This is we're gonna read the bible now, and we're going through John's gospel. And it what a joy it would be to think that there may be some Kurdish people that have got bible in their own language and may well be reading this passage. And coming to know Christ, wouldn't that be a wonderful thing? So we're gonna open up at John chapter 4, I'm gonna read half the section, then we're gonna sing, then we're gonna read the other half because it's quite a long reading.
So John chapter 4 verse 1, and let me pray. Father, we do ask you please that there might be some Kurdish people reading this in their own language. Perhaps there's a woman drawing water, feeling lonely, reading this. Lord, we would ask you to bring her to to yourself and us as well help us as we read this to see what a savior we have. In Jesus' name we pray.
Oh, ma'am. Gonna start reading at verse 4. Now he, that's Jesus, had to go through Sumeria. So he came to a town in Sumeria called Psyche, near the plot of ground, Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired, as he was from the journey, sat down by the well.
It was about noon. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, will you give me a drink? His disciples had gone into the town to buy food. The Samaritan woman said to You're a Jew, and I'm a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?
For Jews do not associate with Samaritans. Jesus answered her, if you knew the gift of god and who it was that asked you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water, sir. The woman said, you have nothing to draw with. And the well is deep, where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob?
Who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock. Jesus answered, everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them, will never thirst, indeed the water I give them, will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life. Woman said to him, sir, give me this water so I won't get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water. He told her, go, call your husband and come back. I have no husband.
She replied, Jesus, said to her, you are right. When you say that you have no husband. The fact is you've had 5 husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you've said is quite true. Sir, the woman said, I can see that you're a prophet.
Our ancestors were shipped on the mountain. But you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is Jerusalem. Woman Jesus replied, believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. Use Samaritans worship what you do not know. We worship what we do know.
For salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the father in the spirit and in truth. For they are the kind of worshipers the father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth. The woman said, I know that Messiah called Christ is coming.
When he comes, he will explain everything to us. Then Jesus declared I, the 1 speaking to you, am he. Well, turn back to John chapter 4. So he's talking to this woman, 1 to 1, he's got rid of the disciples. Look how blundering they are.
Is fantastic. So at the end verse 26, it says, then Jesus declared, I. The 1 speaking to you, am he? Just then, the disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman, but no 1 asked, What do you want? Or why you talk to her?
Then leaving her water jar. The woman went back to the town and said to the people, come. See a man who told me everything I've ever done. Could this be the Messiah? They came out of the town and made their way toward him.
Meanwhile, his disciples urged him rabbi eat something, but he said to them, I have food to eat that you know nothing about. Then his disciples said to each other, Could someone have brought him some food? My food said Jesus is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work Don't you have a saying? It's still 4 months until harvest. I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields.
They are ripe for harvest. Even now, the 1 who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life. So that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. Thus the saying, 1 sows in another reaps is true. I send you to reap what you have not worked for.
Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefit of their labor. Many of the Samaritans from the town believed in him because of the woman's testimony. He told me everything I ever done. So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed 2 days. And became and and became I'm sorry.
And because of his words, many more became believers. They said to the woman, we no longer believe just because of what you said. Now we have heard for ourselves. And we know that this man really is the savior of the world. Tom's gonna open that passage up for us.
Thank you. We we looked at the first half of John 4 last last Sunday evening. That was a terrific sermon. So if you Didn't manage to hear that or you haven't downloaded that yet, then let me encourage you to go online at some point over the next week and catch up with that with part 1. And welcome to those who are joining us online as well.
I know a few of our members are are struggling with COVID at the moment, and so if you're 1 of them on the sofa under a duvet or their lemsip struggling then well done for tuning in and it's good that you can. So let's keep John 4 open in front of us. We're gonna be mainly focusing on the second half verse 27 through to verse 42, but we'll recap because this is all 1 1 wonderful story. So let's let's let's keep it open. Let's pray together as we begin.
Father, we thank you that you are seeking worshipers who will worship you by the spirit and in the truth. And we thank you for your spirit, who lives within all of your people. Is within us right now this evening, and we pray that you would help us to to listen to the words of the Lord Jesus to see the example of the Lord Jesus and that we might understand the things you have for us here. We pray that you would help us to to learn and to grow in our love for the Savior. And also our love for this world, this Harvest field, this mission field that we've been sent out to, and we ask it in Jesus' name, amen.
Okay. Well, if you'd like to just turn in your bibles back to the middle of the old testament or towards the end of the old testament, to page 925 in the Church Bibles to Amos chapter 9. And I'm just gonna read 2 verses from Amos 9. They're not on the screen, so you'll have to either turn there or look it up. She's right at the end of Amos's prophecy, and he's foreseeing a time of great restoration And these are some of the closing verses of of chapter 9.
Page 9 2 5, So verse 11 reads, in that day, I will restore David's fallen shelter. I will repair its broken walls and restore its ruins. And will rebuild it as it used to be, so that they may possess the remnant of Eden, and all the nations that bear my name declares the law, who will do all of these things. The days are coming declares the Lord when the Reaper will be overtaken by the ploughman, and the plantar by the 1 treading grapes, new wine will drip from the mountains and flow from all the hills, and I will bring my people Israel back. From exile.
So you see what he's describing there, particularly in verse 11. He's describing this amazing scene from the harvest field. And normally, as we know, there is a big gap between sowing and reaping. You sow the seed, and you patiently wait, you wait for the rains and the sunshine. And then there's a time of reaping, but there is a time between sowing and reaping, We just know that's how farming works.
But here, Amos is looking ahead to a time when there will be no longer a gap between sowing and reaping. It's an amazing picture, isn't it? That you've got 1 worker going out into the field planting grapes and scattering seed doing his sowing job. And just as soon as it's done, it's all the harvest has already come, and the grapes are already up there. So you've got 1 sowing and 1 right behind him reaping as the as the crops are coming.
So it's a strange picture, isn't it? But that's what he's describing. And now the question is, what what exactly is he looking ahead to there? We might think he's describing the new creation. You know, that time in history when Christ returns to make all things new and everything will be fruitful, and all the curse of work will be gone, and everything will be as it should be.
Or maybe as it says there, he's only describing the return from exile. When Israel come back from exile, They're gonna be restored not only as the people of God, but restored to their land, and their land is gonna be fruitful again. But alongside those things, he seems also to be talking about the gospel age the age in which we live. See how Jesus picks up the language in verse 36 of John 4. Even now, the 1 who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together.
He's using this language of harvest and field and sowing and reaping, and he's saying that the sowers and the Reapers are glad together. The gospel age, the age in which we live, is 1 where we sow the seeds of the Goss and the harvest comes. This sort of gap or this waiting isn't there in this gospel age. It's an age sowing and reaping and sowing and reaping and reaping and sowing is a wonderful, fruitful age in which we're living. See, I don't know about you, but when you look at the progress of the gospel in our nation, it is easy to feel that we're on the losing side sometimes, isn't It's quite easy to get discouraged when we see the progress of biblical Christianity in the nation.
It doesn't seem to be flourishing. When we think about our neighbors who we've been praying for and trying to patiently evangelize, and nothing seems to be happening. Or when we look at the vast amount of young people who are not in groups like Seoul and Ruses, and all they have to look at is the stuff the world feeds them. It is, you know, it's easy to get discouraged. And Jesus is not saying that everywhere you go, you'll always have an AmOS experience, that this is what you should expect all the time.
That can't be the case, Because if you look at the end of the reading verse verse 40 42 and then through 43 and 44, actually, It says, we no longer believe just because of what you said. Now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the savior of the world. It's fruitful ending. After the 2 days, he left the galilee. Now Jesus himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honor in his own country.
Now what's that? No 1 are in his own country. Well, that's not a very fruitful picture, is it? That's a picture of rejection. That's a lack of fruit.
And so that is part of what we can expect. Now every moment on planet earth, 1 side of the world is in the darkness, and the other side is in the sun. There might be summers of revival and winters of rejection. There are times and seasons and ups and downs. But as we consider the whole picture, we are in this gospel age that Amos was looking ahead to.
4 4 chapter 4 verse 36, the 1 who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life so that the sower and the reaper may be glad. Together. And so despite the discouragements that we might feel in our own experience, as we consider the times in which we live, we should basically be full of gospel optimism all the time. Because this is the age of sowing and reaping and fruitfulness. And in John chapter 4, Jesus is both teaching that and illustrating it.
There's a lesson, and there's an illustration of how that lesson works here. He's teaching something to the disciples, and he's illustrating it with the Samaritans. And so those are just the 2 headings that we're gonna take this evening. We'll start with the illustration, and then we'll move to the teaching. So firstly then, the illustration.
Now, just to recap, you remember that Jesus has gone into Sumaria. Okay? That's where he is at the moment. He's in Sumeria, and frankly, he is risking a huge scandal at the moment for himself and his ministry. This is scandalous what he's doing.
Because the Samaritans were what Harry Potter fans might know as mud bloods. Yeah. That's who they were. So the way they had kind of come to be was they were a mixture of Israelites who'd come back from exile, who had intermarried with pagans and gentiles, and the Samaritans were part of the offspring of that. And so they were considered to be mud bloods, not truly belonging to God's people, a bit of a mixture of truth and error.
Alongside that, they had their own temple where they worship. That's what she comes onto in the conversation. They had a different way of looking at the scriptures. Only the first 5 books of the old testament were considered to be really important to them. And so Jesus is here and he's in this area, and this is somewhere that no self respecting rabbi would wanna be.
If he wants to be an international platform speaker, amongst the Jews, this is not the sort of place you wanna be caught on camera. Not only that, he ends up alone with a woman. Now this is hard for our age to understand, but for a rabbi, that would be considered a waste of time. He could be out reading the scriptures, discipling men, training them for the next generation, doing synagogue work, important work, to spend time alone with a woman, especially a Samaritan woman is would be considered not a good use of time. And so the scandal scale is going up.
Yeah? The he's gone into some area. He's talking alone with a Samaritan woman. And not just any woman, This woman has got a story. We were looking at that last week.
If you look at verse 14 again, Jesus saying whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life. The woman said, sir, give me this water so that I won't get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water. He told her, go, call your husband and come back. I have no husband.
She replied. Jesus said to her, you're right when you say you have no husband. The fact is you have had 5, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true. So you imagine that.
Okay? Somebody comes up to you, You've never met before, they don't know anything about you, and they reveal to you a specific detail about your past which you thought no 1 else really knew, and it's something you're deeply ashamed of. Imagine how you would feel in that moment. How do you know that? Jesus knows this woman.
And it's interesting because right at the beginning, we find that she's come to the well at noon And actually, at that time, that was not not the sort of time of day you would come to collect water, and most of the women would go out you know, at dawn in the cool of the day, they would make that trip. And so she's having to go in the middle of the day, bearing the heat of the day on her back, why most likely because she's not welcome or done it was too ashamed to go with the other women. She's got a reputation. And so it's no accident that Jesus also happens to be there at noon to speak with her. And what does she do when she's confronted?
Well, verse 19, sir, the woman said, I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worked on this mountain, but you claim to be. In other words, she's saying, look over there. She's just look over there. Quick.
You know, okay. You've you've got me. Can we talk about something else? She changes the subject. She wants to move on, talk about a question of religious worship and practices and where to go and what to do.
And it's amazing because although the Lord could just rebuke her for that, he is so gentle in the way that he handles her. She is saying, can we please not talk anymore about me and you? Can we talk about mountains and temples? And Jesus says, okay, we can. We can do that, but I'm coming back to you and me.
And so verse 25 to 26, you see how he ends that conversation? I know that Messiah called Christ is coming, When he comes, he will explain everything to us. Then Jesus declared I, the 1 speaking to you, am he? She wants to go on about temples and worship and how to do it, and maybe when the Christ gets it, he'll explain all of these ambiguities to us. He deals with that objection and he comes back and says, I, me, the 1 talking to you, I am he.
And so here is Jesus. The scandal scale is right up at the top. He's in Sumaria, He's with this woman. He is risking his own defilement. I mean, that's what they would have believed.
If he actually took a drink from her, if he used that jar, if he put his lips around a Samaritan jar, he would be he would be defining himself in their culture. But he is determined to bless her. He sparks her interest at the beginning with this talk of living water. Helps her to see that he is a prophet, confronts her sin, deals with her distraction and then brings her to verse 25. I, the 1 speaking to you, am he.
And I guess that's That's probably the lights on moment for her, isn't it? It's gotta be. She's got all this stuff going around in her head Living water, eternal life, my sin, a prophet, true worship, spirit, truth, messiah, him, me, us, lights on. But then, verse 27, the disciples who had gone to get some food are back. And you can see their reaction to all of this.
Just then, his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no 1 asked why do you what do you want or why are you talking with her? The word surprise is actually more like the word marvelled. They they cannot believe what they are seeing. They cannot believe that Jesus is here alone with this woman in the middle of the day.
I mean, it's bad enough that they've been dragged into some area themselves. It's bad enough that they've been sent to buy food in some area, which they wouldn't wanna do because that's a defilement issue. Again, you're gonna eat something, you're gonna buy off them and eat some marathon bread, samaritan provisions. That's pretty bad. And now they come back and see their lord risking the greatest scandal that they could conceive of, and all they can do is silently stand there like lemons in their prejudice, not knowing how to process what's in front of them.
In their eyes, their whole career is going down the pan in this moment, and I guess the only sound was the sound of them dropping their bread as it hit the floor, so surprised and shocked by what they were seeing. And so we come to verse 27, the second half, in just a moment of silence. Jesus has said, either 1 standing with you, I'm Hay, As far as we know, she didn't say anything, they come back seal of this. They're not saying anything. It is an awkward silence at this moment.
I was reading about the awkward silence this week, and according to 1 psychologist, 4 seconds is all that it takes to make a silence awkward. See, that seems a bit long, you know, I don't know if it's less than that, but someone says, hi. How are you? Yeah. Fine.
1, 2, 3, 4. You know you know, that's the awkward time. It's about 4 seconds, they reckon. Now I don't know how long this silence went on. But in verse 28, you can see the woman clearly feels that it's time for her to leave.
And then verse 28, then leaving her water jar the woman went back to the town and said to the people. She leaves to go and tell her story. And did you notice that lovely detail at the beginning of verse 28? It reminds us that this is an eyewitness testimony, doesn't it? You wouldn't really put that in otherwise.
Then leaving her water jar, the woman went back. But it is a strange thing for her to do, isn't it? You know, why would she leave her water jar behind? Well, it'll help her get home quickly for 1 thing so she can speed home and tell the town the news. She won't have to carry this great big thing of water.
But maybe it's more than that. Maybe it's symbolic. You know, you can imagine the you know, imagine her boyfriend seeing her coming back. And saying, well, where's the I mean, where's the what what happened to the jar? Where's the water?
Isn't that why you went you know, you went to get water. Where's the water? You can imagine her saying something like, no, look, listen. I know it looks weird, but I have got water. It's just not the type you're expecting.
And it's not the type I was expecting. It's the type of different sort of water, which is gonna satisfy us in a way that we never we never could. She leaves the water behind or does she? And look at her story verse verse 29. She said to the people come see a man who told me everything I've ever done.
Could this be the Messiah? And verse 39, that detail's picked on again. Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, he told me everything I've done, ever done. So that's a really that's a really big thing for her. He told me everything that I've ever done.
Now you can imagine some more cynical town members who maybe knew about her saying, yeah, we all know what you've done. We all know your story. And she's saying, no, no, this is different. I've never seen this man before, but he saw into my heart and he told me everything I've ever done. Come and see.
Come and hear. I love this basic evangelism in John's gospel. Really good. Have a look at John 1 verse 40 to 42. You remember we saw something like this before?
Andrew Simon Peter's brother was 1 of the 2 who heard what John had said, and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, we have found the Messiah, that is the Christ, and he brought him to Jesus. It's very easy to complicate things, isn't it, in evangelism. You know, courses and apologetics and events and training and equipping and resources, and no one's against any of that because it helps helps us do the job. But you know, how simple and how effective are these testimonies?
I've met this person. He changed my life. You wanna come and see. Do you wanna come and hear? That's what she does.
Come meet. Come here, this man. And for many of them, that was enough If you look at verse 30, verse verse 30, they came out of the town and made their way towards him. A bit later on, sorry. Verse 39, many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony.
He told me everything I've ever done. They believed because of her testimony. Now the question is, how did she persuade them? You know, have you thought about that before? How did this woman notorious as she was persuade the whole town to come out?
You would sort of think she doesn't have the standing in society to make that happen. The only explanation can be there must have been a really tangible obvious change in her. They must have seen something in her and heard something in her words. That persuaded them that this man was really worth going to hear about. It's a powerful testimony.
He told me everything I've ever done and they believed. Now we do need to remember other verses Like, if you look at chapter 2, verse 23 to 24, we have been cautioned against just taking this at face value. Many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name, but Jesus would not entrust himself to them for he knew all people He did not need any testimony about mankind for he knew what was in each person. And we've been learning that there is different types of belief. You know, there is a sort of belief that isn't real belief.
And so that might be what's going on here. They believed because of the woman's testimony, But you notice how it doesn't stay there. Look at verse 42 how it changes. They said to the woman, we no longer believe just because of what you said, Now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the savior of the world. Why do they come to believe This combination of the woman's testimony and the savior's word, and they come to believe.
And I love verse 42 because did you notice who they actually say that to? They say that to the woman. They don't say it to Jesus. They said to the woman, we no longer believe just because of what you said. Now we've heard for ourselves.
Such a joy, isn't it when people see what you see? You know, when you've been trying to persuade them to see the reality that God has helped you and the penny drops and they begin to see it. It's such a joy, isn't it? And I think this is a picture here of complete redemption for this woman. She has been forgiven by the Messiah, and this little conversation is as if to say, and you've been restored to your community, redeemed by him redeemed in your community.
They said to her, we have come to believe. Now all of this, is wonderful by itself. But when you read the middle of the sandwich, verse 34 to 37, when you read teaching inside the illustration, this story just pops even more. So let's move on to that now. The teach the illustration and now let's look at the teaching.
So remember back in verse 28, the woman has now gone home. She's left her water jar and the Cyples have come back. They can't believe what they're seeing. They've got their smelling salts out, you know, because they're about to faint. They've had a touch of the vapers, whatever that old Victorian phrases, clutching at their pearls, unable to process what they're seeing in front of them, But then in verse 31, they recover enough to say this.
Meanwhile, the disciples urged him, rabbi eat something. Now that word urged can also mean interrogate it. And so they're saying to him, look, rabbi, we know you're tired, verse 6. We learned that. Why aren't you eating some thing.
We you know, rabbi eat some why aren't you eating something? There's this mixture of urging and interrogating that is going on. Why aren't you eating Lord? But of course, they missed it, haven't they? Verse 32 to 33, I have food to eat that you know nothing about.
Then his disciples said to each other, could someone have brought him food? My food said Jesus is to do the will of him who sent me. Now the disciples would hate this observation. But who are they like at this moment? They are exactly like the woman at the start of the story.
Even though they've had time with Jesus, They are still in the world of food and drink and buckets and wells and bread and stomach and water. This is a big thing in John, seeing the spirit your truth behind these images is so important. This woman has seen it now, but they're struggling And then we come to the heart of it in verse 34 to 35. My food said Jesus is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. Don't you have a saying?
It is still 4 months until harvest. I tell you open your eyes and look at the fields, they are ripe for harvest. Jesus is surrounded by people who've missed the point, but he is a hundred percent clear on everything. For hundreds of years, this preparation had been going on. Promise after promise, profit after profit, word after word, seed after seed, and then the voice of John, the Baptist, and then the lord himself, rabbi, eat something.
No. This is my food. This is my food. All of this, this town that is now walking to me, this woman that I have sent back to them. All of this is an illustration of my food.
This is what I've come to do. This is my delight, it is my work, it is my joy, it is my mission, to go into the harvest, and to gather people exactly like this. This is what sustains me. It's what I'm all about. This is my food.
You know, in a world that is so confused about meaning and what the purpose of our lives is. It is refreshing to know that there is at least 1 person who knows exactly what he's about. Gathering worshipers for the father, calling people to see and know that he is the savior of the world The days are coming declares the Lord. That's what Amos said. The days are coming layers the Lord when the Reaper will be overtaken by the ploughman and the plantar by the 1 treading grapes.
And tonight, Jesus looks at us through the Bible and he says to us verse 35, open your eyes and look at the fields. They are ripe for harvest. In 2 Corinthians 6, Paulce as a similar thing this way. As God's coworkers, we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain. For he says in the time of my favor I heard you and in the day of salvation I helped you, I tell you that now is the time of God's favor.
And now is the day of salvation. This is a world that is wrecked by violence at the moment. It is a world that is confused a billion times over when it comes to what we're supposed to be all about. And it is sad. Sadly should feel a right grief about that.
But look at the fields, Jesus says, from another perspective, they are ripe for harvest. Isn't this a good time to be a gospel worker? They are ripe for harvest. In verse 38, he says to them and he says to us, I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. It's interesting, isn't it?
This woman just just knew that. I mean, no nobody actually commanded or told her. To go back to town. She just knew as if by instinct that that was the right thing to do. Meet Jesus, put your jar down, Go into the field, come and meet this man.
She just knew that was the way it ought to work. I've met him, others need to meet him too. And the truth is even if we don't see those same here and now results, If we don't see the whole town coming to meet Christ because of our own testimony, we can still rejoice because we're in this age of opportunity. We're in this time of sowing and reaping and gospel harvest. You know, you think how many kids we have by God's grace in our Sunday school.
I mean, the morning service if you never come, it's just so exciting. Just unruly -- Really? -- to see all these children flocking out to hear the word of God. You think about the testimony we heard last weekend of the youth and all those youth going away. It's exciting.
That we are in this gospel age and that we are sowing in this age. That's an exciting thing to do. 1 plants and other waters, 1 sows and other reaps. And Jesus says verse 36, the sower and the reap are glad together. In other words, it's just a happy thing to be involved in ministry in this age, isn't it?
To be sowing and reaping. So we can take verse 35 and verse 38 as our applications. 1 is a mindset. 1 is an action. 1 is a mindset verse 35.
Open your eyes and see the fields are ripe for harvest. Verse 38, I sent you. 1 is a mindset, 1 is an action. Let's open our eyes, he says, to the breadth of opportunity You see, I can imagine these disciples, you know, in the synagogue and in the middle of Jerusalem and they're hearing the scriptures read, and they come to something like, this, you know, that the God's salvation is a light of revelation to the gentiles. Yes.
We agree with that. You know, the salvation of God is not just for us. It's for the gentiles. And Jesus says, and by the way, that means people like this. And they say, oh, right.
Okay. I didn't realize when I was nodding along to that scripture, that there was actually something serious behind that, that we would have to go to the gentiles, people like this. Jesus says, open your eyes. Don't have tunnel vision, Don't open them for tunnel vision. So you can just see down 1 channel and 1 corridor, have a proper peripheral.
Oh, see People on the breadth. See a wide scope. That's who we've come for. It's so easy for us to believe, I think, that you know, the gospel is for all. We we say that.
We know that. But it's when we have to give up stuff, isn't it? It's when our own comforts are challenged that we that we find out whether we're just nodding in the synagogue or whether we're going to some area. So those are the 2 applications. Verse 35, open your eyes and see verse 38, I sent you.
And then lastly, to anyone here who wouldn't yet call themselves a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. You've got to know that Jesus, as the savior of the world, can be your savior. I mean, the last time I preached here in in John. I did nicodemus in John 3. And I was reflecting this week that that I mean, you the the difference between him and this lot could not be greater.
I mean, you think about the woman. Okay? She's female, nicodemus's male. She's a Samaritan. He's a Jew.
She's on the edge. He's a ruling leader. She's immoral. He's a picture of virtue. She has to go and collect water, he gets served wine.
Okay? In terms of status in life, they are worlds apart. And yet, basically, they're the same, aren't they? Their basic spiritual problem is the same. They are blinded by sin, Their eyes are blocked up, they cannot see.
And to start with, they don't wanna face their sin, who of us does? But eventually they saw their need to trust in Christ. And these people say to us whoever you are And whatever your sin, whether you identify more with the woman, you know, a checkered past of hidden sexual immorality an immoral open, immoral life. Whether you identify more with nicodemus would never do that stuff, but there's a sort of proud hypocrisy simmering under the surface, a kind of religious pride, whether it's 1 of those 2 or a thousand other sins that were in Sumaria that day. Jesus has come for you.
Jesus has died for you. He's risen again for you. He's taken that sin away. And you can come to him, and their testimony can be yours. I now believe that he is the savior of the world.
So there's a teaching right in the middle about who he is and why he's come, and there's 1 whacking illustration all around it. Of this woman and her people who are doing exactly what he promised would happen. And Jesus says to us, verse 35, verse 38, open your eyes, I sent you. Let's pray together. Father, we thank you for your son, the Lord Jesus, and we thank you that he came to this earth.
And he said that his food was to do the will of the 1 who sent him, to do your work on this earth. And we thank you that as he came, even though he was rejected by his own, even though he had no honor in his hometown, he saw a world that was rich with opportunity. He looked out at the peoples of the world who were lost and distressed in their sin and instead of retreating with his disciples, he went out into the most scandalous places in order to gather true worshipers into himself And lord, we pray that you would help us to open our eyes and see that we would not be pessimistic, not be overly discouraged. Yes. There are challenges in every age, but we prayed that basically we would be people who are optimistic about the progress of the gospel.
This is a great time to be a Christian, a great time to be sowing and reaping, a rich time of gathering people in to yourself. And we pray, lord Jesus, as you said to the disciples, I sent you that we would hear that call individually, that we would be willing to go to the people and to the places that might make us shrink away at first. But because of the gospel, we wanna go to these people. And see them called into the Lord Jesus. And we thank you for how this story both challenges us, but also encourages us.
Because you are our savior. You are the living water which satisfies us, and we thank you for all of these things in Jesus' name, amen.