Summary: A living lesson on evangelism from the master of evangelism Himself.
Illustration: One day, in 1888, Alfred Nobel picked up the morning newspaper and read his obituary. It was his brother who had passed away, but an over-zealous reporter, who had failed to check the facts, wrote that the world saw Alfred Nobel as the inventor of dynamite, an armaments manufacturer, a merchant of death. Because of this unusual chance to see his life as others saw it, Nobel resolved to make clear his true desire for peace. He arranged that the income from all of his fortune would fund an award to be made to those persons who did the most for the cause of peace. And so, today we remember Alfred Nobel not as an arms merchant, but as the founder of the Nobel Prize for Peace.
(v. 16) CALL YOUR HUSBAND – Since the woman failed to understand the nature of living water Jesus was offering, He abruptly turned the conversation to her spiritual need for conversion and cleansing from sin. His intimate knowledge of her morally depraved life not only indicated His supernatural ability, but also focused on her spiritual condition.
One day a lady criticized D. L. Moody for his methods of evangelism in attempting to win people to the Lord. Moody’s reply was "I agree with you. I don’t like the way I do it either. Tell me, how do you do it?" The lady replied, "I don’t do it." Moody retorted, "Then I like my way of doing it better than your way of not doing it." -- James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) p. 178.
5. Be a student of the Word of God. Be ready to give an answer or be able to find any answers you asked about the Bible or salvation. Jesus being the “Word made flesh” was able to answer perfectly. We being imperfect beings wont always be able to answer perfectly, but we should be able to find our way to truth and help guide others.
(v.20) This question revealed the gaping hole in her soul. “Where is God? My people say he is on the mountain. Your people say he is in Jerusalem. I don’t know where he is.” I’d love to have seen the expression on Jesus’ face as he heard those words. Did His eyes water? Did He smile? Did He look up into the clouds and wink at His Father? Of all the places to find a hungry heart – Samaria? Of all the people to be searching for God – a woman? Of all the people to have an insatiable appetite for God a – a five time divorcee? And of all the people to receive the secret of the ages, an outcast among outcasts? The most “insignificant” person in the region?
(v. 26) Remarkable. Jesus didn’t reveal the secret to King Herod. He didn’t request an audience of the Sanhedrin and tell them the news. It wasn’t within the colonnades of a Roman court that he announced his identity. No, it was in the shade of a well in a rejected land to an ostracized woman. His eyes must have danced as he whispered the secret. “I am the Messiah.”
(v. 28-29) Did you notice what she forgot? She forgot her water jar. She left behind the jug that had caused the sag in her shoulders. She left behind the burden she brought. Suddenly the insignificance of her life was swallowed by the significance of the moment. “God is here! God has come! God cares … for me!” That’s why she forgot the water jar. That is why she ran to the city. That is why she grabbed the first person she saw and announced her discovery, “I just talked to a man who knows everything I ever did … and He loves me anyway!”