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John 4:1-30 JESUS: THE GREAT SOUL WINNER

Intro: As we continue to stroll through John's magnificent portrait gallery, we are presented with a new portrait of Jesus. In John chapter 4, Jesus is presented as the Great Soul Winner. From Nathaniel in the beginning of His ministry to the thief on the cross at the end of His ministry, Jesus was bust bringing sinners unto Himself. He genuinely cared for the fallen and was willing to reach out to all who crossed His path, whatever the cost! This story is no exception! In these verses, we can watch Jesus doing that which He does best; bringing sinners to salvation. We want to join Jesus today as He speaks with a poor, lost, sinful woman. As we do, look at your own life. Do you know the Lord? Are you genuinely saved today? If not, please know from the outset that Jesus cares for you. 3,000 years ago, David cried out in Psalm 142:4, "No man cared for my soul." You may feel that way today. In fact, it may be true that no man on this earth truly cares about you or what happens to your soul. However, the God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ cares! In fact, He cared so much that He willingly left Heaven and proved His love by dying for your sins on the cross, Rom. 5:8, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." As this message unfolds today, please allow the Lord to speak to your heart and then come to Jesus as He leads. He cares and He will demonstrate that fact if you will allow Him the opportunity.

As we go through these verses, Christian, learn from the Savior's example. He longs to use you to reach a lost world. Following His example in reaching the lost is far better than any program or any course you can take. Let's join Jesus as He meets the woman at the well and demonstrates Himself to be the Great Soul Winner.

I. V. 1-8 THE CONFRONTATION WITH A SINFUL WOMAN

A. V. 3-6 The Savior - In these opening verses, Jesus is shown in His compassion and in His humanity. While Jesus was God, He was still a man and He was acquainted with the trials and problems of life. He demonstrates that He does indeed care for the lost.

1. He Is Seen Walking - This is the evidence of His poverty. He could have afforded anything He could have ever wanted, yet He chose to live like the common man. Jesus knows what we face in life, Heb. 4:15. This is why He has such compassion on the lost.

2. He Is Seen As Willing - Verse 4 declares that Jesus 'must needs go through Samaria." Most Jews went dozens of miles out of their way to avoid going through the land of the Samaritans. So great was their prejudice and their hatred of the people who were a mixed race of Jews and Gentiles. Jesus, however, was unaffected by the prejudice of the Jews. There was a woman who was going to be called to salvation and Jesus was determined to see that she had the opportunity to be saved.

(Ill. There is no person or race of people beyond the reach of God's grace. All are sinners and are in need of salvation. Jesus loves them all and we are commanded to love them as well. If Jesus would reach out to the most hated people of His day, then it is up to His children to tear down every wall of prejudice and reach out to people regardless of where they are or where they come from!)

(Ill. Notice that Jesus was willing to go out of His way to reach this poor lost woman. This teaches us that regardless of where we go, God can still reach out and touch our lives. Just ask Jonah! David states this great fact in Psalm 139:7-9.)

3. He Is Seen As Wearied - Again, this demonstrates His humanity. As God, Jesus never tired, yet as a man, He was prone to the same physical weaknesses as are we all. The point I want you to see is that it is no coincidence that Jesus was wearied just here. Jesus was here on a mission and that mission is clearly stated in Luke 19:10, "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost."

4. He Is Seen Waiting - Jesus is seen waiting on this dear woman to come His way. He has a wonderful gift that He wants to give to her. She never gave a thought to meeting a Jewish Rabbi at the well. Jesus, however, knew she was coming and He was patiently waiting to rescue this one lost sheep.

(Ill. All along the way of life Jesus positions Himself directly in our pathway. We kind of cruise through life without much thought for God or His plan. Then, out of the blue, there Jesus is, right in our faces. He establishes these crossroads to bring us to salvation. Thank God for the strategic crossroads of life!)

B. V. 7a The Sinner - The second person in this great play is a woman. A woman who is sinful and is in need of salvation. According to verse 6, it is about the sixth hour. According to the Jewish clock, this would be around 12 noon. (Ill. Jacob's well was about mile from the village.) For a woman to be drawing water at this hour would be an unusual occurrence. Normally, the women from the village would gather together early in the morning, while the day was still cool. These women would go to the well together and would catch up on the gossip of the day and spend time talking to their friends. Because this woman is alone and is coming at during hottest time of the day is an indication that she was a social outcast. It seems that the other women of the village would have nothing to do with her. She probably came to the well alone to avoid the insults and attacks of the other woman. The reason for this ostracization is evident from verses 16-18. She was hated, even by her own people.

(Ill. This lady is no different from any other sinner who has ever walked upon the face of the earth. She, like all sinners, had problems far removed from just being a social pariah. The problem all sinners face is that we are estranged from God. Ill. Psa. 58:3. The Bible makes it crystal clear that it is our sin that stands between us and a relationship with the Lord, Isa. 59:2. It was bad to be a social outcast, but she was a spiritual outcast as well. My friend, if you have never received Jesus as your personal Savior, then you too are lost and undone without the Lord and you need to be saved by the grace of God. Until you come to Jesus, you will be an outcast, spiritually, from God. But, thank God for the reconciliation that is found in the Lord Jesus. He bridges the gap between God and man - 1 Tim. 2:5.) (Ill. The Daysman referred to in Job 9:33. "It was the eastern custom for a judge to lay his hands upon the heads of the two parties in disagreement, thus emphasizing his adjudicatory capacity and his desire to render an unbiased verdict." Jesus is our Daysman! He takes the sinner in one hand and the Father in the other and brings us together in Himself.)

C. V. 7b-8 The Scene - Notice that it is just Jesus and the woman. All the distractions of her life have been removed. None of her 5 ex-husbands are present. Her current co-fornicator is nowhere around. None of the women who so intensely hated her and her lifestyle are to be found here. It is just her and Jesus.

(Ultimately, it always comes down to just you and Him. In the final analysis, it isn't going to matter what you did in life, who you impressed, who you offended. It isn't going to matter what you did or didn't do, what will finally be of importance is what you did with Jesus. The ultimate question of life is this, "What think ye of Christ?" (Matt. 22:42) In the end, all that will matter is what you did with Jesus when you had the opportunity.)

(Ill. As you look back over the days of your life, how many times have you been brought face to face with the Lord Jesus Christ? How many times have you had to decide to say no to His tender calls? Now, this question must be answered, How many more times will He call you to come to Him? Dear Friend, if Jesus is trying to get your attention and wants to save your soul, please do not put Him off. Today may be your last opportunity. After all, there will come a day when He will stop calling you to be saved - Gen. 6:3 Pro. 29:1)

I. The Confrontation With A Sinful Woman

II. V. 9-26 THE CONVERSATION WITH A SINFUL WOMAN

(Ill. During the time Jesus conversed with this woman, they talked about several things. Jesus is seen here patiently leading this woman to the place of salvation. Let's listen in and observe their conversation.)

A. V. 9-12 They Talked Of Wells - When Jesus asked her for a drink, apparently He had no means by which to draw water, v. 11, she responded with amazement that a Jew would ask for a drink from a woman, much less a Samaritan. (Ill. It was considered inappropriate for a Rabbi to speak to a woman in public.) Jesus, then, offers her a drink of "living water." She confuses the physical with the spiritual. Salvation is not a transaction that can be explained in human terms. It is a spiritual transaction. At this point, she is not ready for salvation, (Ill. She is a little sarcastic), but Jesus is leading her along in that direction.

(Ill. While other Rabbis would never have spoken to this woman at this well, Jesus was not afraid of social stigmas, nor did He care for common religious practice. Jesus was will to reach out to her in an effort to win her despite the personal cost to Himself. What a lesson to Christians! We are to reach beyond all manmade barriers to bring the lost to Jesus.).

B. V. 13-15 They Talked Of Water - Jesus tells her that she can drink from Jacob's Well every day and she will still get thirsty and will have to come back and draw again. (Ill. This is supported by the tense of the verb "drinketh." In verse 13 it is in the present tense. It implies ongoing, continual action.) However, He tells her that He can give her a drink of water that will for ever satisfy her. (Ill. This is supported by the tense of the verb "drinketh" in verse 14. In this verse, it is in the aorist tense. This implies a one time action that has ongoing results into the future.) To simplify this, Jesus is saying to this woman, "You can drink all you will from Jacob's Well, and you will still get thirsty. However, I can give you one drink of living water and you will be satisfied forever."

(Ill. This is the nature of salvation. One can drink of the pleasures of this world, like this poor woman, and will still have to try to find more ways to satisfy themselves. However, one trip to the fountain of living water will forever satisfy the thirsty soul. Coming to Jesus will forever meet the needs of life and of the heart.)

(Ill. She is still confusing the physical and the spiritual. She is still a little sarcastic when dealing with Jesus.)

C. V. 16-19 They Talked Of Wickedness - In an effort to awaken her to her spiritual need, Jesus plainly touches what must have been the sorest spot in this woman's life. He pointed out her sinfulness! I can almost imagine the guilt this woman lived with day after day. I would imagine that her heart was in constant turmoil because of her sins - Ill. Pro. 13:15.

(Ill. This may seem cruel of the Lord, but nobody will eve come to Jesus for salvation until they are first awakened to their own personal need. Until the sinners knows he is lost, he will never desire to be found. Thus, conviction is of vital importance. Without it, nobody can ever be saved - John 6:44, 65; Eph. 2:1. Please note that God is not as nearly afraid of revealing your sins as you are of having them revealed! He will do whatever He has to do to bring you to repentance.)

(Ill. Whether you agree with Jesus or not, His tactic got her attention. She is now ready to admit that Jesus is someone special, v. 19.)

D. V. 20-24 They Talked Of Worship - Since they are on the topic of religion, the woman proceeds to show Jesus that she is no slacker in that area either. She tries to start an argument about the proper place to worship. Jesus simply ignores her jab and tells her that true worship is never found in external rituals and substitutes for God, but can only be found in spiritual worship of the Lord. That is, in worship that comes from His indwelling Spirit.

(Ill. There are billions who give themselves to external forms of worship today in an effort to get close to the Lord. These things will never work! Worship is not some ritual or form, worship is a state of the heart that exalts a great God. To do that, you need nothing but His Spirit and a willingness to give glory unto God.)

E. V. 25-26 They Talked Of Wisdom - This lady displays an openness to the words of Jesus. She reveals that she is concerned about salvation and about the things of God. Jesus simply reveals Himself as the supple she needs.

(Ill. This is what He does for every sinner. He doesn't come to you as a judge to condemn you. He never condemned this woman. He doesn't come as a bully to force you to come to Him. He doesn't come as a buffet to offer you many choices for salvation. He simply come as the Way, the Truth and the Life and offers Himself to you as the only way of salvation. To understand and to grasp this truth is the purest form of wisdom known to man.)

(Ill. In these verses, Jesus gave this woman all that she needed to make a decision about her salvation. I believe that we could stop at this point and you have heard enough so tht you too could come to Jesus and be saved. However, I want to show you what she did with what she heard and how you can do the very same thing.)

III. V. 27-30 THE CONVERSION OF A SINFUL WOMAN

A. V. 28a It Was Immediate - As soon as Jesus revealed Himself to her, she responded in faith and her salvation was instantaneous. There was no mourner's bench, no praying through, no holding on, no 12 step program. She simply trusted and she was instantly saved.

(Ill. It will work the same for you too. When a sinner comes to Jesus, and places his faith in Christ, the transformation is immediate. The sinner is instantly changed from a dead, lost sinner into an eternally alive child of God. What a change takes place!)

B. V. 28b It Was Incredible - She ran right off in her excitement and forgot all about why she even went to the well. She just left her water pot behind. She forgot the plans and the pull of the old life when she met Jesus. She came to the well for physical water and discovered spiritual water. She met Jesus and was forever changed.

(Ill. This is just how salvation works. When the sinner comes to Christ, there is an immediate transformation that takes place. It goes far deeper than just getting our souls saved. When we come to Jesus, we are changed in our totality - 2 Cor. 5:17. So complete is this change that we are called new "creatures." Remember Zaccheaus - As soon as he came to Jesus, his whole character was changed and he wanted to live for the Lord.)

C. V. 28c-29 It Was Impelling - She ran to the city to tell the others about this Man she had met. She felt compelled to tell others about the salvation that she had just experienced.

(Ill. Salvation will give you a message to share and a heart to share it. When you have been delivered from death and Hell, you want to help others find their way out of sin as well.)

(Ill. Ever wonder why she went to the men? She knew them better. After all, the women wouldn't even go with her to the well. Why would they listen to her talk about religious matters. The men, on the other hand, knew this woman and could probably see the change in her character.)

(Ill. Whatever the reason, the fact remains that she was an instrument used of the Lord to bring many to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, v. 41-42. While sinners do not get saved by our witness, God can take our words and work His conviction in their hearts.)

Conc: What was it that took this woman from being a hardened sinner, who was dead to spiritual things and transformed her into a powerful witness for the Lord? It can be summed up in one word: Jesus! He makes the difference in any life He touches. Has He touched your life? Has He redeemed you from your sins? If you were to die today, where would you spend your eternity? My friends, I invite you to come to Jesus today and to allow Him to save your eternal souls. There is absolutely nothing more important that where you will spend eternity. And that all rests upon what you decide about Jesus. Will you come to Him today and be saved?

 

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