THE SAVIOR…THE SINNER…AND THE SOUL-WINNER
1. Well, Well: A Bad Samaritan. We have all heard or read the story of the “Good Samaritan,” who found and cared for a wounded man on the road to Jericho (Lk. 10:30-37).
2. But in John chapter 4, we read about a bad Samaritan. She was not on the Jericho Road, but she was at Jacob’s Well. She met Jesus and learned about “living water.” She came to a “well”…and, well, she got “well.” She came to Jacob’s Well and drank from the Jesus “Well.” She left and told the men of Samaria about Him. She was so excited about telling others about Jesus that she “left her waterpot” to invite others to “come and see” (Jn. 4:29).
3. In this, we have the story of the Savior, the Sinner, and the Soul-winner.
I. THE SAVIOR
1. His goal was to save a soul. The text says, “But He needed to go through Samaria” (Jn. 4:4). He could have done like most of the Jews probably did and went another way. “But” He “needed” to go to a “well” in Samaria.
2. He needed to go to a woman from the wrong race as far as the Jews were concerned (Jn. 4:9)
3. He needed to go a woman that the Jews did not talk to in public (Jn. 4:27).
4. He needed to go to a woman who had evidently been married five times and was now shacking up with someone she had not bothered to marry. (Jn. 4:18).
5. He needed to go to a desperate soul that desperately needed to be made whole.
6. He needed to go because He came to help people who needed help. He came to help the downcast, downtrodden, and those who were down and out.
7. He needed to go regardless of what others said or thought.
8. His very mission to the earth was to “seek and save the lost” (Lk. 19:10).
10. He needed to go because He is “moved with compassion” when He sees sinners in need. (Matt. 9:36-38).
II. THE SINNER
1. The woman at the Well was “all” wrong. According to the way some of the Jews looked at things she was the wrong sex. She was from the wrong race. And she had the wrong values.
2. It is interesting to compare Jesus meeting of Nicodemus in John 3 and the woman in John 4. For example:
a. He was man…she was a woman.
b. He was a ruler…she was a rounder.
c. He was respected…she was rejected.
d. He was approved…she was accused.
e. He was up…she was down.
f. He was in…she was out.
h. He knew the laws…she knew her flaws.
i. But both needed to meet Jesus. Neither could be saved without Him.
3. Jesus needed to meet this woman so He could bring her from a state of brokenness to blessedness, and from starvation to salvation.
4. She had evidently tried drinking from every well around her (marriage, sex, wild life etc), but she has left them all just as thirsty as she was when she came.
5. Can you imagine her delight when she heard the words “if you only knew.” She could ask Jesus for “living water” and she would be forever satisfied! (Jn. 4:10). IF WE ONLY KNEW WHAT JESUS CAN DO!
6. Jesus challenged her with a question about her husband (Jn. 4:17-18). He challenged her in order to change her. He gently led her to admit her sinfulness in order for Him to remit her sins. There are no real conversions without conviction. The challenge led to a conversation which led to a conversion.
7. Question: Who are the Samaritan women in our lives? Who are the people we would usually shun and avoid? Maybe because of how they live their life or the habits they have developed over time. And partly because of the exaggerated stories that are sometimes told about them, usually by people who don’t really know them or their situation. Who are those we stay away from because of what others think, or what it might do to our reputation? They may be people who have had a number of sexual partners or failed marriages. They may be people who suffer from addictions or other afflictions. Think about all the people we believe are unacceptable in our society. The people we are not comfortable relating to. Perhaps they are people with a different set of values? People who do not seem to live as we believe they should. Or perhaps they don’t carry on their business in life as we think they should. All of us have our prejudices and we pre-judge others without knowing very much about them. We make a lot of judgments without mercy (James 2:13). We judge others mostly by “appearance” without knowing, or even seeking, the real facts (Jn. 7:24).
8. But all sinful men and sinful women need Jesus. “Good” people like Nicodemus need Jesus, and “bad” people like the Samaritan woman need Jesus. These two are so different, and yet so similar. For they were both encouraged to put their faith and trust in the same Savior. Rich people get saved the same way poor people get saved. Men get saved the same way women get saved. And “good” people get saved the same way “bad” people do.
9. The Good, the Bad, are all Ugly because of sin. And under the piles of statistics are real people who have experienced real pain and heartache. This woman needed a real reason to live. She needed relief from the thirst for God.
10. Jesus provided the living water for this thirsty soul.
III. THE SOUL-WINNNER
1. This suffering sinner became a soul-winner. She learned that Jesus accepts without approving. He receives without reproving. He can correct without abusing.
2. She “left her waterpot” to tell the men of Samaria about Jesus (Jn. 4:28). She wanted them to “Come and see a Man” that had changed her life forever (Jn. 4:29).
3. Many of the men of Samaria were led to believe in Jesus because to the testimony of this Samaritan woman (Jn. 4:39).
4. She did not know much scripture information, but she knew a lot about the Savior’s transformation. She obviously did not know a lot about the law, but now she knew the Lord.
5. And just as Jesus reached this woman because He was a willing servant, there may be someone God wants for you and I to reach if we will live each day following His divine plan. Perhaps He will make some appointments for each of us if we would consult His word and follow His leading (Jn. 5:39; Rom. 8:14).
6. ILLUS: I read about a large billboard on a business road with a picture of Jesus Christ hanging on the cross of Calvary, head bowed. The caption underneath said in bold letters, “IT’S YOUR MOVE!” What a powerful thought. God has already taken the initiative in salvation. Christ died for you. Now–it’s your move! –James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988 p. 70.)
7. What have you decided? Will you decide now to follow Jesus? Will you decide to tell others what He has done in your life? After all….IT’S YOUR MOVE!!