Bible lessons Evangelism

Seeking after the lost: A study of Jesus’ reaching out to the woman at the well (Part 3)

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In this world, there are so many religions with different doctrines about how a person can become right with God. Which is right? Can we be sure that any of them are right?

Can we have a personal relationship with God? If so, how? Are there many ways? Are there a few ways? Is there only one way?

Can we know with certainty what, where, or in whom truth is found?

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.

The woman said to him, “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 are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.” (John 4:13-18)

When Jesus told the Samaritan woman that He would freely give her living water for the asking, she answered that she wanted some of that water. She thought it would be great if she didn’t have to keep coming back to the well and draw water. But her thoughts were misdirected by the need of supplying water for her household, rather than focusing on the man in front of her who is the One who supplies life in abundance.

Jesus led the conversation away from superficial satisfactions. He needed her to reflect on her deepest needs, those that would satisfy her spirit. To do that, Jesus then told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.” In saying that, His intent was to bring sin into the forefront of her mind.

Although talking about sin in her life would make her uncomfortable, before she could have a relationship with God, her sin must be addressed. For God is holy and sin separates people from God. Therefore, the Lord “commands all people everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30).

Standing in the presence of Jesus, the Samaritan woman had an innate awareness of His righteousness. In that, she was convicted and couldn’t bring herself to lie to Him. She probably lowered her face in shame as she answered that she was living with a man outside the boundaries of marriage. She knew it was an immoral lifestyle. And she knew it was against God’s instructions for purity.

Her confession that she was living with a man who was not her husband must’ve been difficult. She was probably waiting for a pompous scolding and belittling. But, that’s not how Jesus addressed her.

Instead, she found out that Jesus had already known about her past. The things she was ashamed of were out in the open. That made her squirm. She quickly tried to change the subject.

“Sir.” The woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem” (John 4:15-19).

What did the place of worship have to do with this conversation? Not much.

Still, it bothered her. The Jews were saying that God only recognized worship in Jerusalem. But the Samaritan religious teachers were saying something else. She was confused by what she had heard from various religious teachers, enough so that she questioned “religious teachings” in general. 

Who was right—if any were right? Was it all fallacy? 

Jesus didn’t ignore her question about the right way to worship. However, when He spoke about worshipping God, He took it to a different level.

“Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You 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 the spirit and in truth.” (John 4:21-24)

Jesus began by saying, “Woman, believe me.” He then told her that true worship wasn’t found in a place. He said emphatically, “worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” Jesus made the unequivocal claim that for a person to truly worship the heavenly Father, one must have a personal relationship with the Son of God (who is the Truth) as evidenced and enabled by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus expressly claimed, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). His words are definitive and absolute. According to Jesus, He is the only way to the Father and no one can have a relationship with God except through Him.

Yet, claims are one thing and proofs are another. Can we believe Jesus?

Don’t place your beliefs simply in what you’ve heard others say. It’s too important. Examine the evidence. Search the Scriptures for yourself. Review the historical records.

Jesus precisely fulfilled everything foretold about the Messiah in Old Testament prophecies. Scholars cite that over 300 prophecies were filled by Jesus Christ during His earthly ministry. Jesus performed miracles that defied physical laws—not staged illusions or spellbinding tricks—He gave sight to the blind, made the lame to walk, healed the sick, walked on water, stilled a storm at His word, and performed many other supernatural wonders.

Jesus claimed to be the Messiah, the Son of God. He lived a sinless life. No one who could bring a charge of sin against Him (John 8:46, 2 Cor. 5:21). He was crucified and raised from death on the third day. After His resurrection, he was seen by more than five hundred (1 Cor. 15:6). 

The life and works of Jesus Christ are substantial and convincing. The proof isn’t merely beyond a reasonable doubt—it is beyond any doubt.

According to Scripture, all who believe in the name of the Lord Jesus, and only those who believe in the name of the Lord Jesus, will be saved (Acts 16:31). For “no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him” (Luke 10:22).

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 one speaking to you—I am he.” (John 4:25-26)

Notice in this conversation that it was actually the woman who first brought up the name of Messiah.

She hadn’t quite given up on God, but she had almost given up on people. And, regrettably, her mistrust of people was making it difficult for her to trust of God.

Many today have similar mindsets. If they’ve been hurt by others, they can become resistant against trusting in anyone—including God.

So, in sharing the gospel message of salvation through Christ’s sacrificial death, we need to also speak about the Lord’s faithfulness, mercy, and compassion. We should tell of His unfailing love and infinite grace. Our God is “the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles” (2 Cor. 1:3).

Jesus is the answer to all men’s deepest needs. For perfect love, faithfulness, truth, and connection are found in Christ alone. Jesus demonstrated His great love for us “in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). For, “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Heb. 9:22).

‘“He himself bore our sins’ in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness” (1 Peter 2:24). He is living hope and light for all the world. “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Rom. 10:13).

He calls the lost and hurting to Himself; “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest . . .  rest for your souls” (Matt. 11:28-29)

Like He did for the Samaritan woman, He is waiting to reveal Himself to all who come to Him. “Salvation is found in no one else for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which me must be saved” (Acts 4:12). And,“God has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead” (Acts 17:31). “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:23).

 

Continue this study in the below links:

A study of Jesus’ reaching out to the woman at the well (Part 1)

A study of Jesus’ reaching out to the woman at the well (Part 2)

A study of Jesus’ reaching out to the woman at the well (Final)

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