Summary: Jesus' testimony bears credence
Sermon Preached at Grace Community Church (EPC)
Sun City Grand, Surprise, AZ
Sunday, June 21, 2015
by the Reverend Cooper McWhirter
The Doctrine of Assurance: “To Have and Have Not” [Part Four]
In Scripture it speaks about the thirsty believer who can draw from the purifying water that the Lord offers from His wellspring of eternal life. ‘Life-giving’ water where one will thirst no more!
This brings to mind when Jesus and His disciples had departed from Judea on their way to Galilee. But instead of bypassing Samaria, which no self-respecting Jew would ever do, Jesus deliberately came to the city of Sychar.
At noontime, while the disciples went into the city to buy food, Jesus struck up a conversation with a nameless Samaritan woman who came to draw water from Jacob’s well. This was near the plot of land Jacob had bequeathed to his son, Joseph.
During their exchange, Jesus said, “Give Me a drink.” Startled by this, she replied: “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” Jesus 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.” Jesus explained what He meant by this: “Whoever drinks from this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. The water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
Jesus then revealed this woman’s “checkered past”. Taken back by this, she perceived this Man to be a prophet! They then spoke about the differences as to their religious beliefs where Jesus said: “You worship what you do not know; but we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.” The woman replied: “I know that Messiah is coming who is called ‘Christ’. And when He comes, He will tell us all things.” Whereupon Jesus exclaimed: “I who speak to you am He” [John 4:1-26]. And she believed!
In spite of being a social outcast, ostracized by her own people, she told the men of that city about this mysterious Man whom she had encountered.
Undoubtedly, in the annals of redemptive history this nameless woman would be counted among “the have’s”; for no longer would she remain…nameless!
One thing that’s so amazing about this encounter was the fact that this was the only time Jesus ever revealed His true identity to an ‘outsider’! And although Jesus performed no miracles in her presence; yet, she believed! How ironic, given the fact that Jesus performed countless miracles among His own people; and yet there were those who refused to believe what their eyes could see and what their ears could hear!
In this passage, Jesus reveals yet again: who HE was, why HE came, and what HE offers to those who place their faith in Him! The first thing that validates Jesus’ true identity was the fact that: MY WORKS BEAR WITNESS OF ME (repeat).
In this sermon series, you’ll recall my having said that in Old Testament times in order to resolve a dispute fairly and impartially, the law required at least two or three witnesses to verify the truth.
This particular encounter occurred while Jesus was attending the annual Feast of Dedication. And because it was winter, to avoid the cold, Jesus walked along the eastern side of the temple in Jerusalem in a sheltered area known as Solomon’s portico.
And a crowd gathered around Him and asked: “How long will You keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” There is nothing to suggest that this question was posed either by the scribes or Pharisees, although they might have been present there that day. Thus, we can assume these were not the Jewish religious leaders, or temple officials, but practicing Jews.
So why were these commoners raising such a question? In verses 31-39, it becomes obvious that they had their own devious agenda. The last thing they were seeking was the truth! They were hoping Jesus would publicly profess that He was the Messiah, so that they might seize Him and stone Him to death! But we read that He alluded their grasp. These Jews were nothing more than heinous jackals! Thus, they were to be counted among “the have nots”!
However, rather than falling prey to their entrapment, Jesus responded to their query by saying: “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s Name bear witness about Me, but you do not believe because you are not among My sheep.” Previously in this chapter, Jesus identified Himself as the “Good Shepherd”; the One who lays down His life for His sheep!