• on March 16, 2020

Sermon for Lent 3

John 4:7-26
I am not an evangelist, plain and simple. Especially a door-to-door one. I had two experiences that always stick in my mind that have soured my view on the matter. One was a lady who answered the door in her bathrobe…a very small one. And I was with a high school student who was shadowing me for the day. The other was a VBS canvass event where no sooner had the guy opened the door he said NOT INTERESTED and slammed it so hard in my face I thought the doorframe was damaged. Times have changed and I wouldn’t recommend the door-to-door thing here in Lafayette Village. But true evangelists just have a gift that I don’t. And I’m grateful to the Holy Spirit for them. Christ, of course, is the master evangelist. And he shows why here at the well. He shows the woman he’s got sumthin she absolutely needs, points out her sin, and brings her finally to the Gospel: The Messiah you seek…dass me.

I. You want what we got. Perhaps odd wording considering what the world currently wrestles with. But in the case of the true saving faith this is dead on. And Christ, of course, is a master at expressing this. If you only knew the gift of God and he who was speaking to you you’d be begging me for what I alone can give you. Christ is also a master object lesson teacher. Using a well to segway into the water of life. And his ‘never be thirsty again’ comment seals the deal. Yes, sir! I definitely want that! (Even if she didn’t fully understand it.) This sorta correlates with us being the salt of the earth and the light of the world. People notice us. We gather for worship, we plant stuff, we help our neighbors, and they notice and become genuinely curious about what we got.

II. Then Christ masterfully points out her sin, don’t he? You heard the Gospel account clear enough. The fact is she would have no need for a Messiah whatsoever if she did not realize her great need to begin with. We too are weekly brought to our knees (no pun intended) when our great Messiah convicts us of our many sins. We are guilty of breaking all Ten of God’s commandments. We cannot make excuses. Like the woman, we are caught redhanded. And we simply say sorry.

III. But Christ was not in the business of leaving anyone — including a Gentile — in despair. She shows that she ain’t far from the kingdom of God. I know the Messiah is coming and he’ll straighten all the confusion out. Have I got news for you, Ma’am: I’m he. You have now been face to face with God’s anointed. His chosen one. The one propheseied about in Holy Scripture. The one born in Bethlehem. The one who would suffer as God’s servant on our behalf. The one who would not see decay. I’m the guy. And I ain’t just here for the Israelites. I’m here as the Messiah of the world. This, my friends, is what we got. Life and salvation in a grim and perishing world. Eternal springs of water in a world thirsting for what they don’t even know they need. We evangelize as a church. In the world, in our communities, in our stores and workplaces, and in our own homes. Because we got him…and whether they know it or not…they want what we got.

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