10 October 07, 2012 John 4;1 42 From Failure To Salvation
FROM FAILURE TO SALVATION JOHN 4:1-42 OCTOBER 7, 2012 FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI, USA Wednesday Nights for Young Marrieds in the Christian Life Center at 6:00 p.m. Parenting Series by Chip Ingram BABY BOOMERS for FUN commences Saturday October 20th Brandon Opry House 1000 Municipal Drive off Hwy 80 across from Sonny’s BBQ 5:00 - Meal begins 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Opry Sonny’s BBQ is laying the spread. Cost: $15.00 per person (Includes chow and Opry ticket)If you are not eating, tickets may be purchased at the door at the Opry for $5.00. Tickets will be on sale at the 2nd floor kiosk today. Duds: plaid and denim If you have any questions, please contact Patricia Jenkins at (601) 949-1941 or PJenkins@FBCJ.org. Deadline to purchase tickets: Monday, October 15th! CHILI COOK-OFF Sunday, November 4 5:00-5:50 p.m. Fellowship Hall East More details coming.
Next Generation Leaders Luncheon with Oscar Miskelly Thursday, October 25th CLC—11:45 a.m. Sharing nuggets from being a successful leader.The next four lessons deal with the question: Is there life after failure?Next week we see Abraham getting impatient with God and failing to wait on Him.On October 28th, we will study that tender passage of how Jesus restored Peter afterhe had failed Christ so miserably following his three denials of knowing Him.All four of these people had life after their failures because God worked in their livesto move them beyond those failures, just as He did in King David’s life.
FROM FAILURE TO SALVATION Background Passage John 4:1-42 A LESSON IN EVANGELISMFocal Passages Recognize Your Need John 4:7-14 Confront Your Failure John 4:15-18 Tell Others About Jesus John 4:25-26,39John 4:7-26 HCSB7 “A woman of Samaria came to draw water.“Give Me a drink,” Jesus said to her, 8 for His disciples had gone into town to buyfood.9 “How is it that You, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” she askedHim. For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.10 Jesus answered, “If you knew the gift of God, and Who is saying to you, ‘Give Mea drink,’ you would ask Him, and He would give you living water.”11 “Sir,” said the woman, “You don’t even have a bucket, and the well is deep. Sowhere do You get this ‘living water’? 12 You aren’t greater than our father Jacob, areYou? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and livestock.”13 Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks from this water will get thirsty again. 14 Butwhoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty again—ever! Infact, the water I will give him will become a well of water springing up within him foreternal life.”15 “Sir,” the woman said to Him, “give me this water so I won’t get thirsty and comehere to draw water.”16 “Go call your husband,” He told her, “and come back here.”17 “I don’t have a husband,” she answered“You have correctly said, ‘I don’t have a husband,’” Jesus said. 18 “For you’ve hadfive husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have said is
true.”19 “Sir,” the woman replied, “I see that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshipedon this mountain, yet you Jews say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem.”21 Jesus told her, “Believe Me, woman, an hour is coming when you will worship theFather neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what youdo not know. We worship what we do know, because salvation is from the Jews.23 But an hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship theFather in spirit and truth. Yes, the Father wants such people to worship Him. 24 God isspirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”25 The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (Who is called Christ).“When He comes, He will explain everything to us.”26 “I am He,” Jesus told her, “the One speaking to you.” John 4:7-26 HCSBJohn 4:39-42 HCSB39 Now many Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of what thewoman said when she testified, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 Therefore,when the Samaritans came to Him, they asked Him to stay with them, and He stayedthere two days. 41 Many more believed because of what He said. 42 And they toldthe woman, “We no longer believe because of what you said, for we have heard forourselves and know that this really is the Savior of the world.” John 4:39-42 HCSBFocal Passages Recognize Your Need John 4:7-14 Confront Your Failure John 4:15-18 Tell Others About Jesus John 4:25-26,39What This Lesson Is About:Failures in our past do not mean we cannot change.We can trust Christ to use us after we have failed.How This Lesson Can Impact Our Lives:This lesson can help us see the need for Christ and to share the life-changing messageof Christ with others.This month we will study four ways God helps people move from failure to life throughsalvation, direction, correction and action.
From Failure to Salvation Samaritan Woman in John 4:1-42From Failure to Direction Abraham in Genesis 15-17From Failure to Correction Miriam in Exodus 15 & Numbers 12From Failure to Action Peter in John 18 & Acts 42 Timothy 3:1616 “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching (direction), for reproof,for correction, for training in righteousness (action).” 2 Timothy 3:16Jesus’ conversation with the Samaritan woman introduces us to the life-changingmessage about salvation through Him that sets people free from their sinful failures.Recognize Our NeedJohn 4:7-9 HCSB7 “A woman of Samaria came to draw water.“Give Me a drink,” Jesus said to her, 8 for His disciples had gone into town to buyfood.9 “How is it that You, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” she askedHim. For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.” John 4:7-9 HCSB Jesus and His disciples left Jerusalem for Galilee, traveling by way of Samaria. Shechem Sychar Nablus
Jewish folks in those days tried to avoid the Samaritan route because they considered theSamaritan people in the region to be unclean.Jesus led His disciples toward the Samaritan town of Sychar, where they stopped atJacob’s well, a religious landmark as well as a source of water (4:1-6).In 722 BC, Assyria deported the survivors of the fallen Northern Kingdom of Israel tolocations in Assyria (2 Kings 15:29).2 Kings 15:2929 “In the days of Pekah king of Israel, Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria came anddeported the people to Assyria.” 2 Kings 15:29In their place, the Assyrians settled colonists from other presumably troublesomelocations in Babylonia, Syria, and Persia.These newcomers mingled with Israelite residents who had managed to evadedeportation and the result was a group of people who were part Jewish.
They were called Samaritans and the province was named after their city.The new settlers in Samaria immediately faced trouble (2 Kings 17:25-28).2 Kings 17:25-2825 “When they first lived there, they did not fear Yahweh. So the Lord sent lions amongthem, which killed some of them. 26 The settlers spoke to the king of Assyria, saying,“The nations that you have deported and placed in the cities of Samaria do not knowthe requirements of the God of the land. Therefore He has sent lions among them thatare killing them because the people don’t know the requirements of the God of theland.” 27 Then the king of Assyria issued a command: “Send back one of the priestsyou deported. Have him go and live there so he can teach them the requirements ofthe God of the land.” 28 So one of the priests they had deported came and lived inBethel, and he began to teach them how they should fear Yahweh.” 2 Kings 17:25-28This began what would become a bitter religious rivalry with Jerusalem that lasted forcenturies.The term Samaritan gained a religious association that eventually surpassed itsgeographical connection (John 4:19-20).For the moment, however, the priest’s tutoring merely had the effect of adding theLord to the many idols the Samaritans already worshiped (2 Kings 17:40-41).2 Kings 17:38b-41a38b “do not fear other gods, 39 but fear the Lord your God, and He will deliver youfrom the hand of all your enemies. 40a However, they would not listen but continuedpracticing their former customs. 41 These nations feared the Lord but also served theiridols.” 2 Kings 17:38b-41a Don’t overlook the helpful insight that Jesus gave us about reaching people for Him. With Jesus’ example, He showed us the need to go where people who have not met Him can be found. Sometimes we tend to take the opposite approach and believe that unsaved people need to come to us, but He demonstrated that we should go to them. This is our only chance (while we live on this earth) to live among lost people.
According to HCSB, this woman got to the well “about six in the evening” (literally,“the sixth hour”), which would have been the Roman way of measuring time (v. 6).Many interpreters understand “the sixth hour” to reflect Jewish time calculation,which would indicate she arrived at noon. Either way, she came to the well at the perfect time for Jesus to talk with her about her need for living water. At the well, Jesus sat down to rest while His disciples went on into town so they could buy some food. As the woman approached the well, He could have chosen to sit in silence. By not saying anything to her, she probably would have come to the well, filled her container with water, and returned to her home. Saying nothing to her could have been seen as better for Him—talking with her would have required Him to forego His rest and make the effort to engage in conversation.Have you ever hoped that the opportunity would just “go away” so that you wouldn’thave to say anything (on a plane, in a waiting room, to a person living on the street)? Jesus could have chosen to pass on the opportunity. But He didn’t make that choice. Instead, He decided to talk with her. His conversation began with asking her to share a drink of water with Him (v. 7). She replied with a note of surprise and perplexity. She couldn’t imagine that Jesus would try to talk with her. Usually, Jewish men in those days didn’t talk to women in such a setting. Neither did they want to talk with Samaritans (v. 9). But Jesus did not have a problem with talking with her. By taking the initiative in the conversation, He departed from the cultural restrictions of the day. No wonder Jesus constantly got into trouble with the rules-makers. He considered people more important than rules.
Society attempts to dictate what you should and should not do. Anyone who ignores these unspoken rules is considered arrogant and dangerous. This was especially true in Jesus’ day when compliance was the norm and individuality was not tolerated. Jews were expected to behave like Jews and men were expected to behave like men. To do otherwise was to invite judgment. Jesus seemed to break all the rules when He made this simple request of a Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. Who would have ever thought that “Give Me a drink” would be such a provocative request? Jesus was defying the stereotypes that divided people – then and now – believing that our common need of a Savior would unite all people, whether Jews or Samaritans, male or female, righteous or sinners. The Jews and the Samaritans had bitterly hated each other for centuries. The Samaritans were part Jew and part Assyrians so the Jews looked at them as inferior, unclean half-breeds. Other scholars think the Samaritans were descendants of priests who defected from Jerusalem to Shechem of Samaria and built a temple on Mount Gerizim (which the Samaritans claimed to be the original location of the tabernacle). The Samaritans & Jews were mortal enemies. Jesus’ request startled the Samaritan woman not only because of the troubled history between their ancestors but also because of the gender issues of the day. Men and women (even if they were husband and wife) seldom engaged in public conversation. The reason a man would approach an unknown woman in public typically would be to initiate an improper relationship. The Samaritan woman probably thought that was what Jesus was doing. A strange man traveling alone was probably looking for some company. The fact that she was drawing water by herself in the middle of the day would have signaled to any man that she was a rule breaker, marginalized by the other women. In that day, the women usually gathered at the well early in the morning to draw water and to visit with each other for a while before getting to work in their homes. So a troubled woman would have been ostracized by the rest of the wives.
John 4:10-1410 Jesus answered, “If you knew the gift of God, and Who is saying to you, ‘Give Me adrink,’ you would ask Him, and He would give you living water.”11 “Sir,” said the woman, “You don’t even have a bucket, and the well is deep. Sowhere do You get this ‘living water’? 12 You aren’t greater than our father Jacob, areYou? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and livestock.”13 Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks from this water will get thirsty again.14 But whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty again—ever! In fact, the water I will give him will become a well of water springing up withinhim for eternal life.” John 4:10-14Confront Your FailureJohn 4:15-1815 “Sir,” the woman said to Him, “give me this water so I won’t get thirsty and comehere to draw water.”16 “Go call your husband,” He told her, “and come back here.”17 “I don’t have a husband,” she answered.“You have correctly said, ‘I don’t have a husband,’” Jesus said. 18 “For you’ve hadfive husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have said istrue.” John 4:15-18 With her interest turned to receiving living water, the Samaritan woman continued to talk with Jesus. Her remarks about living water, however, confirmed that she still did not have a grasp of what Jesus had in mind. By not returning there every day, perhaps she had in mind the inconvenience of her daily trips to the well. But maybe she thought about something else too. Remember that when she met Jesus, she had come to the well much later in the day. She may have come to the well at that time in order to avoid the others. But going to the well at a time when she wouldn’t have to face the other women posed another problem. All alone, she would have to face the failures in her life she would like to have forgotten. Maybe that’s why she never wanted to return to the well again.
Jesus knew about her failures. When Jesus said to her, “Go call your husband”, she would have taken the comment as an inquiry into her availability. When she responded, “I have no husband,” she was signaling her willingness to take the next step in this potentially salacious encounter (v16-17). She had no idea Whom she was addressing. He drew her attention to her failures bringing up her husband (v. 16). He had a strategic reason for asking her to return to her home and bring back her husband. With His request, Jesus wanted her to get honest with Him about her situation. Accordingly, He guided her to confront her failure. In order to receive God’s gift of living water, she had to admit she had failed in her attempt to meet her deepest spiritual need by herself. Making such an important admission meant coming face to face with the failures in her life. In her reply to Jesus about not having a husband, she told only part of the truth. Obviously, she did not want to tell Him of her series of failed relationships with men. Neither did she want Jesus to know that the man who lived with her at the moment was not her husband. But as Jesus pointed out to her, He already knew the whole truth about her situation (v. 18). By instructing the Samaritan woman to come back with her husband, Jesus led her to confront her failure. Of course, coming to terms with her failure probably caused her tremendous pain. However, joy would awaited her on the other side of her pain. She would be able to rejoice in the blessing that would come her way because she received God’s gift of living water. Her failures would be placed behind her, and she would never be spiritually thirsty again. The well of living water God would place in her heart would provide her with an eternal source of spiritual fulfillment. Bear in mind that the Samaritan woman’s failure did not start with her lifestyle of immorality. Neither did it begin with her series of failed relationships. Her lifestyle pointed to a far more serious problem. Her lifestyle exhibited the reality of her sin. Therefore, she failed because she was a sinner. All people everywhere share this same problem. Like the Samaritan woman, all of us have the same fundamental problem with sin.
Each of us is a sinner; we deceive ourselves if we believe we can deal with our sin problems by ourselves. Although we constantly try to find our own way to fill the need, we will fail. Like the Samaritan woman, some of us think we can find fulfillment in relationships with other people. Others of us have convinced ourselves that indulging in wealth or possessions will help us to deal with our spiritual condition. As we discover to our sorrow, however, self- indulgence doesn’t fill the void either. Only a relationship with Christ, the source of living water, can meet our gaping spiritual need that results from our sin. In what ways do people try to self-medicate the pain caused by their failures? People prefer to deny the reality of their sin because confronting it brings them pain. Being convicted of sin hurts, so they tend to do everything they can to avoid it. However, the problem won’t go away. Their sin still weighs heavily on them.Psalm 38:44 “For my sins have flooded over my head;they are a burden too heavy for me to bear.” Psalm 38:41 Peter 2:24a NIV24 “He Himself bore (the burden) our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might dieto sins and live for righteousness;” 1 Peter 2:24a NIV Instead of denying our failure, we do well to confront it by confessing our sin to the Lord. Confessing our sin means seeing it from the Lord’s perspective. When we see our sin through His eyes, we recognize that we’ve been going in the wrong direction. That’s when we can decide to make an about face and turn to Him.
The first step toward Him involves confessing our sin. When we make that critical step, the pain of our sin will be replaced with the peace that comes with His forgiveness. The guilt over our sin fades away; the joy of eternal life fills us.After Jesus revealed to her the details of her troubled past, she realized this was noordinary man (v19). She probably thought: “He is a Jew; I am a Samaritan. He’s a man; I’m a woman. He’s a prophet; I’m a sinner. Why in the world would He ask me for a drink?” A holy man would never risk defilement by drinking from an unclean bucket – a vessel that belonged to an unclean, immoral, Samaritan woman. By His willingness to drink from her bucket, Jesus was essentially saying that she could be a clean vessel too. Jesus initiated the conversation with the woman for one specific reason. For the same reason, He engaged in conversations with other people in His ministry. He could tell she had a spiritual thirst that only the living water He alone could offer would quench. As He continued to talk with her, He brought up God’s gift (v. 10). By referring to living water in that way, He signaled to her that God had taken the initiative to give it.Romans 5:8 NASB8 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yetsinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 NASB Furthermore, He suggested that the gift He offered her could not be purchased. The Samaritan woman could not buy it even if she tried. By mentioning God’s gift, Jesus took an important step in directing her to see her deep spiritual need and her inability to meet it on her own. God alone could give her what she needed, but she would have to turn to Him in order to receive it. But she would only turn to Him when she saw that she had a need she couldn’t meet by herself. Only then would she turn to Jesus and receive the gift He would offer. Helping someone see their deepest spiritual need can be challenging. When we share the Good News of Christ with the lost, we can grow frustrated because we cannot get them to see they need Him. Because of their spiritual blindness, they have difficulty with the reality that they need what Christ alone can give them. It is the job of the Holy Spirit to convict them of their need for a Savior and then to transform that need into a want.
As Jesus demonstrated, talking with people so they can see their spiritual need becomes a critical step in reaching them for Christ. The Way of the Master by Ray Comfort & Kirk Cameron Jesus introduced the Samaritan woman to the truth about God’s gift of living water. Immediately she showed interest in what He said, although she didn’t quite understand what He meant (vv. 11-12). Jesus had in mind her spiritual thirst that would be quenched when she received God’s gift of eternal life He offered. However, she still thought He was talking about literal water. That’s why she wondered where He could get that kind of water for her. He didn’t have a bucket, so she wondered how He would draw such water from Jacob’s well. And besides, the well that Jacob dug seemed to have been adequate to supply water for everyone in the region for quite a while. She must have doubted Jesus could find a better source of water in the region. Because she did not understand, Jesus took the time to talk more about living water. He noted that living water alone could quench a person’s spiritual thirst eternally. He also assured her that the source of living water would never run dry (vv. 13- 14). The story so far displays for us the value of spending time with people and helping them to see their spiritual need. It fosters an interest in the living water that Christ offers to everyone who turns to Him. It is all about creating a spiritual thirst for God. Jesus made it a point to veer off the normal path to help the Samaritan woman recognize her need. Where might you need to go to help someone see his or her need for Jesus?Tell Others About JesusJohn 4:25-26,3925 “The woman said to Him, ‘I know that Messiah is coming’ (Who is called Christ).‘When He comes, He will explain everything to us.’26 ‘I am He,’ Jesus told her, ‘the One speaking to you.’
39 Now many Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of what the womansaid when she testified, ‘He told me everything I ever did.’” John 4:25-26,39 Jesus treated her questions with respect and in a way that invited more curiosity. When He responded to her question concerning the location of the true temple of God, it was not the response she anticipated. A typical Jewish man would have said, “Jerusalem. Certainly not on Mount Gerizim!” But when Jesus replied, “neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship ;the Father”(v21), His words treated this, immoral, Samaritan woman as if she were just as important to God as a Jewish holy man. Indeed, a temple that once divided Jew and Gentile, male and female, clean and unclean would no longer define sacred space in the messianic age. Jesus, the new temple of God had come to her mountain. As Jesus continued to talk with the Samaritan woman, their conversation turned to worship. She brought up a debate that fumed between the Jews and the Samaritans regarding the proper place to worship God. Jesus replied by saying that the key issue in worshiping God did not involve a location on a map but the attitude of a worshiper’s heart. God’s people worshiped Him “in spirit and truth” (vv. 19-24). In that context, the Samaritan woman began to talk with Jesus about the Messiah. Like the Jews at that time, the Samaritans had developed an anticipation of the Messiah Who would come. They almost certainly did not have all of the information and expectations Jewish people had regarding the arrival of the Messiah. Even so, they apparently had enough insight into Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah to join the people of Israel in looking forward to the day He would come. For the Samaritan woman, the arrival of the Messiah would mark the day when all of the debates about spiritual matters would come to an end. For example, the debate between the Jews and the Samaritans about the proper place of worship would be completely resolved. When the Messiah came, He would give the final word on which mountain would be the right place for people to worship God. She trusted Him to be wise enough to explain everything people considered to be confusing or controversial (v. 25). Little did she know she had been carrying on a conversation with the Messiah Himself. The Stranger resting by the well turned out to be the long-awaited Savior. She had been looking into the eyes of the Son of God who would pay the price for her sin on the cross.
Philippians 2:10-11 NASB10 “that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in Heaven and on Earth and under the Earth,11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:10-11 NASB There at the well, the conversation with Jesus had taken her from His request for a drink of water to His announcement that He was the Messiah (v. 26). He made the announcement so she would turn to Him and receive the living water He alone could give to her. She could turn from her failed attempts to manage her life on her own and give herself to Him as her Savior and Lord. When people believe Jesus wants to save them from sin, they can begin to taste living water for themselves. They can move beyond miserable lives of failures to intimate walks with Him who makes life complete and fulfilling. The transformation starts by embracing Jesus. By receiving Him as Savior and Lord, a person can know what it’s like to drink in living water that springs forth eternal life. Not long after Jesus shared with her that He was the Messiah, the Samaritan woman left the well and returned to the town. She wanted to tell others there about Jesus and her encounter with Him at the well. Even though she had just met Him for the first time, she did not hesitate to tell people in town about her conversation with Him. Pay close attention to the Samaritan woman’s decision to go into town immediately and tell people she met about her encounter with Jesus. Her eagerness to share her testimony reminds us that meeting Christ results in our enthusiasm over telling others about Him. Like the Samaritan woman, we become eager to bear witness to Jesus once we have met Him personally. Having experienced His love, mercy, and grace for ourselves, we can hardly wait to tell others about Him. The character of Christ fosters our eagerness to introduce others to Him. He personifies God’s love in a way that transforms the people who receive Him. When we introduce others to Him, we know for certain He can change their lives. We can never overestimate the power of a testimony about Christ. While people may take issue with what we say about the Bible or what we believe about doctrine, they have more difficulty denying what we have experienced when we met Jesus for ourselves.
A Christian’s testimony serves as a most useful tool in sharing the good news of Christ with others. We can rest assured that it will have a beneficial effect on the people who are open to hearing it. The Samaritan woman’s testimony made a positive impact on people in town. After hearing her stirring testimony about her encounter with Jesus, they rushed to the well to meet Jesus for themselves. Once they met Him, many of them placed their trust in Him (v. 39). They could see for themselves why the Samaritan woman testified about Him. The story of the woman who met Jesus at Jacob’s well declares a life-changing message. Christ will save you if you turn to Him. He knows you, and He will set you free from your sins and deliver you from your failures. When you receive Him as your Savior, you will experience for yourself what it’s like to drink in living water. For that reason, do not hesitate to give your life to Him. If you are a Christian, bear witness to others regarding the eternal difference He can make. Share your testimony with people in your life so they can hear the life-changing message of Christ. Every Christian has a testimony.Biblical Truths of This Lesson in Focus When we come to see our need for Christ, we find ourselves eager to hear more about eternal life He alone can offer. As we deal honestly with the problem of our sin, we see our need to come to Christ, our only solution for it. A Christian’s testimony about the change Christ has made in his or her life can have a major influence on a person who has not met Him personally. When we receive Christ as Savior, He changes our lives by setting us free from our failures and our sin. What needs in your life has Jesus met? How can you use those experiences to share the life-changing message of Christ with others? Sometimes we might think we do not yet have qualifications to share our testimonies about how Christ changed our lives until we have grown in our Bible knowledge or our communication skills. The Samaritan woman helps us to see that we can begin to talk about Jesus with other people as soon as we receive Him as Savior and Lord.
Next week:From Failure to Direction Abraham Genesis 15, 16 & 17