Summary: Learning how to witness like Jesus Himself. Inspired by Ray Comfort, The Way of the Master.
Witnessing Like The Master (John 4:3-29)
Learn A Lesson From The Best
Suppose that you want to learn how to play golf. If you were to have anyone in the world to teach you for a few days or a few weeks, to whom would you go? You just might say Tiger Woods, who is the best golfer in the world.
Or if you were to want to learn how to drive in NASCAR. You might want to learn from Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr or one of my favorites, Carl Edwards, Jr.
Same goes with running. The greats of the past such as Steve Prefontane and others that graduated from Oregon learned under Bill Bowerman, who is known as one of the best coaches in the world and the inventor of the Nike waffle sole shoe.
So it only makes sense that we should look to the Master--Jesus Christ--and see how He did it. The apostles learned from Him, and thousands were saved in a day (Acts 2). Countless others have learned from Him, and millions have been saved.
While we can study how other Christians since Jesus have witnessed, it is always best to go right back to the source Himself--Jesus.
This week, we will examine one of the greatest stories of witnessing to the lost in the story of the Woman At The Well, found in John 4. We will see how the Master Himself presented the gospel to this woman; how it was an uncommon event; how her life changed and because of that change she too wanted to tell all she knew about this man.
He left Judea and departed again to Galilee.
But He needed to go through Samaria.
So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.
Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour. John 4:3-6, NKJV
I have said it many times before, God doesn't have A plan, He has THE plan. Of all of the literally quadrillions upon quadrillions of ways that He could have chosen to accomplish His will, He chose the best way. When we have difficulties in life, it always is best to remember this key fact. God is God, we are not, and we must always trust Him!
To anyone that knew the area, or could read a map, it would seem to make sense to go through Samaria. It was a shorter route. However, Jewish people hated the Samaritans and vice versa. In fact, the Jews hated the Samaritans so much that they would go the long way around Samaria to avoid them.
When we hear the term "Samaritan" we often think of "Good Samaritan". This is from the parable that Jesus told of the injured man who was ignored by the elitists and tended to by the man of Samaria. Some people that are not familiar with Samaria and Samaritans think that they were a "good people". However, the Bible teaches us otherwise, as we will see.
Back centuries earlier, keeping the story simple, the people in Samaria were Jews that had intermarried with pagan people. They abandoned many parts of the Jewish faith, and recognized only the Pentatuch--the first five books of the Bible--as being authentic and authoritative. Their faith became a mongrelized faith, a faith that was no real faith at all. It mixed pagan belief with orthodox belief, which resulted in no real true belief at all.
But, as we will see, there is a divine plan behind this apparent detour.
It was the heat of the day--the sixth hour, or noon. Jesus, being a man in addition to being God at the same time, was tired and hot. He stopped at the local waterhole so to speak, one famous from centuries before. It was work to get water from Jacob's well, as it was a cistern that was spring fed but is estimated to be about 100' deep and still exists today. We will see just how important it is that Jesus was there at that precise time, and also how it is that the Samaritan woman also happened to be there at the time.
Starting In The Natural Realm
A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give Me a drink."
For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.
Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, "How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?" For
Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. John 4:7-9, NKJV
What we see here is a very unusual thing. Here Jesus, recognized as a Jewish teacher or rabbi, was addressing a Samaritan woman.