Summary: We can be good evangelist's by just being willing and available.
Leaving The Comfort Zone
Text: John 4:1-26
1. Survivor Eva Hart remembers the night, April 15, 1912, on which the Titanic plunged 12,000 feet to the Atlantic floor, some two hours and forty minutes after an iceberg tore a 300-foot gash in the starboard side: "I saw all the horror of its sinking, and I heard, even more dreadful, the cries of drowning people."
Although twenty life-boats and rafts were launched-too few and only partly filled-most of the passengers ended up struggling in the icy seas while those in the boats waited a safe distance away.
Lifeboat No. 14 did row back to the scene after the unsinkable ship slipped from sight at 2:20 A.m. Alone, it chased cries in the darkness, seeking and saving a precious few. Incredibly, no other boat joined it.
Some were already overloaded, but in virtually every other boat, those already saved rowed their half-filled boats aimlessly in the night, listening to the cries of the lost. Each feared a crush of unknown swimmers would cling to their craft, eventually swamping it.
"I came to seek and to save the lost," our Savior said. And he commissioned us to do the same. But we face a large obstacle: fear. While people drown in the treacherous waters around us, we are tempted to stay dry and make certain no one rocks the boat.
2. We need as a church, and as Christians in general, to see that we were sent here on a rescue mission.
A. From a spiritual standpoint, there are people all around us that are drowning.
B. We have a choice, we can act like the people in the other lifeboats, more concerned with our own saftey and comfort, or we can be like those in No. 14 and turn around and look for people to rescue.
3. Many of us choose not to share our faith with others because we are afraid or insecure. But be encouraged my friends because we have been given an evangelism handbook...it's called the Bible!
4. In our text today Jesus shows us how to witness to people. We witness to people by being willing to...
A. Be Vulnerable
B. Be Real
C. Be Honest
5. Let's stand together as we read John 4:1-26.
Proposition: We can be good evangelist's by just being willing and available.
Transition: The number one thing you need to be willing to do is...
I. Be Vulnerable (1-9).
A. Had To Go Through Samaria
1. The Pharisees got a little uptight when they heard that Jesus was baptizing more people than John.
A. In their minds it was bad enough that they had to deal with John, who had already called them a bunch of hypocrites and told them to repent.
B. Now they not only had to deal with him, but they also had to deal with this new upstart preacher from Nazareth.
2. John tells us, "So he left Judea and returned to Galilee."
A. John doesn't say that the Pharisees did anything against Jesus, but it is unlikely that they saw Jesus growing popularity as a good thing.
B. Nevertheless Jesus doesn't want to give them any reason for a confrontation at this time.
C. He knew that eventually there would be a clash with the Pharisees, but it was too soon for that now.
3. Here is where the story becomes really interesting. John says, "He had to go through Samaria on the way."
A. What exactly does John mean when he says "he had to go through Samaria?" Did he really have to go through Samaria?
B. Most strict Jews disliked the Samaritan's so much that they would go out of their way in order to avoid them.
C. In going north to Galilee, Jesus took the less-preferred route through Samaria.
D. Samaria had a long history of tension with Judea. In Jesus' day, harsh racial and cultural conflict existed between Jews and Samaritans.
E. Jews normally avoided Samaria by first going east to Jericho, then following the Jordan Valley north (NLTStudyBible).
F. So why does John say he "had to" go this way?
G. Well in much of John's writings the phrase "had to," or "must" referred to mission.
H. So Jesus deliberately chose to go through Samaria because he had a specific mission in mind there.
I. His going there was for the purpose of outreach. He was willing to go where no one else would because the people there needed to hear the Gospel.
4. As he went, "Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. 7 Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water..."