Summary: Jesus met a Samaritan woman at a well and discussed the implications of true worship.
I. The Walking Minister
The terrain through which Jesus traveled on foot was some of the most difficult on Earth, yet he chose to walk rather than ride an animal. Jesus was in the early part of his ministry. It is recorded that he must go through Samaria.
One can only wonder what might happen if we got out of our car and walked the neighborhood. What kind of people would we meet? Would we have more testimony of God’s grace and guidance. Would we change more lives. Would we in the middle of vulnerability find greater faith in God than we had before? Is it really as dangerous as we imagine to simply trust in God’s protection in the face of the ungodly? We may never know if we don’t go there. By prayer and listening to God’s voice, we can be greater than we are. Remember to save our life is to lose it, but to risk all for Jesus and the gospel is to save it.
Every thing Jesus did was for an example to us, that we might follow Him. Just as God’s word will not return to him void, so the Word of God, Jesus, was sent forth into the world to effect the purpose of God the Father.
We are called from our preconceived notions of right and wrong. Worldly goals will not get us into God’s Heaven. We must walk the Heavenly path the Savior trod. We cannot get here by any design of our own choosing. We must walk the straight and narrow path not the wide and easy way.
Here we are left to wonder why Jesus ’must’ got through Samaria. It could be that Satan presented an obstacle unknown by the disciples or that the road was the only one in that mountainous area. More likely from the narrative, He must go through Samaria for the express purpose of encountering the Samaritan woman. I would like to save the jewel of this encounter for nearer the end of the sermon. It is with real joy that I later share an archeological find of great moment with you to illiuminate this text further.
Jesus left nothing to chance, he was expressing the revealed knowledge of the heavenly Father. There is nothing done by the Father that he does not first show the Son. They are in one accord. Just so, we must be in one accord with God our Father if we hope to ever do His perfect will. The road is not easy that we travel, if it is too easy, we may assume it is not the path God has chosen for us. There were many roads, but some more traveled than others. Some roads are truly dangerous, being populated by bandits, such as fell on the man on the Jericho road. Here it was a Samaritan that saved the day.
Many times I have found myself as have others in locations I felt alone or in potential danger. In the inner city or on a lonely road late at night, loss of life was a real possibility. Events can quickly change as the shipwreck at the end of the book of Acts. The weather changed drastically in a few hours time and resulted in Paul and all on board being at the mercy of God. In these moments we cry out to God and He hears our cry. Circumstances come about and we again and again find that God can handle any need. Our dependence on Him is all we need. Our faith is sure and our spirit renewed with greater faith.
II. A Particular Person
With this Samaritan woman at the well, we begin to truly wonder at the importance of being God’s people. Does He really make a difference between races and nationalities or is Jesus asking to peak the woman’s curiosity. I vote for the latter, for I think Jesus came to reveal the nature of God to mankind in a way heretofore unknown. As God revealed himself to Moses as the great I AM, here the great I AM reveals himself to the Samaritan woman.
He had revealed himself first to the Jew, but Jesus did not belong to the Jew alone. He belonged to the whole world, even you and I. The Samaritans were looked down on by the Jews in Jerusalem as being unworthy of God’s protection. We at times make decisions about other people as to their desirability. But we look at them on the basis of what we see on the outside, where God looks on the heart. Jesus did not see a Samaritan woman he did not know, for as creator, God knows each one of us.
A story is told that Michalangelo painted the Last Supper as a fresco in plaster. To get the model for Jesus he searched many places and finally found the perfect person to be his model. Of course with other paintings it took many months to paint each of the twelve disciples. Finally, the painter came to Judas. He wanted to find the perfect person to depict the wantonness of the traitor who holds the bag of money. He searched the prisons and found the man he thought would be the perfect model. The man he selected said, "Sir, do you not recognize me? I am the same man you painted last year as Christ." Fortune had changed drastically, and the painter failed to recognize the man as the same one he used earlier.