Summary: Sometimes Jesus speaks in "riddles" and sometimes he takes the direct approach and speaks plainly.
1. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow told the story of a love triangle that involved three friends from the Mayflower called, “The Courtship of Miles Standish.” Their names were John Alden; Miles Standish and Priscilla Mullins. Both men were in love with Priscilla but Miles convinced John to go on his behalf to ask her to marry Miles. Reluctantly John went and proposed for his friend. Priscilla realizes John’s affection for her and pops the question to him: “Why don’t you speak for yourself, John?” Clarity was preferred.
2. Sometimes God speaks to us in symbols such as the cross; the dove; olive tree; olive oil
3. Jesus used parables and mystery to teach and often spoke plainly, taking the “direct approach.”
4. Tell the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well – John 4:1-42
I. Jesus took a Direct Route Through Samaria John 4:9 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.)
A. Normally Jews Chose an Alternative Route B/C:
1. Fear and Danger
2. Prejudice and Hatred
3. Jesus does not always go the safe way – Caesarea Philippi; Gaderenes
4. In Chronicles of Narnia Lucy asks the Beavers if Aslan (Jesus) is safe. Mr. Beaver replies, “Safe? . . . Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he ain’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King I tell you.”
a. We may be safe from eternal damnation in following Jesus
b. We are not safe from the realities he shows us – Immanuel!
B. He HAD to go Through Samaria John 4:4 4 And he had to pass through Samaria.
1. To prepare his disciples – Faith over Fear – Acts 1:8
2. To prepare the way for the gospel -- Acts 8:25 25 Now when they had testified and spoken the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel to many villages of the Samaritans.
3. Divisiveness today – cure – Jesus – Ephesians 2:13-16
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.
II. Jesus Spoke Direct Truths
A. Her Personal Situation John 4:16-18 16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” 17 The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.”
1. Samaritans Knew Torah
2. God knew her
3. Families and morals are the foundation for society
B. Her Question About Worship John 4:19-20 19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.”
1. A Diversion?
2. The Debate – Mt. Gerizim or Mt. Zion?
3. Different Answer – It’s not a place, it’s an attitude John 4:21-24 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
C. His Identity John 4:25-26 25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”
1. Her suspicion about Him – the Coming One? Genesis 12:3 (in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”); Deuteronomy 18:15 15 “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen—
2. His transparent declaration
a. John the Baptist asked, too – Matthew 11:2-7 – he got the same answer in a different way
b. A clear statement
3. She moves from calling Jesus “a prophet” to realizing he is “THE Prophet”