Be Neighbors For Jesus

Anna church of Christ Vacation Bible School

7/25/07 – Adult Class

John 4:5-39

 

 

Introduction: Jesus and his disciples were traveling between Judea and Galilee. They took the most direct route – through Samaria. Galilee was in the north, Judea in the south, with Samaria lying between them both. Many Jews chose the longest route from Judea to Galilee, which was crossing the Jordan River on the east, traveling North, then crossing the Jordan again into Galilee. Jesus and His disciples traveled directly (requiring half the time) and stopped in Samaria for rest, a meal, and some water, as they arrived at the sixth hour (about noon) during the heat of the day and were traveling on foot. “I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants upon the earth” (Eccl. 10:7). When we’re carried about in cars, let’s think on the weariness of our Master. The disciples went to procure food while Jesus rested at Jacob’s well. Jesus could have gone with the disciples and found plenty of water in the city, but He stopped at Jacob’s well and used the opportunity (that He must have known would come) to teach.

 

I. Background: Why Jews hated Samaritans “...The Jews have no dealings with the

   Samaritans” (John 4:9).

 

A. Bitterness began with Assyrian king Shalmaneser’s removal of the ten tribes to

        Babylon. Hoshea, (last King of Israel – II Kings 17:1-6), came up against him and

        became his servant. All was well until Shalmanesser discovered Hoshea’s

        conspiracy against him (II Kings 17:4). He left behind the very young, very old, and

        the infirm (II Kings 17). Some years later, other tribes were sent in to occupy this

        country. They brought idolatrous practices and those Israelites left behind

        intermarried with them. They lost the right to be called Israelites and were instead

        known as Samaritans.

 

B. Other reason for hatred:

         1. Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem in 450 B.C. to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.

             Samaritans offered to help and were flatly refused (Ezra 4:2-5).

 

II. We Need To See People as God Sees Them (John 4:7-18).

 

     A. Fist person Jesus encountered at Jacob’s well was a Samaritan woman

         1. Not uncommon – women usually drew water

 

         2. What was uncommon was that Jesus spoke to her. He was recognized as a Rabbi

             (teacher) by many. Quite uncommon for a Rabbi to risk his reputation by

             speaking to women in public – even his own wife – such violated social customs

             that still prevail in that part of the world today. Jesus was willing to lower

             Himself in the eyes of others to reach out to this sinful soul.

 

     B. This woman was sinful. Possibly the reason she came to the well at noon instead of

          morning, when most women came. 

          1. Jesus used this as an opportunity to teach.

 

          2. Then, He caused her to face the immorality of her life. Go, call thy husband,

              and come hither” (Jn. 4:16). She replied, “I have no husband.” In fact, she’d had

              five and was “shacked up” (in our vernacular) with a 6th man.

 

          3. Realizing that Jesus was more than any Rabbi she’d ever met, she was faced

              with the sin in her life. Her current living arrangement leads us to believe that

              her divorces weren’t lawful. Furthermore, Samaritans allowed divorce only on

              the grounds of adultery, as Jesus commanded (Matt. 19:9). No one can be

              converted until they recognize their sinfulness and repent of it (Luke 13:3; Acts

              8:22). We’re all created in God’s image and are equally important to Him (Gen.

              1:27; Gal. 3:26&27).

 

III. The True Nature of Woship (John 4:19-29)

 

      A. Woman perceived Jesus was a prophet (John 4:19). She then wanted an answer to

           this question, “Where are we to worship?We’ve always done it here, but you say it

           ought to be Jerusalem.” Jesus’ answer:...the hour cometh, when ye shall neither

           in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.

 

      B. 2 dimensions of worship: Spirit and truth – John 4:24

          1. Spirit - Worship is an internal, personal matter which must be done with zeal and

              love for God – must be done because we want to, not of bare necessity. Matt.

              5:8; 15:8-9; Prov. 4:23; Luke 18:9-14.

 

          2. Truth – Feelings and spirit are vital to genuine worship, but so is obedience to

              God regarding how we worship. Society emphasizes feelings. God emphasizes

              doing it His way (Luke 6:46; John 14:15). We are to observe the

             Lord’s Supper (Acts 20:7; I Cor. 11:23-26), sing praises to God (Col. 3:16; Eph.

              5:19), hear preaching on the first day of the week (Sunday). We give back to God

              as we’ve been prospered (I Cor. 16:1-2). We also pray when we worship God,

              just as Jesus commanded (Matt. 7:7) and as Peter and John did (Acts 3:1). The

              Bible is truth (John 17:17) and must be strictly adhered to.

 

C. The object of worship – God.

          1. Worship – Act of paying divine honors to a deity; to render religious service;

              religious reverence and homage (Webster).

          2. From Greek word proskuneo – To kiss the ground in front of; to prostate one’s

              self

          3. Jesus condemned Samaritan’s place of worship and the object of it. They

              recognized only the Pentateuch and venerated Moses, paid little attention to

              Jesus. Samaritans worshipped the wrong source.

 

       D. Worship today

            1. Not acceptable to God in many places – especially in man-made churches.

            2. Too many go to church today to be entertained, not to worship God.

            3. We should go to give, not to get something. We worship God for the sacrifice

                He made for each of us in sending Jesus to die (John 3:16) and for the physical

                blessing we get daily that we can’t even count (Psalm 68:19).

            4. We should spend time getting ready to come to worship spiritually more than

                worrying about hair, clothing, makeup, etc. I Peter 3:4 emphasizes the

                importance of adorning the inner person.

 

IV. The Disciples Return (John 4:27-30)

 

      A. When disciples returned, none questioned why Jesus was talking with this woman

           1. After meeting with Zacchaeus, Jesus said, “The son of man is come to seek and

               to save that which was lost” Luke 19:10. He took criticism for that meeting, too

 

      B. Woman was excited to tell others about Jesus. Risked rebuke and overcame her

          shame to tell others to come see this man (John 4:29).

          1. How many today are really trying to fulfill the Great Commission? “Go ye

             therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of

             the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  20Teaching them to observe all things

             whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the

             end of the world” (Matt 28:19-20).

          2. Why haven’t more adopted Jesus’ mission – to seek and to save the lost?

 

V. The Real Necessities of Life

 

    A. After the woman left (v. 29), the disciples tried to get Jesus to eat. He replied that

         He had meat they didn’t know about.

         1. Not physical meat, but spiritual. Physical food doesn’t feed the soul. Man shall

             not live by bread alone – Matt. 4:4.

         2. The body decays, but the soul lives forever. Matt. 10:28 “And fear not them

             which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is

             able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Lay up treasures in heaven – Matt.

             6:20.

         3. Doing God’s will should satisfy our spiritual hunger.

 

VI. The Spiritual Situation of the World (John 4:35-38)

 

       A. Sychar was located in a very fertile growing region. However, it’s believed that

            Jesus was there in the middle of December, and that harvest didn’t begin until

            April. There wouldn’t have been any grain to harvest, but the harvest of souls was

            ready.

 

VII. How Do We Look At the World?

 

        A. Are we spiritually blinded to the opportunities to save souls?

        B. There are over 6.5 billion people in the world today, most of whom aren’t New

             Testament Christians. Do we see them as prospects? We should.

 

Questions to consider:

 

1. What should be our attitude to those living in sin?

 

2. How should Christians respond to racial prejudice today?

 

3. In what ways are the fields white unto harvest today?

 

4. What did Jesus mean that His meat was to do the will of God and to finish His work?

    How does that apply to us today?