If you are a pastor or lay person who wants to use this to preach in church – that is why I posted it. I don’t care about credit, I only care that God’s word is preached and Christ is glorified. I pray He uses this sermon in a mighty way through you. You have my permission to alter it (it’s longer than usual) and use it however God leads you. God bless you in your ministry. You can also bookmark this to check out the other free written sermons on my blog. The audio as I preached it is on YouTube here.
I think every time I’ve heard this scripture preached, it’s been from the woman’s perspective. The speaker always puts me as the hearer in the woman’s place. And there was a time in my life that I needed to hear this scripture from the perspective of the woman. And every time I’ve spoken about this scripture I’ve talked about it from the woman’s perspective. And there may well be some of you here who need to hear a message from the woman’s perspective.
The woman was an outcast – Jesus said she’d had five different husbands and the man she’s with now is not her husband. While reputable women would come to the well in the morning to get the water before the temperature would reach 120 degrees, it’s safe to assume that this woman can’t come in the morning when the other women would look down on her, when other women would scorn her.
So here she is, the sixth hour – noon – 120 degrees, expecting to see all the friends she normally sees at noon at the well – nobody – you get it? It’s pretty common for a wise guy to say to someone sitting by themselves – “I see you’re sitting with all your friends”. Nobody goes to the well at noon. But it’s the only safe time for her.
But this day would be different. She had an appointment she didn’t know she had. But Jesus knew. Don’t ever think that Jesus just happened to stop there and the woman just happened to show up. The Scripture tells us that Jesus needed to go through Samaria. And Jews NEVER needed to go through Samaria. Samaritans had a heritage of part Jew and part pagan. And The Jews despised the Samaritans. That’s why when in Luke when they asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus told the parable of the guy who was beaten and left for dead and the religious people crossed over to the other side of the street. But one person helped. Who was it? The Good Samaritan – and we still use that term today. Jesus says it was the one they despised the most who was the good neighbor.
Jewish people had such a hatred for the Samaritans that they would go around Samaria. It would be the equivalent of people in Ridgeley avoiding Maryland on their way to Morgantown.
So here is Jesus in an area that the Jews hated – Samaria – meeting a woman even the Samaritans would have looked down on. Don’t overlook this fact. And as I read the scripture she was the primary reason Jesus HAD to go through Samaria.
When she shows up, Jesus was already there waiting for her. And He offers her life. We call it a ‘living water’. He offers her a new life – he offers her salvation.
And so it is, when the preacher or the layperson or the speaker looks over this text – we appropriately talk about God’s offer of salvation through Jesus.
No matter who you are, no matter what you’ve done, God will forgive you. You are not beyond the reach of God. And for someone here today, this may well be the appointment with Jesus you never knew you had.
Like this woman – she’s tried and tried to find satisfaction in all the wrong places– she’s tried and tried chasing that relationship she thought would make her happy – what have you been chasing to try to find what’s missing in your life? Have you been chasing a relationship thinking that will make you happy? Food? Cars, Trucks, four wheelers, clothes? Vacations? Switching jobs? And what happens?
It all leaves you empty.
You see, we were created with this void that nothing else but Jesus can fill. There’s a modern Christian song that says, “There’s a God shaped hole in all of us, and a restless soul is searching”. And when you don’t have Jesus, it doesn’t matter what you have, what you acquire, or what success you have, there will be a void. And when you have Jesus, and that “God shaped hole” is filled with God’s Spirit, you can find peace. You can find joy. You can find fulfillment.
I remember when I was in Mason and pastor friends would ask me about serving as the pastor of the Mason UMC. I would tell my friends that it was one of the best appointments in the state. And they would often say, “You would say that wherever you were a pastor”. I don’t know if that’s right or not, there are some tough churches out there. But I can tell you this. Here at Wesley Chapel, I believe with all my heart that I have one of the best appointments in the state. And I think that probably has less to do with you and less to do with me and more to do with Jesus.
And for people who don’t have that void in their hearts filled with Jesus, they’re not going to be happy anywhere – they’re not going to find peace anywhere or in anything or in anyone.
And if that’s you today – looking for purpose, looking for meaning, looking for peace, looking for hope – Jesus is waiting here for you just as He was waiting for the woman at the well – it’s your divine appointment. He’s offering you salvation – no matter what you’ve done, no matter how good or bad, no matter how much you’ve tried and failed – You who feel like there’s something missing – Today is the day of Salvation. And this ends part 1 of today’s sermon –
Let’s pray –
Now for part 2 of today’s sermon – And this may cause some discomfort – think about this Scripture from Jesus’ perspective. Some of you needed to hear about the void that only Jesus could fill and how He will save you. But others of you need to hear this –
We get uncomfortable when we talk about being like Jesus, but Jesus said for those who are His that He is in them with His Spirit. For those who say they accept Jesus – for those who call themselves Christians and have a relationship with Jesus – the Holy Spirit has come and set up residence in you. And here in this scripture, “Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again and again. Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst—not ever. The water I give will be an spring within you, gushing fountains of endless life.”
Jesus said in John 14:12 ~ Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
Like Jesus, sometimes we’re called to go places we wouldn’t normally go and do things we wouldn’t normally do and associate with people we wouldn’t normally associate with. And for those of you who were here last week to hear Carrie, she’s a perfect example – for those who weren’t – Carrie is a friend of ours about 30 years old and in her early 20’s confused, lost, and looking for fulfillment in harmful things and a harmful lifestyle, she finally found the water that Jesus gives. And God sent her out with a living spring, gushing fountains of life in Haiti.
And we may get tired in the journey. Carrie gets tired in Haiti and it’s a time of refreshment when she comes back to the states. The Scripture tells us that “Jesus grew weary from His journey and sat down by the well.” It’s OK to grow tired IN the journey, we just mustn’t grow tired OF the journey.
The message for some of you today may be to slow down and take a break. And I know we say, “I can’t.” Whenever I think I can’t – I’m a little convicted that I’m overestimating my importance. Like the world can’t get along without me for a day.
The message for all of us who call ourselves followers of Jesus is that we have flowing within us, gushing fountains of endless life.
And just like Jesus did – we meet people at the well, offering them the living water.
Jesus will set up divine appointments for us. I find myself saying a lot of the time, “I just want people to find what I’ve found in Jesus.”
What have you found in Jesus?
Have you found a fountain of living water?
And if you have, are you offering that “Living Water” to others?