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God’s Grace Has No Barriers
Good Morning from the Voices Of Hope Evangelistic Team. I thank God for the opportunity to praise and worship Him and to be able to share His message with the world through today’s technology!
Today is the Third Sunday of Lent and the title of today’s Message is “God’s Grace Has No Barriers.” Our scripture comes from the New Testament Book of John, Chapter 4 verses 10-30 and you can be turning there in your Bible.
Grace has been defined as unmerited favor, God’s divine influence on the heart and its reflection in our life. Grace is exhibited in the desire, willingness, and ability to grant favor as a gift where it is not deserved.
During the Season of Lent it is good to be reminded that there are no barriers that God’s grace cannot penetrate or cross over. We are going to see God’s Grace breaking down barriers as we learn about a woman that Jesus met while journeying Samaria; how the step she took changed her direction from one of hopelessness to one of hope and how she became an evangelist telling others about Jesus Christ.
Since we are beginning in verse 10, let’s briefly summarize the first nine verses. Jesus and His disciples are on their way to Galilee and they stop at Jacob’s well in a city in Samaria. The disciples had gone to buy food when the Samaritan woman came to the well to draw water. Jesus asks the woman for a drink of water; at that time men didn’t talk with women in public and Jews especially didn’t have dealings with Samaritans. She asks Jesus why He is asking her for a drink.
Now reading from John, Chapter 4 verses 10-30 (NLT).
10 Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”
11 “But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? 12 And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?”
13 Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. 14 But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”
15 “Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.”
16 “Go and get your husband,” Jesus told her.
17 “I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied.
Jesus said, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband— 18 for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!”
19 “Sir,” the woman said, “you must be a prophet. 20 So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim, where our ancestors worshiped?”
21 Jesus replied, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. 23 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. 24 For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”
25 The woman said, “I know the Messiah is coming—the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
26 Then Jesus told her, “I am the Messiah!”
27 Just then his disciples came back. They were shocked to find him talking to a woman, but none of them had the nerve to ask, “What do you want with her?” or “Why are you talking to her?” 28 The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, 29 “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?” 30 So the people came streaming from the village to see him.
Heavenly Father, You have commanded us to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. You have also called us to love our neighbor as ourselves.
There are many people in the world today who are so distracted by the pursuit of worldly pleasures, money or success, that they don’t even know You are right there next to them, calling them to the greatest adventure ever, life eternal with You.
So today during this Lenten Season, I pray that You will quicken in us the desire to share the good news of the Gospel with them. I pray that, like the woman at the well, we will be so excited about what Jesus has done in our lives that we can’t wait to tell others. In Jesus’ name, Amen
One Sunday as they drove home from church, a little girl turned to her mother and said, "Mommy, there’s something about the preacher’s message this morning that I don’t understand." The mother said, "Oh? What is it?" The little girl replied, "Well, he said that God is bigger than we are. He said God is so big that He could hold the world in His hand. Is that true?" The mother replied, "Yes, that’s true, honey." "But Mommy, he also said that God comes to live inside of us when we believe in Jesus as our Savior. Is that true, too?" Again, the mother assured the little girl that what the pastor had said was true. With a puzzled look on her face the little girl then asked, "If God is bigger than us and He lives in us, wouldn’t He show through?"
That’s a good question. Can others see God in us? Are we telling people about salvation through Jesus Christ? Are we getting out in highways and hedges and sharing the gospel with the lost world?
In today’s study, we see a woman from Samaria who was facing a life of disappointments, of loneliness, and of bitterness; in the midst of her life, she came face to face with Jesus and through God’s grace which breaks down every barrier, she took a step into hope.
Jesus and His disciples were on their way to Galilee, going through Samaria and the journey was a hot and dusty one. Jesus was tired, thirsty, and hungry. Think of it - the eternal God who created all things, who left heaven and came to earth is tired. How perfectly human He was! His disciples left Him sitting by a well dug by Jacob many years before while they went on into Sychar for provisions.
Around midday, a Samaritan woman came to draw water. The normal time for women to get water was either early morning or later in the afternoon when it was cooler. The well was a place where women gathered to talk as they filled their water pots. Possibly the woman wanted to come at this odd hour so that she would be alone; she had been ostracized by everyone due to her bad reputation of having been married to five men and was now involved with another.
Jews typically didn’t have dealings with Samaritans. Add to this that it wasn’t socially acceptable for a Jewish man, much less a rabbi, to speak to any woman in public. But Jesus is no respecter of persons and He asked her to give Him a drink of water.
This woman refuses His request. But Jesus knows how to deal with her. He doesn’t respond to her impertinent attitude and He avoids the prejudice and hatred that she is pouring out. Instead, Jesus replied: “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."
The Samaritan woman failed to understand that Jesus is the One who can give what we ask for and more. She points out that He has nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where would He get that living water? Could she have some so she wouldn’t have to keep coming to the well? She’s still thinking physical needs and Jesus is speaking about spiritual needs. Drink from one and you will only become thirsty again; drink from the other and your soul will be satisfied because you will then have a living well spring up within you that will lead to everlasting life.
Jesus knows all about her and tells her to bring her husband to Him. The woman says she has no husband. Jesus said she answered well since she had been married five times and was not married to the sixth that she was living with. She is shocked because Jesus knew these things.
Finally, Jesus tells her, ‘I am the Messiah!’
The woman had faith in Him now and she ran to tell others; she forgot her water jar; she left behind the jug that had caused the sag in her shoulders; she left behind the burden she brought. Suddenly the insignificance of her life was swallowed by the significance of the moment. “God is here! God has come! God cares for me!”
Can you picture her grabbing the first person she saw and announcing her discovery? “I just talked to a man who knows everything I ever did … and He loves me anyway!” That’s why she forgot the water jar; that is why she ran to the city; that is why she said to the men, “Come, and see a man that told me all the things that ever I did.”
She brought the men of the town to see Christ by her witness which is evidence of her faith. When a person is truly evangelized, they in turn become an evangelist.
Verses 39-42: “39 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all that I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of His own word. 42 Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.”
What can we learn from this meeting between Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well?
She was impacted by Jesus.
She was surprised that Jesus would even talk to her. Most Jews went around Samaria but Jesus didn’t harbor that hatred toward the Samaritans. Jesus crossed a social taboo to meet with this woman.
She misinterpreted Jesus initially.
The woman, like many of us, was more concerned about her physical and material needs than she was with her spiritual needs, but nothing physical can satisfy our deepest spiritual needs.
She was identified as a sinner.
Jesus exposed her as a sinner. What’s interesting is that she didn’t run and hide from her sin. As she did, we must come to grips with the fact that we are sinners, that we aren’t flawless.
She invited Jesus in.
She recognized Jesus as the Christ (the Messiah). She still had some doubt but doubt is not wrong as long we seek to address it. In baby steps, she accepted Christ as her Savior.
She informed her friends about Jesus.
The woman forgot her immediate physical needs so she could tell others about Jesus. She was so excited about the disruption to her daily life that she left her water jug right there and hustled back to town. Are we willing to drop our physical needs to reach out for the spiritual needs of others?
She introduced her friends to Jesus.
The townspeople were initially intrigued by the woman’s testimony. They didn’t stop there; they went to see Jesus for themselves. It’s not our job to convince people to accept Christ. It’s our job to introduce them to Jesus and let Him do the work.
She ignited a fire.
If we have a God encounter, we will want nothing more than to ignite a fire. We will drop our water jugs beside the well, race to inform others and introduce them to Jesus.
God provided grace through Jesus as a gift to us. John 3:16 says: “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.”
Jesus is the only Savior for all mankind. The Bible says in Romans 6:23, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” And in I Corinthians 15:22 and 45: “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. The first man Adam became a living being’; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit”
Two thousand years ago Jesus came into our world. He was born of a virgin, tempted by Satan but lived a perfect, sinless life. Jesus died on the cross as the sacrifice for the penalty for our sins so that we would not have to be controlled by sin.
If you haven’t trusted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, I encourage you to do so right now.
I John 5:13 tells us: “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”
Jesus has provided the gift of salvation to us which gives us not only hope for today but hope for eternity.
In Romans 10:9, we are told that “if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
We receive salvation when we:
(1) Repent of our sins.
(2) Trust Jesus Christ as our Savior.
(3) Confess Jesus Christ as Lord.
If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, invite Him into your life right now.
Or maybe there are those who are far away from Jesus. Have you allowed your comfortable, personally focused desires to act as an eclipse between you and God? Is Jesus obscured or completely blacked out of your life? Do you miss Him?
All it takes is to open yourself and say "I want things to be different. I know things need to be different. I know what’s wrong, what doesn’t belong and I invite You, Jesus, to come and change me.”
When we turn back to Jesus in repentance, when we ask for forgiveness, intending to live a godly life, God’s mercy reaches out to us with a message of love. God is a God of mercy, of redemption, of restoration and of renewal. Just come by faith to the throne of grace to receive it. He is waiting for you with open arms. Repent all over again and get back to fulfilling God’s plan in and through your life.
Heavenly Father, during this Lenten season, may we all take time to draw closer to You. I pray that we spend time studying Your Word and that we spend time in prayer with You. I pray that we use the gifts You’ve given us to serve and honor You. I pray that we find ways to share Jesus with our brothers and sisters through our words and deeds. In Jesus’ name, Amen.