Without the saving grace of Christ in your life, you will be judged by Him, and sentenced to Hell for eternity
Summary: The Lord Jesus went out of His way to bring the Gospel to an anonymous woman. Her life was one of sin and isolation from others. Despite her attitude and resistance, she was won over to the grace and mercy of God. We are to follow His example.
By Donald Whitchard
No one is to be neglected or avoided when it comes to presenting the Good News of salvation found only in the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 John 2:1-2). As we read through the fourth chapter of John’s Gospel, we see how Jesus went out of His way to give this offer of redemption to someone who came from a nationality and religious practice seen by the Jews as corrupt and not worthy of contact or compassion. Jesus looked past her nationality, culture, attitude, and other potential barriers to present to her the offer of the compassion, saving grace, and mercy that the Great Shepherd gives to all His flock (Matthew 9:36, 11:28-30; Luke 15:1-7; John 10:28-30).
During the time Jesus spent with this woman (John 4:9-12) they talked about several things. By doing so, Jesus gradually led this woman to the place of salvation. He began by asking her for a drink, not having any means to draw any water for Himself. She responded with amazement that a Jew would even ask a Samaritan, especially a woman for such a request. It was considered inappropriate for a Rabbi to speak to a woman in public. He did not go by man-made custom or tradition, however. The value of this soul overrode anything that prejudice and attitude that had been conceived. Jesus offered her a drink of “living water.” She, not understanding what He had just said, confused the physical with the spiritual. Salvation is not a transaction that can be explained in human terms. It is a spiritual transaction. At this point, she was not ready for such a process to happen in her life as she responded with a touch of sarcasm. Jesus did not respond to it but continued to lead her in the direction of redemption.
The conversation then turned to the issue of water (vv. 13-15). Jesus told her that she could drink from the well of the patriarch Jacob every day and still experience thirst. People will continue to drink the pleasures of this world, like this woman, and will still try to find more ways to satisfy themselves, but one trip to the well of living water Jesus gives will satisfy the thirsty soul for eternity. The woman was still confusing the physical with the spiritual and showed something of a defiant viewpoint as Jesus dealt with her. He would make her face the sins that had brought her to this point in her life. This silenced her and also tore down the other objection she tried to use, that of religious practices. He did not allow her to continue with these objections. He touched the sore spot in her life by pointing out her specific sins (vv.17-18). Her hidden guilt and inner turmoil were about to be exposed, and like all people who desire to keep their behaviors and thoughts under wrap, He did not allow her nor anyone else with whom He would encounter to live in such a situation. When He cleans our spiritual house, everything has to go.
Nobody will ever come to Jesus for salvation until they are first awakened to their own personal need. Until the sinner knows he is lost, he will never desire to be found. Thus, conviction is of vital importance. Without it, no one can be saved (John 6:44; Ephesians 2:1). God is not afraid to reveal your sins as you are of having them revealed. He will do whatever it takes to bring you to repentance. Jesus had done this with the woman, who tries to change the subject by going to the topic of religion (vv.20-24) and showed Him that she was knowledgeable in that area. She tried to initiate an argument about the proper place to worship. Jesus ignored this attempted detraction and told her that true worship is never found in places, rituals and substitutions for God, but could only be found in spiritual worship of the LORD, that is, worship that comes from His indwelling Spirit. The barriers and objections she had tried to put before the LORD had been futile, and she was now open to His words (vv.25-26) and truly concerned about her salvation and the things of God. Jesus simply revealed Himself as the Promised Messiah.
This is what He does for every one of us. He does not come to you as a judge to condemn you. He did not do so with the woman. He comes as the Way, the Truth, and the Life and offers Himself to you as the only way in which you may be saved. He does not twist our arm and force us to come to Him. His offer of salvation is for all, but you cannot afford to reject it in terms of eternity (2 Corinthians 6:2). Once death comes for you (Luke 12:13-21; James 4:13-17), it will be too late. Without the saving grace of Christ in your life, you will be judged by Him at the end of time along with everyone else who turned away from His offer of redemption, found guilty, and sentenced to an eternity in hell, which includes the devil and his angels as well (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:11-15). Like it or not, this is the truth of eternal matters, and as a minister of the Gospel, I will never water down the message of God’s Word in order to make you feel better or more comfortable in your iniquity. Unlike what you might see on TV or other media, I have never been in the group of the “Colgate Boy” false teachers who will pat you on the back, tell you that this is your best life now or some other form of verbal garbage, and allow you to think all is right when in reality your soul is in danger of heading to a real place of eternal torment if you don’t swallow your pride, get off the throne of “King Me,” knock down the altars you have made for yourself, and surrender your life to Jesus Christ, period.
The conclusion of the story is one of conversion on the part of this woman. It was immediate (v.28a). As soon as Jesus revealed Himself to her, she responded in faith and her salvation was instantaneous. She simply trusted Him and was saved. In her excitement over her new life (v.28b), she ran right off and forgot why she even went to the well. She left her water jar behind and ran to the city (vv.28c-29) to tell the others about the Man she had just met. She felt compelled to tell others about her salvation. Jesus and His disciples stayed another three days in the village, sharing the Good News with them (vv.30-42). They all believed that Jesus was the Savior of the world, not only because of the woman’s testimony, but their own encounter with the saving message of the Gospel. His love and compassion for us knows no bounds, overcomes all excuses and objections, and overpowers the voices of the world, the flesh, and the devil to give you the Good News of salvation, redemption, and the promise of life everlasting with Him (Revelation 21:1-7), forever free from the bondage of sin, condemnation, and the burdens of this world. He makes all things new, both the condition of your soul and the coming new heaven and earth. Why would you want to turn away from His love and mercy? As He left the glory of heaven to come to Earth and live among us, so He came to this anonymous village to turn the life of a sinful woman from guilt and sorrow to a new life. He came to seek and save that which was lost. That includes you, friend. What will you do with Jesus this day?
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Donald was born and reared in the authentic Cajun country of south Louisiana. He is a 1978 graduate of LaGrange High School in Lake Charles. He is also a graduate of Louisiana College (B.A. in History Education, 1984), New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div., 1994) and Andersonville Theological Seminary (Doctor of Ministry, 2000). He is an ACPE Certified Chaplain with training in Trauma/ER, NICU, and Psychiatric Pastoral Care from the McFarland Institute in New Orleans (2003). He has over thirty years of ministry service, which concluded when he was called to serve as pastor of Meadowbrook Baptist Church in Muskogee, Oklahoma from 2017-2018. Due to health concerns, he retired from public ministry in 2020 and now devotes his time to internet evangelism through the writing of Bible studies, sermons, and articles on current issues for varied Christian webpages and ministries. He is a regular contributor to sites such as Rapture Ready and Sermon Central as well as Inspirational Christian Blogs. He and his wife Cathy are both active members of Eastern Heights Baptist Church in Muskogee. Don will often serve as a panel member of the Gospel Rescue Mission Pastor’s Round Table Broadcast, shown monthly on the mission’s Facebook page as his health allows. He has a personal evangelistic blog as well and can be contacted at his Email address.