Summary: Many people are searching for different things to make them happy. Who is Jesus to them?
“Who Do You Say that I Am?”
Here, Jesus has taking His disciples about 120 mi. from Jerusalem. This region was strongly identified with various religions.
It had been the center for Baal worship
The Greek god, Pan had a shrine there
A temple was built to honor Augustus Caesar
Right in the middle of all these choices of gods, Jesus throws out and unexpected question to his followers. “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” Even some of the followers of Christ were confused about not only the question but who Jesus really was.
Some thought He was John the Baptist raised from the dead;
Some thought He was Elijah that was prophesied to return in the book of Malachi (4:5)
Some even believed that Jesus was actually Jeremiah.
In the middle of all of this confusion between religions and between the followers of Jesus, I want you to notice the question in verse 15.
“But who do you say that I am?”
It has and always will come back to a personal understanding of who God really is.
· Not what’s popular?
· Not who the Pastor says He Is.
· Not who Mom and Dad says He is.
“Who do YOU say that I am”
I want us to get personal. I want to look into the lives of a few individuals in scripture and see who Christ was to them. In doing so, you may find who Christ is to you.
Christ is leaving Judea because the people there were trying to make it a competition in the popularity of Christ versus others like John the Baptist. I could go into significant details about this story:
· How Jesus went out of his way to take this route
· The long standing hatred between Samaritans and Jews
· How improper it was for a man, especially a rabbi, to speak with a strange woman.
For the sake of time, I just want to focus our attention on the needs of a woman who came to Jacob’s well. Jesus arrived at the well just before 6pm which was the same time that all the women folk would arrive to gather water for their households.
Then arrives a Samaritan woman who has a conversation with Jesus. We quickly learn that she is coming for water but in life she is searching for so much more.
Her thoughts might include:
How am I going to pay my bills this month?
To be a happier person
To be someone that others can depend on
To make my family happy
To help my family to get along with each other
To be a strong worker in the church
To live a more peaceful life
We know in v.15 this lady is wanting more than just the water she is about to pull out from the well. This lady is saying, “I am thirsty for something more.” Plus we learn that she had five husbands and the one that she was living with was not hers. This is a true sign that this lady was looking for “something more”. Never satisfied.
Here’s the problem:
So far in her life she has been trying to fill her needs with other things that she thinks will make her happy. But before you pass judgment on this Samaritan woman, you and I are doing the exact same thing.
Working overtime to make extra money
Making bad friendships because they are popular
Building houses to just keep up with others
Buying cars that we don’t need
What are you doing with these things?
You continue to thirst.
No matter how hard you work, no matter how high you build it, no matter how many church visitations you go on, YOU WILL CONTINUE TO THIRST!!!
Why? Because “you” are in the way. The water that Jesus was talking about here was himself. Get self out of the way and start doing things for the sake of Christ.
Who do you say that I am? To this woman, Jesus was a cool drink of water to satisfy her thirst for something more.
I see a pool next to the sheep gate. They call it Bethsaida. This pool of water was special. At a moments notice each season, an angel would come and stir the waters. The first person to step into the stirring waters would be cured of their disease. So you can imagine the many people who are sitting next to this pool.
But I see one man who is lame. He has been this way for 38 years. He has gone as far as he can go. His excuse: “I have no man to put me into the pool”.
Gone as far as He can go – can’t go on any further