Summary: Message 8 from John covering the witness of the woman at the well and our responsibility to share the gospel.
I. Pursue a proper perception
A. Know the gift of God
John introduced this theme in chapter one.
In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. John 1:4
There was the true light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. John 1:9
Jesus offers God’s gift of life. This life comes from receiving and believing in Him. Jesus not only directs her focus on something beyond this earth but also to focus on Himself as Messiah.
B. Know the giver (The person of Christ)
Jesus directs her view from a mere man sitting by the well to a prophet to the promised Messiah. God offers not only life but also relationship with Himself. How are we to respond to such an offer?
II. Practice a proper response
We find some interesting responses through the rest of the story of the woman by the well.
A. Proper perception leads to potent petition.
"If you only knew the gift God has for you and who I am, you would ask me, and I would give you living water."
If you only knew the gift and the giver, you would ask him for soul satisfying water. Here is the heart of Jesus teaching. The better you understand, the more you trust. If you only knew! She says evermore give me this water. She responds by asking. Asking someone for what we cannot do ourselves takes humility. It indicates a willingness to admit our own weakness and the ability of the one we ask to fill a need in our life.
B. Proper perception leads to honest confession
Jesus came to deal with sin and leads this woman to deal with her past. This woman was willing to own up to her present condition when confronted by Jesus. She offered no excuses, no defense, only acknowledged that Jesus was right about her. And her perception of him changed from an interesting man by a well to a prophet of God.
C. Proper perception leads to genuine worship
Confronted with one who knew the dark details of her life, the woman became interested in true worship. I think she made an honest attempt to understand the nature of genuine worship. I think there was a longing in her heart to be right with God. Now in the company of one she perceived as a spokesman for God, she seeks an answer to her confusion. Jesus made it abundantly clear that worship has nothing to do with place but a person. In order to worship, one must know the giver and posses the gift of the spirit. Genuine worship or response to God centers in the truth concerning the Him and manifests from a heart made alive by the spirit. Worship is not so much about us as it is about God.
Genuine worship is a life style of response to a renewed perception and awareness of God, his person, his purpose and work, his presence, enflamed by the Holy Spirit that results in actions that demonstrate obedience and reverence in keeping with who we perceive Him to be.
• An ignorant heart can block genuine worship.
• A fleshly heart can block genuine worship.
• A hard heart can block genuine worship.
• A perverted heart can block genuine worship.
• A diluted heart can block genuine worship
Genuine worship is response of our spirit to a renewed and truthful perception of the God we serve that manifests in any number of ways.
Obedience, giving, standing, falling to the ground, raising hands or eyes, praying, studying, dancing, singing, loud music and instruments, serving, clapping, shouting.
As this woman understood the gift and the giver, she began to respond. She asked in faith for the living water he offered. She acknowledged her sinfulness. She experienced a new hunger for the coming Messiah When this woman acknowledged her trust in the fact that the truth would be ultimately revealed through Messiah, Jesus openly declared Himself to be that longed for Messiah. Upon hearing the glaring assertion of Jesus that he was this expected Messiah, this woman ran to tell others.
When we authentically encounter both the gift and the giver and our perception is eternally changed, there will be a corresponding response.
• We will ask Him to give us life.
• We will acknowledge our great need.
• We will seek to worship in Spirit and in truth.
• We will also enthusiastically tell others what we have seen and experienced.
D. Proper perception leads to enthusiastic proclamation
Genuine perception and awareness of the giver and the gift leads to enthusiastic proclamation to others. We see that this is not only a natural response but also a commanded one. I want to pause here to go back through this passage and glean the principles related to profitable proclamation.