Evangelism: John 4

 

John 4:1-30

Traditionally, the Jews and Samaritans didn’t get along. Jesus is passing through and He is in the land of the Samaritans.

Samaritans were living in the area of the Jews because the Samaritans had inhabited it when the Jews were gone in exile. The Jews hated them because they took their home. This story had been passed down from generation to generation, and hatred was built up.

Jesus does not avoid this town on His journey.

v7—

Why is this woman coming to the well by herself in the middle of the day when no one is there?

-She was ashamed. She had several husbands and it was known throughout the whole town.

-Put yourself in her shoes. You get married once, and everyone is cool with it. You get married again, and everyone is like “She got married again.” By the time you get married for the fourth or fifth time, everyone would be talking. And imagine the type of guy who would marry someone who was married so many times. It was not the custom for women to go alone in public; her husband would have accompanied her. We can assume what type of guy she was married to by the fact that she was wandering alone.

v10—

Jesus is giving her the solution to why she is there. He is telling her that He has the ability to meet her deepest need. He knew that she was seeking for something to satisfy her deepest need, and she was looking in the wrong places.

Jesus is offering a water that is for one time. It’s not a well that we have to keep going back to in order to be filled. It fills us once and forever.

When I was in high school, I always went to the well of acceptance. I wanted people to like me and accept me. But it’s never enough. It’s never ending, and you’re going to keep coming back until there’s no water left to draw from and you’ll have to go somewhere else.

What is the well that you’re going to right now, that’s not quenching your thirst?

Maybe you have no idea. So if this is you, ask yourself if you feel far off from God. If you do, you’re at the wrong well.

What are wells used for?

During this time, people would gather at wells and talk about life. It was a place for community. This is what the church should look like.

If you’re chasing something and you feel lonely and far off from God, you’re going to the wrong well.

There are days when you wake up and you don’t really want to go to the well, but having a community around you will help you get to the well.

How do we get to the well?

It starts with transparency.

Look at verses 16 and 17

She didn’t tell the whole truth, but she told him something. God takes what we give. We don’t give a lot, but God graciously takes it. She tells Jesus a little about the truth, and He gives her affirmation instead of condemnation.

Transparency is the first step in coming to the well in community.

v19-20—

We see that the woman had put her hope in something else—religion.

We often do the same thing. We ask what we can do better in order to be right with God. We try to make a checklist of all the things we can do in order to please God. But we see here that this isn’t what God wants, and Jesus is about to explain to us what true worship is. Look at verse 23 for the answer.

v23—

Jesus keeps talking about spirit and truth. Something special about truth is found in 1 John 1:9. Jesus is faithful to cleanse us from all unrighteousness when we confess even just a little bit of the truth. He takes what little we have and gives us something great: forgiveness of sins.

What about spirit? This means you’re not alone. When you believe the truth about Jesus, you receive the Spirit, and you’re never alone.

This is what it means to worship in spirit and in truth.

v26—

It took the woman seeing the truth about Jesus in order for her to tell the people around her. Why would it be any different for us in evangelism?

People need to see the imperfect people at the feet of God; they need to see true worshippers, who are honest about who they are and who Jesus is.

The truth is that you’re a sinner. The truth is that you need a Savior. This is the truth that people need to know.

Truth without the Spirit is pretty mean. But then there’s people who don’t love the truth, but who love the Spirit, and there’s not a lot of room for truth to sink in. We need both in order to be true worshippers and to have true freedom.

When you have both Spirit and truth, you know you’re at the right well.

v28—

When Jesus comes to you and changes your life, you are transformed in such a way that you don’t really care about what people think. She goes back to the place where she was judged and tells them about Jesus. She wasn’t trying to hide the fact that she just met the Savior of the world.

v39-42

Sometimes we glorify people who have really crazy stories. But that’s not what the woman did here. The people already knew of her weaknesses. In her imperfection, that’s where God’s sacrifice showcased itself. She just told them about what Jesus had done, and the people were invited to come and see for themselves.

In her brokenness, Jesus reached in and told her who she was and who He was.

We have to remember how to best evangelize. We were once all alone at the well. And then Jesus met us.

The woman goes out and tells the people of what happened. She circled back enough that they heard about Jesus, but not so much that it became all about her.

We have to be understanding that sometimes people are on a different trajectory, and that only Jesus can meet them. We can tell them, “Look what God did for me,” but God does the saving work. We can tell them the truth about who we are, even if we’re still messing up, and point them to the truth of who Christ is.

In the end of John 19:28-30

Jesus became thirsty so we could never thirst again. He bore everything so we could be free. It’s all about what Jesus has already done for us and how we can take it as our own. In order for us to not be thirsty, Jesus had to become thirsty. He became a sacrifice for us on the cross. The water that we receive didn’t just come out of nowhere—He paid for it. If we believe this, we won’t be thirsty, and we’ll be able to tell other thirsty people.

I want to leave you with this: don’t be tempted to leave the well. Remember that there is just one well. You’ve got to keep standing at the well that gives you life, and not leaving the well and your community to go seek other empty wells. Remember the one true well, the one that will cause you to never thirst again.

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