John 4:1-30

John - Jesus and the Samaritan woman by the well

John 4:1-30
John 4:29
“Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?”
In this week’s message we unpack a beautiful story where Jesus engages with a woman who is not just from an outcast tribe (the Samaritans), but who herself is an outcast within her on community. Because of her life choices she resorts to fetching water when no-one else is around, and yet Jesus intentionally times his journey so that He can speak to her, and show her a glimpse of who He really is. Read the verses slowly and re-acquaint yourself with the remarkable dialogue of the story.

Just to recap, this story reminds us that we are called into a daily relationship with a living God through the Holy Spirit:
  • Not to a place (v21)
  • Not to a mountain or temple
  • Not to a God you don’t know (v22)
  • But in Spirit and truth (v24)

There are some wonderful verses here that describe the Spirit as living water, and that this is everything we are searching for in this life. However in this devotional I want to focus on one particular aspect of what I said in the message; this idea that Jesus came for the lost.

I would encourage you to also read the parable of the lost sheep in Luke 15:1-7.

This would have been seen as a strange message when Jesus delivered it. It’s crazy logic to suggest that leaving 99 obedient sheep behind in the open country (i.e. where they were most exposed and at risk) to hunt down one lost sheep is a wise move. The odds are against you finding the one, and any shepherd who did it would have been considered a bad shepherd who didn’t really care about the majority of his flock!

And yet, this gives us insight into the Father heart of God. He longs for those who don’t know Him. He’s willing to risk everything to find them. And His joy when even one is found is unsurpassed.

It was this reckless love that led God to send us Jesus. He gave that which mattered most to Him in order that we might be saved. Is it worth it? Human logic says maybe not. God the Father says unequivocally: Yes!

This knowledge of God’s unconditional love should lead us to worship Him that He did this for us, for we were lost until He captivated us with His gaze. It should also move us with compassion to find those who are similarly lost as we were, so that He can rejoice over them too.

I find it challenging to care that much about people who believe such fundamentally different things to me. Even harder if they actively hate God and everything He and His people stand for. And yet we are called to be imitators of God (Ephesians 5:1-2), and act similarly. How can we do that? We can’t, unless the Holy Spirit is within us. Which is why Jesus offers us living water so that His heart becomes ours, we do not thirst again, and streams of living water will flow from us to be a blessing to those around us.

What an amazing promise from our wonderful Saviour! We cannot do anything but respond to such a call.

Apply

  1. Spend some time meditating on v4:23-24. Ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit so that you can worship Him in Spirit and in truth.

  2. Do you identify more with the Jews in this story or the Samaritan woman? Do you feel like there are people you “shouldn’t” talk to, or that God wouldn’t want anything to do with you?

  3. Think of someone who believes something very different to you. Think of some ways you can engage with that person and hear more about why they think like that.

  4. Enjoy your salvation this week! Be grateful that God has reached out to you and invited you into His family, and look for opportunities to share that love to those around you.

Prayer

Lord God,

Thank you that this story shows how much you care about the outcasts, the left-behinds, and the “others”. Thank you Jesus that you are the one who leaves the 99 sheep for the one lost one.

I am so grateful that I was once lost, but now am found in You, and because of your death and resurrection there is a place in God’s family for me.

Please show me the people that the world says are on the “other side” of me. Help me to love them as you love me, and help me to engage with people not as projects, but as people made in the image of God as I am.

Help me to show the love of God to others I pray today.

Amen.
This Everyday Devotions was written by Sean Hammond, who is an elder in our Wimbledon Venue.

Sean unpacks these themes in more detail in his sermon message this week on our website, YouTube Channel and at our Online Church Services.

This Everyday Devotions has also inspired a devotional video that you can watch on our YouTube Channel.

Follow our Everyday Devotions Playlist for some songs to help you worship God in Spirit and truth this week.