Summary: A real understanding of who Christ really is can result in dramatic change, as in the case of this Samaritan woman.

If You Only Knew

John 4:1-10

1 The Pharisees heard that Jesus was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John,

2 although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples.

3 When the Lord learned of this, he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.

4 Now he had to go through Samaria.

5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph.

6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.

7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, "Will you give me a drink?"

8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

9 The Samaritan woman said to him, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)

10 Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water."

ONE DAY THE PHONE RANG in the home of a retired minister. His wife answered it and the voice of a young lady asked for the minister but he was out at the time. His wife said that he would be home later that day. Then the young lady said, ¡°Well, perhaps you can answer just one question for me. Does he still marry people?¡± The pastor¡¯s wife assured her that he was still active along that line. ¡°Oh, good,¡± she said. ¡°I¡¯ll call him later in the day.¡±

That young lady felt she had found the answer to all her life¡¯s problems. She was happy and excited because she was planning her wedding. However, as happy as she was, she couldn¡¯t possibly know all the joys a long and happy married life would bring. She only knew that to her it seemed the happy way.

In a similar way, we cannot know all the blessings God has in store for His children, but we can know they will be greater than we can imagine. Real fulfillment in life comes not from circumstances around us or even significant events in our lives. Real fulfillment of the highest and best kind comes from God!

In verse 10 of the Scripture lesson, Jesus uttered a statement that is profound indeed: "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water."

¡°If you knew...¡± that is, if you understood, perceived, recognized WHO it is that is speaking to you and WHAT it is that He offers (Living Water).

In an effort to reveal Himself, God does the following

¡ï takes the initiative (contact, opportunity)

¡ï makes provision

¡ï makes the offer

¡°If we only knew...

¡õ How lost we really are without Him

¡õ The tragic consequences of sin

¡õ How great is God¡¯s concern for us

¡õ The length to which God went to rescue us

¡°If you only knew...¡± How often have I said this to myself as I have listened, and spoken to those who were struggling with spiritual issues¡ªto that person who is:

¡õ searching

¡õ insecure

¡õ lonely

¡õ bound

¡õ discouraged

¡õ indifferent

If only they really knew who He really was, perhaps...

¡ö Judas wouldn¡¯t have betrayed Him

¡ö Pharisees wouldn¡¯t have blasphemed Him and plotted against Him

¡ö Nazarenes wouldn¡¯t have cast Him out of their town

¡ö Pilate wouldn¡¯t have washed his hands of Him

¡ö Disciples wouldn¡¯t have been so worldly, fretful

If only they knew, the post resurrection appearances of Christ would have been different:

¡ö Mary Magdalene didn¡¯t recognize Him through her tears (John 20:10-18). Jesus comes to bind up the broken-hearted. He appeared first to her to reassure her that her deliverance from demons was real.

¡ö The Emmaeus Road disciples (Luke 24:31) were discouraged by the events of Calvary. They had no idea who it was that walked beside them¡ªthat they were in the presence of Almighty God! They were rebuked for their refusal to believe what the Old Testament prophesied about Him. ¡°If only they knew,¡± they could have been leaping with joy.

¡ö James (I Cor.15:7), the Lord¡¯s brother. ¡°If only he knew¡± who it was that sat at table with him, what a difference it would have made in his life.

¡ö Thomas (John 20:24-29). ¡°If he only knew¡± who it was that had been teaching him, he would have stopped his doubting.

¡ö Disciples, gathered in the Upper Room (John 20:19-21). If they only knew that Jesus was there in their midst, fear would have vanished much sooner.

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