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I Am He (Woman at the Well - Part 2 of 3)

Sermon Series:

It Had to Be Said

Ryan Kimmel
Ryan Kimmel

Lead Pastor

Peace Church

Main Passage:
John 4:15-26


Today is the day that the Lord has made. So let us rejoice and be glad in it. And all of God's people said, Amen. So this summer we are in a sermon series. That's basically what they'd call like a red letter series. We're looking at the words of Jesus, the teachings of Jesus, and we're calling it, it had to

be said. As we look at quotes from Jesus Christ that changed the world. And I'll just tell you right now. I know, I know that we love it when things are said that had to be said. Right? I know that we love it, especially in our wacky world right now. We love it when people say the quiet part out loud.

Right? Isn't there something kind of refreshing when someone actually says what we're all thinking? You know I'm talking about? I think when we talk about the fact that it had to be said, we generally think, yes, finally, someone said it. We think it's a good thing. But when you look at the words of Jesus, especially when the words of Jesus are like pointed at you, are you so happy to hear things that had to be said? Because here's the hope behind it all. The things that Jesus says, while hard to hear at times, the things that Jesus says always bring us to a better place. Amen? Amen.

So in this sermon series, all summer long, we're looking at just the teachings of Jesus. But for the three weeks that I have with you, before I go on sabbatical, I wanted to do within this series a little three-part mini-series looking at the famous interaction that Jesus has with this woman at a well, found in John chapter 4. So we're on week two of three of that.

I'm preaching for you this week, I'll preach next week, and then I won't see you for a number of weeks until later in the summer. But right now, would you please turn to John chapter four. If you want to use the Bible as we provided, that's on page 1131.

Now last week, we were introduced to the story of Jesus having this encounter with this woman at the well. She's a Samaritan woman. And last week we looked at this powerful declaration that Jesus says that he offers living water. And we talked about like, who gets to offer that? Like who gets to offer that, not deliver and still be considered a good person? See, Jesus is speaking spiritually. That

that when we put our faith in him, that what happens is that within us is produced this well a well that constantly is producing fresh spiritual water and so the challenge for us Christians in the house is if we ever feel spiritually dry that's an indication that we've stopped going back to the well of Christ that Christ is have put not just outside of us but within us so Jesus says that he offers this living water and this woman says tell me more about that and that's where we're going to pick up here in our Bibles as we look today. We're going to see that Jesus claims something absolutely groundbreaking amazing Something that should and eventually will get him killed But let's read our passage first. And so would you hear the Word of God? The Gospel of John chapter 4 we will look at verses 15 to 26 today. And so would you hear God's Word?

John 4:15-26

15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”

16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” 17 The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” 19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”

This is God's Word, let's pray and we'll continue. Let's pray.

Father God in heaven above, Lord, we thank you for the truth of your word. We thank you that it fills us, fuels us, and forms us to live more faithfully, joyfully, and ready for you. Holy Spirit, by the power and presence, by your power and presence, we ask that you would be with us here and now, here this morning, helping us not only know and understand these truths, but that we'd be transformed by them into the image of our Savior. And Father, we ask, I ask, Lord, that you'd guard my mouth from teaching or saying anything that is not true, that's not glorifying to you or helpful for the people gathered here this morning. And it's in his name, the name of Jesus, that we pray. And everyone said, Amen. Amen. So we're in this two-part, second part of this three-part miniseries. Part one, we looked at how Jesus reveals that he offers eternal life.

And so today we're going to follow up with this simple main point here today and it's this. Jesus reveals he is the Christ.

Jesus reveals He is the Christ.

If anyone ever says to you that Jesus never claimed to be the Messiah, you bring them right to this very passage here today. So it's a good one to have bookmarked in your Bibles. This is an incredible passage. In it we see that Jesus clearly says that he is the Messiah, he is the Christ. And so let's keep it simple today as we look at this simple truth that Jesus reveals he is the Christ. And as you, as we look at our passage here today, we're gonna pull out three points as we journey through this passage. If you want to know where we're going ahead of time, here's the structure of today's sermon. Jesus reveals he is the Christ, and in the first part we're gonna see that Jesus sees the sinner's hurts. We'll see how Jesus reveals the sinner's hearts. And finally, we'll see that Jesus is the sinner's hope. All right, church, let's learn from our Lord and from the Bible here today.

1. Jesus sees the sinner's hurts.

I love this story. This is a awesome, powerful story that gets played out. I hope that you are just diving in. I'm hoping that you're learning this story so that you could go and tell it to someone else because it's so beautiful. Let's just stick to what the Bible says here today. So Jesus says that he's offering living water and this woman, rightly in my mind, responds correctly by saying, she says, sir, give me this water so that I will not be thirsty or have to come back here to draw water. But then look here, Jesus takes her request and he brings it into a different direction. And this different direction is going to reveal things about herself and about himself. Things that need to be known.

Jesus said to her, verse 16, He said, go call your husband and come here. The woman answered him, I have no husband. And then he, he exposes. He looks into her heart, he sees it. He says, for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you've said is true. Now listen, this is, this has got to be a hard truth for this woman. Because here's the reality, I doubt that she's been widowed five times. The truth is that these men used her and then left her. And the one who's with her now doesn't even have the decency to put a ring on her finger. And as we talked about last week, we were reminded that the fact that this woman is coming to the well in the middle of the day by herself culturally shows us this woman's an outcast. If you remember that traditionally in that culture, in that society, women went as a group early in the morning to draw the water while it was still cool in the day.

She's going in the middle of the day by herself. She's clearly an outcast in her society. She's not welcomed into the friend group. And then Jesus, and then Jesus basically announces to her, yes, and you've also been bounced around from guy to guy to guy. Listen, in any culture, that would have been embarrassing.

In any culture, that would have been hard, very hard for a woman to hear. How painfully obvious the truth of this woman's life is coming to the forefront. She's been with five guys and the guy now doesn't even love her enough to marry her. How lost and how hurt this woman must have felt here in that moment. No one to care for her, no one to take care of her, no one to love her, no one to even befriend her. No friends, no social circles, no one to walk and talk and get water with, a track record of constantly choosing the wrong guy. And let me just tell you right now, church, if you're thinking in your heart right now, well, I would have been a friend to her. No, you wouldn't have. Don't make yourself the hero of this story. You're not. You would have rejected her just like everyone else did. There's a reason she was completely alone. And Jesus calls this out. He says, the guy's now, it's not even your husband.

Where is he? It would have been very, very easy for this woman to feel judged by what Jesus just announces. But I want you to see that even though Jesus sees into her hurt, and in a sense, he's revealing her heart, we'll get to in a second.

2. Jesus reveals the sinner's heart.

I want you to see how Jesus, he has such an open and honest conversation about her past, about her sin, yet he does this without condemnation, without judgment. You're gonna see how Jesus masterfully, carefully speaks to this woman, and for me, I'll just tell you right now, this is like a master class in being a pastor. He is pastoring this woman right now, and yes, pastors need to have hard conversations about people's real sin.

But you'll see that one of the things that makes this woman so distinct, it's that she's willing to talk about her sin. She's being honest with Jesus. I think some of us here, love you, some of us here, you come here with a church face.

And if that wasn't even enough, you put on your church face when you pray. You don't even take the church face off to have an honest conversation when it's just you and Jesus alone in the quiet of your room and praying. And yet this woman, an outcast rejected by literally everyone, is showing us what it's like to encounter Christ.

Because she's being open and honest and real. And Jesus speaks to her, and in ways that many of us will feel judged, but yet Jesus doesn't judge her. In fact, he is calling out her sin, but he's going to call her to something better. Why? Because Jesus is the true shepherd. He's bringing out painful truths, and in doing so, Jesus is going to show her that yes, he sees her hurt, but he won't judge her. He's calling her to something even better. Jesus commends her honesty. And I think for many of us, we probably do judge that woman. But I'll tell you right now, as a pastor, I sit with many people who simply won't recognize their own sin. Who don't and won't and refuse to acknowledge they have any faults.

And I'm telling you right now, as a pastor, my ability to pastor people goes as far as they are willing to be honest with me. And that's what we see here with Christ. Your relationship with Christ will only go as far as you're willing to be open and honest with Him. And this woman is so honest with Christ. And Jesus, the Christ, God incarnate, the Son of God, speaking to her, sees into her hurt, has an open and honest conversation about her sin, and yet she doesn't feel judged. That's a powerful, powerful statement, that you can call out sin without seeming like a judgmental jerk. Guarded my word there for a second. Again, some of you need to have this level of heart-to-heart with Christ. Jesus is seen into this sinner's hurts, and He sees into ours as well.

There's a reason that you need to be honest with Christ, it's because He sees you anyway. The reason we've got to be open and honest with Christ because he sees into our heart anyway. He knows our past and yet he still approaches us with such a pastor's heart. I love this beautifully raw conversation where Jesus reveals that he sees into our hurts. Listen to me, my friends. Jesus sees us truly before we see him fully, and yet he still seeks to rescue us. I can't tell you a better reason why you need to follow him. I can't tell you a better reason why you need to lay down your life for him. He is the King on high, stepped down into his creation to save us when we didn't deserve it, and yet rescues us, and then welcomes us into his kingdom where he sits enthroned where we are welcomed as sons and daughters into his kingdom forever.

I don't know why you would pass on that. So don't accept what Christ has offered to us. You get a God, you get the best pastor, you get a friend, and you get to be with the King. And this is a king who sees into our hurt, but he also reveals our hearts so so this woman Her sin and her life has been brought wide out into the open and mind you we're reading this 2,000 years later billions of people have read this woman's story. Her story has been known Jesus reveals that he sees into her heart that he sees her hurt, but he sees into her heart and he also sees the sin that's there. Right? He's not condoning her past. He's exposing that it's sin and her heart is riddled with sin, but she quickly realizes that no mortal man could know everything that Jesus knows.

She knows that something else is going on here. And look how she responds. I love this. Verse 19, please have your Bibles open here. The woman said to him, Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet.

Okay, okay, okay.

I'm not a super big fan of the way that's translated. I perceive that you are a prophet. I mean, who is she, Sherlock Holmes? Nobody speaks like that. Let alone a rejected woman at a well. Now listen, there's a reason that the translators who are infinitely smarter than I am chose to use that word, but let's talk about that word when she says, I perceive that you are a prophet. The word there in the original Greek is the word theoreo. And it means to gaze or behold. And for you word geeks who like this sort of thing, that Greek word is the root word for our English word, theater.

Now here's how one resource put it. Theo Retto is about concentrating on the meaning of an action like when we watch a play or a theater. Meaning she's seeing something play out in real life before her and she's captivated.

She's drawn in, she's watching intently. She's like, okay, you got me, I'm hooked. I don't know another word to say. I'm just saying, I perceive that you are a prophet. Just doesn't sound like what a woman at a well would have said but you get what's going on here now this woman's response is is is utter fascination it's intrigued there's focused which is why we then see her take this conversation and she goes she goes spiritual with it i love this she realizes that jesus is a prophet a true blue prophet right before him and look at her very next question. Her very next question, she says this, verse 20. She says, our fathers, meaning her ancestors, worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship. Okay, so we don't have time to get into it here this morning about the history of the Samaritans or the conflict between the Jews and the Samaritans. But here's what she's basically saying.

She's saying, my people and my tradition say to worship here on this mountain, but you Jews say to worship in the temple. So which is it? Listen to me. We do, we do that all.

We do that same sort of question with God all the time. We want to know, is it this or that? God is it this or that? Is this right or wrong? We, we, we like black and white language. We like clarity of that.

We like this or that, and we want God to choose from our selection that we provided. Need I remind you, Jesus is never a slave to a conversation that he's in. He's always the master of the conversation. He's going to answer it, not in the way that she's posed, but in the truthful way that it should be answered. that this woman has a true blue prophet who just said her sins with precision. She realizes he's a prophet and her very next question has to do with worship. I wonder, my friends, if you had a true blue prophet who knew the mysteries of the universe right before you, what would be your first question?

What would be the very first thing that came to your mind? If you could find out any answer of anything that was ever posed, what would be the very first question you asked? And yet this rejected, lost, lonely, sinful woman, her very first question is about worship. She wants to know how to rightly worship God.

Where to worship? Would you ask such a faithful God-centered question? Because this is what an encounter with Christ does. It reveals our heart, and there's something amazing that's being revealed in this woman's heart, which is a sinful heart. She asks a theological question, but as we'll see, Christ is not going to be bound by the parameters of her question, but He is going to answer it. So she asks this either or question because we like those types of questions But listen to how Christ responds verse 21.

He said to her woman believe me the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem Will you worship the Father you worship what you do not know we worship what we know now listen that may sound a little sharp Okay, I I know we Midwesterners, we like things to always be couched in utter niceness, but sometimes the truth just isn't so conducive to niceness. Sometimes we have to just be okay with things feeling a little sharp as long as they're true, right? Because we'd rather have truth rather than kind lies. Or is it just me? He says, you worship what you do not know, we worship what we know. And then he says this, he says, for salvation is from the Jews. Okay, let's, let's clarify here real quick. I know this is a very hot topic right now. Rather than trying to set up, set up a superiority of one race, what Jesus is actually doing here is he's setting up a conversation that's going to end with him revealing something about himself. That's the object. That's the trajectory of this question. He's not trying to elevate the Jews above the Samaritans because he's about to smash both of their traditions and religiosity. This is so powerful church. Hear the words of Christ here.

Verse 23 and 24. He says, but the hour is coming and is now here. Everyone say now here, now here, when the true worshipers will worship the father in spirit and truth for the father is seeking such people to worship him God is spirit and those who worship him must worship in spirits and truth. Okay, hold on a second here Hold on a second here. Jesus Jesus just laid some groundwork here. He just he just put up some walls here Jesus just said you don't get to worship in whatever way you connect with God in. You worship according to God's way. God is looking for those who worship according to the Spirit, the Holy Spirit, and truth, the Holy Scriptures. The Holy Spirit who inspired the truth of Scripture.

You come to God through the power of the Holy Spirit and through the truth that He's revealed, not through your own emotional preferences. This is a very anti-American church way to worship, that we don't get to worship according to our preference, but to a way that God has called and revealed, because he's showing us what type of worshippers he wants.

Does he say passionate, emotional worshippers? No, he says those who are filled with the Spirit and truth. Okay, let's get into this though, because there's other things going on here. Jesus is saying it doesn't matter if you're a Jew or a Samaritan, doesn't matter if you're black or white, doesn't matter if you're a man or a woman.

This is not about a people's story or history or location or tradition. This is about the spirits. This is not about the temple. This is about the truth. Jesus is saying to worship God is to worship God according to the ways that God has revealed, which is by the Word of God and the Spirit of God. And you can do that anywhere, with anyone who looks to approach God rightly on his terms. Not our terms, but His. God wants those who worship Him in spirit, and in, say it with me, truth. But far too many people, far too many people worship God, not in spirit and truth, but in style and preference. And we expose ourselves when we see this, when people won't worship according, when we see this, people expose their own heart when they won't worship because they don't like the style of worship being presented to them. And that exposes your heart, you're more concerned about style or tradition or preference than the Spirit and the truth. The question should be, is this Holy Spirit led? Is this, is this according to the truth of God's word? Now listen, song is song and there's poetic license and we have to leave room for that. Otherwise we'd have a really hard time reading the entire book of the Psalms. Not saying that, but I am saying there is a standard that we have to adhere to as long as it is in accordance with God's word. Spirit and truth is what not simply place and space.

Now I'm going to say something that's true, but I hate to qualify stuff, but here's what happens. Sometimes if you say things that are true, but don't give some clarity, people will take it in the wrong direction.

So here's what I'm going to say to you. You can truly worship outside of this wall, outside of these walls on Sunday morning. Yes, you can worship from a deer stand. Yes, you can worship around a bonfire, but it has to be according to spirit and truth, not as an excuse to not come to church on Sundays. Because if you truly do worship according to the truth of God's word, you're gonna see that there's a priority of the church gathering on Sunday mornings, that we don't forsake the gathering of the saints, that we come and worship among fellow believers.

But the beauty is, it's not the only time we are to worship. That's not the only time we can worship. So don't take this excuse that you can worship anywhere as an excuse not to worship here with your brothers and sisters in Christ. Brothers and sisters in Christ on Sunday morning. Amen?

Okay, I saw who said that. I'm gonna hold you to it. Come November 15th. I'm watching. Let me talk about something else here. It's about spirit and truth, not style, preference, or song choice. So, I often hear this phrase, Man, worship was so good today. Now unfortunately what that means is I was emotionally moved and the whole church was singing. That's typically our litmus test of what's good worship. That I was personally moved and it seemed like everyone else was singing. Does

that, is that what we just read? Is that the litmus test for what's actually good worship? No, no, no.

What matters is that it's spirit-led and it's according to the truth of God's Word. That's what matters. Now listen, I know that we are culturally conservative and we think the best form of worship is to stand there like a statue and to never clap and never be expressive because we don't want to, you know, draw attention to ourselves or those sorts of things. I get all that, but here's the thing. Don't be so bound by the parameters of tradition or culture that you don't actually engage

in true spirit-led, truth-centered worship. The Holy Spirit is our true worship leader. And the true worship, what is quote-unquote good worship, is when he leads us according to the truth that he's revealed. True worship is not defined by how emotionally moved you were. It's not even defined by how much of the church congregation was engaged in worship.

Listen, I know you in the back calling you out right now. I know it can very easy feel like you're the spectators and what's happening is really up here. Do you think this Holy Spirit is regulated only to up here? He's back there. He's everywhere. This is why we all need to, and sometimes I want us to hold hands just to make sure that we're all connected. I know I won't do that, but it's this notion of making sure that we are rightly approaching God, not according to our preference or comfortability, but according to the Spirit and truth. Now listen, listen, listen. I do love it. I do love it when all the church is singing and when it seems like everyone is engaged. Yes, I I love that. But that's not the litmus test of what's good worship. What's good worship is that the Holy Spirit is present, making sure that we are worshiping according to the way that God has revealed, according to the truth of His Word. And that may not make us the sexiest church on the block, but I'd rather be faithful. I'd rather live according to the scriptures. I said this yesterday at our elder orientation I don't want to be known as a church that just preaches the Bible I want to be known as a church where we actually live out the truth of the Bible. Worship is defined by God what is glorifying to him because it's truth focus and spirit led. Let me man I don't want to be on the soapbox here, but I let me hit on another hot topic Some of you probably don't know this is a hot topic, or maybe you're the ones stirring the pot. Either way, here's what I'd say to you. Spirit-led doesn't simply mean spontaneous. The spirit can just as much work through a worship, quote on quote, worship set that's rehearsed as one that is spontaneous. Amen?

When I was 22 years old, I literally packed everything I had into an old Saturn and I drove to Nashville, Tennessee without knowing a soul to pursue a career in songwriting. I know many of you, you don't think of me as a musician, you don't think of me as a songwriter. Those days are beyond, I'm beyond those days now, but there was a time in my life, a dark time in my life, where I would have literally sold my soul for music. To tell you, I can't even begin to express to you how deep, deep music expression of worship is to me. I take it very serious, and on the other hand, I also know it was a great idol of my life at one point. I love to worship in the form of music in ways I can't even begin to describe. But here's what challenges me here, that Christ calls us to worship in spirit and truth.

He's revealing something about our hearts here because that's what Jesus does if we let him challenge us. I think many of us, we need to realize something here. It's going to be really hard for some of us here, but I think the modern church loves to worship more than the one we do worship. Because like me, many of us, we just love music so much. Make sure you don't love to worship more than the one that you do worship. Because Christ calls us to worship in spirit and in truth. To many of us, we love traditions of hymns rather than the truth of Him. To many of us love the hymns more than we love Him. Too many of us love our style more than the spirits. The woman wanted to know, the woman asked Jesus, Jesus, is it our tradition or your tradition that's the right way to worship? And Jesus just says, no, not neither, but no.

No, worship isn't about a space and a place, it's about the truth and the Spirit. So church, I hope you are led by the Spirit to worship. That the truth of God's Word and the power of the Gospel simply compels you to worship. Yes, we have a Savior who sees our hurt. We have a Savior who reveals our heart.

3. Jesus is the sinner's hope.

But it doesn't stop there. I pray that He's the King who's taken His place in your hearts. He's not just a prophet. He's the Savior. And this concludes, when we see this, that Jesus is the sinner's hope. Look at verses 25 and 26, they are among the most powerful verses, at least in clarity of Christ declaring things about himself. And he said this, take note, Jesus said this alone to a woman at a well. Yes, Christ knew this was going to be revealed in the scripture later on, but in that moment, this was the first time in the gospel of John we see Jesus declare who he is and he does it alone to a woman who's been rejected. He doesn't hold a press conference, he doesn't do it during a sermon, he doesn't do it when the masses are there while he's on the side of a mountain, he does it intimately, personally with a woman at the well because that's the kind of God that we have. He doesn't stand at a distance calling the masses to submit. He is a Savior who steps into our lives and calls us to something better. This is why we don't care what people think about us when we worship. Because Christ calls you by name into his kingdom.

He's the one who left the 99 to seek the one. And this is why you as the one respond and worship. The woman said, I know the Messiah is coming, who's called the Christ, and when he comes, he will tell us all things. And Jesus said to her, I who speak to you, and he, I tell you right now, I think Jesus said that with authority. I mean, I wasn't there. I can't tell you the tone of his voice, but something in my soul just says he just declared with authority who he truly is. And there it is. Jesus just told us he's not just the Messiah, He's the coming Messiah. This is the first time in Scripture we see Jesus explicitly do this. And to clarify, when the writer of John wrote this down, he clarifies that this is the Messiah. That's the Old Testament Hebrew word, same exact word, that He is the Christ. This is why John makes that clarification. Christ is the Greek New Testament word here, but it means the same thing.

He's the anointed one, He's the Savior, He's the coming Savior who is here. Because what we see here in this beautiful declaration of our Savior is that Jesus is the sinner's hope. And let me tell you, that's us. We are the sinners who need a true hope. And not only is Jesus our only hope, He's the greatest possible hope that we could have.

Because He is the hope that's a revealed guarantee. He's the coming Messiah. He is the Christ. He is the anointed one. He's the one who takes our shame and then turns us into saints. He's the one who gathers a bunch of sinners, pays for our sins so that we can be welcomed as sons and daughters into the kingdom of God. We stand, there's a reason we stand in worship, it's because we are sons and daughters. We are princesses and princesses Princes and princesses in the kingdom of God. That's who we are And that's not because of we've earned it. That's because Christ has bestowed this upon us when Christ announced that he was the Messiah That was his way of saying yes. He is not just the prophet, but he's the final prophet to fulfill all prophecy He's the last one there is and the last one we need.

What that means is that Christ said He is the one who would fulfill all the Old Testament prophecies, to take our sin and shame all the way to the cross, taking our punishment so that we wouldn't have to. But church, here's where it gets good.

The reason that He is our hope is because His bones are not decaying in some grave in the Middle East. But He rose again on the third day, where He now rules and reigns from heaven on high, and he is coming back again.

And I'm telling you right now, when Christ returns, I want him to find me doing one of two things. Either worshiping him, or ministering in his name. And right now, we get to do one of those, and that's worship him. And right now, we get to do one of those, and that's worship him. Amen.

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