“The Gift of God” 12/3/17
A Message by Pastor Bill Page, Living Light Gospel Church, Cairns.
John 4:5-6 This was a special place. Jacob had given Joseph this “plot of ground”, as Jacob said to Joseph: “above your brothers”. (Genesis 48:22) Now, it was a place inhabited by Samaritans and the site of “Jacob’s well.” Jacob had been a deceiver and had tricked his brother Esau out of his rightful inheritance, but he encountered the unstoppable grace of God and it changed his life forever. He went from being Jacob, which means “deceiver, supplanter” to being “Israel”: “prince with God”. The last word on Jacob was not that he had deceived people and done some pretty rotten things, but that he was a “prince with God”; the father of the nation of Israel. It is never too late for God to totally transform your life!
Verse 7-8: So as Jesus was sitting by the well, weary and thirsty, a Samaritan woman came alone to draw water. Jacob’s well is still there today, and it is 42 metres deep.
Jesus, also alone, asked her for a drink. The well was deep and He had “nothing to draw with”, so He needed her to help Him.
Verse 9: She wondered why He would ask her, as “Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.” The Jewish law said that if a Jew drank from a vessel used by a Samaritan he would become “unclean.” But Jesus came to break that ungodly tradition. He ministered to all kinds of “unclean” people: lepers, thieves, diseased and immoral people and anybody who needed grace and forgiveness, regardless of their race or background. The woman acknowledged the difficulty that existed between their peoples, expecting to be judged or rejected by Him, but that’s not what He intended at the well that day.
Verse 12: We were just like this woman; lost and “strangers from the covenants of promise.” This covenant would be established by His sinless life and by the shedding of His blood and His death on the cross to make sure that we are “strangers” no more.
Verse 13: “In Christ Jesus” we are no longer “far off” but members of God’s family.
Verse 14: “He Himself” brings “peace”; between man and God and between peoples. There is no racism in Christ; no difference between skin colours, cultures or lifestyles. He died to take all of that away.
Verse 15:” In His flesh” all the “enmity” between God and man and between peoples is “abolished” forever. The “middle wall of division” that has kept us apart from God and from each other is “the law” and our human traditions, but Jesus came to “create in Himself one new man from the two.” There was a barricade in the Temple in Jerusalem which separated the Jews from every other nation, but in Christ every division is wiped away.
Verse 16: He brings us all together because of His blood and the cross and He reconciles us all to God.
When you look at blood, you cannot tell what skin colour that person had or whether they were male or female, good or bad, young or old; it is just blood.
Acts 17:26 “And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth.”
So the woman at the well was expecting to be rejected by Jesus on the basis of her race and because of her breaking of God’s laws but that is not why He came.
John 4:10: “Jesus answered and said to her, ‘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.’” Jesus asked her for a gift: a drink of water from her vessel, as He was not able to get it for Himself. Now He offered her a “gift” that she had absolutely no way of receiving without Him!
There they are, looking at each other and she began to tell Jesus why this was not possible, and talk about the difference between their peoples, but Jesus broke through all of that, and even though He acknowledged her sin, He gave her the gift. She now knows “the gift of God.”
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 5:15 Adam sinned, as we all have, but there is a higher truth: that God, through Jesus Christ, offers us a “free gift… the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ.”
The woman at the well expected rejection but she encountered grace.
Romans 5:20 “Where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.”
“Grace, glorious grace”. No matter what you have done or where you have been, God is offering you His “free gift” today. All you have to do is to open your heart and receive it.