Lost and Found John 4:1-30
In our text today we find John opening up for us his scrapbook. He shares several portraits of Jesus with us in his Gospel. In Chapter He is the Word of God. In chapter 2 He is the Son of Man. In Chapter 3 He is the Divine teacher. And here in Chapter 4 He is the Great Soul Winner.
This is the longest recorded conversation anyone ever had with Jesus. It is longer than any recorded conversation with any of his disciples. In these verses, we can watch Jesus doing that which He does best; Bringing sinners to salvation. We want to join Jesus today as He speaks with a poor, lost, sinful woman. This is a Lost and Found Story: He found her … and then she found him! We can sum up this story using 5 different Words:
In Jesus’ day there were three regions stacked on top of one another. There was Galilee was north, Samaria was central, and Judea was south. The easiest and quickest way to get to Galilee from Judea was to go due north right through Samaria. Verse 3 says that Jesus “had to” go through Samaria. Now why did he have to do that? The answer is, he didn’t. There was another route he could have taken. He could have avoided going through Samaria.
Jesus went because he intended to meet this woman. He knew she would be coming to the well at precisely the moment he was sitting there weary from his journey. Nothing happens by chance in this story. Every detail is part of the outworking of God’s will. The woman isn’t looking for Jesus. All she wants is water. But Jesus is looking for her. You have to go to Samaria if you want to reach Samaritans.
Notice what the Samaritan woman said to him: She knew Jesus was a Jew. This confrontation was unheard of in the first century. Jesus offers her living water. He is leading her step by step to saving faith. But he continually returns to the question: Do you know who I am?
Notice the simplicity of verse 10: Salvation is as simple as asking and receiving. Think about that. Heaven itself is yours for the asking. Just ask for it! That’s all. Just ask Jesus with a humble heart to save you. Salvation is yours for the asking.
Notice the conversation change here. On one level it appears that Jesus is being insensitive. Why bring up anything about her past? Principle: Without conviction of sin there can be no conversion. Until we come to grips with the sickness of sin we cannot be saved. By asking about her husband, he exposes this woman’s lifelong pursuit of happiness. She is almost but not quite saved. She is near the kingdom but not in the door yet. Jesus uncovers what she thought she could keep hidden. That always makes sinners uncomfortable.
One of the great truths to come out of this story is that God is greater. Than geography, race, class, and religious tradition. True worship is not about where or how or even when. It’s about who you are and who God is.
Slowly the truth is dawning on this woman. She has heard that the Messiah will someday come to the earth. Imagine her surprise when Jesus says, I am the Messiah. (verse 26). No doubt this woman was blown away. She came for some water in the middle of the day and she ends up meeting the Water of Life face to face.
Changed Life 4:27-30
The woman is converted between verses 26 and 27. How do we know? Because she leaves her water pot and goes to tell the others in town. She does not know a whole lot at this point. But she is already testifying.
God uses those who are willing to be used. Notice her invitation to the people of Sychar. She doesn’t say, “You must be born again,” But a much gentler, “Come and see.” That’s what Philip said to Nathanael in John 1:46. No threats, no promises, just come and see for yourself. Her invitation is sincere, non-threatening, and open to everyone. When Jesus gives you living water, you want to share it.
We come to the end of the story in verses 39-42: Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of her. Here is a wonderful lesson in the power of the gospel. One woman with mustard seed faith brings her whole town to Jesus.
Oh What A Savior, Oh Hallelujah.