The Day Jesus Crossed the Line, Part 1 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 34)

John 4:1-10

1 When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John,

2 (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,)

3 He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee.

4 And he must needs go through Samaria.

5 Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.

6 Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.

7 There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.

8 (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.)

9 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.

10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

Today, I am continuing the daily Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign sermon series, which is aimed at sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with unbelievers and reminding Christians, in this important election year, to keep the main thing the main thing — and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents and politicians but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey God’s Great Commission and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to “pray without ceasing” for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders. Yes, you should pray for the right candidate to win; yes, you should vote for the candidate that the Lord gives you peace about voting for. But, don’t get caught up in it like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord.

This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”

This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As the hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 34.

Alexander MacLaren said, “The Samaritan woman is a fascinating character. She is of mature age, and has had a not altogether reputable past. She is frivolous, ready to talk with strangers, with a tongue quick to turn grave things into jests; and yet she possesses, hidden beneath masses of unclean vanities, a conscience and a yearning for something better than she has.”

The story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman is one of the most interesting encounters in Scripture, and perhaps even in history. It resonates with us today because it touches on many aspects of life that impact society and culture in the modern world. However, for this historic meeting to take place, Jesus had to cross several lines that would have been forbidden to him as a first century Jewish religious leader.

Following up on the events of John chapter 3, the Gospel writer tells us that Jesus left Judea because He wanted to avoid a conflict with the Pharisees who had heard about His ministry of baptism. Jesus was not running away from conflict, but He was working on a divine timetable. He would have plenty of run-ins with the Pharisees later. Now, Jesus was on his way to Galilee, but the text tells us that “He must needs go through Samaria.” And that is where Jesus crosses a first line in His mission to reach the Samaritans with the Gospel message.

First, Jesus crossed the line of racial prejudice. If you were a first century Jew reading John’s gospel, you would find it odd that Jesus “needed to go through Samaria.” Jews who needed to get from Judea to Galilee (or vice versa) always took a long detour to avoid stepping foot inside Samaritan territory. The Jews hated the Samaritans because of their ancestry. David Guzik provides this helpful summary: “When the Babylonians conquered the southern kingdom of Judah, they took almost all the population captive, exiling them to the Babylonian Empire. All they left behind were the lowest classes of society, because they didn’t want these lowly regarded people in Babylonia. These ones left behind intermarried with other non-Jewish peoples who slowly came into the region, and the Samaritans emerged as an ethnic and religious group.”

The Jews viewed the Samaritans as unclean half-breeds and Jewish imposters, and they avoided dealing with them at all costs. So, why did Jesus need to go through Samaria? The short explanation is that this was not a geographical necessity, but rather a theological or spiritual necessity — a divine appointment. Jesus went to Samaria because He knew there were people there that needed the Gospel. He knew that there was this messed up woman who needed new light and new life. To reach her, Jesus crossed the line of racial prejudice.

Second, Jesus crossed the line of sexism. John tells us that Jesus entered Samaria and came to a city called Sychar, the region’s capital. It is about midday, Jesus is traveling by foot, and He is hot and tired, so He sits down by a well to rest. And “There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.”

Jesus had already broken protocol by entering Samaria. Now, he is speaking to a Samaritan woman. Women in the first century were viewed as second-class citizens; a woman of Samaria was viewed as even less, particularly a woman of questionable moral standing. How do we know right from the start that this woman had problems? We know this because she came to the well during midday alone. Historians tell us that women normally went to the well to draw water in groups earlier in the day when it was cooler. The fact that this woman was alone tells us that she was a social pariah who had been rejected by the other women and/or a loose woman who didn’t mind being alone in public. Probably both are true here.

Either way, Jesus, as a Jewish Rabbi, should not have been talking to her. Jewish Rabbis didn’t even talk to Jewish women in public. William Barclay said, “The strict Rabbis forbade a Rabbi to greet a woman in public. A Rabbi might not even speak to his own wife or daughter or sister in public. There were even Pharisees who were called ‘the bruised and bleeding Pharisees’ because they shut their eyes when they saw a woman on the street and so walked into walls and houses!”

The Samaritan woman herself expressed surprise when Jesus spoke to her. She said, “How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.” Jesus’ disciples were also shocked (and probably disappointed) when they got back from buying meat and found Jesus talking to this woman. The Bible says they “marvelled that he talked with the woman.” Jesus crossed the line of sexism in His culture in order to reach this woman.

The point here is that Jesus wanted to reach everybody with the Gospel, even the people whom His own Jewish race thought were unworthy or less than others. Jesus crossed the greatest barrier in His mission to save us — the barrier of sin between us and God, a barrier that said we did not deserve to be saved. But Jesus Christ came down to us because God loved us and did not want us to be eternally separated from Him.

After all that He has done for us, we must make the decision to trust Him and believe on Him as the Samaritan woman eventually did. Here is how you can do that right now.

First, please understand that you are a sinner and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Please understand that because of your sins, you deserve punishment in hell. Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death…” This is both physical death and spiritual death in hell.

But here is the good news. John 3:16 reads, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

The phrase “For God so loved the world” means that if you are in this world, God loves you no matter what you have done.

The next phrase, “that He gave His only begotten Son” refers to Jesus Christ. He is God’s son who suffered, bled, and died on the cross for your sins and for mine, and He was buried and rose again.

Our next phrase is “that whosoever believeth in Him”. The word “whosoever” means anybody at anytime. The phrase “believeth in Him” means to trust in Him, to depend upon Him, to rely on Him, or to have faith in Him for your salvation.

Our next phrase, “should not perish”, refers to eternal punishment in a place called hell.

And, lastly, the phrase “but have everlasting life” means to live eternally in Heaven with God.

The Bible also says in Romans 10:9 and 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved…. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please e-mail me at dw3@gospellightsociety.com and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

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