Summary: Message 7 from John covering the powerful lessons on worship taught to the woman at the well.
Chico Alliance Church
For several weeks now we have joined the disciples in a most intriguing journey journaled by the Apostle John. In this account of their travels, John first introduced all of the themes he would illustrate from his journeys with Jesus. John revealed His purpose for writing toward the end of his writing. (John 20:30-31 )
The events recorded came with a purpose. John wrote to inspire and confirm belief that Jesus was and is not just and ordinary historical figure but the Christ, the Son of the living God. John wrote to enlighten readers of every generation concerning the gift of eternal life. So far we have watched with wonder when Jesus turned water to wine at a wedding. We stood with amazement when he took on a temple full of merchants during Passover. We listened with eager interest to a most powerful conversation between Jesus and an insightful Pharisee named Nicodemus. We received John the Baptist’s powerful testimony concerning Jesus. As we move to chapter four of John’s personal journal, John tells us that Jesus was not pleased with the political maneuvering taking place around Him. The purpose for leaving Judea was to avoid an unhealthy competition between Jesus and John. The destination was Galilee. Yet in between, John records a familiar yet monumental moment from the ministry of Jesus. God often slides some of our greatest teaching moments on our journey to totally different destinations. This wouldn’t be the first time God turned aside to respond to the faith of a woman of questionable history. God stopped waylaid the destruction of Jericho while he responded to Rahab’s faith. To this highly unlikely person, in a highly unfavorable place, Jesus discloses the deep secrets of abundant life. What a contrast with the encounter of the previous chapter. Nicodemus was a Jewish man of high moral character and formal education. Jesus now engages a Samaritan woman of low moral character and little education. He calls her attention to vital truth that served to transform not only her life but also the lives of many in her city. John alone includes this event most likely to highlight both the desire and ability of Jesus to save them both. In this limited encounter with a loose woman, Jesus touches on some of the most significant truths ever taught.
The shortest route from Judea to Galilee passed through Samaria. Jesus and His disciples arrived in Sycar, a city of Samaria at about six in the evening although some believe it may have been 12noon. Nevertheless, the text indicates Jesus was tired and probably hungry. So the disciples left Jesus to rest by a well while they trudged into town for food. It is interesting to note that in God’s economy or way of doing things; some of the most dramatic spiritual experiences develop out of the direst of circumstances. Jesus ignored two fundamental obstacles to effective ministry in order to minister to this thirsty soul.
First, he ignored physical barriers.
The text indicates he was weary. John uses a word that indicates the kind of weariness associated with long hard labor.
Second, he ignored significant social barriers.
He dared interface with the socially undesirable or at least socially suspect. This was so characteristic of Jesus. He came to serve the needy wherever and whoever. Jesus kept a divine appointment with just one individual who continually wrestled with the burden of three insurmountable social barriers.
• One – She was a Samaritan.
• Two -- She was a woman
• Three – She was a woman with a bad reputation.
Jesus here took the initiative to engage this woman in conversation much to the distress of the disciples when they returned. In this encounter we watch life transforming truth poured out to accomplish its objective. It reminds me of an Old Testament promise recorded by Isaiah.
'For I will pour out water on the thirsty and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring, and My blessing on your descendants;
And they will spring up among the grass like poplars by streams of water.'
"This one will say, 'I am the LORD'S'; and that one will call on the name of Jacob;
And another will write on his hand, 'Belonging to the LORD,' and will name Israel's name with honor. Isaiah 44:3-5
"Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money come, buy and eat.
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Isaiah 55:1
Based on the principle that proper perception leads to proper response Jesus first urges this woman of Samaria to pursue a proper perception followed by an opportunity to practice a proper response.
I. Pursue a proper perception
There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give Me a drink." For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. John 4:7-8