Title: Smelling Like Jesus
Series: The Fragrance of His Aroma
If you would open your Bibles to John 4. I want to take you to one of my favorite passages in the Bible. Now you hear that a lot. To me this is the most intriguing passages in the Bible. In John 3 we are introduced to Nicodemus and Jesus interaction with the religious leaders, a Pharisee. These were those who were the “leading” Jews of the day. They were the community leaders.
Although the government was Roman, both the Roman leaders and the religious leaders knew how not to “upset the apple cart”. They didn’t mind their religious assemblies as long as it did cause a revolution.
In John 4 we are introduced to another individual who is on the other side of this story. She is lost and even would be rejected by society. We actually finding her hiding at the well. Coming out a different time to avoid the people.
(John 4:1) Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John
He left to avoid competition between his disciples and John’s disciples. John the Baptist was soon to be put to death.
(John 4:2) (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples), (3) He left Judea and departed again to Galilee. (4) But He needed (Gk. Edei “necessity, compulsion, destiny) to go through Samaria.
There was a drawing of the Spirit that was leading Him to go through Samaria. It was often described of Jesus to be “led by the Spirit”. This is how His ministry began as He was “led by the Spirit” into the wilderness”.
(Joh 4:5) So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. (6) Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
So there is history here. This is a historical point. It is recognized by not only the Jews but those around. To me this was a popular meeting place. Everyone needs water.
Having common ground to share our faith is important. It is usually where the Holy Spirit will lead us when we find people who have things in our life that are common. Such as our job. Where we work or where we shop or even where we get our hair cut.
(Joh 4:7) A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give Me a drink." (8) For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. (9) 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.
This is another interesting note here. Whereas the Jews had separated and isolated themselves from any the Samaritans. The Samartians were considered to be a group of people who had compromised in their religious beliefs. They were brought into the town out of captivity and then would intermarry with those of different faiths.
From the Jews perspective they saw them as compromisers. They saw them as low moral values. This caused them to avoid contact with them. Even father they would go out of their way to avoid the town of Samaria.
But as you can tell this attitude had been reciprocal. The Samaritans had come to accept it. There was an expectation. And even a pride that says what are you doing talking to me.
I believe this is what has happened to our society. Often times the people outside the church see us a isolationist. We have the places and people we avoid. They are shocked when we come around. If we are not careful we can fall into that same air. We could easily look down our noses (as the Pharisees did) at those who don’t fall into our same moral belief.
Yet noticed Jesus response. Instead of feeling rejected, He opens the door up.
(John 4:10) 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."
This is where we often fall short or should I say fall into the trap of what debate.
(John 4:11) 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? (12) 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?"
Jesus had peaked her interest.
Living water. Water of life. Water of hope. Water that brings life.
This woman had been rejected, pushed away and abused. Not only by marriage but also by people. This intrigued her.
We see this in our society. People are looking for answers. They have been hurt and hiding from others. Jesus meets them where they are.
(Joh 4:13) Jesus answered and said to her, "Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, (14) but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life."
Hook, line and sinker
(John 4:15) The woman said to Him, "Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw."
It gets deeper.
(John 4:16) Jesus said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come here." (17) The woman answered and said, "I have no husband." Jesus said to her, "You have well said, 'I have no husband,' (18) for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly." (19) The woman said to Him, "Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.
The root of the issue is sin. God was wanting to change her and give her true life.
Two thing I want to share with you about how we need to learn to “smell like Jesus”
I. Apt - People need to know more about what we are for that what we are against.
We get too distracted by what we are against. When asked about Christians most people will say:
Phillip Yancy in his book Vanishing Grace, puts it this way: I once conducted an informal survey among airline seatmates and other strangers willing to strike up a conversation. When I say the word “evangelical,” what comes to mind? In response I would usually hear the word “against”: evangelicals are against abortion, against pornography, against gay rights, against universal health care, against evolution, against immigration. Outsiders regard evangelicals as moralists who want to impose their “head” beliefs on a diverse society. As [theologian] Miroslav Volf noted, when a religion, any religion, tries to force itself on others who do not share their belief, it creates a backlash and stirs up opposition.
Stark, David. Reaching Millennials . Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
This is not to say that we should be “for” any of these. Yet we must let people know more about what we are for than against. We see this in 1 Corinthians 15.
What are we for
1 Corinthians 15:1-7 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel (the Good News) which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, (2) by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. (3) For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: (A) that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, (4) (B) and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, (5) (C) and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. (6) After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. (7) After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles.
1 Corinthians 15:12-20 Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? (13) But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. (14) And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. (15) Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. (16) For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. (17) And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! (18) Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. (19) If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. (20) But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
1 Corinthians 15:50-58 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. (51) Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— (52) in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (53) For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. (54) So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: "DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP IN VICTORY." (55) "O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING? O HADES, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY?" (56) The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.
Victorious Christian Life
(57) But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (58) Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
II. Ambassadors- We are not here to answer every question we are just here to represent Christ.
Representatives of another country. Abraham was
(2 Corthians 5:20) Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God.
2 Corinthians 2:14-17 Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. (15) For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. (16) To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? (17) For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.
A Better Country – Looking beyond this life.
Heb 11:13-16 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. (14) For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. (15) And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. (16) But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.
III. Authentic - We need to be more interested in bearing fruit that avoiding sin.
(Gal 5:16) I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. (Gal 5:17) For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. (Gal 5:18) But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
Seek after the Spirit not the flesh. It is the flesh that distracts us.
(Gal 5:19) Now the works of the flesh are evident, (NLT 19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear:) which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, (Gal 5:20) idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, (Gal 5:21) envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
(Gal 5:22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love,
(John 13:34) A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. (5) By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."
joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, (Gal 5:23) gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. (Gal 5:24) And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Gal 5:25) If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (Gal 5:26) Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
Meeting on Common Ground
(John 4:20) Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship." (21) Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. (22) You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. (23) But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. (24) God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."
Who has a place in your heart that God needs to fill? He is here to put the pieces back together.