Summary: This sermon examines the process of impacting a city for Jesus Christ.
Do you want to impact this city for Jesus Christ? That should be the dream of every believer. We find a wonderful example in John 4. The majority of this chapter is dedicated to Jesus involvement with one lady. However, the end result is found in verse 39, "Many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him." (NKJV) Jesus influenced a city by influencing one person. Notice the introduction of the story.
“A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?” (John 4:7-12; NKJV)
So the question is, what did Jesus do that impacted the city? Notice three truths. I will be covering each of these in detail over the next three weeks.
I. Truth: Jesus was involved with people. At the time recorded in this text Jesus was traveling. He was traveling from Judea to the region of Galilee. He did not have to pass through Samaria but He did. In fact, the Bible indicates “He needed to go through Samaria.” Samaria consisted of a group of people who were a mix of two nationalities. The Jewish people frowned on such crossovers. They looked down on the Samaritans. They believed in a purebred pedigree. Jesus did not avoid the Samaritans. He walked among them. As Jesus traveled through Samaria he stopped at a water well about noon, for a drink of water. This well was named after the Old Testament character, Jacob. I visited this well on a trip to the Holy Land several years ago. It is still there today.
Notice something; Jesus did not stay among the religious people, the Jews. He did not stay in the religious realm, in Jerusalem. He was involved with people. The longer we attend church and participate in religious functions the fewer contacts we have in the community. Jesus was not some religious Holy Joe who stayed in a religious bubble. He was actively involved with people.
As a church you have been given a wonderful gift. Our church does not bog you down with endless meetings and activities. Some churches I have served will require 8-10 hours of your time each week. We try to limit time requirements to 2-4 hours per week. I hope you will use some of that time to be involved with other people.
I once sat down and traced Jesus activities through the gospel of Luke. I was inspired by the number of people with whom he was involved. We find Jesus embarking on His ministry in Luke 4. Beginning with verse 31 of chapter 4, follow Luke’s account of Jesus’ ministry. Notice His involvement with people.
Luke 4:33- He was involved with a man who had an unclean spirit.
Luke 4:38- He was involved with Peter’s sick mother in law.
Luke 4:41- He was involved with the demon possessed.
Luke 4:42- He was involved with a crowd.
In a recent issue of “Outreach Magazine” a writer discussed a paradigm shift that is occurring within churches. There is a trend among evangelical churches to be “missional” in their focus rather than “attractional”. What does that mean? Historically churches have focused on attracting people to attend their services at their place. However, many churches are beginning to gain a vision of going “out there to their place.” That was Jesus approach. He was on mission in the world.
I once heard someone say “we should be off of our seat, onto our feet and into the street.”
We are to be on mission and involved with people.
If we want to impact our city it is imperative to get involved with people. We have some doctors, dentists and professional people who have the privilege of being involved with literally hundreds of people each week. However, some of you may not have that opportunity. If you do not have that kind of forum what can you do to expand your circle of influence?
1. Begin with your family.
2. Get to know your neighbors.
3. Get involved with your Sunday school class.