Summary: The past few weeks, we have seen from God’s Word that God’s heart and desire is not for us to simply be a church that exists for us, but to be a church that exists to glorify Him and serve others.
Becoming God’s Catalyst For Changed Lives – Part 2
1. Last week, we began studying John 4, focusing on Christ’s encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well.
2. The past few weeks, we have seen from God’s Word that God’s heart and desire is not for us to simply be a church that exists for us, but to be a church that exists to glorify Him and serve others. Philippians 2:4
3. This was and is the heart of Christ. Christ desired to reach people, changing lives for God’s glory.
4. We learned that a “catalyst” is a “person that quickly causes change or action.”
5. You can be God’s catalyst for changed lives. If saved, Christ lives in you.
• God can use you.
• How? Our Savior provides us a great model.
First, by a willingness to lay aside tradition.
Second, by a willingness to lay aside prejudice. vs. 1-5
1. The Samaritans were a mixed race. They intermarried with the Assyrians centuries before. They were hated by the Jews because of their cultural mixing and because they had their own version of God’s Word and their own temple on Mount Gerizim.
• This group had their own brand of religion – a mixture of “Jehovah” worship and paganism.
• To put it bluntly, the Jews looked at the Samaritans as a bunch of “half-breed” heathens, not worthy to be in their presence.
2. Samaria was positioned between Judea and Galilee (reference map), and because of Jewish prejudices toward the Samaritan people, they frequently would travel to the east, cross over the Jordan, and thus skirt the Samaritan territory.
• Samaria was not considered part of the Holy Land; it was seen as a strip of “foreign country” separating Judea from Galilee.
• They so hated the Samaritans that they didn’t even want to pass through their land. Do you think people ever have those same attitudes today?
3. The Lord, however, did not hesitate to go through Samaritan territory. Do you know why Christ was such a catalyst for changed lives? He didn’t know prejudice. He thought that any soul was worth saving. It didn’t matter their religion, nationality, or skin color; it just didn’t matter.
4. Our human tendency is to judge others because of stereotypes, customs, or prejudices. But Jesus treats people as souls, accepting all with love and compassion.
5. Be honest with yourself. Do you dismiss certain people as lost causes, or do you see them as valuable in their own right, worthy of knowing about the gospel of Jesus Christ?
• When was the last time you reached out to somebody who was different? (A girl or guy visibly struggling or physically different from us, whether it is biological or voluntary – tattoos, piercings, etc.) We tend to gravitate to people who are just like us. This goes back to the message a couple of weeks ago about cliques.
• Remember the definition of a clique? It is “a narrow exclusive circle or group of persons.” Yes, kids and teens are bad about this, but where do you think they learn it from? They learn it from their parents and adults.