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THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD
[1 John 4:7-17]
The revival or great harvest among the Samaritans is noteworthy. It is evidence that because of the rejection by Israel (1:11) Jesus moves into a wider ministry. These few verses also indicate two necessary and interrelated bases for belief: First, the testimony of others and second, a personal connection with Jesus.
The Samaritan woman’s bold witness opened the way to Jesus for the villagers. They saw her vivid transformation. That stage of belief however is only introductory. The second stage was a personal encounter with Jesus. If they would allow Him to penetrate the shell of their materialism and present the message that had transform her, the Samaritans also would believe that He is the Messiah. The magnificent climax is that the Samaritans come to settled conviction and acclaim Jesus as the Savior of the World.
I. PERSONAL WITNESS, 39-41.
II. PERSONAL CONFESSION, 42.
III. WITHHELD HONOR, 43-45.
In verse 39 we again learn the power of a person’s testimony. From that city many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all the things that I have done.”
The Samaritan woman shared her experience with others. This woman’s testifying was far from perfect but such as her confession was it was adequate for God to use. Despite her reputation, many took her invitation and came out to meet Jesus.
The living water which the woman received from Jesus had certainly become an overflowing fountain in her life, and others were coming to share the refreshment that she had begun to enjoy. The most unlikely soul may prove to be the most effective witness. Let us not grow weary in well-doing.
Perhaps there are sins in our past of which we’re ashamed. But Christ changes us. As people see these changes, they become curious. Use these opportunities to introduce them to Jesus, the Water of Life.
Note the intrigued community’s insistence in 40. So when the Samaritans came to Jesus, they kept asking Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. (41) Many more believed because of His word;
The harvest was not limited to those who came out to see Him at the well. That Samaritans should invite a Jewish teacher to stay with them, shows how completely He had won their confidence. Jesus and His followers agree to remain two days, which confirms the Samaritans’ conviction that Jesus is indeed the long-awaited Messiah. During their brief sojourn there many others in the city come to faith in Him
The Samaritans’ faith (they “believed in Him”) is based on the woman’s testimony, which underscores the value of human witness to the work of God (17:20). Evangelism is a cooperative effort, in which the preparatory work of God joins with our witness to what He has done and is doing in the world. [It is likely this groundwork contributes to the later efforts of Philip in Acts 8 when he comes to Samaria following Stephen’s martyrdom. The Samaritans eagerly receive Philip, confess their faith, are baptized, and receive the Holy Spirit.]
Faith is absolutely vital and fundamental in salvation [and sanctification]. His word was the cause of their faith. Personal testimony plus the word of Jesus is still God’s means of salvation.
II. PERSONAL CONFESSION,
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