The Lord Jesus was the greatest influencer and evangelist the world has ever seen. Proverbs 11:30 teaches that the soul winner must be wise. Jesus called His followers to become fishers of men (Mark 1:17).
Text: John 4:1-26
Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples), He left Judea and departed again to Galilee. But He 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.”
The following five principles taken from His encounter with the woman at the well teach us Jesus’ evangelism method.
I. He Was Compelled (John 4:4)
1. Jesus needed to go through Samaria; He was compelled. His desire to lead lost people back to His father compelled Him to go where He would bear the most fruit.
II. He Had Contact
1. One of the great mysteries is how Jesus could have been fully God and fully human at the same time. If God desired to reach out to the human race so much that He would take upon Himself the form of a human being, how much more should Christians put themselves in places where they can be in contact with the lost!
2. Jesus put Himself in a place (Jacob’s Well) where He would have contact with the lost.
3. Too many Christians fail to take advantage of the extensive contacts they have with unbelievers at their job, while shopping, their neighbors, etc.
A. The greatest mission field for the Christian is not in another country but on their job, their block, or with their unsaved family members.
III. He Connected (John 4:7)
1. He purposely engaged in conversation based on common human need (for a drink of water). He didn’t just come out of nowhere and start preaching to her. He made her feel comfortable, using water as His point of contact.
A. Depending on who you are speaking to, you can use sports, art, fashion, current events, the weather, etc., as a point of contact to share the Gospel. I usually never just come out and start preaching to people; I wait until God gives me a conversational opening as a segue to share my faith, lest the person I am attempting to evangelize gets the wrong impression of me and counts me as a religious fanatic.
B. Although Jesus was God He was also fully human. He often capitalized on His humanity so He could bridge the gap of understanding between humans and the Father.
C. Too often Christians attempt to witness of God using ethereal, abstract theological terms that confuse, turn off, or don’t relate to unbelievers.
D. The primary way to be a witness of God is by our sanctified (set apart) “humanness.” As Jesus preached using the vernacular of His day, we also ought to speak and act in such a way that connects people to God, not scaring them off with religious nomenclature they can’t understand and/or super-spiritual behavior they will flee from. (Personally, one of my obstacles to becoming a Christian was the frequent use of terms like “Amen,” “praise the Lord,” “Hallelujah,” etc., that the saints used when I was with them.)
E. I am convinced that more people are turned off from Christianity because of excess religious baggage of Christians than because of the offense of the Cross!
IV. He Offered the Cure (John 4:10)
1. At the right time He offered her living water.
2. Sometimes I find Christians make a mistake by trying to relate too long to a person as “prep time” without ever attempting to share their faith.
3. After we have related to a person, we need to pray for an opening and then not be afraid to share the Gospel with them.
V. He Confirmed It (John 4:16-19)
1. The Bible teaches that the Gospel comes in power and not just with words (1 Corinthians 2:1-4).
2. Jesus moved in a word of knowledge (one of the nine manifestations of the Spirit found in 1 Corinthians 12:4-8) and supernaturally told the woman about her male relationships.
3. In this way He was confirming the power and validity of what He preached to her.
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