We might summarize God’s plan for witnessing in four words: Pray, Presence, Power, Proclaim. God’s plan is that we are to pray, look for God’s presence, depend on God’s power, and proclaim God’s gospel. Today, we want to focus on the 4th and final step, Proclaim God’s Story, because there is no witness without words!
In the gospel according to John, Jesus revealed himself as the Messiah to a Samaritan woman drawing water at Jacob’s well outside the city of Sychar. After her encounter with Jesus, she immediately went back to her hometown to proclaim the story to everyone. We can proclaim the story of how we met Jesus.
Below is an automated transcript of this message:all right. Good morning, church. We’re concluding our series today entitled Who’s Your One? We’ve answered the challenge from our good friend, pastor J.D. Greer at the Summit Church in Raleigh/Durham. It’s been a wonderful journey, and we’ve been challenging ourselves to ask the question, “Who’s your One?” I’m sure there are many people and their lives are far from God that we’re praying for; the one person we could focus on during this series and ask the Lord to open doors and open up their heart for an opportunity to share faith with them. We are at the end of the series. Today, we’ll be talking about how to talk to them. We’ve been covering all these steps, but today it will be, “How do you talk to them when the door finally does open?”
Now, I want to give one last opportunity for this free prayer guide, with a bookmark, that we’ve given out every week. If you haven’t gotten one of these, this is your last chance to get one. Lift your hand quickly; even if it’s you are a first time guest. We are happy to give one to you. It’s a thirty day prayer guide. You could start tomorrow or start this afternoon; it’s a great prayer guide to help you pray for that one person who is far from God, that you would say, “Come just as you are and be forever changed by the love of Jesus.”
I thank Lynette for giving her testimony today and challenging us. Take note of how she came to Jesus; some friends brought her to Jesus. And isn’t that the case throughout all of their lives that someone told us about Jesus? Here’s the thing; God doesn’t have a plan B; His plan is that He does the saving, but He’s given us the commission of talking to other people about Him. This is how we share the news.
This has been our key verse; it’s from Luke, chapter 15. This idea of focusing on one person in that parable found in Luke, chapter 15. Jesus tells the parable of how the good Shepherd left the ninety-nine sheep to go in search for the one that had gone astray. And He concludes the parable with this. There’s more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away. This has been our theme.
God cares about the world, but he also cares about the one; he cares about the individual. Speaking of what God cares about, I think God cares especially about our children, don’t you? Because children, you know, Jesus often said that children such as these make up the kingdom of heaven, the Kingdom of God. I think it’s because their hearts are so open and they’re so ready to believe. If you’re looking around today and maybe it’s your first time here, you may be wondering, “What kind of church is this?” Tonight, we will be rehearsing for our KidzFest. We write the music, dramas and the curriculum for this event. We do the whole thing every year based on something that we think will reach kids. And so, starting tomorrow night, we’re going to have hundreds of children in this building, and we want to share the gospel with them. We have kids coming from all over our city. If you’re thinking we’re about to take off like some sort of spaceship or something here, you’re right. That’s what’s going on.
Next Sunday, we’re kicking off our family life series, where we will be talking about God’s plan for your family, talking about what the Bible says about your marriage and about parenting. This series will be over the next few weeks, following strategically because we hope that young families will come to church as a result of KidzFest, and we can talk to them about how much God loves them.
Today is the last message; talking about how we can talk to our friends and family about Jesus and how the Holy Spirit wants to empower us to do that. This past couple of weeks, I’ve been talking about praying first; praying that God would prepare their hearts. Secondly, to look for where God is already at work; look for God’s presence in their life, because He’s already at work. Then, pray for the Holy Spirit power to empower you to meet their needs in the name of Jesus. Today, we will be talking about proclaiming God’s story.
Here’s the statement I want for you to let sink in: There is no witness without words. We must speak words in order to witness. Someone said to me recently, “But what if I don’t know the words?” Maybe that’s you. Maybe you’re sitting there thinking, “Okay, I get it. You can’t witness without words. But what if I don’t know what to say?” Someone else said, “I don’t know how to witness. I’m afraid to do it because I don’t know how to do it.” There is a lot of reasons people don’t share their faith. Fear is one of them. Another is a lack of passion; they just don’t feel inspired. Maybe the busyness of life and they just don’t have time and are always in a hurry. These are the kinds of reasons that we say we don’t talk about Jesus.
But what if it’s this? What if it is lack of knowledge? The purpose of this message today is to give you some instruction from the word of God on how to proclaim God’s story and how to give them the Gospel.
In the scripture today in the gospel according to John, we will see two examples of how to witness. We’ll see the example of Jesus and then we’ll see the example of a Samaritan woman that Jesus talked to. Jesus revealed himself as the Messiah to this Samaritan woman as she drew water from Jacob’s well outside the Samaritan city of Sukar. And after her encounter with Jesus, she immediately went back to her hometown to proclaim the story that Jesus had revealed to her.
I believe we can do the same thing. We can talk about what Jesus has done for us. That is what witnessing is about , as we heard Lynette talking just a second ago. It’s about what Christ has done for us. That’s our witness and so we can share it.
As we look at the text today, I think we’ll see three ways to proclaim the story of how to know Jesus. Now I’ve got a rather long reading today. Did you look at your bulletin? It’s one whole page. I couldn’t figure out where to cut the story because it’s just too good. And so we’re going to dig in. You’re going to get your Bible study in this morning, people. Here it comes Chapter four, starting at verse one. John 4:1-42 (ESV) 1 Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John 2 (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), 3 he left Judea and departed again for Galilee. 4 And he had to pass through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour. 7 A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” 8 (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” 17 The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” 19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.” 27 Just then his disciples came back. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you seek?” or, “Why are you talking with her?” 28 So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” 30 They went out of the town and were coming to him. 31 Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” 32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” 33 So the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?” 34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. 35 Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. 36 Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. 37 For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.” 39 Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of his word. 42 They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.” This is God’s word. Amen.
Don’t you want to applaud or something? I mean, don’t you feel chills up your back? Do you see why I couldn’t cut it? It’s just too good not to share the gospel story. Well, what can we learn from Jesus and maybe even more because it’s hard to relate to Him. Sometimes you look at Him and think he’s just so perfect at it. He’s so perfect at it. And so maybe that scares us a little. Look at the Samaritan woman who just went off and started testifying. So let’s look at both of them and see what we can learn how to share the gospel story.
Here’s the first step. (1) Be obedient to go and tell. Let’s look at the text and see where we can find this. First, notice how Jesus obeyed the Father to “go and tell.” Look at verse four; you might miss it if you’re not paying close attention. Verse four says, “And he had to pass through Samaria.” It was necessary. It was a duty for him to pass through Samaria. It’s a strong sense in the Greek. The KJV tries to capture it by saying this and He must needs. That’s kind of rough English for modern English, but it really comes close to the Greek. He must go through Samaria. He had to go.
Now I can think of a couple of reasons he had to go. Let’s pop up the map because you know I love maps. (Referring to a map on the screen) We’re gonna look here. Here’s where he was at. He’s down here in Jerusalem. He’s down in Judea in the capital city of Jerusalem, and he starts hearing some rumblings from the Pharisees that His name is starting to become more well known, more well known than John the Baptist who’s already been put in jail. And so He decides to go ahead and go back to Galilee for awhile because His time has not yet come. He needs to pass through Samaria. Do you see why? If you’re down here in order to get to Galilee, where His home base is Coperneum upon the north shore of the Sea of Galilee. He grew up in Nazareth, but this is his home base. He needs to go through Samaria to get there. That’s a geographic reality, right?
But that’s not all it means, because many devout Jews would not go through Samaria, and so they would drop down from Jerusalem down through Jericho, which is all downhill, and they would walk up the Jordan River valley right there to avoid and go around Samaria and then go back up to Galilee.
So there’s two reasons. I think one is geographic; it would be the shortcut, the quickest way. But the second reason is there was a woman there that He needed to talk to. You see, God sent Him. If you look at Verse four, you see that He had to go there. And if you look down at verse 34, he’s teaching the disciples something. He says, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me.” He was sent to those that are far from God. That’s where the Father sent Jesus. He’s a physician. They are sin sick.
He’s headed to Samaria because he has an appointment at noon at the well. Do you believe that? You know, we often talk about coincidence; it was a coincidence that I ran into this person. I don’t believe in coincidence. I don’t believe in luck. I believe in a “God-incidence.” I believe that God told Him to be there at noon.
Now, listen, if you know anything about drawing water, (I’ve been to Africa many times. I’ve been to the Middle East of I’ve been to Indonesia. I’ve been to some hot places,) You don’t draw water at midday. Now, in those third world countries, drawing water is women’s work. This is not a chauvinistic statement. For me, this is a truthful observation. Drawing water is women’s work, and so the women and the children go to get water and they go before the heat of the day.
Have you ever noticed that there’s a certain time of day that’s called the heat of the day? Have you been warm lately? I’ve been a little bit warm. If you’re going to mow your grass or do something, you need to do it early in the morning or late in the evening and that’s not even working too well lately. It is hot around here and it’s so humid. But if you’re going to go to the well, you go early in the morning. Who in the world would go when the sun’s straight overhead? Someone who lives a life of shame, someone who other women talk badly about, someone who’s had five husbands and the man she’s living with now is not her husband. Someone like that would go out in the middle of the day, kind of have her hood pulled over her head and her veil pulled over a little bit because she doesn’t want to talk to anybody. She comes to the well. She’s got an appointment with Jesus. She didn’t know it, but He does.
Jesus sends his disciples on into the city to get some food, and He sits down on the side of Jacob’s well and He’s waiting for her. And there she comes. The first thing I want you to notice is I believe that Jesus was sent to Samaria by the Father and He always did what the Father told him to do. And he knew there was a broken woman there, a woman filled with shame, a woman that no one wanted to talk to or know. Jesus was looking for her.
I want you to notice, secondly, that she was also the one who was ready to go and tell everyone about Jesus as soon as she got the information. Look at verse 28; let’s drill down on verse 28 for a second. See, what this woman does in verse 28; she left her water jar. What did she go out there in the middle of the day to do? To draw water. What did she completely forget? She went out in the middle of the day to do draw water.
Now, look, I’m not like this woman. Most of the time I do not forget what I’m out there to do. If I’m going to get gas, I try to get some gas. from when in fact, that the problem for me is if I’m going to get gas, I don’t notice the person on the other side of the pump that’s trying to talk to me about something or they’re trying to get my attention, they have to try really hard. I’m a very focused person; focused on what my plan is. God’s working on me; pray for me and I will pray for you because I bet God’s working on you, too. We get our plan and we get our project in mind and we head that way. But Jesus wouldn’t like that. And He messed this woman up. Now she’s not like that either. She forgot and ran off and left her bucket. She left her water jar.
What does it say in verse 20? “So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people…” I’m going to stop right there because that’s the part I want to capture. She left what she was doing and went back home to talk to them about Jesus. You see, we have to be obedient to go and tell. You have to say some words and you have to go where they are. They’re not coming where you are. They’re over there. If and when you first hear about Jesus, I think the best place to go is to go home. Go home. Start there; that’s the hardest place to go, but that’s the best place to start.
Jesus tells us to go in town. Look at John, chapter 20. John 20:21 (ESV) “Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”He’s a sent man. and now He has sent us. We are sent. Jesus has sent us in the same way the Father sent Him. We’re on this journey now, in just the normal things of life and on the way. She went to go get water. Well, we don’t have to do that. We just turn on the faucet. We live in an amazing time in an amazing country. But we still have to go get some stuff; we still have to go get some things. When we go get them, we need to be ready to tell and we need to recognize that we’re sent. There are no such things as coincidences for us.
Christ commands us to “go” and make disciples and “tell” everyone the Good News! Matthew 28:19 (ESV) “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” In Mark 16:15 (GW) “Then Jesus said to them, “So wherever you go in the world, tell everyone the Good News., So wherever you go, wherever you go in the world, tell everyone the good news.”
Last week, I was talking to some of you in the foyer after the sermon. One man said to me, “I think I’m going to start introducing myself by telling people I’m a Jesus follower.” He had some tears in his eyes; this particular man was a truck driver. I’ll just call him John and he says, ” I think I’m gonna start instead of saying, ‘Hi, my name’s John; I’m a truck driver.’ I think I’m gonna start saying, ‘Hi, my name is John; I’m a Christ follower.’ That way it will just be out in the open and right out of the gate.” I might try that, too; “I’m Gary, I’m a preacher.” It makes most people run; maybe I should try something new. Christ tells us we are sent. He says to go. He says to tell, and then he tells us where to go and tell he gives us a strategy. In Acts 18 it gives a strategy. Acts 1:8 (ESV), “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” He gives a strategy of where to start; start in Jerusalem. Start at home.
The disciples started at home. Where does the woman go? She goes to her home. She follows the strategy. She hadn’t even heard of the strategy, and she’s following it. She goes home. You start in Jerusalem, then Judea, which is (drawing a circle) And so Wilson’s our home. Start in Wilson; start at home, but then draw a circle, a bigger circle in eastern North Carolina. Where is Samaria? That’s a place that’s near, but they’re different than us. So maybe they are from another country, or they’re a different color. Maybe they speak a different language or have a different accent, so Samaria means to go to people that are different from you but they’re near. Then to the ends of the earth. And so there’s the strategy.
When I look at this scripture, how Jesus talks to her, it’s so beautiful. It’s so exciting and it’s so, can I say, fun. It’s fun because when you start experiencing the power of the Holy Spirit in you, inspiring you to think every day, where I go, God says that fullness of God dwells in me and wherever I go, I’m carrying Jesus. This is the most important message on planet Earth.
If I see somebody at the gas station; they’re just out at midday doing the thing they need to do. They thought they were going to get gas, but they didn’t realize they were going to get some Jesus from me. Start where they are, don’t start where you are. I know some people feel called to stand on a corner with a megaphone and say “Repent!” That’s fine if God told them to, I’m not going to tell them not to. But the norm that I see here, the example I see here from Jesus, is a little more quiet. I’m not saying it’s the only way; don’t misunderstand me. But learning from this story, Jesus starts where she is. He says, “Can I have a drink?” which seems kind of unusual. He starts off by asking something from her, which I think is a very humble thing. It is an admission that He needs water. ‘I’m sitting here thirsty and you’ve brought a bucket.’ And so he starts off like that.
In verse seven, He says , “Give me a drink.” What? She’s astounded that a Jewish man would talk to her, a Samaritan woman. He has to overcome too cultural barriers: (1) Men don’t speak to women in this culture unless it’s their sister, their wife, their daughter or their mother. You don’t talk to unrelated females in that culture. That’s a no no. So he broke that barrier to talk to her. (2) Jews don’t speak to Samaritans. They called Samaritans ‘dogs’ because they had intermarried with the Assyrians. Jesus overcomes two barriers. She is aware of the barriers, so she asks why he is talking to her. She even names the barrier; she says, “you being a Jewish man.” Jesus is always going past cultural barriers. He overlooks them. He goes right through them because He’s after the heart.
Jesus answers her when she throws out that little “dig.” This is a spicy woman, by the way. She’d been through a lot, so she’s got all of her claws out because people hurt her all the time and were talking bad about her. Do you know anybody like that? Maybe it’s you. You have been through so much; you’re broken on the inside, but people don’t know it because you got your defenses up. He says, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” Now He has done something here; He has gone from talking about that water in the well, to something spiritually. Don’t miss it. He started where she was. He started with that which is temporal and moved to that which is eternal. That’s what He does. That’s the transition He makes. That’s a lot of fun when you’re talking to people and God shows you the need like that. He shows you the need, and then you begin to talk about it. Start where they are. You listen to them. You listen to the Holy Spirit. You listen to them.
The woman is very practical. The woman said him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water?” How are you gonna give me whatever this living water is if you don’t even have a bucket? Very practical. And besides, are you claiming to be greater than Jacob?
You know what I like about the way Jesus answers? He does not bite on any of those argumentative questions. He doesn’t bite on them. He just ignores them and moves forward. We bite too soon in an argument; we get defensive ourselves.
I have a friend named Jamie. Some years ago, he was part of our church. He had a wife and three sons. He was our associate pastor back about twenty years ago; a long time ago. It was along the time when the Iraqi war had just first broken out and he felt called to go there and carry the gospel to the soldiers who were there. We commissioned him and sent him, his wife and three kids and they moved to Iraq. He told me that when he was sharing the gospel with Iraqi men, he learned that if he wanted to share the gospel with them, he had to take a couple of “shots.” They defended themselves about their Islam faith or whatever their belief system was, but mostly Islam. He said as he came to them, what he learned was , if he can get in, and he could hug them in the name of Jesus, they couldn’t hit me very hard. But on the way in, I’m gonna take a couple of shots. But I’m not going to hit them back because I’m there to hug him in the name of Jesus. Can you get a picture like that in your mind just for second? I’ve never forgotten that story he told me. It’s a little different over there sharing the gospel in the Middle East. They try to punch you a couple of times, but on the way in, if he could get them a hug, they couldn’t punch him anymore. Then they would experience the love of Jesus, and they would just “melt.” They had no more fire for him at that point. They couldn’t really hit him anymore.
That’s what Jesus is doing here. He’s putting her in a hug right here.. He won’t even respond to her “digs.” ‘You don’t have a bucket. Are you greater than Jacob?’ He says in verse 13, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again. But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again .” He’s not even talking about Jacob. He’s not even talking about a bucket. And she says, “Sir, give me this water so that I’ll never be thirsty again.” Here comes the receptivity. This woman is softening now. She still has a few more “digs,” but she’s starting to listen.
I want to talk to you about something called dual listening. I don’t know if anybody else has heard about this, but it’s my observation that when you’re in a spot like this and you’re thinking, “How can I talk to this woman who I’m not accidentally here to be with? How can I talk to her about Jesus because I’m always supposed to be talking to people about Jesus?” I am to teel everyone the good news everywhere I go. I’m always supposed to be talking to people everywhere I go about Jesus. My problem with my little pea brain is, “Oh, I thought I was here to get gas; I thought I was here to get bread and milk. I thought…” And that’s the problem with my little pea brain. I think temporal things too often, but I’m learning as I follow the Holy Spirit that I’m supposed to be talking about Jesus everywhere I go, so then the adventure begins. “Is it her? She’s sitting by herself.”
I’m listening to the Holy Spirit who is telling me what to say to her, and I’m listening to her so that the Holy Spirit can show me her heart so I can tell her what she needs to hear. This is dual listening. When you first start try to talk to someone about Jesus, you better listen a lot. . It’s not so much that you need to give them something or ‘I need to get this out.’ Don’t think, ‘Here’s the gospel now get saved’ and then you go on to the next person. You think you can get another “notch” in your Bible and you’ve done it. That is not what we’re talking about.
One of the greatest gifts you can give somebody is just to listen to them, to hear them. The Lord will stir you; you’ll start hearing from the Holy Spirit. That’s why you’re here. Did you hear that need? But you gotta listen; you need to dual listen.
If you’re a believer today, you have Jesus. You have all the fullness of God. You have all the fullness of God residing in you when you become a Christian. 1st Corinthians, chapter two, verse 16 says that you have the mind of Christ. He’s not modeling something you can’t do. He abides in you, and if you listen to him and listen to the person you’re talking to at the same time, get ready. You’re on the adventure. This is the most amazing, wonderful thing. It’s an adventure.
Can we learn about witnessing from Jesus and from this woman? Absolutely. Jesus witnesses to “Nick at night” in a whole different way than he does Samaritan woman in the daytime. He adapts to the person. He starts where they are, and then He introduces Himself.
How do we do that? We have to dual listen. We have to listen to the spirit and listen to the person; that’s the adventure. It’s beautiful. Will you obey Christ’s call to “go and tell.” God doesn’t have a plan B. His plan for reaching people with the gospel is you. It’s you!
Here’s number two. (2) Invite them to come and see. I sometimes hear people say, “Yeah, I’m a ‘go and tell’ but I’m not a ‘come and see.’ Jesus is both; so is the Samaritan woman. ‘I don’t believe in those come and see churches.’ Well, that’s not it.; it’s both. It’s not either or. We have got to do both.
Let’s look for “come and see.” Let’s look at verses 29 and 30 again. I told you,I pulled up a little early there before we got the rest of it. “So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people….” So that’s the “going and tell.” Then in verse 29, “Come see….” There it is. She had to go in town so she could “come and see.” She gave an invitation. People invite people; invite them to “come and see. It’s a very humble invitation. It’s not a ‘let me tell you everything’ invitation. It’s more like ‘come and see what God has done for me. Come and listen. Come and see’ taste and see that the Lord is good.’ It’s an invitation. Jesus, look what He’s done for me.
I love that it’s got two parts. She only has two parts to her witness because she doesn’t know anything yet. ‘What do I say? I don’t know the words. You said you can’t witness without words, but I don’t know the words.’ Let’s just say she did not go to a witnessing class. She didn’t memorize any scripture’ she doesn’t know any scripture except the wrong scripture. If you go back there and look, she’s part of the false religion where they’ve taken some Judaism and some other religions and must come together because of King Jeroboam, who put a golden calf in Samaria and caused them to worship idolatry. Also, they’ve been intermarried. They are a mess and they worship up on this mountain. She’s is a mess. She doesn’t know what she’s talking about. She didn’t have the right scripture. She didn’t go to witnessing class. What does she do, because what she does is brilliant. This is what you can do. It’s only two things. ‘A man who told me all that ever did…’
We were studying earlier this week; we have two campuses, WCC and EastGate. We son, Jonathan, was studying this word, gift. It seems like maybe more happened then what John tells us because the only thing we know Is Jesus said to the woman, “Go get your husband” and she said, “I have no husband.” He tells her she’s had five husbands and the one she is living with now is not her husband. And that’s all we know about what he told her about her life. But He must have told her some other stuff. That is my suspicion or it was significant enough to make her say what she says, but she says just “come see a man who told me all that I ever did.”
What is the part that she’s doing? She’s telling the people in Sukar what Jesus has done for her. What has Jesus done for you? You’re the worldwide expert on that. Nobody knows more about that than you. ‘I’m afraid they’ll ask me a question that I won’t know the answer to.’ You were there and they weren’t. I mean, who else knows a better story than you of what happened to you? You’re the expert on what Jesus did for you. “Come see the man that told me everything I ever did.” He knows me inside out. Come see him. This is the most humble invitation to come to Jesus. Can this be the Christ? Now that word is invested with information. She doesn’t know a lot. But that word, Christ, means “anointed one.” It’s the the Greek word equivalent of the Hebrew word, “Messiah”, which means “anointed one.” This is the long expected one. And even though they have a messed up religion, they retained the knowledge because they did at least believe in the Torah, the 1st five books of Moses. They retain the knowledge of Messiah, and they don’t have it all right, but they have enough to know they were looking for the Messiah. And so she uses a word that’s invested with a lot of information. But, remember who she is. She’s that woman in town that everybody looks down their noses at, especially the other women. She comes to town very humbly. She doesn’t say the man, she says “a man.” Come see a man, a man out there. There’s a man out there that told me everything I ever did. Can this be the Christ?
That’s your witness? Can you do that? Tell them what Jesus did for you and tell him who Jesus is. Think about it for a second. What is witnessing? Witnessing is telling what Jesus has done for you and who Jesus is. He’s the savior. He’s the Christ. He died on the cross for our sins. Tell people who Jesus is and tell him what he’s done for you. That’s your witness.
Aren’t you glad you came to church today? There you go. That’s it. And that’s what Jesus is doing here. This woman makes it simple. She makes it so that in verse 30 it says, “they went out of the town and were coming to him.” They were coming with the invitation. I think when she says, “can this be the Christ?” She’s still processing the possibility.
Some years ago, there was a man in our church that had not yet become a believer. He was attending church regularly, but he had not yet confessed Jesus. He come from a background where he believed that he was born into the church. He’d been baptized as a baby and he kind of felt like, ‘Well, I’ve always been a Christian. I was brought up in a Christian family and I went to church, so I’m a Christian.’ He hadn’t made a decision for Christ himself, but he was attending. We sent a group of men off to a Promise Keepers conference down in Charlotte, this particular year at the Speedway. I didn’t get to go because at the last minute my mother had a heart attack and I had to drive up to Bristol, Virginia, and be with her where I grew up. And I went up there to be with her and the team went off without me. Well, they didn’t know about this certain person. I’ll call him John. I’ve been calling everybody John this morning, might as well call him John.
They went off to this thing and they got there early. . They were told that if they wanted to get in early and get seating up front, they could sign up to be an evangelistic counselor. And so the team leader that took my place said, “We’ll do it. We get front seating; we will go in early.” They had taken John with them. They didn’t know John wasn’t a believer yet.
They go in and get the evangelistic training. They get the lanyard around their neck. They’re sitting down front and the night comes and it’s great worship and great preaching; it is awesome. They’ve been instructed of how to share their faith with other people. John, he’s got the instruction, but he’s never submitted to Christ himself. They are told to run down front as soon as they offer the altar call. They are to stand in strategic places and when somebody coming towards them , they are to give them the plan of salvation and pray with them so that they have assurance of salvation. John was down front praying,‘God, please, please, God, don’t let anybody come to me because I don’t know if I’m saved.’ That’s what he was praying because he told me. He called me when he got home. He said people kept walking by him and he could see the other members of our team. They were praying with two and three people at a time. He’s praying, ‘Thank you, Lord, that nobody’s talking to me.’ He was trying to kind of hide. And then here comes a guy. He said he saw the guy. The guy was coming right at him. He’s looking right at him. He’s thinking, ‘Oh, Lord, he has made eye contact with me. He’s coming at me.’ He came right to him and he said that guy came right to his face. He introduces himself, “My name is John. This is what I’m supposed to read to you to make sure you’re saved. Brother , I gotta tell you, I’m not saved either. I think both of us need to pray this prayer.” So, they both prayed to receive Christ right there. And they’ve still been friends through the years since then. He believed at that moment.
Now this woman said, “Can this be the Christ?” I don’t know where she’s at on the scale of faith at this point, but she has enough to go tell other people about it. Some of us are sitting here this morning. We’ve been a believer for years, and we’ve never lead anyone to Jesus. Lord, forgive us. We’ve been keeping a secret. The invitation to “come and see” works hand in hand with “go and tell.”
John 1:45-46 (NLT) 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 46 Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” Come and see and then in Psalm 66:5 (NIV) “Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works in man’s behalf!” As we heard earlier in the testimony, the invitation from Jesus is, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Will you invite people to come and see?
Finally, (3) Encourage them to hear and believe. In these final verses, we see Jesus trying to to explain some things to the disciples. They are worried about food in verse 34. They tell Jesus that they have brought food. ‘We went to Sukar McDonald’s!’ You know, we’ve brought some food out here and you’re not asking for any food. Did that woman give him some food? You know, they’re talking among themselves and he answers. He says, “I have food that you don’t know about.” The disciples were worried about lunch, and Jesus was focused on people’s lives. They were worried about breaking bread, and he was worried about broken hearts. They were wondering why they found him talking to a Samaritan woman while he wondered why they didn’t see the harvest of lost souls all around them. They were focused on the temporal and Jesus was focused on the eternal.
Jesus said, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.” And then he taught him a little thing about sowing and reaping. He told them others have been sowing before you got here. Others have labored. He’s talking about the prophets that have gone on before. He’s talking about the centuries back there through the Old Testament of people sharing about Him. People have been laboring. But if you look now, it’s time for the harvest. It’s time to go out and reap, and here you were focused on food. I’m out here doing my job. I’m talking to someone who’s ready to come to the Lord. It’s important to know where you are on the reaping, on the sowing and reaping we’re called to. We’re not called to reap unless the spirit desires it. So sometimes you’re the one who prays, someone else sows, someone else waters and someone else reaps the harvest. We’re like a team, and so we don’t worry about where you’re at. Don’t feel like a failure.
If you talk to someone about Jesus and they push you aside, you’re on a team. God’s the only one who can save. He told you to talk about Him. Maybe your job was to water that day. Look what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 3:6-8 (NLT) “6 I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. 7 It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work.” Just think I’m a sower, and sometimes he gives you the wonderful gift of being a reaper, of being there to pray with him. But often you’re just sowing the word. Often that’s as far as it goes.
Circle the word believe. If you look down at the end here, you’ll see the word believe three times. (39-42) 39 Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of his word. 42 They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.” Three times we see the word believe. In every case, the believing followed hearing. There’s no believing without hearing.
We see in Romans 10:14-17 (NLT) 14 But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? 15 And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” 16 But not everyone welcomes the Good News, for Isaiah the prophet said, “Lord, who has believed our message?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.” How can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they’ve never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how would anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” 16 But not everyone welcomes the Good News, for Isaiah the prophet said, “Lord, who has believed our message?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.” So faith comes in believing comes because of hearing. We’re called to speak the gospel and to speak the witness.
I’m gonna cut the next couple of verses. I would encourage you to read first Corinthians Chapter 15: 3 and four and second Corinthians, 5 19 and 20. I have it in your text there; in your bulletin.
I’m going to go ahead and close. I want you to think about this; that it’s so easy to share your faith if you’ll just get your lips moving. If you’ll just start talking, that’s the hardest part. And sometimes the first step is just to be friendly, like be friendly, smile at someone, say hello, Ask them how they’re doing and mean it. And then listen. Listen to the Holy Spirit and listen to them, because when they tell you how they’re doing often they’ll leak something that the Holy Spirit wants you to ask more about. And then before you know it, you’re in a God conversation. I don’t know what part you’re in. You might be in the seed planting part. You might be in the watering. You might be in the praying. You might be in the reaping. It’s an adventure, and that’s where I want you to be today.
I want you to think about something . If you were to go up to a flea market and you were somewhat well informed enough to recognize a Rembrandt, you saw a painting sitting over there at a flea market and it had dirt on it. It had been, you know, kind of not well taken care of. You probably spent everything you had to go ahead and get that and then you take it. You wouldn’t try to clean it up yourself. You take it to a master and you ask if he could restore it and get it cleaned up. You find out that it’s the most valuable thing and that you found at a flea market.
That’s what Jesus found up there in Sukar. He found one of God’s masterpieces. And I want you to think about something. Look around this room, every single one of you. God wants to make you a masterpiece in that broken person. That person at your workplace, that person at your school, that person that neighbor that aggravates the daylights out of you when you’re trying to sleep or lets their dog do stuff in your yard and won’t pick it up. That neighbor is God’s masterpiece. And when he looks, he sees a Rembrandt. You see mud and dirt and discoloration. We need to bring him to the master so he can make him the masterpiece. I want us all to value people that way. Will you go and tell people to come and see so that they might hear in belief? Let’s pray, Lord, thank you for your word. I pray today for the person that’s here today that we’re inviting you. You’re here today. You came in on a thread. We’re inviting you to come to Jesus. Would you pray with me right now? Dear Lord Jesus, I’m a sinner. . I need a savior. Jesus. Come into my life. I believe you died on the cross for my sins that you were raised from the grave and that you live today. Come and live in me. If you’re praying that prayer right now, the Lord will save you. Lord, I want to be a child of God. If you’re asking that, he will make you a child of God today, my friend. Thank you for praying that prayer with us. Others are here today. And you’re a believer. But you’re you’re not sharing your faith. I don’t know; maybe if it’s fear. I don’t know if it’s lack of knowledge, lack of passion, busyness of life. Would you confess it to the Lord right now? Lord, forgive me. I want to obey your word. I want to be one that goes and tells people to come and see, to here and believe. Lord change me, starting today so that everywhere I go, I tell everyone I see about you in Jesus name, Amen.