Each year our church, Heritage Bible Church, does a special services week around this time of year (times and directions on the website). This year’s guest speaker is pastor, author and songwriter, Chris Anderson. There are two sermons left, and already, it’s been amazing! The series is “I am the Samaritan Woman” from John 4.
Part One: Christ Seeks Sinners – John 4:1-9
Song Service: O For a Thousand Tongues; We Will Glorify; Be Still My Soul/It Is Well with My Soul medley; His Robes for Mine (by Chris Anderson); God of Grace; I Will Glory in My Redeemer.
I. Divine Appointment/Pursuit - Jesus and the disciples were going from Judea to Galilee. Most Jews would go around the region of Samaria, rather than go through it (Samaria was considered a social and religious mix breed and looked down upon by the Jews of the day). Jesus, however, says he “had to pass through Samaria.” He didn’t have a time constraint to get to Galilee by a certain time (he took several days in Samaria to teach the people). He could’ve gone around the area, as was the status quo. But instead, he says he “had to pass through Samaria.” He takes the initiative. The Samaritans were unclaimed, unwanted, hated. Then there was this woman – she was the not just a Samaritan, she was the hated of the hated, the worst of the worst, in the standard of the day. And Jesus – deity – took upon himself flesh – became human – understood what it meant to be weary, thirsty, and sweaty – acquainted himself with every feeling we have – in order to be our Savior. (see Luke 19:10)
II. Relentless Love, v.7-9 – Jesus is never too weary to pursue one who is lost; never too tired to do good to a soul; never too proud to talk with a socially despised and rejected person. John 4 is a microcosm of what God is doing in the world, which started in the Garden of Eden.
Application: Kindness is disarming. Be attentive. Intentionally invest in people. Jesus crossed social, intellectual, moral, physical, gender, religious, ethnic/political (and at other times medical) boundaries to save a sinner and make her a trophy of His grace. We are called to do the same. So stop texting. Look up and into eyes. Engage people for Christ. Care about people. Pray. Tell them about Jesus – the “omni-gracious” God.
Conclusion: There is no one too holy to need the gospel (John 3: Nicodemus, the Pharisee); there is no one too lowly to receive the gospel (John 4: The Samaritan Woman). I am the Pharisee; and I am the Samaritan Woman. We are all a mess; and Jesus is a great Savior!
Part Two: Christ Satisfies Sinners – John 4:10-18
Song Service: Come, Thou Fount; O, To See the Dawn (The Power of the Cross); Speak, O Lord; In Christ Alone.
True Thirst results in dehydration, agony, and eventually death. A culture of grace means that everyone is more aware of his own sins than others’ sins, and everyone is more aware of God’s grace than of his own sin.
John 2:23-25 – God knows every one of us. John 3: He knew Nicodemus. John 4: He knew the Samaritan woman. v.10 – “If you knew…”: if only you knew who Christ was and what you were missing! There’s a free gift available: living water!
John 4:15 – The Samaritan woman is interested in this gift. She wants it. G.Campbell Morgan says her wanting it is “a sigh – a sob of discontented, disappointed thirst.” She didn’t fully understand her need yet. She’s evasive. Jesus points out her sin with gracious severity! The One bringing up the sin was the One who dies for those sins. He shows her her guilt so He can show her His grace.
She’s not just guilty; she’s needy. She needs forgiveness AND fulfillment. Christ exposes her history (5 divorces), her sin (currently living with man who’s not her husband), and her dissatisfaction (she’d been used and discarded multiple times). She’s thirsty. Spiritual thirst needs spiritual water. And His spiritual water (salvation) is cleansing AND thirst-quenching! Christ can meet the need immediately – now – and eternally. But salvation is not just for death! Don’t miss the present, enduring, eternal joy and satisfaction of Jesus. (see John 7:37-39)
Application: Why live your life thirsty and go into eternity thirsty? What are you waiting for? Jesus satisfies you now! There is more pleasure in Jesus than anything. Compare Psalm 103:5 with Ecclesiastes.
Conclusion: St. Augustine wrote, “Thou hast made us for Thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in Thee.” And John Piper said, “I know of no other way to triumph over sin long-term than to gain a distaste for it, because of a superior satisfaction in God.” (See Isaiah 55; Jeremiah 2:13)