09 April 2013

JESUS CAME TO SAVE BAD PEOPLE




John 4:1-18

Approximately 150 000 people will die today! The question that troubles me is where will they spend eternity? Did the gospel message reach their ears? Did anyone take the time to share the precious truth of the gospel with them? What’s shocking is that the vast majority of those people are entering Hell. Christ commanded his followers to share the Gospel with those who are perishing! The question for each one of us is! Who have you shared with today? Every day we have the blessed opportunity and ability [through the Spirit] to share that news with every person we come in contact with. No exceptions! No excuses! Every encounter should be a gospel encounter. ASK YOURSELF: When was the last time you shared with someone who didn't fit your lifestyle? Throughout Jesus’ ministry He was filled with compassion for sinners young and old. Jesus, didn't care about race, creeds, or colour when it came to importance of sin, the gospel and eternal life. Jesus knew the hearts and saw the hopeless of humanity. Have you ever prayed “Lord open my eyes to see what Jesus saw, and to give me a burden to reach these people with the only message that saves?” As we come to this passage this morning aren't you relieved that Jesus didn't overlook your sin? But that He sent someone to you with the gospel that saves to tell you the truth about yourself.

We come to a conversation between God and a woman that speak volumes to humanity in general and goes against what the culture believed at the time [possibly still today]. We enter a conversation which I think is one of the greatest gospel encounters with a sinner who desperately needs to be saved next to Nicodemus. We enter a conversation that display to us that there is forgiveness despite how wicked we think we sinned. We enter a conversation that shows us how the Lord Jesus approached people in their sin and how he addressed the heart issue. J C Ryle said “the history of the Samaritan woman, contained in these verses, is one of the most interesting and instructive passages in John’s gospel. St John has shown us, in the case of Nicodemus, how our Lord dealt with a self-righteous formalist. He now shows us how our Lord dealt with an ignorant, carnal-minded woman, whose moral character was more than ordinarily bad.” As we unpack this passage think about the contrast of Nicodemus and this woman

Nicodemus  ........... .............................Samaritan Woman                                                                                                                    

Devout religious Jew ........................... Immoral Samaritan
Learned Theologian...................................... Uneducated peasant
He recognized Jesus as a teacher.......................She had no clue

He came at night to .......................She had no reputation, came at noon, the protect his reputation                                                      hottest time of the day.

He was wealthy....................................... She was poor    

He was a member of the social elite....................... Samaritan people were outcasts

He had a name................................... She is nameless

Nicodemus came seeking............................This woman was sought by Jesus

The bible said "But He needed to go through Samaria.." (v4). Jesus was on a divine appointment   (paraphrase):   "I must go to Samaria". The story of the Lord's encounter with this woman unfolds that salvation is made available for everyone without prejudice. I’m so glad that there is not a standard or requirement to find forgiveness for sin or eternal life? Otherwise none of us would be saved! Our lives completely depend on the mercies of Christ and His great sacrifice for sinners. So we see a wonderful encounter with Jesus and this woman who would be considered a harlot, an outcast of society. A woman who would be considered according to Proverbs a woman to stay away from “For a prostitute [a harlot] is a deep pit; an adulteress is a narrow well.” Prov 23:27. So Jesus has this divine appointment with a sinner who needs to hear the truth of the gospel. Let’s examine how Jesus deals with this woman and learn how Jesus spoke the truth in  love with every opportunity He had [gospel encounters]


JESUS MADE THE TIME TO SPEAK TO THE WORST OF SINNERS (V7- V10)

Jesus says “give me a drink” This was a breach of the social custom and by doing this Jesus was tearing the walls down between the tw0 groups [Jews and Samaritans]. Samaritans were a mixed race of people…..A intermingling of Jews and Gentiles. This encounter breaches all stereotyping we do in our culture. Remember the gospel was to go into all the highways and by-ways reaching even the lowest of the lows. I’m reminded of an experience of Mark Cahill when he was talking with a prostitute one evening. "He was asked once by a Christian “What if someone from your church drove by and saw this?” [paraphrase] Mark’s response is “Why are we so concerned about other people think of us? It was okay for Jesus to be a friend of tax collectors, prostitutes, and sinners, but it is apparently not ok for us.” He even when to say that he received letters from people who were shocked that he would do such a thing! So Mark one time asked a young lady if she witnesses to prostitutes. She said “No”. Does anyone in your church witnesses to prostitutes? “No.” I then explained, if she doesn't witness to prostitutes, if no one in her church does, then who will witness to these people?"

See we need to understand, God loves them just as much as He loves us “regular” people, and they need the good news of Jesus brought to them. This statement “give me a drink” opened a door of conversation with this woman and open door to all types of sinners. This opened a door for Jesus to use a simple example of water as a means to reach the heart issue Why? I think Luke 19:10 says it all “for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost." He came to see this woman! Why? Because salvation is for everyone no matter the circumstance. Jesus was not ashamed to take a drink from the vessel of a woman for whom He had come to die for. There is not one person beyond the reach of His divine love.


JESUS REVEALED TO HER THAT HIS LIVING WATER IS PRICELESS WHEN COMPARED WITH THE THINGS OF THIS WORLD (v11-v14)

“Whosoever drinks of this water shall thirst again.” There is nothing in this life that will fill the void in your heart. (v13). Not fame, fortune, or things can bring you true joy and fulfillment. You can search all your life and on your death bed you will be speaking the words of Solomon. “Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher; all is vanity.” Eccl 12:8. All these things come and go and they only leave a person deceived and without hope, but the gospel saves and fills the heart with the things of God. What Jesus is trying to say to her is that all these vain pursuits to fulfill self only leave a person empty and wanting more because they are never satisfied. Only true satisfaction comes from the flowing waters Christ and His offer of eternal life. (v14). The Lord is always ready to save sinners….far more ready than we are to pray to Him. This should bless our hearts to know that God is relentless in His pursuit for you and me. Think about each and every day Jesus stretches out His hands of mercy and grace to fallen sinners who desperately need saving but ignore His mercy and grace. Little did this woman know it was her who needed that drink as many people still do today?

  • The drink of forgivenes
  • The drink of reconciliation
  • The drink of salvation
  • The drink of eternal life
It's the Living water of grace that provides an internal cleansing by the power of the Holy Spirit through the brokenness over sin.


JESUS IS ALWAYS READY WITH OPEN ARMS TO GIVE MERCY TO CARELESS SINNERS (v15-v18)

She is intrigued or softening to his conversation (v15). What does Jesus tell her to do? We see this in (v16). Jesus tells her to “go call your husband, and come here”. That must had been a sobering moment to this woman. Why? She was a woman who defiled the bed more than once. She would have known the importance of the 7th command “you shall not commit adultery” Don’t think for a moment God is ok with this behaviour or any sin for that matters! The Lord takes marriage very seriously. He says it’s honorable……“Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” Heb 13:4. Why would Jesus embarrass her like this? It wasn't very nice to point out her sin. What was Jesus trying to prove? He is pointing out to her the severity of her sin. He is illuminating her sin. Why?  A sinner needs to broke over their own sin, before they can understand grace [the good news]She doesn't understand this water issue yet, so Jesus goes right to the heart of the issue, as He did with Nicodemus; and for the very first time, she feels the weight of her sin as God see’s it…..wicked and detestable! This is where the mercy of living waters comes in…..the precious gospel that saves sinners! Yes even adultery. John MacArthur says "the offer of living water is not just to religious people like Nicodemus, everyone who thirst is invited to drink deeply of the living water, even an adulterous woman whose life is fraught with sin. His overflowing grace will pardon even the wickedest of sinners[He came saved bad people]. His knowledge of this woman's immoral behavior began to stir this woman's heart. She was beginning to see her sinfulness…..Her eyes were being open to this reality that she was a sinner and needed a Saviour. J C Ryle said “dealing with sinners, such as these, form one of the grand peculiarities of the gospel. Whatever a man’s past life may have been, there is hope and a remedy for him in Christ. If he is only willing to hear Christ’s voice and follow Him, Christ is willing to receive him at once as a friend, and to bestow on him the fullest measure of mercy and grace. The Samaritan woman, the penitent thief, the Philippian jailor, the publican Zacchaeus, are all patterns of Christ’s readiness to show mercy, and to confer full and immediate pardons. It is His glory that, like a great physician, He will undertake to cure those who are apparently incurable, and that none are too bad for Him to love and heal.”

That’s the mercy of God towards bad people. That’s mercy that came to your life through the living water of the Gospel through! Jesus broke the barriers so that we could go out into the streets and alley ways to proclaim the good news for sinners. We need to tear down those walls in our own lives and start looking at people as Jesus see’ s them sinners who desperately need a Saviour. As the late great Charles Spurgeon said and this is going to hurt your feelings……“Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you are not saved yourself, believe that” Every encounter should be a gospel encounter. Why? bad people need to hear good news. "Jesus answered and said to them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance." Luke 5:31-32. The world is full sick people and they need medicine! The need the gospel truth. The only truth that will save bad people.

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