Introduction: Has your car ever broken down in the worst place possible? At the worst time possible? When I was in high school, I had been out with some friends and after I dropped them off, my car broke down. I was far from home, in a neighborhood that I did not know and it was late. I did not have a cell phone, because they had not been invented yet! I was a little sacred. I felt lost. I had no idea what to do. Then I saw a man who lived there. He asked me what I was doing in this neighborhood. I told him that my car had broken down and I needed to make a call. You see, he wasn’t like me. I had pulled into a neighborhood where there had been gang violence. I had no idea. This man showed up and he helped me. At a time like this, who do you call? How do you get the help you need? Who will be the one that comes and saves you? When you are in a dark place, who is the one who will cross all boundaries, danger lines, to come to a place to save you from the dangers that you might face.
We all need someone who will come to save us. Sometimes, we are the one who goes to save someone. Jesus Christ is the Savior for the whole would. It is the will of God that no one is lost and that everyone is saved. We can learn so much about how we are supposed to live if we examine the life of Jesus Christ and the things that He did. We need to have an urgency to share what we have so that others can be saved. We need to share this gift of salvation with all people. Just like the man who came to save me on a dark night when I was in trouble, we need to share and assist others on their way through the troubles of life. Who is the person you will go to, where you will cross all boundaries, danger lines, to a place where you can save them from the dangers they might face.
WHAT (The point of the passage – What God has to say) GOD (Illumination)
I will ask you to turn in your Bible to the Gospel of John, chapter 4. The Gospel of John presents many important lessons for living life on earth and determining our eternal destiny after we die. This Gospel is a clear message that helps us understand the truth about God, the truth about eternity, and the truth about making a choice to accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior.
Let’s read John 4:39-42
39 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.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to Jesus, they were asking Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. 41 Many more believed because of His word; 42 and they were saying to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world.”
SO WHAT? (Why the point of the passage matters)
To truly appreciate and understand this passage for John 4: 39-42, we have to reflect on the story of the woman at the well, where Jesus encountered a Samarian woman, a woman of great sin. Jesus told her of her sins and gave compassion to her. The social order of the day would have said that this Jew should have never spoken to this woman, a Samaritan woman, a woman who was getting water at a time when no one else was there, so she could escape the shame and ridicule of others because of her sinfulness. Even in her sin, she recognized that Jesus was a prophet and that she believed that a Messiah was coming. She believed that it might be Him because He knew of her sinfulness. He told her that He is that Messiah and she believed. In her excitement, she took the Living Water and left the water pot she took to get water from the well. She went to tell others that of Who she had encountered.
The story of this woman and her conversion is a remarkable and unlikely success. From this one conversation, it would have been unlikely that more sinners were converted and believed because of the testimony of the woman. We should never worry about of doing good in any situation and we should take every opportunity to share Jesus with sinners on the subject of their salvation.
“The Samaritans outshine the Jews and even the Apostles, in their readiness to believe” (Bible Hub). The Jews rejected the testimony of their own Scriptures, of John the Baptist, of Christ’s miracles and teaching. The Samaritans accepted the testimony of the woman, who had suddenly become an Apostle to her countrymen. They did not need a miracle. They did not need a sign. All they needed was to hear the testimony of the one who was changed. “The willingness to receive the truth on the part of the Samaritans, is contrasted with the rejection of it on the part of the Jews. They refused the witness of a great prophet; these accept the witness of a woman. Their minds were prepared by the general expectation of the Messiah; and this woman witnesses that Jesus had revealed to her the whole past of her life. Here is a sign they do not question” (Bible Hub).
Their next step in faith is that they go to Him and ask Him to remain with them. Jesus, a Jew, accepts the hospitality of Samaria, and stays with them for two days. They were already convinced; but they did more – they came to Him. So, when the Samaritans came to him; they continued asking him – they continually prayed that He would stay with them. This was completely different from the treatment Jesus received from Jews, the scribes, and the Pharisees! They sent Him away from them and they could not see who He was. But these hated Samaritans wanted for more of His fellowship, more of His words, more of the Word of life.
“The result was that a far larger number than had believed the woman’s report now believed, on account of what they heard from Jesus Himself. The title “Savior of the World” was of course prompted by the teaching of Jesus Himself during His two days’ while He was there with them” (Bible Hub). They learned this from what they heard from Him. No one had to tell them this. The true progress of faith is here evident. This time that the Samaritans had with Jesus was their John 3:16 passage. Where the Pharisees believed and followed in their laws, 613 on them, the Samaritans heard the testimony and believed. They met Jesus face to face and their faith was made stronger.
NOW WHAT? (How to respond to the point of the passage) YOU (Application)
Why is it important to know that the Samaritans believed the testimony of one woman and their two-day visit with Jesus? Because the Samaritans people resemble people just like us today. The Jews were the religious elite. The Jews were the chosen people of God. The Jews were part of the ruling class. The Samaritans were not part of this world and the Jews hated the Samaritans. The Jews were prejudice of the Samaritans. Because of their imperfect following to Judaism and their pagan ancestry, the Samaritans were despised by ordinary Jews. Rather than go through Samaria, the Jews went around Samaria. The Jews who were traveling from Judea to Galilee went around Samaria, so they did not have to run into one. The Samaritans also harbored anger toward the Jews. The fact that Samaritans were separated from and looked down upon by the Jews makes them important in the New Testament. Jesus gave the story of the Good Samaritan when He was talking to the Jews about how we should treat our neighbors. Jesus indicated a new attitude must be taken toward the Samaritans.
The Samaritans willingly received Jewish criminals and refugees from justice. The violators of the Jewish laws, and those who had been excommunicated, found safety for themselves in Samaria, greatly increasing the hatred which existed between the two nations. The Samaritans received only the five books of Moses and rejected the writings of the prophets and all the Jewish traditions. These were a cause difference between them, so that the Jews regarded the Samaritans as the worst of the human race and had no dealings with them. In spite of the hatred between the Jews and the Samaritans, Jesus broke down the barriers between them, preaching the gospel of peace to the Samaritans, and the apostles later followed His example. the Gospels and Acts provide so many instances of Samaritans coming into contact with the message of Jesus.
Jesus Christ is the Messiah for all mankind. The woman at the well knew that He was the Messiah and the Savior of the World. He did not come for just the religious elite. He did not come for just the poor, not just for the Jews, not just for Nazarenes, not just for Catholics, He came for all. Romans 3:22-23 state, “even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” The urgency of Jesus Christ is an example for how we are to live and to share His Gospel with the world. The Gospel is for everyone.
It is really easy to relate the Jews and the Samaritans to the people who claim to be Christians to people who are fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ and the unsaved people in the words today. Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans. Who is it that you have no dealings with? Salvation is for everyone. Salvation comes to us by the grace of God, but faith enables us to reach out and receive it.
Faith means to believe. It means to put your trust or confidence in someone or something. Many times, in the Bible the command is to believe, this is referring to faith. In order for us to receive the salvation offered in Christ Jesus, we must abandon any hope we might have in our own goodness, or in our ability to get to heaven on our own merit, and we must put our faith, our confidence, in Jesus Christ and what He did on the cross. Faith is not simply knowing that Jesus died for your sins, it does not merely mean agreeing that Jesus died for your sins, many people have religious knowledge but do not have a personal relationship with Jesus. Faith means making a personal decision and commitment to surrender control and our lives to who Jesus is and to trust Him and Him alone to save you. This is what we are talking about when we ask if someone wants to give their heart to Jesus, or to ask Him into their heart. That’s what it means to exercise faith.
You have a choice to make. Do you believe Jesus is what the gospel claims Him to be? The Samaritans believed from the testimony of one woman. When Jesus came to them, even more believed. It did not take a miracle just the faith of the people. You have to accept that Jesus is Lord. You have to believe with all of your heart, your soul, and your mind that Jesus will save you. You have to confess your sins and turn from them. We are sinners, our sin separates us from God and condemns us to eternity in hell. God loves us and sent His only Son Jesus to die on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. Through His death, burial and resurrection He defeated sin and death and made it possible for all who will place their trust in Him to have their sins washed away and receive eternal life. All you have to do is believe.
This message is for two different people. The first person this is for is the person who has never met Jesus. Now is the time to give your life to Him. John 3:16-17 state, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”
We must acknowledge God as the Creator of everything, accepting our humble position in God’s created order and purpose. Romans 1:20-21. “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”
We must realize that we are sinners and that we need forgiveness. None of us are worthy under God’s standards. Romans 3:23. “For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.” We have all sinned. We all make mistakes.
God gave us the way to be forgiven of our sins. He showed us His love by giving us the potential for life through the death of His Son, Jesus Christ. Romans 5:8. “But God demonstrates His love toward us, in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
If we remain sinners, we will die. However, if we repent of and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we will have eternal life. Romans 6:23. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” You can work for death.
Confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead and you are saved. Romans 10:9-10. “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
There are no other religious formulas or rituals. Just call upon the name of the Lord and you will be saved! Romans 10:13. “For whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”
Determine in your heart to make Jesus Christ the Lord of your life today. Romans 11:36. “For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever.”
The second person this message is for is the person who knows Jesus but has never shared Him. Matthew 28:19-20 state this, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” If you are holding the Gospel of Jesus Christ to yourself, you are no better that those Pharisees who believed that they were above all others and religion belonged to them.
James 5:19-20, “My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins” (NASB).
Your testimony can change the life of someone else.
Dismissal (Sticky Statement)
As we close consider this, everyone needs Jesus. Some need to accept Him and begin to learn what it is like to live a Christlike life. Some need to take the Jesus they have accepted and share Him with the world. Either way, everyone needs Jesus.
I thought about the revival and the passages Dr. Warrick gave us to learn and how they go with what we are talking about here tonight.
And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
John 4:39 Commentaries: 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.”, biblehub.com/commentaries/john/4-39.htm.
John 4:41 Commentaries: Many More Believed Because of His Word; biblehub.com/ commentaries/john/4-41.htm.