Living Water

John 4:1-14

The ministry of Jesus was having a great impact in Judea.

The reason He left for Galilee may have been to avoid further conflict with the Pharisees. This was to come later, according to God's timetable.

The Lord Jesus needed to go through Samaria.

The most direct route to Galilee from Judea was through Samaria.

But the Lord Jesus had another reason for going through Samaria. There were people in that city to bring to faith in Himself.

Most Jews despised Samaritans who were a mixed race of Jew and Gentile. Their religion was mixed too, though they acknowledged the first five books of the Bible and they also looked for the Messiah.

We tend to complain that people are very unresponsive to the gospel. They are completely indifferent to our good news. We soon become discouraged and remain silent. We excused ourselves that personal witnessing is not our ministry.

Let us never lose sight of the fact that the Lord often works in wonderful and surprising ways. Who would have imagined that this immoral Samaritan woman would respond to the gospel?

We often struggle to open up a conversation so that we can share the gospel with sinners, but Jesus was so natural. Resting from His journey, the Lord asked the woman for a drink of water. This surprised the woman, for no Jew would drink from a container used by Gentiles. Jesus then aroused her curiosity by speaking about the gift of God and of living water (which the woman took to mean fresh spring water). She wondered how He could obtain such living water from such a deep well. Could this stranger be greater than Jacob?

Jesus told the woman that the water from the well could only satisfy for a time. But whoever drinks of the water that He shall give him will never thirst.

There can be no lasting satisfaction in this restless world apart from that given by Christ. And with it, He gives everlasting life!

But Jesus Did Not Commit Himself to Them

John 2:13-25

Jerusalem was crowded at Passover time with Jews.

Every male Jew from the age of twelve was expected to attend the feast which was celebrated to remember God's great deliverance of the Israelites from bondage in Egypt.

A lamb was sacrificed and eaten in the evening. Poor people sacrificed two doves.

The seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread followed.

Those selling sacrificial animals in the court of the temple were rogues who charged outrageous prices.

The cheating moneychangers also enjoyed a thriving trade because Roman coins were not accepted to pay the temple tax which had to be paid in Jewish currency.

The Lord Jesus was angry at such wicked practices taking place in the name of religion. He drove the animals from the temple and turned over the tables of the moneychangers.

This incident which occurred at the beginning of His ministry should not be confused with the cleansing of the temple at the close of His ministry.

When challenged to give a sign that He had the authority to take such drastic action, the Lord Jesus said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”

The Jews thought that He was referring to Herod's temple which had taken 46 years to build. But He was speaking about His resurrection. Some of the Jews recalled this saying of Jesus after His death.

Jesus was challenged to give a sign and He did work miracles that Passover week.

Many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did.

But the Lord Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men. The Lord Jesus knew that the faith of those who believed in Him at this Passover was not genuine. The greatest faith does not come through observing miracles or other sensational happenings.

True faith is seen in those who recognize their need for forgiveness and who trust in Christ alone to save them. They then forsake their sin and follow the Lord Jesus in glad obedience to His Word.

Does this describe us?

The True Light

The true Light which gives light to every man.
- John 1:6-11-

The Lord Jesus is described as the Light.

God sent John the Baptist to bear witness of the Light.

John came to announce the arrival of the promised Messiah that all through him might believe.

John the Baptist had a great ministry. But he was not that Light. He was sent to bear witness of that Light.

There is no inner light in us to clear away the fog of ignorance and sin within the human heart. Enlightenment comes from Someone outside of ourselves.

Enlightenment comes from the Lord Jesus who is the true Light which gives light to every man.

The Lord Jesus gives light to all types of people from all nations as they hear the gospel.

The Lord Jesus came into the world that He had made. But He was not recognized.

His own Jewish nation did not receive Him.

They had been waiting for the promised Messiah for centuries. John the Baptist had pointed them to Him. They had witnessed His mighty miracles. They had heard His wonderful teaching.

But their understanding was darkened. They despised the Light of the world. They rejected Him and killed him.

How about us? Are we rebelling against the light that God has made known to us through His holy Word or do we gladly own Jesus as our Savior and Lord?