Summary: The Women at the Well served as an evangelist. Jesus loves all of us no matter who we are, what color we are and no matter with what traditions we were raised with.
WHITE UNTO HARVEST
2-5-12 New Liberty Christian Church, Veedersburg, IN with Rich McQuinn, Minister
TEXT; JOHN 4:5-35
We have just finished our Christmas celebrations and many folks are still paying on the presents that they bought for loved ones, In a number of weeks we will be celebrating once again Resurrection Sunday---Easter. Larger churches have already planned out their evangelistic approach for this season. Many a preacher has some ideas about what to do and a few lazy preachers haven’t a clue about how their church should approach Easter.
I wonder how the little churches across America plan for Easter is February. In 10 days I will turn 68. I never grow weary of evangelism or planning for Easter. After all Easter is an every Sunday event. Small congregations do not think like the larger ones do with respect to giant choirs, renting the High School gym, going door to door, holding prayer meetings, but they can! So I am asking you today, all of you, how are you planning for Easter this year. What is your goal, What are you going to be doing for the cause of Christ?
February is the month that we enlist loving relationships, cupid, flowers, movies, and love stories. Let me begin today with some love stories of the Bible and continue on through February as we march on to Easter.
I want to direct your thoughts to the barren fields we have around our church building this morning. We do not touch the land until late March or in April. We hope to get the seeds in the ground in May and then harvest the crop in October or so. We plant the seed, water it, and then harvest it. It all takes time.
Open your eyes today to this text and see for yourself that the harvest is NOW ready to be taken. Look around you to see what you can do for Him today to advance His Kingdom.
Please open your Bibles and let’s read this loving story about two strangers, who meet across a crowded room for a lesson in relationships and salvation. Let’s read this text but follow the Master Teacher as He shows us a method in winning the lost to Him!
Instead of giving you three main points today---Super Bowl Sunday, I want to share with you this sermon in story form. One main theme, just one point!
"A man should hold no conversation with a woman in public, not even with his own wife, still less with any other woman, lest men should gossip." So went a saying of rabbi’s current in Jesus' time. A woman, being ignorant, knew nothing of importance to say to a man and could understand nothing of importance a man might say to her – and wouldn't have any use for it if she did. So public conversation with a woman was at best a waste of time and at worst an invitation to temptation.
You can see that the disciples might be surprised to find Jesus talking to a strange woman. He is the Teacher, why is He breaking the rules Himself?
Of course, there are in the Bible a number of beautiful stories of men meeting women at wells. But everything about this meeting is backwards. The woman is a foreigner, not hometown girl. She is not young (I assume it took some time to go thru 5 husbands and a lover). Nor was she very helpful. Asked for a drink, she replied "Why are you, a Jew, asking me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?" Because Jews had nothing to do with Samaritans – the Greek phrase here means literally, "used nothing in common with Samaritans", that is, “would not drink from the same cup.
For hundreds of years, Jews and Samaritans had hated each other. Samaritans were the descendents of Israelites who had intermarried with foreigners. (Their territories were right next to each other.) They were half-breeds religiously as well as genetically. Their Bible was much like the Jewish Bible, but there were notable differences. Their worship-center was Mt. Gerazim there in Samaria, while the temple in Jerusalem on Mt. Zion was the Jews’ holy place. Jews believed the Samaritans had betrayed their faith and their heritage.
For Jesus to ask her for a drink would be like a white man, several years ago, asking a southern black woman for a drink from the colored water fountain. So it was natural that the woman should be wary: "You are asking me for a drink? What’s up with that?"
"If you knew who you were talking to," Jesus replied, "you would ask me for living water." The phrase "living water" also means "flowing stream water." That's what the woman thought he meant.
So she says, “Sir, this well is deep – and you don’t have a bucket. Where are you going to get living water? Are you greater than Jacob?” According to legend, when Jacob took the stone cover off the well, water bubbled up miraculously and the well overflowed for 20 years.