Jesus Teaches Evangelism
4 But He needed to go through Samaria. 5 so He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well, it was about the sixth hour. 7 A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” 8 For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. 9 Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink of me, a Samaritan woman? For the Jews have no dealing with Samaritans.” 10 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.” 11 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? 12 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?” 13 Jesus answered and said to her, “whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 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.” 15 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.”
We left off in our last post by teasing you, saying we were going to talk about Christ’s method of winning others to Himself. This we will do, and I hope will enjoy the lesson Jesus attempted to teach.
You see, the process of winning the woman of Samaria deserves the most careful study on all our parts if we are really truly interested in winning souls to Christ. Jesus broke it down into four simple steps.
The process of conversion requires change. Not on the part of God, or on my part nor on the part of my friends or yours, but on part of the person who in most cases doesn’t realize they need a change. Therefore, the first thing Jesus taught is: (1) awakening in the other person the desire for something better. We see this in verses 7-15 of this fourth chapter in John.
Christ awakened this by showing that he too suffered from thirst. Therefore, he could sympathize with the fact that like her, he too became thirsty, suffered from hurt feelings, disappointments, and yes even failures. Failures you might ask, how could He fail for he was perfect in every way? Yes, He was perfect, but there were those despite His best efforts, would decide they didn’t want what Jesus was offering. We especially see this in the attitude of the Scribes, Pharisees, members of the Priesthood and Sanhedrin. Yes, Christ in his lifetime felt all the human emotions that you and I feel thus he could sympathize with those he endeavored to save.
You and I have also suffered in many of the same ways those we attempt to witness to have suffered. Therefore, we see and understand how tough it is to live and work on this sin filled earth. Therefore, by our sympathy and like needs of others we can become a blessing, awakening a desire in others for something better.
The next way Christ attempted to teach us is: (2) The awakening of a conviction of personal need. We will expand on this more as we come across the verses in this living parable that deal with this subject.
The third area Christ attempted to show us is: (3) The call for a decision to acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah. Getting people to change without acknowledging the reason for the change will not produce lasting change. Christ is the reason people change. The working of the Holy Spirit on the hearts of those we come in contact and their submitting to the will of Christ, not by our words but by the power of Christ working through the Holy Spirit is the only sure way to assure continued change in anyone’s life.
But these three alone is not enough. Yes it is important create a need for change, something better and awakening the conviction of personal need and to call for a decision regarding Jesus the Messiah. But as important as these are, without action there is no live demonstration of Christ living out from within them. Christ taught (4) the stimulus to action must be appropriate to the decision. Plain English please. If the decisions in the first three are not real, then there will be no decision to actively seek others for Christ. True conversion must and always is associated with witnessing to others of the power that is now within you.
Jesus gained the woman’s attention with the request, “Give me to drink.” Her response is evident in the question of verse nine. “How is it? Once Christ achieved her undivided attention Christ aroused her interest by offering her something she had been longing for. Relief from having to carry the heavy water pots which represented the burden of sin.
Christ aroused in her a desire for something better which gave him the opportunity in a non-threatening way to spread before her something different, something she had been longing for, without completely understanding what it was she needed.
She eventually responded, “Sir give me this water.” She had little concept of what it was she was asking for, yet she asked, which allowed Christ to explain even more.
In our next post, we will continue to explore this unlikely Devine appointment that Christ left Judea for, so he would have a chance to witness to the Samaritan woman.