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John 4:1-26

A Necessary Journey

  • Samuel Wilson
  • Weekend Messages
  • July 23, 2017

  • Sermon Notes
A Necessary Journey

John 4:1-26 

Intro: Keep your eyes on the road!

Focusing on failure can be catastrophic without the right understanding. It is a shift in our perspective and understanding that will get us beyond failure and moving forward with better knowledge of a better way.

The Lord wants to encourage those who are hurting and alone. Those who have begun a journey and are near destruction. He uses many things to show others the way, including His people.

In John chapter 4, Jesus is beginning to receive unwanted attention. The Pharisees had heard that His disciples were baptizing more people than John was baptizing. There was opposition rising and a confrontation mounting. Knowing this, Jesus decides to head to Galilee.

There were different ways to get to Galilee from Judea. Most Jewish people would go out of their way to go around Samaria, adding an extra two days to their journey. But Jesus headed to straight to Samaria, in order to meet a woman in the middle of her journey.

Read John 4:1-26

The Jews and the Samaritans hated each other. Most Jews would avoid Samaria if at all possible. Yet, in verse 4, we read that Jesus “had to pass through Samaria.” Jesus went beyond the cultural norm, in fact, he shattered the cultural norm because the cultural norm did not serve kingdom purposes. Throughout this encounter we see the importance Jesus places on kingdom progress. His journey, was spiritually necessary.

I. The Lord Has a Course Marked Out

  • Jesus understood the importance of the woman He would come in contact with on His journey to Galilee. He “had” to go to Samaria, to meet this woman at the well.
  • His necessary journey would bring a perspective to her life beyond failure, beyond guilt, and would point her to the state of her soul and heart.

1 Timothy 1:15-16, It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.

  • Each day there are places we must go filled with people the Lord wants to know. When we understand, and take a hold of His purpose for us as Christ followers, we begin to understand what is truly necessary for our day.
  • His purpose is not simply a fulfillment of our “to-do” list, but a fulfillment of the call to share the gospel of Jesus with others.
  • Jesus models this by plotting a course to his journey that included an appointment with the woman at the well.

A. There are places others may not go

  • Great tension existed between the Samaritans and Jews. In 722 B.C., the northern kingdom of Israel was destroyed by Assyria and the Jewish people were deported to a far-off place.
  • Once many of the Jewish people were taken away, The Assyrians sent some of their people to Israel, where they intermarried with some of the Jews that remained. This resulted in the Samaritan people.
  • The Jewish people despised the Samaritans, they were hated, and avoided.
  • Seeing Jesus go through Samaria is a great lesson for us. It shows his heart for all people. The need to reach out to all people, looking beyond cultural distinctions, to oneness and unity in Him.

Galatians 3:28, There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

  • The Lord sends us to places others may not seek to go. Into situations that others would rather avoid, why? Because He uses His people to help show others the way.
  • The necessary journey then becomes making a difference in the places you go. The Lord will use you on your journey when you give his purposes priority.
  • Once in Samaria, Jesus was in need of rest; wearied from His journey (vs. 6), hungry, and thirsty.

Illus. Unable vacate on vacation.

  • Jesus didn’t refrain from this opportunity, He understood the spiritual importance of the meeting with this woman, who was in need of living water.

B. There are people who need to know

  • The Samaritan woman arrived around noon and was by herself. Normally, women would draw water later in the day and would connect and talk while drawing water.
  • Jesus spoke to her saying, “Give me a drink” (vs. 7). She then responded “How is it that you, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?” (Vs. 9)
  • A few specifics about this interaction are important to understand: 1. In this time, men were not to converse with a woman in public who was neither a relative or servant. 2. A Jew was not to relate to a Samaritan. 3. Under no circumstances was a Jew to eat or drink from any tableware handled by a Samaritan
  • Jesus begins breaking all of the cultural rules governing male/female/Jewish/Samaritan interactions.
  • He broke these cultural rules because if this woman was going to hear the Truth, who was going to bring it to her? If not Him, then who?
  • Tradition and rules that aren’t found in scripture can certainly aid in helping us to better serve God. The difficulty is when those traditions get in the way of Kingdom progress, it is at those times that we must understand what is being encouraged by God and what is being encouraged by man.
App., Matthew 15:3-6.While the Jews rightly taught that the law was given to Moses on Mount Sinai, they later said that the Lord gave further revelation to Moses that was not written in the Scriptures.

  • It is critical that we place the way of our Lord above the way of man.
  • We have to keep our heart in the right place before the Lord towards those that others might avoid. His heart is to show the way to those who need to know Him. To reveal the heart of the Father.
  • His ways are not your ways (Isaiah 55:8).

II. He Points You Down a Better Path

  • He does this by changing the focus from what is temporary, to what will satisfy your soul.
  • Jesus said to the woman, “If you knew who it is who is speaking to you, you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”
  • She points out to Jesus that He has nothing to draw water with, where would he get this living water? Does he have some source of water that is greater than Jacobs well? Was he greater than Jacob?
  • Jesus responds, vs. 13-14. “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”

A. A path to living water

  • When Jesus refers to “this water” He is pointing to what is temporary, what will satisfy today. Possessions, the lunch menu right after you eat breakfast, the latest computer, Big Baller shoes.
  • Many things are great to have, but often those things can easily take a higher priority than our spiritual journey, we become spiritually dry, looking for satisfaction in all the wrong places.
  • The woman was thinking in terms of material, physical water, but Jesus was speaking of the eternal, spiritual realm.
  • Jesus wants her to understand what will satisfy her thirsty soul, not what will satisfy for today. 

Illus. It will get the job done.

  • The Samaritan woman then asks for living water, perhaps in a sarcastic way, “Sir, give me this water so I will no longer be thirsty or have to come all the way out here to draw water”
  • Jesus then put his finger at the place of her greatest need, “Go, call your husband and come here.” She responds, “I have no husband.” He then reveals her error, her sin, the reason she was there alone. Her life had become difficult and messy.
  • There is no conversion without conviction and there is no forgiveness without repentance.
  • If you drink from the well of worldly pleasure, it only ends in death. 
Hebrews 11:24-25, By faith, Moses chose rather to endure ill treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward.
  • As Jesus presses into her heart and the core issue, she tries to get the focus off of herself, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.” Asking then, His thoughts on a theological debate regarding the proper place to worship.
  • An hour is coming when you will not worship on this mountain or in Jerusalem. True worshippers will worship in spirit and in truth.

B. Into true worship

  • True worshippers will be recognized by the way they worship, not where they worship. He made the place and the man-made order of worship secondary.
  • True worshippers will worship in spirit and in truth. Those who worship this way, the Father seeks (vs. 23).
  • The expression “in spirit,” refers to the human spirit – the immaterial, inner being in each person, the spirit that was once dead and brought back to life.
  • Worship involves a person’s awareness of that personal “spring of living water,” which God alone has given. Your body can be anywhere, yet worship takes place as your attention and praise are turned toward God.
  • "In truth” means to worship “in a true way,” or “with genuineness.” We worship, recognizing God’s character and nature as well as our common need for Him.
  • The contrast to worshiping in spirit and in truth is fleshly, or false worship. This is also blindly worshipping out of habit with no heartfelt devotion.

Isaiah 29:13, The Lord says, “These people come near to me with their mount and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.” (NIV)

Illus. You could do this in your sleep!

  • Jesus said He would give living water that would become a well springing up to eternal life. That is the place in our lives from which we worship.
  • The Lord has a necessary journey and wants to meet you in the place where you feel most distant from Him and from others, to point you towards a better path. His heart for you is to receive the living water He gives, which becomes in you a well springing up to eternal life.

Psalm 63:1-4a, You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live. (NIV)

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