Summary: April 28, 2002 -- 4th in a series on the Gospel of John. This sermon uses a word that might offend some -- some people even think of it as a "dirty word." Many think no Presbyterian would ever use this word, but statistics show Presbyterians do this as m
“Sharing The Good News”
April 28, 2002
The Rev. Dr. W. Maynard Pittendreigh -- Senior Pastor
Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, "Will you give me a drink?" (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water."
"Sir," the woman said, "you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?"
Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water."
And continuing in verse 27…
Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, "What do you want?" or "Why are you talking with her?"
Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, "Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?"
And continuing in verse 39…
Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, "He told me everything I ever did."
So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. And because of his words many more became believers. They said to the woman, "We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world." After the two days he left for Galilee.
There is a word that I need to say in my sermon.
I hope I don’t offend anyone.
I hope that when I say it, no one walks out.
It’s a word that scares some people.
It’s a word some people think is a dirty word.
It’s a word that some people think is something Presbyterians don’t like to hear –
The word is --- Evangelism.
I’m not sure why we don’t like that word.
Maybe it is because when we hear it we’re afraid that the pastor is going to make us work at something that is awkward and embarrassing.
We don’t like to knock on the doors of the homes of strangers. Most of us don’t like to give out tracts and pamphlets to strangers. Most of us don’t feel like we have the training to do evangelism. Many people believe – that’s what we pay the preacher to do – let them do it.
Today we are continuing our study of John’s Gospel, and here in chapter 4 one of the many themes of this text is evangelism. And Evangelism is simply sharing the Good News of Christ and giving people the opportunity to become Christians.
Jesus is on a journey. He rests while his companions go elsewhere to find food for their meal. He sits at a well, and while he is there, a woman comes to draw water from the well.
It is at this point that Jesus begins to practice the art of evangelism.
And through this event, we get to see just how simple evangelism is.
Most of us try to make evangelism a very complicated matter. But it is simpler than you think.
First of all, evangelism is simple because you don’t have to worry about whom to go to.
We want to complicate evangelism. We have all sorts of questions and one of the questions about evangelism is – with whom do we talk to when we evangelize.
Looking at this example of evangelism – the answer is everyone.
You don’t need to complicate matters by trying to decide whom to speak with – just tell everybody about Christ – anyone you run into.
Jesus just naturally and calmly shares the good news of the Gospel with someone he happened to meet at a well.
In the same way, think of the people you run into in the course of the day or week.