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Your Samaria: The People You Don't Like

Your Samaria - The People You Don’t Like


John 4:4 And He (Jesus) HAD to pass through Samaria. (ESV)


Jesus left Judea to avoid trouble with the religious leaders:

MAP of Judea, Samaria, Galilee

Instead of going the normal route that Jews take around Samaria by crossing the Jordan River, traveling north, and then crossing the Jordan back into Galilee

He went straight north into Samaria

It was a direct and shorter route, but Jews did not go that way because they hated Samaritans


This trip resulted in one of the special evangelistic encounters in the Bible:

The trip to Samaria was God’s plan - Jesus HAD TO minister to a hurting woman at the well

We could say - He was compelled to go to Samaria.

Why? Because He had a divine appointment with a hurting woman


God can direct us or even compel us to go places and talk to people that we previously avoided.


STORY: A freshman was at a college in Ohio

This young man was very discouraged because he injured his knee playing college football a few months earlier

His dream of playing professional football was crushed

He had no idea what His purpose in life would be without football

But on a Monday in February of 1979, God sent two-time Heisman Trophy winner and professional football player Archie Griffin to his college to share the good news of Jesus

After hearing Archie’s testimony that night, he transferred all of his trust onto Jesus’ and the sacrifice He made for the forgiveness of our sins

His life has never been the same

WHAT IS UNUSUAL about this?

There were both social and religious barriers at this school and Archie by God’s grace crossed over them - as Jesus did

Archie presented the message of eternal life

THE MAN WHO WAS SAVED SAID THIS: I exalt Him (Jesus) for crossing over man-made barriers to save undeserving sinners like me


John 4:7 A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.”

John 4:8 (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.)

John 4:9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.)


The reason “Jews have no dealings with Samaritans” was because of their history:

When Assyria conquered the Northern Kingdom 700 years before Christ, many of the Jews were exported, and many foreigners were imported

The Jews who stayed and the Gentiles who came intermarried

The offspring were called Samaritans. (They were a mixed race)

Most Jews hated them and would have nothing to do with them

Also, Jewish leaders did not converse with women in public, and they most certainly did not talk with Samaritan women

If a Jew called someone a Samaritan, it was considered a grave insult

Jesus not only spoke to a woman, but he also requested that she do Him the favour of drawing water and giving Him a drink

Because the Jews believed that they would be ceremonially unclean if they used a vessel handled by a Samaritan, the woman expressed surprise that He would ask her for a drink


One: Identify Your Samaria


Who represents your Samaria? 

One way to find out is we can ask ourself, “Who do I dislike the most?

Who do I try to avoid the most?” 

NOTE: we may error by thinking the people who are the nicest to us - are the people the most ready to hear the gospel - That wasn’t the case with this Samaritan lady

What about - the person whose values and lifestyle are the opposite of our own?

The person who has so many problems?

NOTE: We can ask the Lord to show us who represents our Samaria


I have listened to one too many politician attack wealthy people:

Because I read the Bible - and believe and do the Bible - I take my cues from Jesus

Look at how He ministered to a wealthy man


Mark 10:21 Then Jesus, looking at him, LOVED HIM, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” (NKJV)


It is quite difficult to influence or minister to anyone unless we love them as they are

SUMMARY: the people that rub us the wrong way - (I mean worst than anyone else) - they would be our Samaria


Two: Crossover into Samaria


We can choose to let go of all prejudices and surrender to His will

Are we willing to do whatever it takes to reach people that no one else wants to reach?

Jesus was willing to cross over the barriers of prejudices to love on this lady

He was ready to give her living water the moment she believed in Him

Jesus KNEW HIS MISSION

He understood the mission at hand - knowing God’s plans and purposes were “God so LOVED THE WORLD” - Jesus Christ is for the WORLD

He was more than happy to love on this lady


Jesus Didn’t Allow His Jewish Blood to Sabotage His Mission


We cannot allow anything - our ethnic origin - the colour of our skin - old grudges - old enemies - old ways of thinking - and so on…To sabotage our mission

WHAT DID JESUS TALK ABOUT? When in His Samaria



John 4:34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. (ESV)


The old racial and ethnic tensions between the Jews and Samaritans - didn’t even come close to sabotaging Jesus’ mission


Matt. 5:46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? (ESV)


NOTE: I tormented the man that led me to the Lord - tormented him along the lines that he was weird, strange, a weakling in the gym

He crossed over and REACHED out to me - He STAYED with His Mission


Three: Become All Things to All People


John 4:7 A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.”


We notice here, that Jesus’ request was putting Himself on the same level as the woman

The apostle Paul wrote to us - he informed us that He followed Jesus’ example


1 Cor. 9:21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law…so as to win those not having the law. (Not holding on to OLD beliefs)

1 Cor. 9:22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. (NIV)


Just like Jesus - Paul knew his mission

He didn’t allow anything to sabotage it


Four: Know the Gift and How to Deliver It


John 4:10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” (ESV)


Let’s Break This Down:

If you knew the gift of God - a question we can all ask ourselves - do we know the gift/gifts of God that He desires to give to people

Salvation, the Holy Spirit

Who it is that is saying to you - Do we know who we are - Do we know we can be used by God to deliver His gifts? - In one sense we are all gifts of God to other people

You would have asked Him - How can we explain to those who don’t have - what they can have - and help them want it - they would ask for it - This is the willingness of the person on the receiving end

He would have given you living water - Can we deliver the gift - lead someone in a prayer to receive Jesus - pray for someone to be filled with the Holy Spirit - lay hands on the sick


John 4:11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water?

John 4:12 Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.”


Jesus had to further explain because she wasn’t getting it:

JESUS KNEW THE GIFT GOD HAD FOR HER

JESUS KNEW WHO HE WAS - HE KNEW HOW TO DELIVER the GIFT

BUT HE HAD TO WORK with HER

So…HE SAID…


John 4:13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again,

John 4:14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”


When we the message with unbelievers, they may not understand what we are talking about.

They have all kinds of questions

“What do I need to be saved from?”

STORY: when I attended the Bible study to rescue my brother Joe

I thought he was in a cult

They then read a scripture - it had the phrase: “you must be born-again” in it - I then thought for sure it was a cult - because I never heard that phrase in my life

Then I had to deal with “it wasn’t catholic” - I grew up believing it was the one true church

So I had all kinds of thoughts and questions

No one really answered my thoughts are questions

2 THINGS: ONE: he told me if I died in a car accident I would end up in hell for eternity - I believed that - it haunted me - It was truth

TWO: the scripture (which is truth) YOU MUST BE BORN-AGAIN to enter

I couldn’t shake that truth - I knew I wasn’t born-again

NOTE: Lou - knew the gift - He knew who he was - He knew how to deliver the gift - and for some strange reason - What he said made me hungry for the gift - SALVATION!! And to BE FILLED with the H.G.


These Christlike characteristics we are talking about - not only apply when we minister to the unbelievers:

But they also can apply when we talk to our brothers and sisters


Five: Be Sensitive to the Dimly Burning Wick


Is. 42:3a “A bruised reed He will not break And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish…(NAS)


Matt. 12:20a The crushed stem will not be broken by Him; and the feebly burning light will he not put out,…(BBE)


This prophecy was fulfilled in Christ, He is tender of those oppressed with doubts and fears, as a bruised reed; those who are as smoking flax, as the wick of a lamp newly lighted, which is ready to go out again. He will not despise them, nor lay upon them more work or more suffering than they can bear. - (Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary)


The dimly burning flax, the wick of a lamp nearly out, He will foster and cherish and feed the spiritual life, all but extinguished, with oil till it burns brightly again. - (Ellicott’s Commentary)


Here, the image represents the weak and depressed in spirit, the lowly and dejected. Christ would deal tenderly with such, not violently. Smoking flax shall he not quench; rather, the wick which burns dimly he shall not quench. Where the flame of devotion burns at all, however feebly and dimly, Messiah will take care not to quench it. Rather he will tend it, and trim it, and give it fresh oil, and cause it to burn more brightly. - (Pulpit Commentary)


Both the crushed stem and the feebly burning light are safe with Him:

A tiny burning flame - it could go out any moment - He won’t breathe carelessly in the direction of the flame

Why?

Because He lives to protect what remains of the flame


WE can Live to Protect What Remains


Jesus lived this way - it’s part of being Christlike - means all Christians can live to protect what remains


His correction never condemns and His encouragement never lifts us into pride


There is always an overflowing cup of God’s mercy/His blessing


He is merciful toward to us!

Christlike people can look at sinners with eyes of mercy!


Matt. 5:7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. (ESV)


2 Cor. 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, (ESV)


Eph. 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love that he had for us, (ESV)


SUMMARIZE


Identify your Samaria

Be willing to travel to your Samaria

Be willing to become all things to all people

Know God’s Gifts and how to deliver them

Be sensitive to dimly burning wicks

NOTE: The lady at the well was used to transform an entire community!



















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