There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give Me a drink." For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Therefore the Samaritan woman said to Him, "How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am 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." She said to Him, "Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water? "You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?" Jesus answered and said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life." The woman said to Him, "Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty nor come all the way here to draw." He 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 correctly said, 'I have no husband'; for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly." The woman said to Him, "Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. "Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship." Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. "You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. "But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. "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 (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." (John 4:7-26)
Sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ is the responsibility of every follower of Jesus. Because God so loved the world that He sent His only Son into the world to save that which was lost He gave His disciples this great mission. "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:19-20) Many people find this hard to do, and others have not given this mission much thought. Either way there is no higher goal, no greater joy, and no privilege so blessed than the power of His Spirit leading one to the cross of Calvary.
For most of us, the evangelist ability does not come naturally to us. In our effort we are facing a powerful foe that would try to defeat our effort. One is Satan and his demons and their dominions, which will block us from all their abilities. These evil spiritual forces have power over our efforts, and we must be prepared to fight the good fight spiritually. The purpose of Satan is to rob God of every human soul that he can. Satan is the ruler, at present, of this world and he is wicked and deceitful always. Our Lord said, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy." (John 10:10) Satan is a formidable foe for us to take on in changing the direction of a lost soul’s life.
As people go through their lives in the natural state of sin, they may, for a while, become comfortable living that way. Man, in his own way, is caught in the three foundational sins and really can’t help himself. Man is naturally attracted to the "lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life." (1 John 2:16) That is not his only obstacle in that this way of life has left an inroad for Satan and his demons to establish a stronghold in the heart of the wandering soul. The Apostle Paul addressed this predicament in his letter to the Corinthians. "In whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God." (2 Corinthians 4:4) They cannot see the good news of Jesus Christ, they do not know their need for salvation from the judgment to come, and they have no genuine concept of spiritual matters.
The battle for us is not a lack of want to, or desire to set one on the path to eternal freedom, but that we are involved in a battle against forces that are superior to our own abilities. Paul describes it this way, "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places." (Ephesians 6:12) To have victory on this battlefield, it must come through the higher power of the Lord Jesus Christ. Obtaining this power requires much prayer and preparation before going into battle for the souls of men. Only God can open the hearts of men up to the truth of His Word. We need to be in prayer to our God that He would have mercy and open their hearts to the truth for the soul we are trying to lead to Christ. "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day." (John 6:44) Their hearts must be un-blinded from the evil of Satan. We must be prayed up and spiritually filled up to wage an effective battle for the soul on the field of life. As God opens the door, walk we should in with assuredness for the Glory of His name.
We must remember that we are sinners also, that the only difference is that we are forgiven and our desire is for them to be forgiven too. Ours is not a mission from a superior position but an expression of God’s love through us. We should not come riding in on our white stead from a place of a spiritual superiority, but remember that the person we are trying to lead is living in the natural realm. Looking at verses 7 of our text we must not forget what the Bible teaches us. "But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised." (1 Corinthians 2:14) In our text Jesus, the Master spoke in terms that the woman at the well could relate to, water. He asked her for a drink. Jesus approached her on a level that she could relate to. When we approach someone to speak of spiritual matters we must meet them where they are at. We do not want to speak down to them; neither do we want to speak up, and we want to meet them where they are at. We are just trying to start a conversation maybe only by saying good morning or how are you doing. If they respond warmly then we can continue until the ice is broken.
Then in verse 10, Jesus brought the conversation into the spiritual realm. "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." A tactic that will take some courage on our part to achieve. We may say something such as, “what Church do you attend” or “what did you think of the movie “The Bible.” If you receive a positive response, then the door is open to carrying on a conversation on a spiritual level. You might probe their Christian background which would give you an idea of their spiritual maturity. Another way might be to provide them with a gospel tract and ask if they had seen one of those. One question I like to ask is “Do you know how to get to heaven?” The answer will give you the level of their spiritual maturity and a place to continue the conversation. If they are on the right road to their salvation it may be a time of sharing each other’s testimony, or it may be a time of just sharing yours.
By giving your testimony, you may be able to express their need for forgiveness by the example of how you received forgiveness from the Lord Jesus of the sins in your life. It may be confrontational but if done in a loving way you could ask their understanding of the Ten Commandments. Some people will say they have so you could follow with questions as to whether they have lied or taken little things like restaurant ashtrays or company pens. Remember to let them know that their conscience will bear witness. "The work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them." (Romans 2:15)
Jesus confronted the rich young ruler in Luke 18:18-21, and there was no offense. Continue and allow the conscience to do its work. Also let them know that God’s law is not just a physical law but also a spiritual law. An example would be that lust in the heart would be the same as adultery (Matthew 5:27-28), and if they are harboring hate in their heart towards someone it is the same as murder. (1 John 3:15) What you are working towards is for the Holy Spirit to convict them of their sin and to help them see that they need forgiveness of that sin in their life. If they admitted guilt, the hard question would do they think they will go to hell?
You may come against the argument that many people will give that a God of love would not send an object of His love to hell. Or they may say that they do not believe there is a hell. The Scriptures give plenty of evidence that there is a hell and the un-repentant will go there without the atoning blood of Jesus Christ. But arguing the point will only harden their position. Just go on into the point that all, the righteous and the unrighteous will face Judgment Day. "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad." (2 Corinthians 5:10) The argument that God is love is valid, but God is also just. Love requires justice, as parents punish their children for bad behavior, so God also will punish people for their rebellion against His Word.
It is not an argument that you need to win because by his testimony he has admitted his guilt. You may remind him of that, but it is the conscience and the Holy Spirit that will do the work of conviction. To effect a conviction is why you must get an admission of guilt early in the conversation. You might question that if he values his life here in the flesh for just a wisp of time, how much more should he value his spiritual life in eternity. The example of Jesus was that the life of a physical man was worthless in comparison to the value of his soul. "If your eye causes you to stumble, throw it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than, having two eyes, to be cast into hell" (Mark 9:46)
In verses 32-24, Jesus spoke of a more excellent way to worship God. He had told Nicodemus in Chapter 3 we must be born again. The follower of Jesus must be born of the Spirit, as Jesus told the woman at the well we worship God in the Spirit of Truth. If we confess our sin and repent, then at conversion we receive the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:4) It is the Holy Spirit that will renew and transform the Christian into the image of Jesus.
Do not push hard for the conversion of a soul. It is of major importance, but we are only the sowers of His Word. As the Apostle Paul wrote, "I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth." (1 Corinthians 3:6) We may never see the fruit of our labor, but that does not matter as our Lord and Master will know. Perhaps we shall be surprised some glorious day when walking down a golden street in His Kingdom. A smiling face may come up to you and say thanks for your gift of the Word of God that you shared. God knows, and He will accomplish His purpose, as He does not live in circumstance but has declared His purpose. "Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, 'My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure.'" (Isaiah 46:10)
We must trust in faith that the Word that God has given us to share will not return unto Him void. His purpose will be done. "So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it." (Isaiah 55:11) We may or may not know the miracle that He has performed to that one we shared our witness to, but the victory is ours through Jesus Christ that another soul was snatched from the pit, and for this we can praise our God. When that heart we have prayed for and witnessed to is ready to accept a marvelous thing will happen. Just like He did to the woman at the well Jesus will reveal Himself. "But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, "God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble." (James 4:6)
We have fulfilled our purpose to serve the Lord and have returned another crown to lay at His feet. Being the message is the purpose of a life lived abundantly for the Glory of God the Father. "That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation." (Romans 10:9-10)
Thomas N Kirkpatrick
Durant Bible College, March 12, 2015