The Greatest Water Ever Offered

Dr. Steve Viars March 14, 2021 John 4:1-54
Outline

Here's the article referenced in today's sermon: Reconstructing the Rise of Christianity: The Role of Women

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John 20:30-31 - Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.

John 1:11-13 - He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

John 1:14 - And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

3 reasons to be thrilled with Jesus’ interaction with the woman at the well

I. The Gospel Overcomes Tremendous Obstacles

John 1:11-13 - He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

A. The ethnic and theological issues

John 4:4 - And He had to pass through Samaria.

John 8:48 - The Jews answered and said to Him, “Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?”

Galatians 3:26-28 - For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek…

Ephesians 2:13-19 - But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near; for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household…

B. Gender discrimination

John 4:9 - Therefore the Samaritan woman said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?”

John 4:27 - At this point His disciples came, and they were amazed that He had been speaking with a woman, yet no one said, “What do You seek?” or, “Why do You speak with her?”

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.

C. The pain of a sinful past

John 4:17-18 - The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have correctly said, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly.”

John 1:14 - And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 1:16 - For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.

John 20:30-31 - Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God…and that believing you may have life in His name.

II. The Gospel Contains a Compelling Message

John 4:5-6 - So He came to a city of Samaria called Sychar, near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph; and Jacob’s well was there. So Jesus, being wearied from His journey, was sitting thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.

A. The Messiah satisfies your deepest longings

John 4:9 - Therefore the Samaritan woman said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?”

John 4:11-12 - She said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water? You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?”

John 4:13-14 - Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”

Jeremiah 2:13 - For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, to hew for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water.

Isaiah 44:3-4 - For I will pour out water on the thirsty land and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring and My blessing on your descendants; and they will spring up among the grass like poplars by streams of water.

Psalm 42:1 - As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You, O God.

Jeremiah 2:13 - For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, to hew for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water.

John 4:16 - He said to her, “Go, call your husband and come here.”

B. Jesus invites you to worship in an entirely new way

John 4:23-24 - But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.

John 4:25 - The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.”

John 4:26 - Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”

III. The Gospel Results in Powerful Transformation

A. The woman left her water pot

John 4:28-29 - So the woman left her waterpot, and went into the city and said to the men, “Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done; this is not the Christ, is it?”

B. Many of the Samaritans believed

John 4:39-41 - From that city many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all the things that I have done.” So when the Samaritans came to Jesus, they were asking Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. Many more believed because of His word…

Here's the article referenced in today's sermon: Reconstructing the Rise of Christianity: The Role of Women

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- one of my favorite books about WWII history is Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

- it’s the amazing survival story of Olympic runner Louis Zamperini…she begins in the preface by writing…

- All he could see, in every direction, was water. It was late June 1943. Somewhere on the endless expanse of the Pacific Ocean, Army Air Forces bombardier and Olympic runner Louie Zamperini lay across a small raft, drifting westward. Slumped alongside him was a sergeant, one of his plane’s gunners. On a separate raft, tethered to the first, lay another crewman, a gash zigzagging across his forehead. Their bodies, burned by the sun and stained yellow from the raft dye, had withered down to skeletons. Sharks glided in lazy loops around them, dragging their backs along the rafts, waiting.

- The men had been adrift for twenty-seven days. Borne by an equatorial current, they had floated at least one thousand miles, deep into Japanese-controlled waters. The rafts were beginning to deteriorate into jelly, and gave off a sour, burning odor. The men’s bodies were pocked with salt sores, and their lips were so swollen that they pressed into their nostrils and chins. They spent their days with their eyes fixed on the sky, singing “White Christmas,” muttering about food. No one was even looking for them anymore. They were alone on sixty-four million square miles of ocean.

- A month earlier, twenty-six-year-old Zamperini had been one of the greatest runners in the world, expected by many to be the first to break the four-minute mile, one of the most celebrated barriers in sport. Now his Olympian’s body had wasted to less than one hundred pounds and his famous legs could no longer lift him. Almost everyone outside of his family had given him up for dead.

- as you can imagine, one of the greatest problems they faced was extreme thirst…writing from the perspective of pilot Russell Phillips, Hillenbrand said - Phil felt as if he were on fire. The equatorial sun lay upon the men, scalding their skin. Their upper lips burned and cracked, ballooning so dramatically that they obstructed their nostrils, while their lower lips bulged against their chins. Their bodies were slashed with open cracks that formed under the corrosive onslaught of sun, salt, wind, and fuel residue. Whitecaps slapped into fissures, a sensation that Louie compared to having alcohol poured onto a wound. Sunlight glared off the ocean, sending barbs of white light into the men’s pupils and leaving their heads pounding. The men’s feet were cratered with quarter-sized salt sores. The rafts baked along with their occupants, emitting a bitter smell.

- The water cans were empty. Desperately thirsty and overheated, the men could do no more than use their hands to bail seawater over themselves. the coolness of the ocean beckoned and couldn’t be answered, for the sharks circled.

- I don’t know about you, but my hand is rarely a few feet away from a water bottle of something to drink…as preachers we kid ourselves that windmills always need water to keep us going…

- but most of us can never imagine the kind of thirst these men experienced…or maybe, if we think more carefully, we can, because the passage of Scripture we’re going to look at this morning uses that very metaphor of extreme thirst to describe what it is like to live without a personal relationship with God…

- with that in mind, please open your Bible to the Gospel of John chapter 4…

- our theme this year is Enjoying Life in Jesus’ Name and we’re studying verse-by-verse through the gospel of John…

- I hope you’re looking for opportunities to periodically read the gospel of John in one sitting?...

- that will help you keep whatever passage we’re working on that particular Sunday in context with everything else that is discussed throughout the book…

- I hope you’re also committing certain key verses from the book to memory…

- like the purpose statement in John 20:30–31 - Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.

- or from chapter 1 - John 1:11–13 - He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

- the very next verse also adds to the framework (structure) when John says… John 1:14 - And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

- there’s a sense in which much of what we have studied thus far fits under the heading of one or both of those passages…

- so John has explained the role of John the Baptist…whose life and ministry is one of the many reasons to believe in Jesus’ name because the OT told us a forerunner would precede the coming of the Messiah…

- we learned about Christ’s first miracle which shows us God’s glory and grace as Jesus meets the need of this potentially embarrassed family while staying within the parameters of obedience to the specific planning of the Father’s plan…

- we’ve also learned about the initial calling of some of the disciples and then the evening a religious leader named Nicodemus came to Jesus by night and was reminded of what he should have already known, that he needed to admit his sin and be born again – to be miraculously regenerated as an act of the Spirit of God if he truly hoped to the enter God’s kingdom…

- he was one who at least at that point in his spiritual journey, fit under John’s heading of people…to whom Jesus came, but they did not receive Him…

- one of the questions we’re left with at the end of chapter 3 is – if a man who knew God’s Word and lived as upright as Nicodemus did was unwilling to believe in Jesus, who possibly would?...are we going to have to find someone even more knowledgeable in Scripture, or even more morally superior?...the answer to that question is about as shocking as it gets…on purpose…and the story is told in a context of great thirst, and an explanation of The Greatest Water Ever Offered

- read John 4:1-45

- so we’re talking about The Greatest Water Ever Offered, and with the time we have remaining, please think with me about Three reasons to be thrilled with Jesus’ interaction with the woman at the well.

I. Because the Gospel Overcomes Tremendous Obstacles

- you could label this interaction, we’re not in Kansas anymore…

- this isn’t a conversation with a refined, skeptical Pharisee…

- but that’s part of the point John is making to his readers – who would you rather be, at least in terms of how the chapters we’ve read thus far concluded their respective stories…would you rather be Nicodemus or would you rather be the woman at the well?...

- John made it clear -- John 1:11–13 - He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

- no question about fits into those categories…at least at this stage of their stories…[I’m saying it that way because we know later in the gospel that thankfully Nicodemus eventually places his faith and trust in Christ…but that occurs later in this book.]

- You can also imagine a man or woman in the first century hearing this story for the first time…it’s like, what?...this is about as outrageous as it gets…which is part of what makes the discussion so thrilling…look at the barriers coming down one on top of another on top of another….

A. The ethnic and theological issues

- John 4:4 - And He had to pass through Samaria.

- label that – “loaded statement #1”…

- Samaria was the capital of the northern tribes of Israel and when the nation of Assyria conquered Samaria – as was often the case – they deported the influential citizens and settled the land with foreigners who intermarried with the Jews who remained…

- this created an ethnic and religious inter-breeding that was repugnant to the exiled Jews who eventually returned to their homeland…

- eventually the Samaritans developed a religious system that only accepted the first five books of the OT and even established a rival place of worship on Mount Gerizim instead of in Jerusalem…

- so they were considered inferior half-breeds who certainly had no hope of truly entering the kingdom of God…

- this is why later in Jesus’ ministry as the opposition was growing, one of the insults they hurled at Him was that John 8:48 - The Jews answered and said to Him, “Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?”

- apparently those two things pretty much went hand-in-hand…

- even the woman at the well herself was surprised Jesus would speak with her, given her ethnic heritage…

- when you think about the theme of thirst…this kind of ethnic tension and division is part of what creates the thirst…it’s one of the consequences of the curse of sin…and isn’t it amazing that it was on grand display even last year in our country…

- it’s not like we have to close our eyes and try hard to imagine what ethnic hatred and unrest might be like…last summer was a very thirsty time in our country, and the murder of George Floyd and related incidents became flashpoints in major cities around the world…

- well, aren’t you glad for a Savior whose shed blood was given to put an end to all of that?...

- on purpose, John records Jesus’ evangelistic interaction with this…this…Samaritan…

- one of the marvelous characteristics of the church of Jesus Christ is that it is purposely multi-ethic…

- Paul told the Galatians that… Galatians 3:26–28 - For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek…

- the gospel is powerful enough to make that happen…

- he told the Ephesians - Ephesians 2:13–19 - But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near; for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household,

- now, admittedly, we have a long way to go in implementing these principles in the church of Jesus Christ – but there is no place for racism in any form in the church…and the story before us this morning makes that absolutely clear…

- but it goes further than that, doesn’t it?...

B. Gender discrimination

- even the woman at the well expresses surprise about what’s unfolding…

- John 4:9 - Therefore the Samaritan woman *said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.)

- this point is intensified by the disciples’ later response - John 4:27 - At this point His disciples came, and they were amazed that He had been speaking with a woman, yet no one said, “What do You seek?” or, “Why do You speak with her?”

- the way women were viewed and treated in this culture becomes even more apparent in what we learn a few verses later about her story…

- but that too is a clear emphasis of Christ’s life and ministry – the value and importance He places on women…

- this is the first person in the Gospel of John that Jesus clearly reveals Himself to as the Messiah…to a Samaritan woman…

- her story is purposely recorded in this important gospel…

- and that radical departure from cultural norms becomes an important and compelling aspect of Christ’s church…

- I stopped a bit short in the quote from Galatians… 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.

- that doesn’t mean there are no differences and that doesn’t mean there are no distinctions in roles because to take that position would be to ignore significant teaching in Scripture…

- but when it comes to value and importance in the church of Jesus Christ, women were to be honored and welcomed into the family of God

- the woman at the well was superior to Nicodemus at least in the sense that she repented quickly and placed her faith and trust in Christ far more rapidly than Nicodemus did…Nicodemus was John 1:11…the woman at the well was John 1:12

- this too is another area where the church of Jesus Christ has plenty of room for growth…its amazing how relevant this passage is for our day and time…

- however, there are plenty of success stories as well…

- I’ve been attending Bible believing churches for the better part of my entire life…and one of the constants for me has been men and women serving together, and growing together, and loving one-another in the church of Jesus Christ…

- we were just talking about this the other day – because we are planning some significant expansions in our counseling ministry and the Biblical Counseling Training Conference in February and part of what’s making that possible is the growing number of women who continue to progress as excellent counselors, and excellent teachers…that additional bandwidth is going to serve us very well in the days ahead and for that we are profoundly thankful…

- this church needs every redeemed Samaritan woman we can possibly get…

- by the way, if you would like to study this issue further, there is a well known article written back in 1995 in the Journal Sociology of Religion …by then professor at University of Washington Rodney Stark - it’s entitled “Reconstructing the Rise of Christianity: The Role of Women [Sociology of Religion 1995, 56:3 229-244).

- it’s not in any way coming from a conservative Christian perspective—in fact the article argues against any miraculous explanations for the explosive growth of the early church…

- instead, his thesis is that the church of Jesus Christ grew because it has such great appeal to women because of the gracious treatment and elevated status they received compared to what was experienced in secular culture…

- here’s just one of many examples he gives – a letter written in 1 BC from a man named Hilarion to his pregnant wife Alis – Hilarion was away from his wife in Alexandria but hoped to get back to her before their baby was born – but here was his instructions – “I ask and beg you to take good care of our baby son, and as soon as I receive payment I shall send it up to you. If you are delivered of a child [before I come home], if it is a boy keep it, if a girl discard it.”

- this is why in many pagan cultures there was a much higher percentage of men than women…]

- so Stark argues that because Christianity stood against female infanticide, urged husbands to love their wives and be faithful to their marriage vows, prohibited men from divorcing their wives unless strict biblical guidelines were met, placed women in positions of responsibility and treated them as faithful co-laborers from the very beginning, and established a system of care for widows…

- all of this was so different than secular culture that Stark believes this is one of the strong explanations for the growth of biblical Christianity…

- if you want to read more – here’s the link to this article: https://roosevelt.ucsd.edu/_files/mmw/mmw12/RodneyStarkReconstructingRiseofChristianityWomen.pdf

- but the point here is – it is shockingly delightful that this conversation occurred between the Messiah and a Samaritan woman…

- but that’s not the end of the story either, is it?

C. The pain of a sinful past

- John 4:17–18 - The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus *said to her, “You have correctly said, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly.”

- doesn’t that make you want to ask about a dozen clarifying questions?...

- but regardless of the answers, there’s really no way to pretty that one up…

- can you imagine all the guilt and the shame that would attend that condition in that particular culture…

- some writers, by the way, would suggest that this was why she was there by herself…

- normally several women would have come together for safety and comradery…perhaps not even the women of the city would want to be seen with her…

- and please remember – Jesus viewed this as a divine appointment…and John wanted his reader to see her as the desirable contrast to self-righteous, skeptical Nicodemus…see, if you have to be one or the other (and there are other options of course), but if you have to be one or the other…be her…

- are there a couple of other verses from the prologue that comes into even clearer focus?... John 1:14 - And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

- John 1:16 - For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.

- can I just pause and ask you – don’t you adore this kind of Savior?...doesn’t all of this make it that mush easier to take the step advocated at the end of the book… John 20:30–31 - Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God;…

- and if you have taken that step….to rejoice in the possibility… and that believing you may have life in His name.

- this is the kind of Savior in whose name I want to live my life…

- now, it’s at this point that we find ourselves like Louie Zamperini and his two fellow castaways…contemplating the extreme thirst that comes from living in a sin-cursed world as sin-cursed people…

- and that’s the challenge…where do you turn to satisfy that longing?...

- you can imagine where this woman had turned during the course of her life…

- but we don’t need her story of seeking satisfaction in the wrong places…why?...because we have our own…which is why we can also be thrilled because…

II. The Gospel Contains a Compelling Message

- in a desert culture, water is life…and so around noon-time Jesus stops at the piece of ground that is laden with covenant significance… John 4:5–6 - So He *came to a city of Samaria called Sychar, near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph; and Jacob’s well was there. So Jesus, being wearied from His journey, was sitting thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.

- as John retells this story…he wants us to imagine the heat, and weariness, and the thirst…and how this interaction shows that…

A. The Messiah satisfies your deepest longings

- Jesus asks the woman for a drink and she expresses surprise…

- John 4:9 - Therefore the Samaritan woman *said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.)

- Jesus begins to reveal His identity by telling her He has the ability to provide living water…

- her response is practical and entirely reasonable…

- John 4:11–12 - She *said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water? “You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?”

- please don’t miss Jesus’ response, because it is as relevant today as it was nearly 2000 years ago…

- John 4:13–14 - Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”

- the biblical imagery this calls up is both vast and marvelous…

- Jeremiah 2:13 - For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, to hew for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water.

- you can think about that from at least 2 perspectives…men and women who have not trusted Christ…and are looking for satisfaction and fulfillment in all sorts of places that ultimately will not satisfy…

- whether it be intellectualism – believing you are too smart to need a God or a Savior…there’s an empty cistern for you…

- or self-righteousness…trying to keep up a façade of goodness that suggests to self and others you can earn your own way to heaven…that cistern will leak for sure and will eventually come apart at the seams…

- or drugs or alcohol or illicit sex or any number of sinful pursuits…I can remember Pastor Goode asking people years ago in counseling…have you ever found satisfaction at the bottom of a bottle?...

- or another relationship, or another toy, or a newer car and or a bigger house?...

- even for followers of Christ…we still have daily thirst and a corresponding decision about where we are going to seek satisfaction and nourishment…

- if your time allows this week, you might want to chase the theme of water around the Bible using a concordance of other Bible study tool…the references are everywhere, like… Isaiah 44:3–4 - For I will pour out water on the thirsty land and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring and My blessing on your descendants; And they will spring up among the grass like poplars by streams of water.’

- and one of the questions each of us should ask is – have we learned the art and discipline of seeking our daily joy and satisfaction in the Person and work of Jesus so we are less tempted to find it in lesser places?...can we say with the Psalmist…

- Psalm 42:1 - As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for You, O God.

- the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ makes it possible for us to never have to experience thirst again…

- here’s a question to consider – whether you are thinking about your friendships, or how you function at work, or at home, or in the neighborhood…

- are you a satisfied person, ready to serve and love others regardless of what they can give you…

- or are you a needy thirsty person, constantly expecting and demanding of others what they could not possibly provide?...

- consider for example, a teenager – who drinks from the fountain of living waters, finding his/her joy and satisfaction in Christ – and then approaching parents and siblings through the grid of longings already satisfied and therefore prepared to joyfully give and serve…

- imagine a satisfied spouse…or a satisfied employee…or a satisfied citizen…or a satisfied church member…

- Jeremiah 2:13 - For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, to hew for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water.

- in order to reach this place, the woman at the well had to do something that Nicodemus, at least up to this point in the book, had not yet been prepared to do…she had to repent…

- John 4:16 - He *said to her, “Go, call your husband and come here.”

- that leads into the other prominent aspect of the gospel message explained here…

B. Jesus invites you to worship in an entirely new way.

- like we often do when confronted with our sin, this dear woman attempted to change the subject…and even get into a theological argument with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords…

- note to self – repentance is always better than arguing or attempting to change the subject, especially when you’re talking to the Messiah…

- John 4:23–24 - But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.

- that’s why followers of Jesus Christ want to live a worshipful lifestyle moment by moment each day…it’s not about worshipping at a place…it’s about worshipping a Person…

- so when the woman said… John 4:25 - The woman *said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.”

- imagine her thrill and excitement when… John 4:26 - Jesus *said to her, “I who speak to you am He.

- that’s also why our corporate worship on the Lord’s Day can be so sweet and refreshing…because regardless of where we start in the Bible or what topic we might be discussing…where do we always end up?...at the cross and the empty tomb…worshipping our God in spirit and in truth…because we agree – He who spoke to her is He…and He who speaks to us is He…our living water who satisfies our deepest thirst…

- well, how did the story end?...

III. The Gospel Results in Powerful Transformation

A. The woman left her water pot

- John 4:28–29 - So the woman left her waterpot, and went into the city and *said to the men, “Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done; this is not the Christ, is it?”

- which was an incredibly wise way to phrase what she had just experienced to the men of the city…

B. Many of the Samaritans believed

- John 4:39–41 - From that city many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all the things that I have done.” So when the Samaritans came to Jesus, they were asking Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. Many more believed because of His word;

- that sound you hear is the collected shock and disbelief of every Jewish reader, and many of the rest of us at what just transpired…

- an educated, knowledgeable Jewish leader was not yet prepared to believe He needed saving faith in Christ in order to enter the kingdom of God, but a five-time married and currently adulteress Samaritan woman was…

- and her testimony was so clear, that she set off a mass conversion of many others in her city…

- that’s how satisfying and delightful the Living Water can be…

- Louie Zamperini eventually found that to be true…

- he and one his fellow castaways actually survived the ordeal at sea and then were prisoners of War, enduring even worse treatment by their captors, including a cruel Corporeal the prisoners nicknamed The Bird…

- when the war ended and Louie eventually returned home, he struggled like many veterans did…

- but eventually he went to a Billy Graham crusade…and Hillenbrand describes Louie’s acceptance of Christ’s living water in a marvelous way…at the end she wrote…

- Louie dug out the Bible that had been issued to him by the air corps and mailed home to his mother when he was believed dead…He found a spot under a tree, sat down, and began reading.

- Resting in the shade and the stillness, Louie felt profound peace. When he thought of his history, what resonated with him was not all that he had suffered but the divine love that he believed had intervened to save him. He was not the worthless, broken, forsaken man that the Bird had striven to make of him. In a single, silent moment, his rage, his fear, his humiliation and helplessness, had fallen away. That morning, he believed, he was a new creation. Softly, he wept.

Authors

Dr. Steve Viars

Roles

Senior Pastor - Faith Church

Director - Faith Legacy Foundation

Bio

B.S.: Pre-Seminary & Bible, Baptist Bible College (Now Clarks Summit University)
M.Div.: Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min.: Biblical Counseling, Westminster Theological Seminary

Dr. Steve Viars has served at Faith Church in Lafayette, IN since 1987. Pastor Viars leads and equips Faith Church as Senior Pastor with a focus on preaching and teaching God’s Word and using his organizational skills in guiding the implementation of the Faith Church mission and vision. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith Church ministries. Dr. Viars serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation. Steve is the author, co-author, or contributor to six books and numerous booklets. He and his wife, Kris, were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and four grandchildren.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video