As we are being challenged to read and study the book of John, I wanted to share some of my personal sermon notes with you to help you understand the book. I preached through the entire book over the course of 1 year when I pastored First Baptist Church Del Rio. Enjoy!
Introduction—Being thirsty is a normal part of life. We exert ourselves and we need to replenish the water our bodies use up. We may eat something salty, and that makes our bodies crave something to quench our thirst with. When we sit down to eat a meal, we have a glass of drink to help digest the food. When we go through the drive thru restaurant, we order a combo meal that comes with a drink. Our lives require liquid, mainly water to survive. We are created to thirst. Jesus tells us that He can deliver a give us living water in order that our spiritual thirst may be satisfied.
Read: John 4:1-15
Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John— 2 although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. 3 So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee. 4 Now he had to go through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon. 7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” 11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?” 13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
- Physical Needs will leave you thirsty—vs. 1-9
- The physical needs we have as human beings are quite simple. Water, food, shelter, and clothing. After those 4 things, life gets a little complicated. I would argue for a 5th component of human needs being relationships.
- Your body is made up of 60% water. The brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water. The skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79% water, and even the bones are watery: 31%.
- You could imagine the importance water plays in everyday life.
- The average person burns 10 times their weight. So 200 lbs. would burn 2,000 calories. Food is essential to replace those calories.
- Shelter is a human need to protect us from the elements. We need a place to stay. Our physiological mindset is affected by us having shelter
- Clothing is also on the list as a human need. Clothes wear out therefore there is a constant need for replacement clothing.
- Relationships are the one need that some may say they could survive without. I believe we were created for relationships.
- Jesus decides to wander through Samaria on His way to Galilee. Going through Samaria is not what Jews did back then. Samaria was a despised place and a despised people by the Jews. There are several reasons but the main one seems to be that the Samaritans received no prophetic word from God since the religious leaders had been replaced with foreigners from Assyria.
- The text says in verse 4 that Jesus had to go through Samaria. He might have received a word from God to minister there since no one was doing that. This would be what we would consider today “an unreached people group.”
- Jesus knew the Samaritans needed God and if they were truly enemies of the Jews, then how better to show His followers how to love our enemies.
- You see even our enemies are in need of a Spiritual touch. You may be the only Jesus they come in contact with.
- Do like Jesus and find a common ground when it comes to ministering to the unreachable. He used water as a common talking point, since all of us need water to survive.
- Jesus asks for a drink of water assuming He would receive one since he was tired and thirsty. What He gets is an unusual almost sarcastic response.
- Her response could have sounded like this: “Well, you need me to give you a drink. I thought we Samaritans were the scum of the earth or did that change? Yeah, when you want something that you need, now we are good enough.”
- When you encounter a harsh response when trying to reach out, try to keep your cool. I know you it is human nature to snap back so we can get even with a response, but that won’t win you any grace.
- We are still talking physical needs remember. We are to meet people where there are, so sarcastic responses would be normal.
- When an unchurched person sins, we shouldn’t act like we are surprised by there actions.
Illustration—Numbers 20, Moses strikes a rock for water (Elim)
Application—When you meet a physical need of someone, you open up opportunities to reach their spiritual needs. Have you met a physical need of someone for the sake of Christ?
- Spiritual Needs will quench your thirst forever—vs. 10-15
- Turning a physical need into a spiritual need is really why we spend so much time and effort engaging ministries. I have been on many mission endeavors where we have used this gateway of physical needs into the hearts of the unreached.
- I have also witnessed some who have only met the physical needs of others leaving a huge void where the real need is, and that is Spiritual.
- Jesus teaches us how to do this. He engages this Samaritan woman with a statement meant to allow her to begin to think not only for her physical need, but for her spiritual need.
- Jesus said “If you knew the God I know.” This statement implies that she can know. She can know the One who can give Living Water.
- The NLT says “If only you knew the God I know.” This is stating that I want you to know Him.
- If you knew God, you would be asking God for the drink. Now we are getting deep. The conversation has completely transformed into this remarkable offer to know God.
- When we move in that direction with the unreached, we should expect confusion, and disbelief, and even rejection.
- Look at what she says in verse 11-12. How is that even possible? You don’t even have a bucket to get the water with. She is still focused on the physical need. She is perplexed. She even goes as far as to accuse Jesus of being better that Jacob.
- Don’t be alarmed when others don’t get it. Stay the course and continue to explain. Let the Holy Spirit do His job.
- Jesus continued on and He brings it home in verse 13-14. If you drink from Jacob’s well, you will have to come back again and again because the physical need will always be there. It is something that won’t go away.
- If you drink this Living Water that I offer, you will never go thirsty again. You wont have to worry about that void that you have in your heart because I will fill it with the love of Jesus.
- The love will be so overwhelming that it will flow out of you like a spring bubbling up. You will have peace and be filled so that others can drink from the Living Water too.
- Wow—look at her response in verse 15. Sir I want that water, so I can be saved.
Illustration—Listen, we all have a Spiritual need for Jesus. He knows that because he created you with that desire in your life. He knows He is the only one that can fill that void in your life.
Application—Have you drunk from the Living Water of Jesus Christ today?
Conclusion—As I close today, I want to say that it is good to meet physical needs of people. We have to do that, just like Jesus had to go to Samaria. We are commissioned to go and meet needs as God prompts us to do so. But don’t leave it at that. Meet the need and use that opportunity to speak about the one who can fill the emptiness that is there in the lives of so many. If you only meet the physical need, then you leave them in the same situation as before. We learned from our text that the need is always going to be there. Being thirsty is part of everyday life.
Jesus said in Mark 14:7, that we will always have the poor among us. We can meet physical needs whenever it is possible. We will not always have the opportunity to share Christ though.
There is coming a time when men will no longer listen to sound advice, according to 2 Timothy 4:3-5. They will turn their ears to those that can give them what they want to hear instead of the truth. The world needs Living Water.
In Acts 3, Peter and John were approached by a needy person and they didn’t have anything physical to offer like money, so Peter offers Jesus instead. I believe that is what is needed more than anything else in this world. We need to offer Living Water more than we offer to provide physical needs. I am not saying that we don’t meet physical needs, but lets do more of the Spiritual needs ministry. Jesus said never thirst again. Drink the living water today.
Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,