Sermons

Summary: Why is that sharp spiritual void we have within — a void that can only be filled by a relationship with God — so often seem blunted? (for Friend Day)

Jesus Meets the Woman at the Well

(John 4:4-43)

1. A renowned philosopher was held in high regard by his driver, who listened in awe as his boss lectured and answered difficult questions about the nature of things and the meaning of life.

Then, one day, the driver approached the philosopher and asked if he was willing to switch roles for just one evening. The philosopher agreed, and, for a while, the driver handled himself remarkably well.

However, when the time came for questions, someone at the back of the room asked him, "Is the epistemological meta-narrative that you seem to espouse compatible with a teleological account of the universe?"

"That's an extremely simple question," he replied. "So simple, in fact, that even my driver could answer it."

2. All of us have to grapple with why we are here, where we are going, the purpose of life. The reason for this, from a Biblical perspective, is that we have a void in our lives. Some of us face it, some of us mask the void. Jesus taught that this void, this thirst for meaning and reconciliation with our Creator — can be satisfied through Him.

Question: Why is that sharp spiritual void we have within — a void that can only be filled by a relationship with God — so often seem blunted?

I. The Incident of Jesus and the Woman at the Well Gives Us Some CLUES!

A. Jesus had to pass through SAMARIA

1. Was it for purely practical reasons? To avoid His enemies? Because John the Baptist had been arrested (Mark 6:17-20)? To make good time (shortest route between Judea and Galilee)?

2. Or was it because the Holy Spirit so led Him? Vs. 35

B. He was TIRED so He rested at Jacob’s well while the disciples went to buy food.

C. A Samaritan woman comes by with JARS and a bucket on a rope.

1. 2nd well away from town---not frequented by city dwellers…

2. She was looked down upon socially…odd time, odd location

3. Jesus requests she draw Him some water (he has no bucket)

D. The woman thinks it is ODD that He would even talk to her.

1. A Samaritan woman… by Jews, considered constantly unclean…

2. The Jews/Samaritans had been enemies for over 500 years….

E. Note how Jesus takes the conversation from what the woman THINKS she needs and turns the attention toward what she REALLY needs.

1. She thinks she would love a bountiful water supply, Jesus offers her a perpetual relationship with the Living God.

2. She has filled her life with one failed relationship after another, but the longing in her soul is still unsatisfied.

3. She is forced to recognize Jesus as having a supernatural knowledge, a prophet. So she diverts His probing questions to arguments about what the proper location for the Jewish temple was supposed to be: Mt. Gerizim or Mt. Zion in Jerusalem.

4. It is not about religion; it is about a personal relationship with God through His Son.

5. Jesus asserts that the main issue is not a physical structure, but a spiritual matter.

6. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.

7. He says something rather insulting: “You Samaritans worship what you do not know.” They did not believe the entire OT, only the Torah. “Salvation is of (or from) the Jews.”

8. She once again avoided the subject and said, “When Messiah comes, He’ll explain everything.”

9. She was shocked when Jesus said, “I He speak to you am He.”

10. This forced the woman to either accept Jesus as Lord or reject Him as a lunatic or a liar. It forces us to the same decision: Is He Lord, Liar, or Lunatic? Unbelieving Jewish leaders labeled Him a sorcerer, a deceiver (liar). Interestingly, they never accused Him of being a lunatic. Down to two: Lord or Liar?

11. Meanwhile, the disciples return, surprised but quiet…. woman leaves…. Rabbi, eat something…. My food…Look---the fields are ripe unto harvest….

12. The Harvest was taking place…the woman returned to her village and told everyone about Christ…. they urged Christ to stay 2 days, and many came to believe in Him…

13. This woman’s life, and that of others in the village, was transformed…

14. The void within her was filled; she was a changed woman.

Why is that sharp spiritual void we have within — a void that can only be filled by a relationship with God — so often seem blunted?

II. Everyone Has A Spiritual Void Within Them: Some Sense It Acutely, Others Confuse It, and Yet Others Desensitize themselves to It — But It Is Always THERE!

A. How do some desensitize their NEED?

1. Through relationships. We have another need — a spouse. When we try to find the fulfillment in our spouse that can only come from God, we will be disappointed.

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