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Chuck Smith :: Sermon Notes for John 4:19

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THE CLAMANT CRY OF THE SOUL FOR GOD.
I. THE WOMAN OF SAMARIA.
A. She was a woman with a bad reputation.
1. Going to the well to draw water was a social occasion for the women. They usually went together sometime in the morning, it was a time for socializing.
2. The fact that she came alone at noon probably indicated that the women of the town did not have much to do with her.
3. She was perhaps a threat to their marriages, they did not trust her around.
4. You would surely not think that she was a good candidate for salvation.
5. Think again.
B. Why is it that she had been married five different times, and was now just living with a man?
1. She no doubt had an inner thirst that she was trying to fill.
2. She made a very common mistake that is being made over and over again, and that is thinking that the deep thirst that she was experiencing could be filled in a relationship with a man.
a. She no doubt felt that if she could just find the right man, her life would be content.
b. I imagine that with each new husband she felt this is the one that can bring me happiness.
c. I received a card from a friend who was announcing his fifth marriage. The card read, "Once in a lifetime you know that you have found that special one." He had such high hopes for this new relationship, but alas, they have since divorced.
C. Deep within every man there is a thirst for God.
1. David described it in the 63rd Psalm, O God, thou [art] my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.
2. Again in 42:1 "As the deer panteth for the water brooks, so panteth my soul for Thee O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God."
3. Man tries to satisfy this thirst in many different ways.
a. Some try to satisfy it with alcohol. Paul said, "Be not drunk with wine wherein is excess, but be filled with the Spirit. These may seem to be strange things to couple together, but there is a close relationship. What is a man seeking when he turns to alcohol? He is trying to satisfy a deep inner need. What happens to the man that is filled with the Spirit? That deep inner need is met.
b. Many have tried to satisfy that inner thirst with pleasurable experiences. A new romance, surfing, sky-diving, a Harley motorcycle. These things in and of themselves, except the new romance if you are already married, are not wrong.
c. A Christian can enjoy these things far more than a non-christian. Because a Christian is not looking for them to do for him what they cannot do, and that is to satisfy the deep inner craving for God.
4. Note as Jesus was talking to her about the water that He could give to her, He said, "If you drink of this water you will thirst again, but he that drinks of the water that I give will never thirst again."
a. There is the key; drink of the water of the worldly pleasures, they may satisfy for a moment, but you will thirst again.
b. Write that over every worldly ambition of your life.
c. Write that over every earthly pursuit.
II. NOTE THE METHOD OF THE WITNESS OF JESUS TO HER.
A. He started on the common level, a drink of water, to quench the thirst. It's a very natural thing to ask for a drink of water.
B. He quickly moved the conversation from the material into the spiritual. From the physical thirst of man to the spiritual thirst of man, but she was not following Him.
C. He told her that if she knew the gift of God and who it was that was asking her for a drink of water, she would have been asking Him for a drink of water.
D. He aroused her curiosity by speaking of water that if you would once drink it you would never thirst again. He was speaking in the spiritual realm, she was still thinking in the material realm.
1. I believe that she felt He was just putting her on with talk of a magic kind of water.
2. Her response was, "I'll take some." Then I will not have to come out here every day to draw water from this deep well.
3. He told her to first go and call her husband.
4. She answered, "I have no husband."
E. He is about to speak to her about the gift of God and identify who it is that was speaking to her, so He answered her, "It is true that you have no husband, for you have had five husbands and you did not marry the man you are presently living with."
1. This bit of information had its desired effect, for she probably flashed back on His statement, "If you knew the gift of God and who it was that was asking you for a drink." Just who is this who asked me for a drink? She responded, "Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet." At this point she realized that He was not just putting her on, but was very serious about living water and that inner thirst in her life.
2. She realized that this man could see right beyond her mask and deep within her soul. She had not fooled Him, He knew everything that she ever did.
3. Does it surprise you that Jesus would be offering the gift of God to someone like this? A person who had gone through five marriages, and was now living in adultery.
4. If you are surprised, it is only because you do not know Him very well. He is the most kind, merciful, gracious man who ever walked on the face of this planet.
a. One day He said to the Pharisees, "The harlots and publicans will go into the kingdom of God before you."
b. Again, as He was being criticized by the Pharisees for attending a party with sinners and publicans, Jesus said, "They that are well do not need a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance."
c. Sometimes Satan lies to us and tells us that we have gone too far, that there is no forgiveness for us.
d. Like the servants of Jairus who said, "It's too late, trouble not the Master."
e. There is an old hymn of the church that I have not heard sung for years, "Christ Receiveth Sinful Men." I only remember a part of the refrain, it goes, "Sing it o'er and o'er again, Christ receiveth sinful men."
5. If it were up to us, we probably would not have offered living water to this woman. We would have been too disgusted with her loose lifestyle.
6. Jesus saw beyond the stained, rough veneer into the thirsty soul that was searching for God. He had compassion on her. I sometimes wonder if He was really thirsty?
7. When she realized that He could see right through her, she asked the question that was burning deep within her soul. "Where can I find God?" "Our fathers say that we should worship in this mountain, and the Jews say Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship." She was lost because of the theological debate.
a. So many people are confused by the theological debates.
b. Their quest for God is hindered by the theologians. They don't know who to believe. The argument is over the place or form.
c. Jesus answered in essence that neither was right, "For God is a Spirit and the true worshippers worship Him in Spirit and in truth, for the Father seeketh such to worship Him."
III. THE GREAT REVELATION.
A. God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth.
1. It is interesting that John puts this story side by side with the story of Nicodemus who had come to Jesus by night.
a. To Nicodemus the diving imperative was, "You must be born again." You cannot enter the kingdom of God unless you are born of the Spirit.
b. To this woman the divine imperative is, "You must worship God in Spirit and in truth."
c. Sharp contrast between the two persons who had come to Jesus. the one a man of the cloth, so to speak, and the woman of the street, yet the message is essentially the same. To know God, to enter into a relationship with God, you must enter into the realm of the Spirit.
2. As He began to open to her the path to God through the dimension of the Spirit, she answered, "I know when Messiah comes, He will teach us all things." He will settle the debates and show us the true path to God.
a. It is interesting that she believed in the coming of the Messiah, even though she was living such an impure life.
b. She had had a spiritual background somewhere, perhaps a godly mother or father in her background, but she had strayed far from the teaching of her early childhood. She was trying to find meaning for life in men, rather than in God.
B. Jesus answered her remark concerning the Messiah with the second revelation, "I Who speaketh unto thee, am He."
1. This is the first occasion in the scriptures where Jesus directly revealed Himself to someone as the Messiah.
2. Others had said it of Him, but this is the first acknowledgment of it by Him.
3. The Jews came to Him in chapter 10 and said, "How long do You keep us in doubt, if You are the Messiah, tell us plainly."
4. Matthew and Mark tell us that when Jesus was on trial before the high priest that the high priest said to Him, "I adjure you before the living God, tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God?" and Jesus answered, "I Am."
C. Two great revelations to this woman of Samaria: the revelation concerning God, the revelation concerning the Messiah, the Son of God.
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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