus Esther, if you knew the gift of God and who it is that same to you.
Give me a drink, you would've asked him and he would've given you living water.
See Jesus is going to show her that while she assumes herself to be in the position to meet his needs. She is actually in need of the water and he himself is the fountain were again when you go back in the Old Testament, you realize that this picture appears again and again the psalmists and the prophets of God ICQ.
My soul thirsts for you in a dry and weary land where there is no Walters I'm 63, one with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. Isaiah 12 and verse three that's a kind of background context, it would have filled the mind of Jesus as he realizes what an amazing opportunity is presented here in this encounter at the well. Well the lady says I don't see how that's going to work because you have nothing to draw water with in the well is deep.
Where would you get living water. You greater than our father Jacob.
Jesus just let someone go living waters not done well and yes, Jesus is greater than Jacob, but these on the important issues once again he sets them. The signs why because he knows he knows what he knows what we notice yesterday in chapter 2 verse 24 that he knows he knew all people, and he knows what is in a man and he knows what is in the woman he knows what's going on inside of this lady.
So instead he addresses her longing for reality or desire for satisfaction so notice carefully how he handles this. She still thinking in very physical terms as verse 15 a makes perfectly clear the women said insert I like to have the water so that I will be thirsty or have to come here to draw water. There's always a point in a conversation where you're going to have to decide whether you're prepared to price through the pain barrier the pain barrier or are you going to back off. At that point because eventually the conversation will reach the point where you have to say something that begins now to impact begins to confront them with the reality of their circumstances and that is of course what Jesus does here because if there's going to be a transformation in this lady's life. It's not enough that she has a longing for satisfaction. She is going to have to be brought face-to-face with her sin. Many of our friends are longing for satisfaction, but they are unprepared to face up to the fact that they are alienated from God. Surely we are lying to our blindness until God shows us our blindness was so blind we don't know were blind, so for Siesta Shores were blind.
That's why we see the things we say because sin has infected and affected every part of our humanity, including our minds. So, although we may have brilliant minds.
Although we may have scientific minds. Our minds are skewed against God. Our minds are at enmity with God while says in Romans eight that we inevitably think wrongly.
Whether were coming as a religious man in the night or an irreligious woman in the noonday sun. So how does Jesus push through the pain barrier or with a simple request going get your husband and come back. What a wealth of expression there is in her reply verse 17 woman answered him, I have no husband is where you wish you could have the audio track is what did she say with the rising inflection of lowering inflection did. She said defiantly.
I don't think so. I think she said I have no cost.
If Jesus had been a Pharisee.
He will then searcher will tell me about that later that a number of husbands and you've got a live-in lover, let's talk about Jesus doesn't do that. Jesus completes the story for ceiling or from having to articulate or story sorted, messed up past.
Why because he sold kind he so nice he is gentle he is lowly in heart, he is epitomized in the good in the story of the boy coming back on the road with his prepared speech of repentance and the acknowledgment of his said, I've sinned against heaven and in your site and you read the stories Jesus tells it, but the father interrupted him by the fire interrupted and this is so good. This is grace. This is wonderful this is Christ with the lady at the well with the five husbands in the live-in lover not ringing this all the details out of our life, but now saying to her, and here you will discover the answer to your problems. The lady says immediately. You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan and we read all the books they say. You see, this is an interruption in the lady is just trying to get them off because he is now put his finger on the point that may be true, the more I read it the more I read, the less inclined I am to that. She then asked a question about worship, doesn't she, Jesus, are you supposed to go to to a galaxy or you're supposed to go to Jerusalem where she asking about that for all of a sudden will presumably because she's been uncovered. Suddenly she realizes I am a mess. I am a sinner. So where do sinners go be going to make a sacrifice. Where would I make a sacrifice if I wanted to make a sacrifice know that I'm saying that I do. But if I did, where would I go get resume or go to Jerusalem. Jesus as they listen. I got great news for you is not about where you're going to go to find God is about God coming to find you, you don't really realize the wonder of what is taking place here so Jesus knowledge of her identity, her morally murky past has opened up the door of confession and Jesus disclosure of his identity paves the way for her confession of faith. It is possible for us to miss this, but we mustn't to this obscure nameless woman. Jesus reveals point blank what he has chosen up to this point to conceal from others. You say the Messiah will announce all this. You're right.
I am he, for the love of God is broader than the measure of man's mind and the heart of the eternal is most wonderfully kind moment on the final talk, which is the talk with the disciples what you have with the return of the disciples is a comic tragic picture.
Is it wrong to suggest that the background music and I always serve read my Bible with music in the background, at least in the background of my head. Is it wrong to suggest that the background music at this point with the return of the disciples should be the send in the clowns send in the clowns are just playing in the background. Here they come not here come the boys are all coming back. The core team is back. Yes, here we go. Is it too harsh to suggest that these fellows are more interested in sandwiches than they are in salvation. Apparently so. Verse 31 Jesus eat your lunch are starting to. I have food to eat that you don't know about at least one of the mother said maybe this is kind of like manna in the wilderness stop button all no one prepared to go there. They looked at each other and they wondered about who might've gone and taken a shortcut to subway and taking care of the problem for and so once again the drama unfolds by way of misunderstanding and he issues a wake-up call to some fellows. If you just lift up your eyes you will see that the fields are white for harvest. Already, the seed sown and the woman is bearing fruit in the harvest of advancing Samaritans because the picture is now of the Samaritans coming out of the town in order to meet these individuals. Maybe that's the picture that gives rise to the notion of the grain bobbing in the distance. Great opportunity for the gospel for homework in Florida. For those of you are doing the honors course just read John chapter 12 verse 24 where where Jesus is talking about the seed that he be in the seed going down into the ground.
It is only as Jesus is sown as the seed in his death on the cross that eternal life may be reaped by anyone while time is gone.
Solicitors finishing this way. Jesus is not simply the Messiah of narrow Jewish expectations. He is the world's Redeemer, Jesus is seeking out not only the devoted religionist in chapter 3, the disenfranchised woman of chapter 4. What unites them is their need of a Savior. In chapter 3, we learn that no one is so good that they have no need of a Savior.
In chapter 4 we realize that no one is so bad that they are without hope of a Savior woman in the story is very contemporary.
She's looking for love in all along the wrong places, and she needed to hear this wonderful story of God's love. She needed to hear the cry of God turned to me and be saved. All you ends of the earth, for I am God and there is no other. He did not come to judge the world. He did not come to blame. He did not only come to seek it was to see if he came, and when we call him Savior, and when we call him Savior. When we call him Savior, then we call him by his name. Do you ever wonder things like this. Do you ever wonder as I wonder whether this woman made her way to Jerusalem on the day the sun turned dark. Do you ever wonder if she stood with other brave women and had Christ say it is finished and did she say to herself. When we talked about well and I told him all the things I've ever done and he said I've got you covered. This is why he hangs there covered in shame and order that one day I may stand with him in glory. I wonder every one of us to say listing the Truth for Life that is Alister Bragg encouraging us to be old and yet compassionate as we share the gospel with others as we just learned. Jesus didn't come primarily to admonish our bad behavior.
He came to save sinners. And that's a significant distinction.
That's why understanding God's word is so important and why our mission of Truth for Life is to teach the Bible with clarity and relevance.
We do this knowing God's Spirit works through the teaching of God's word to convert unbelievers to bring believers into a closer relationship with Jesus and to strengthen members and leaders within the local. We also pay particular attention to specific books, we can recommend to you books we believe will be a great benefit to you and today we want to invite you to request Nancy Guthrie's book saints and scoundrels in the book Nancy draws from the Gospels to help us better understand the desire's motives, laws and human limitations of a number of individuals or groups of people who met Jesus. Her intention is to help us see ourselves in their attribute's and to appreciate the depth of Jesus mercy toward them and toward us. You can obtain a copy of the book, saints and scoundrels.
When you give to support the teaching here on this program click on the book image in the app for visit Truth for Life.org/donate Bob Lapine hope you have a great weekend and are able to worship with your local church this weekend. Be sure to listen Monday will hear about a frightening and dramatic encounter between Jesus and the demon possessed man.
The Bible teaching of Alister Bragg is furnished by Truth for Life or the Learning is for Living