Jesus is the model evangelist and we can learn from his example how to get caught up on his mission to seek and save the lost. This is a sermon about the Woman of Samaria in John 4. Brief sermon notes follow the audio.
We tend to think of Jesus as the Great Shepherd or Pastor, or as the Great Priest, as the Great Apostle of our faith, as the Great Teacher, as the Greatest Prophet of them all. But he was also the greatest evangelist.
1. What do you live for?
Jesus was not about temporary fame or reputation but cared for people
When he heard that he was getting famous with the Pharisees, he went somewhere else.
He left his big city ministry behind went to a backwater place where he was not so well known. Surely this was partly because it was not yet the time for him to die, but also, Jesus ministry was not about building a crowd but a people.
He was a master disciple-maker, preparing his disciples for their future leadership by getting them to baptize and wanting time close with them.
We see his compassion for the lost in the way he ordered his steps. Passage says he “MUST” go thru Samaria, whereas the truth was the Jews usually had a route around it to avoid these people who they saw as inferior.
Do you avoid so-called “inferior” people? Or do you treat everyone you meet as human?
Do we care about our image, or about people? Are we prepared to prioritize people over tasks?
He was open to people at all times, even when tired.
He didn’t say, “Cant you see I am somebody important, leave me alone, I have a job to do in being the Messiah”
He engaged. Care for people is not just an abstract thing but a reality.
We are trained in our society to pass people by, and not think of them as someone to talk to or engage with.
We too must learn to care. WE must think about the lost, and their eternal state often. We must realize that the people around us if they are not saved are on their way to hell. They could go there tomorrow.
We must PRAY. And we must be willing to reach out and enage like he does:
2. How to evangelize
a. SPEAK with people and engage them
b. Ask or offer a favor. In this case he asked. Makes you vulnerable. Water = difference in a hot country between life and death. Would have been almost passing out. Time here was actually noon, so would have been hot.
c. Find a connection and elaborate
You can make a LINK with anyone
Cross culturual communication begins in the same place. Break down barriers between woman and man, between Jew and Samaritan by meeting at a common place. Look for a LINK between you and the other person.
Jesus builds on their common need for water, and then begins to make a spiritual point.
d. TWICE sidestepped controversy when it wasn’t the real issue. Not that he couldn’t have answered, and indeed second time he kind of did but, on his terms. He let her make her point then made his rather than getting into a row.
d. Be ready for prophetic moments These can hit you in the moment, or even be something you don’t realize is happening. Here, Jesus’ prophetic insite opened the doors massively. Note that even he doesn’t say “Thus sayeth the Lord…” Natural prophecy.
e. GO and Tell, vs COME AND SEE
Jesus is not the only evangelist in this story, the Woman evangelizes her town. Her message is simple “Come and see a man”
Bring people to Christ by brinigng them to church. But also share your story and the simple gospel.
We can and should do both. Different strategies helpful.
3. Encouragement to evangelize
a. There is nothing more rewarding….Jesus speaks of it as nourishing him like food!
b.The vastness of the harvest: it is HERE NOW to be reaped….elsewhere Jesus told them to pray “send out workers” then sent them out also to be co-labourers with him, a massive privilege.
c. There are sowing and reaping roles and we should rejoice in each of them. You will not lead everyone you meet to Jesus, but you can leave tehm a bit closer to him than they were at the beginning.
The vital place to begin is with our hearts.
DO WE WANT TO
Life for God
Display glory of God
Tell people about God