17 April 2011 Sunday
|Sermon Video for Download
|Worship song: Jesus Jesus Holy and Anointed One
|Worship song: The Power Of Your Love
|Worship song: Draw Me Close To You
|Worship song: Your Steadfast Love
Bible Verses John 4:3-14 (NIV, 2011)
3 So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.
4 Now he had to go through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.
7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”
13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Good Morning, it’s my privilege to share God’s Word with you this morning, today’s Scripture reading is from John 4, as we are going through the Gospel of John this year, chapter by chapter every Sunday .
The Gospel means the Good News, in the Bible, there are four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, each Gospel was written to different audiences: Matthew was written to Jews; Mark was written to Romans; Luke was written to Greeks; John was written to the universal audience. In the Gospel of John, Jesus was presented as God in human form. One of the greatest things I like about the Gospel of John, is that it shows many one-on-one conversations that Jesus has with many different people, such as in John 3, Jesus talks to Nicodemus, “ For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16. Today we look at another meaningful one-on-one conversation, - Jesus’ interaction with a Samaritan woman, and we learn, in which way - how patient, kind, and with respect, Jesus led different people come to know God, exactly how Jesus made the Samaritan woman, at the end of the conversation, believed in Him.
Before we start let’s pray: Heavenly Father, as we come before You, I ask You please speak though me, please go before me, Lord, please fill the congregation with Your love and Spirit, hold us close, work in each one of our hearts, help us to grow in You, we praise and worship You always, in Jesus name, Amen.
We are going to start with John 4: 3, please open the Bible follow along with me, “Jesus left Judea, went to Galilee,” Let me ask how many of you have been to Israel? I have seen some hands raised, that’s great! I think it would be helpful to show you a map with all those locations mentioned in John 4 on the screen, give you a basic idea about event locations. Judea was in the south, Galilee was in the North, so if anyone goes from Galilee to Judea, or vice versa, the shortest way would be through the region of Samaria. But for hundreds of years, Jews didn’t talk to Samaritans, they avoid seeing and talking to each other, because Jews considered Samaritans were unclean and mixed race. Jews worshiped God in Jerusalem; and Samaritans worshiped in their land, on top of a mountain.
In those days Jews traveled longer routes in order to avoid entering Samaria, they didn’t want to share God’s love with Samaritans. Maybe we can relate that in our life, sometimes, there are some people, we don’t want to be around with, or avoid talking to them, but how can we share the Gospel with them? What does Bible tell us to do? In Luke 6: 32, “ If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you, even sinners love those who love them; if you do those who are good to you, what credit is that to you, even sinners do that. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back, your reward will be great, you will be Son of the most high God.” That’s something I want to remind us today, are there anyone that I want to avoid? think about it and pray, seek reconciliation with each other.
Back in the event, even Jesus’ disciples didn’t want to talk to those Samaritan women, what did Jesus do? Jesus wanted to go through Samaria, Jesus went all the long way to meet that woman, Jesus cares about each individual, He cares about you and me. I feel so many times, Jesus has come to find us, He meets where we are, not that we find Him first, but He comes to call us. In John 4:5-7, "So He came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, 'Will you give me a drink?' ”
Picture yourself in the scene, in a hot climate, if you want to go to a well to draw water, when do you want to go? Probably in the morning or evening, but this Samaritan woman, went to the well at noon alone. Why? Because there were something in her life she didn’t want people to know about. Here was the woman trying to avoid seeing people, yet Jesus came to meet her and talk to her.
Jesus and Samaritan Woman at the Well (Source: Ultimate Bible Picture Collection)
Jesus asked the woman for a drink, He spoke kindly to this Samaritan woman, then she said, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink? For Jews do not associate Samarians.” John 4:9. She was surprised, for Jews refused to have anything to do with Samaritans. Jesus answered her, “ if you knew the gift of God, who is there to ask you for a drink, you would have asked Him, and He would give you living water in return."
Physically we all need water to survive, we need to drink water everyday; our souls need spiritual water as well. But she thought Jesus had nothing to draw water with, so where could Jesus get the living water? When Jesus mentioned the living water, all she could think was water in the well, the living water is from the Spirit of God that is daily necessity for our souls. Jesus said, “ Everyone who drink this never be thirsty again, whoever drinks the water I gave him, will never thirsty indeed, the water I give Him .” Jesus means everyone, including now you and me here, no matter rich or poor,, young or old, man or woman, we all have this inner thirst that our soul desires. Without God in our life, life would be always empty, all worldly things can only give you temporary satisfaction, and all those satisfaction would be only for a short time, they don’t last. Human beings always have unlimited wants, untill we have the living water that Jesus freely gives us, and we shall never be thirsty again.
Today people are trying to make more and more money, taking self improvement programs, pursuing higher career positions, develop more special relationships…all those things considered temporary compare to Spiritual gifts that Jesus gives us. Is there anything from the world that eternal? In John 4:13-14, Jesus gives us the incredible hope, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” Lord Jesus is the only true resource, He shows us how to live in this dark world a perfect life, we can never find the true satisfaction by ourselves. We should have right relationships with God, and with people around us through Jesus, only the eternal God can give us the eternal satisfaction and joy!
And God has told us what a truly blessed man is like in the Bible, in Psalm 1:3, “He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruits in season, and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.” Do you want to be a truly blessed man or woman, free from sin? Do you want eternal life? Jesus sends us a crystal clear invitation, John 7:37-38, “ If anyone is thirsty, let Him come and drink, whoever believing me, as the scripture as said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”
John 4:16-18,“ Go and call your husband and come back.” “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.” This immediately made her think that Jesus was not an ordinary man, a prophet! The woman didn’t want to discuss her life, so she changed the topic to worship places, “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” John 4:21-24. God is Spirit, we can worship, pray and talk to Him in our hearts anytime and anywhere. When Jesus revealed His identity to the woman, she believed, and left her water jar by the well, went back to the city, and shared the testimony about Jesus with everyone she met.
That’s the amazing part, the woman at the begining was trying to avoid meeting people, now she was completely changed, she wasn’t afraid or shamed to share her testimony, to tell other people about God, bring those people to the Lord. “He told me about everything that I have ever done.” John 4:39. And then, many Samaritans from the city believed in Jesus because of the woman’s brave testimony! Praise God!
In the end, Jesus’ disciples came back, Jesus told disciples, “look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting.” Brothers and sisters, harvest is all around, let's spread the seeds of the Good News, share the Gospel with people around us, especially to those who haven’t come to know the Truth, that's our job, and the Holy Spirit will work with us together to touch, open people’s hearts, open their spiritual eyes and ears, for them to understand and believe in God’s salvation.
Dear Brothers and sisters, if you want to share the Gospel with people around you, we have booklets The Gospel of John, you may get them from us after each sermon. Let's sow the seeds in people's hearts, with love, respect and patience, and the Holy Sprit will confirm our work with miracles happen, yes, we have seen harvesting is all around us, in Beijing, in China! Praise God, King of the universe! Amen!
We thank our Savior Jesus, He loves us all unconditionally, Jesus paid all our sin’s penalty and He wants to bring us all back to our Father, let’s prepare our hearts for the Holy week. God is love, and He has shown us what perfect love is, let’s live for God always, Amen!
Summary by Claire