Jesus Is the Christ—He Has the Answers!
O Lord God—You are my Creator, Redeemer, and Comforter. Send Your Holy Spirit to guide me as I worship this day. Move my heart to sincere repentance over my sin and faith in Jesus’ atoning work. Instill within my mind a keener understanding of Your truths. Open my lips to sing Your praises. Lead me, O Lord, in a faithful walk before You all my days! In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
The LORD called Abraham to faith and instructed him to leave his family, friends, and previous homeland behind. God promised to provide him a new home and make of him a great nation. More importantly the LORD promised that the Savior would be among his descendants—the One through whom “all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Abraham believed God and his faith was “accounted to him for righteousness.” When we too believe in God, we are also justified by faith. Our standing as heirs of heaven, therefore, is not because we have kept God’s law, but rather because we have believed in His gracious promises!
Text: John 4:4-26
But He (Jesus) needed to go through Samaria. So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour. A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?” Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.” Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.” The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”
In Christ Jesus, Who knows our every need and has promised to meet those needs, dear fellow redeemed:
Who is Jesus? Now, do not be in a rush to answer that question. Rather, think about it for a few moments. The way in which you answer that question will both indicate the level of your understanding of Him and determine your consequent involvement with Him. If you view Jesus as merely another human being—one of many of this world’s religious teachers, you may or may not choose to become involved with Him. You may listen to Him, or you may not; you may follow Him in part or in whole, or you may not. There are a lot of people in this world who view Jesus this way, and their relationship with Him is at best tentative. If, on the other hand, you have come to believe with Jesus’ disciples that He is “the Christ, the Son of the living God” (cf. Mt. 16:16), then your consequent involvement with Him will be entirely different! You will want to look to Him, listen to Him, and follow Him because you know that as God’s promised Christ and as the living Son of God He has the answers for the questions that perplex you in this life. He also has the answers for the questions you have regarding eternal life! This morning on the basis of the account found in our text—Jesus and the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well, let us consider this thought—JESUS IS THE CHRIST—HE HAS THE ANSWERS! I hope and pray that you will be comforted and encouraged by the fact that He knows where you are and that He knows what you need!
Jesus certainly knew exactly where this Samaritan woman was—geographically and physically, ethnically and culturally, socially and psychologically, morally and spiritually! Now that is a quite a list! Yet, it is important to recognize all of these factors, because in doing so we come to recognize the understanding that Jesus had of this woman’s needs, and to take comfort in Jesus’ willingness to help. Our text begins by saying that Jesus “needed to go through Samaria.” Practically speaking Jesus did not have to go through Samaria. In fact many Jews chose to avoid Samaria, because of the mutual distain the Jews and Samaritans had for each other. Many, if not most, of the Jews of Jesus’ day would travel east from Jerusalem, cross the Jordan River at Jericho, and then proceed north until they could cross back over the Jordan into Galilee. They would avoid Samaria altogether in this way. But Jesus “needed to go through Samaria,” because He knew this Samaritan woman lived there along with other Samaritans who were destined to hear His Word and come to believe in Him. Geographically, Jesus knew where this woman was—she lived in the Samaritan village of Sychar and He went to see her!
Where was she physically? Our text tells us that Jesus, upon reaching Sychar and being tired from the journey, sat down at Jacob’s well just outside the city. We are told that it was the sixth hour, or about noon. We are then told that the Samaritan woman came to draw water from the well, while Jesus sat there. Anyone watching the situation might surmise that this was a chance meeting, but that was not the case. Jesus, as the Christ—as the Son of God, knew that the woman would arrive at the well at noon, and He intentionally positioned Himself by the well to meet her.
Where was she ethnically and culturally? Jesus asked her for a drink of water—something that surprised this Samaritan woman. Why? Because ethnically the Jews generally avoided having anything to do with the Samaritans, and culturally men did not address words to strange women. This woman was a product of her time—she simply accepted the ethnic animosities and the cultural norms. The fact that Jesus would breach them surprised and interested her.
Where was this woman socially? It was obvious that she was an outcast. The women of that day would travel together to the wells of their respective cities each morning to obtain that day’s supply of water. It was one of the prime social events of their day. For this woman to travel out to get water alone and at noon during the heat of the day certainly indicated that she was unwelcome to join the others. Psychologically, she was worn out by her daily struggles. When Jesus offered her water that would become a fountain springing up into everlasting life, she misinterpreted his meaning and asked for the water thinking that she would be relieved of her arduous task and never have to draw water again.
Morally Jesus knew exactly where this woman was! He asked her to go and bring her husband, to which request the woman commented that she did not have a husband. Jesus then pointed out that what she was saying was true, for she had previously had five husbands and was currently living a life of fornication with another man outside of marriage. Morally, this woman’s life was scandalous, and spiritually, this woman was in desperate need of the grace and forgiveness of God! This woman’s life was a mess! Jesus knew all of this, but that is why He had come. He had not avoided Samaria and would not avoid this woman just because things might get messy. No, He came because He knew where she was, and He knew where she needed to go! Jesus had come to help!
My dear friends, why have I examined this woman’s situation so closely? The reason is not only to demonstrate how thoroughly Jesus, as the Christ, knew her, but by way of application, I want to assure you that Jesus knows exactly where you and I are as well! He knows exactly where we live and where we are every moment of every day! Do you have a loved one serving in combat in Iraq or Afghanistan? Jesus knows exactly where they are! He is with them, even as He is with you! He has promised: “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Mt. 28:20). Jesus knows your family background and all of the issues each one of you is facing within our current society and culture. He does not care if you are white, yellow, red, black, or brown! He does not care if you are rich or poor! In His kingdom, the apostle Paul writes: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28). He knows who your friends are, or if you lack such friends. No matter who you are, the sentiment expressed in the old hymn (TLH 457) is true: "What a Friend you have in Jesus!" He knows exactly where you are emotionally and psychologically. He knows your weaknesses and our fears, our cares and frustrations. That is why He admonishes us: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God,” and then promises us that “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7). He knows of your sins—even those you consider most private and those you may think are quite well hidden! He knows of your desperate need for God’s grace and forgiveness. That is why He comes to you through the apostle John with this assurance: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 Jn. 1:9). Just because your lives may be quite messy, does not mean that Jesus is not concerned about you, or that He has no interest in you, or that He will avoid you and simply allow you to continue floundering. No, JESUS IS THE CHRIST—HE HAS THE ANSWERS! He knows where you are, and I will guarantee you that He will come to you, even as He came to the Samaritan woman!
What is perhaps, however, even more comforting is the fact that He knows what you need! That was certainly the case with the Samaritan woman. That woman needed acceptance; she needed forgiveness; she needed guidance; and, finally, she needed her Savior!
Jesus’ willingness to engage this woman in conversation demonstrated His acceptance of her as she was. He was a Jew—an ethnic enemy—He was a man—separated by cultural norms, but while her own people despised her and treated her as an outcast, He accepted her, took an interest in her, and was willing to help her! Jesus’ acceptance made a difference, for when Jesus approached the area of this woman’s sin, she did not become defensive, nor did she attempt to shift the blame or explain her sin away. No, she accepted Jesus’ assessment, later rejoiced in His assurance of forgiveness, and without doubt addressed the sinful situation in which she had been living.
Jesus offered this woman forgiveness when He offered her “living water.” Forgiveness is the “gift of God” of which Jesus spoke. It is when we know that we are loved and forgiven by God that His gospel assurances become “a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
And, yes, Jesus provided her with needed guidance. He was able, ready, and willing to answer her questions. The place of worship, whether on Mount Gerizim or in Jerusalem, was not the important factor in her relationship with God. No, Jesus said that during our New Testament era, what is important is that she and we worship “in spirit and in truth.” Whenever and wherever we approach God we must do so with humility and faith, with sincerity and a heart open to His instruction. We do not invent doctrine or approach God on the basis of our opinions, but rather on the basis of His enduring Word.
Finally, the key to fulfilling all of the Samaritan woman’s needs was to know her Savior and have a personal relationship with Him. In the final verse of our text Jesus reveals to her that He indeed is the promised Christ—her Savior and Lord!
My dear friends, Jesus knows what you need! It does not matter who you are or where you find yourself at this moment. Jesus offers you His acceptance! Jesus promises you forgiveness. Jesus offers you guidance through His word, so that you might be complete and prepared for every good work in your lives (cf. 2 Tim. 3:16-17). The Holy Spirit has led you, I pray, to understand that Jesus is the promised Christ and has brought you by faith into a living relationship with Him! The wonderful thing for us is that unlike Jesus’ visit to Sychar, which lasted only a few days, Jesus today lives within our hearts by faith. He never leaves us, but always stays with us providing us with everything that we truly need, so that we can be assured that as we live our lives we will be able with Jesus’ help ultimately to overcome any and all challenges!
My dear friends, JESUS IS THE CHRIST—HE HAS THE ANSWERS! I hope and pray that you are comforted and encouraged by the facts that He knows where you are and that He knows what you need!
—Pastor Paul D. Nolting
To God alone be the glory!