Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Two More Reasons To Trust Jesus As Savior: 1) He Knows Our Sin, 2) He Can Heal Us From A Distance

Theme: "And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name." (20:30-31).

1. Personal Persuasion
     C. Of the Samaritan Woman (4:1-45)
     D. Of the Official (4:46-54)

John chapter four gives two more reasons to trust Jesus as Savior: Because He knows our sin (v1-46), and because He can heal from a distance (v46-54). 

Jesus Knows Our Sin

In His interview with the Samaritan woman, Jesus showed his knowledge of her life of sin (v1-45). 2 Kings 17:24-41 shows that the Samaritans were a remnant of the Northern tribes of Israel, who came back from Assyrian captivity, and mixed with Gentiles. They first worshipped idols, then practiced a mixture of Judaism and idolatry. Ezra 4:1ff says the Jews would not allow them to help rebuild the temple in Jerusalem, and the Samaritans then "troubled" the Jews. Thus, there was a hatred between the Jews and Samaritans. 

Nevertheless, Jesus offered this woman eternal life. His offer to give her "living water", made a fitting change from the subject of her physical need of water, to her spiritual need of eternal life. Jesus said that everyone who drinks water thirsts again, but whoever drinks the spiritual water He gives, will receive "eternal life" (v1-14).  

At first, the woman only asked to be saved from the burden of walking to the well. To persuade her of her spiritual need for eternal life, Jesus gently showed His knowledge of her sin. He told her to go get her husband. When she said she had no husband, He told her she spoke the truth, since she had had five husbands, and was now living in adultery (v15-19).  

At this, the woman seemed to throw up a smoke screen, by raising an issue of controversy. She said, "Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship." Jesus used even this issue to focus again on her spiritual need for salvation. He told her that "salvation is from the Jews", that "God is spirit", and that "they who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth" (v19-24). 

Having come to know Jesus as "Jew", then "Sir", then "Prophet", the Samaritan woman now began to think of Him in the sense of "Savior". She said, "I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us." Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am He". 

At this point, the disciples returned from the city with food, and tried to get Jesus to eat. He, however, used this as an example to teach them the importance of sharing the gospel with those who are lost (v27-38). Even though physically tired and hungry, His "meat" was to do the will of God, and this meant sharing the gospel with those who are lost (v31-38).

Apparently, Jesus knowledge of the Samaritan woman's life of sin persuaded her that He was the Messiah. She began to tell the Samaritans, "Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done; this is not the Christ, is it?" (v29). The Samaritans came to Jesus because of the woman's testimony, but then, because they heard for themselves the things He taught, they trusted Him as "Savior of the world". (v25-42). Jesus knows our sin, and offers eternal life. 

Jesus Can Heal From A Distance

In a brief exchange with a royal "official", Jesus persuaded him to trust Him as Savior (v43-54). Jesus went from Samaria on to Galilee. "For Jesus Himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country." The Galileans, having seen what Jesus did in Jerusalem, received Him. In Cana of Galilee, a "certain royal official" pleaded with Jesus to come to Capernaum and heal his sick child. Jesus, however, said, "Go your way, your son lives." The man took Jesus at his word, and headed back home. On the way, one of his servants came to him and told him his son had revived. This had occurred at the very hour Jesus told him, "Your son lives". "And he himself believed, and his whole household."  

Romans 10:6-10 says, "Do not say in your heart, Who will ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down), or Who will descend into the Abyss? (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? The Word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart"--that is, the word of  faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation..." Jesus can save people even from a distance. 

For those who have trusted Jesus as Savior, this chapter teaches them to tell others about Him.

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The Gospel


Have you heard Christ died for our sins, and God raised Him from the dead? Did you know God saves you from hell and gives you eternal life through faith in this finished work alone, not your merits (Jn. 3:16; 1 Cor. 15:1-3; Eph. 2:8-10; 2 Thess. 1:8-9)? This is so man cannot boast, and God alone gets the glory (Eph. 2:8-9).

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