Summary: This sermon unpacks the effects of Jesus ministry whilst in Samaria.
John 4:27 -42; Jesus , Cause & Effect of the Gospel
Cause and effect refers to the philosophical concept of causality, in which an action or event will produce a certain response to the action in the form of another event.
• And so it is true when it comes to Jesus & the gospel, they will always have an effect upon others, positive or negative, the response to Jesus & the gospel will never be inert, it cannot be neutral, Jesus & Gospel will cause an effect.
• Wherever Jesus travelled cause &effect whether it was Judea, Samaria, Galilee, Jerusalem his appearance in that location had an effect ( people gathered, received him , rejected him , saved, healed, provided ) & the same is still true today wherever this Gospel goes there will be a cause and effect.
• Whatever Jesus said, had a cause & effect upon those he came into contact with whether Nicodemus (religiously intrigued), the women at the well ( morally bankrupt, yet converted) , the disciple Peter ( who denied the Lord yet restored) , the rich young man ( who refused to follow) and still today the teaching & words of Jesus still leave its effects upon individual lives.
• Whatever Jesus did had a cause and effect , whether it was up turning over the tables in the temple, whether it was calming the wind and the waves on the sea of Galilee, whether changing water into wine all these actions had effects as a result of the cause. The greatest act of course, his atoning death and resurrection, the greatest effect that whoever repents and believes is saved. But whoever fails to repent and believe will perish.
So Jesus & the gospel cause will always have an effect ; to one it’s a fragrance to life the other to death, but it is never inert or neutral the cause of the gospel will bring an effect, positive or negative.
1. The 1st Cause effect upon the disciples. v27, 31
• Jesus is talking to a women
The first cause & effect we see is upon the disciples themselves. They have just returned from their shopping trip and we see that they are surprised to find Jesus talking to firstly a women, a Samaritan women, and a complete stranger; Last week we delved into the cultural implications of all this, it was understood as a culturally no, no!
Of course this wasn’t the first time that Jesus causes surprises by the people he was hanging around with after the conversion of Levi a tax collector a party is held at his house in order to invite likeminded sinners and the Pharisees ask his disciples Luke 5: 30 “What is your teacher doing eating with tax collectors and sinners? “
Also in Luke 7: 39 Jesus is at a Pharisees house by the name of Simon where a women enters & washes his feet out of thankfulness for receiving forgiveness & yet the Pharisee reclining with Jesus said to himself, “ if this man was a prophet he would know who and what sort of women this is who is touching him , for she is a sinner.
Then in the open air also Luke 15:2, As tax collectors & sinner draw near to him, the Pharisees & Scribes once again grumbled, “ this man receives sinners & eats with them.” And of course who can forget when he went into the house of Zack Luke 19 7 ; the people grumbled he’s gone into the house of a sinner.
To their credit unlike the Pharisees / scribes never grumbled but were surprised, they remain silent, they didn’t ask the woman what she wanted, they didn’t ask Jesus what he was doing speaking to her, they didn’t form any judgements, upon the Lords work, they are simply surprised, that Jesus was talking to this particular women.
a) A non judgemental approach to outreach. (27) ( The positive effect upon the disciples)
We can learn from the disciples is that they don’t form any critical judgements upon what Jesus is doing, or upon the women he is engaging in conversation with, although they are surprised, they remain silent. Their response is the exact opposite to the Pharisees, scribes and others, were forever grumbling whenever he engaged with those they thought were sinners. Jesus was told in no uncertain terms.
Application: We must avoid a critical spirit of others, who are reaching out with the gospel in ways we may find different, or not to our liking, , its so much easier to step in and be critical, sometimes we must stand back, remain silent & be surprised, but giving thanks to God for the great work that He is doing in reaching out to a diversity of people in a diversity of ways.