John 4:1-26 Part 2 – Evangelism 101

In our last message we pretty much was studying history of Jews and Samaritans. 

10 Jesus answered her, “ If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘ Give me a drink, ’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 

This is a very difficult verse to explain. I will try my best. Firstly Jesus says, if you knew the gift of God. Let’s stop here. What gift is Jesus talking about and how would the woman have understood it. Let’s look at it. 

Acts 2:38 (ESVST)
And Peter said to them, “ Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 8:17-20 (ESVST)
Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit. 18 Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles ‘hands, he offered them money, 19 saying, “ Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” 20 But Peter said to him, “ May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money!
Acts 10:45 (ESVST)
And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles.
Acts 11:15-17 (ESVST)
As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning. 16 And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, ‘ John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. ’ 17 If then God gave the same gift to them as he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God ‘s way?”
So, clearly from these verses, it makes more sense to believe that the gift that Jesus was referring to was the gift of the Holy Spirit. Jesus says, if you knew the gift of God (which we have seen is the Holy Spirit), and who it is that says give me a drink. By this Jesus is saying to the woman if you knew the gift of the Holy Spirit and that the person asking you was the one who was going to give it to you or is the Messaih or the Son of God, you are the one who would have asked him for a drink and he would have given you living water. 
Now here is where the verse gets difficult to understand and explain. The words “living water” has been used throughout the bible as a metaphor to refer to different things. Mostly to refer to God and God’s grace. So, what is Jesus talking about here or referring to here when he says he would have given the woman living water. For this I believe we need to go to John 7:37-39 to get our answer. 

John 7:37-39 (ESVST)
37 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “ If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. ’” 39 Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
So, Jesus is saying to the woman, if you knew about the gift of the Holy Spirit and that I am the Messaih, I am the Son of God who has the power to give you this gift,you would be asking me and I would give you this gift of the Holy Spirit. I hope it makes sense. Ok let’s move on. How did the woman understand Jesus? Let’s see.

11 The woman said to him, “ Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” 

Clearly the Samaritan woman had no clue at this stage what Jesus was talking about. At this stage she must have thought that Jesus was mad or something. The use of Sir in this verse by the woman indicates to me that she was starting to think that Jesus was probably mad and was using words to try and not provoke him. She simply could not understand why Jesus would say that he can give her living water if he does not even have anything to draw water with. Secondly I think the woman was feeling that Jacob was being insulted by Jesus when Jesus said that he can give her the living water when Jacob had already given them a well which, he himself drank from it and so did his sons and livestock. At this stage, the woman is clearly confused and even irritated by this conversation. 

13 Jesus said to her, “ Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 

Obviously Jesus could clearly see that the poor woman is confused and maybe even irritated and he decides to explain his stament. Jesus says to her that anyone who drinks of this water, meaning the water from jacob’s well, will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him, will never be thirsty again. The water I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life. Jesus is saying to the woman, listen, as long as you drink of this water, you will be thirsty again and you will keep coming and coming to draw water but, I can give you water that will make you to never thirst again for eternity. Second lesson of Evangelism, the better offer. Explain to the person being evangelised, what you have to offer. Jesus here is using the woman’ sin as a vehicle to explain and offer to her the gospel. 

15 The woman said to him, “ Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”

Now the woman moves from being confused and maybe irritated to curious. Again you see the word Sir, indicating that the woman still thinks that Jesus might be mad man. The word Sir here in my view is not used to show respect but rather sachastically. The woman then says, give this water then so that I can no longer be thirsty and have to come here again. I think in her mind the woman is thinking, let’s get on with this, you have the living water, give it to me!

We will continue next time. 

Father we thank you for the message and we pray that this message may makes our lives to be more loser to you. In Jesus name, amen

16 Jesus said to her, “ Go, call your husband, and come here.” 17 The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband ’; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” 19 The woman said to him, “ Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “ Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, “ I who speak to you am he.”
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Posted in John 4, The Gospel of John.

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