Salvation of the Jews

Adapted from sermon preached in PCC Evening Worship Service on 5 Feb 2006

Part 2 of 2

[Last Sabbath, we considered how the Lord in His compassion went out to the Samaritan Woman, and showed her courtesy as He conversed with her knowing that she was an immoral woman living in sin. In this final instalment of the message, we see how the Lord steered the conversation to a spiritual plane and gently led her to see her spiritual need.]

3. He Steered The Conversation
To A Spiritual Plane.

He does so by directing the Samaritan woman to see what she is missing spiritually.

He replies to her query about why He asked her for a drink by saying:

10 … If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

That is: If you know the gift of God and you know who I am, you will be the one asking for a drink, yea, a drink of living water.

What the Samaritan woman needed to know was not why the Lord was prepared to ask her for a drink. What she needed to know was the Saviour and the free gift of salvation He brings. She desperately needed the living water. The Lord was beginning to show her her real needs.

But the Samaritan woman, not surprisingly, misunderstood what He was saying. She thought that the Lord was referring to the water from Jacob’s well. This well is fed by an underground spring which is constantly flowing, and so the water in it was known as living water.

But this well was very deep. In fact, archaeologists have identified this well as one of the deepest in Palestine. At the time of the Lord it was more than two hundred feet deep; and you need a rope of more than a hundred feet to reach the water. How could this stranger draw the water from the well, she thought. So she asked Him incredulously:

11… Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? 12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?

The Samaritan woman did not know that standing before her was indeed one who was greater than Jacob. She was being sarcastic to the Lord. But notice how the Lord did not take offence nor denigrated her question.

She did not recognise who He was. She did not see His point concerning her need, but He does not ridicule her for the hardness of her heart.

Instead, notice how He patiently and gently led her to see her need and directed her to Himself. This is our 4th point.

4. He Gently Led Her To See Her Need And Directed Her To Himself.

He said to her kindly:

13… Whosoever drinketh of this water [this water from the well] shall thirst again: 14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

The woman was thinking of the water from the well. Notice how the Lord sought to lead her away from her preoccupation without making her feel stupid.

If you drink the water from this well, you will thirst again. But if you drink the water that I can provide, you will be a "well of water springing up into everlasting life." You will have eternal life, not just life on earth.

The Lord, you see, is seeking to make her look to Him and to see her need for eternal life.

Did the Samaritan woman understand what the Lord was saying? Well, not really.

15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.

She was still thinking about physical thirst! She did not seem to be quite concerned about spiritual thirst. How did the Lord deal with that?

Notice how patient the Lord was with her. Notice how He simplified things for her by making her reflect on herself.

She seemed to be blinded by the deceitfulness of sin and did not seem to be suffering from spiritual thirst. What did the Lord do? The Lord did not answer her request according to her foolishness, instead, He now He led her to reflect on her own life by hinting to her what He knew about her.

The Lord being the God-Man knew all about her life. He knew that she has had five husbands, and that she was presently living in an adulterous affair with a man who was not her husband. To bring her to see how shameful that is without out-rightly condemning her, He said to her:

16 …Go, call thy husband, and come hither.

Immediately, the woman replied:

17 … I have no husband.

To which the Lord said:

Thou hast well said, I have no husband: 18 For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.

Notice how this statement of reality woke her up. Suddenly she realised that she could no longer hide behind anonymity. Here is someone who knows her heart. She said:

19 … Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.

But as with every guilty sinner who has been cornered, the woman would not give up. She tried to throw a red-herring to change the subject:

20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.

She doesn’t mind talking about religion with the prophet. But she just does not want to talk about herself. How did our Lord respond to the situation?

Many years ago, I was with Campus Crusade and we were taught how to evangelise. We were taught always to be in control of the situation—which means that we must not allow our subject to ask questions that are out of point. We may use tactics such as saying: "Oh, that is an interesting question, but can we get back to it later?" Well, almost inevitably, we do not get back to it.

How did the Lord deal with the woman when she tried to change subject? Notice how He did not brush aside her concern. In His kindness He responds to her question. But as He does so, notice how He again steers her mind to see that she needs to seek the Lord.

He says:

Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

The reply of our Lord is very rich. And we can spend much time to talk about it. But this evening, we just want to notice how the Lord not only gave her an answer to her concern, but at the same time brought her to see that the question that she was concerned with ought not to trouble her.

She was concerned about where the Lord ought to be worshipped. She was concerned about the difference in opinion between the Jews and the Samaritans.

But the Lord would have her know that the question is not important. All who worship Him must worship in Spirit and in truth. She must not worry about where God is worshipped. She must seek Him and she must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth.

But the woman has not given up trying to steer the conversation away from herself. She says:

I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.

Well, I am not sure about what you are saying. But I think it does not really matter. When the Messiah comes, He will explain everything to us.

She was still being evasive. And her evasiveness is in fact an indication that her conscience was beginning to trouble her.

The Lord had brought her to see her need. She would not admit it directly, but her heart must have been pounding. What else does this man know about me? Oh my sin. Who can deliver me from my sin? It might have been this thought about her sin that led her to think about the Messiah, for she would probably have been taught the Messiah would restore everything and she would no more need to suffer the way she had been suffering.

Perhaps this is why she blurted out:

I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.

It was time for the Lord to reveal Himself plainly to her.

26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.

This self-declaration by the Lord of Himself—I… am He [the Messiah]—is quite unusual. Normally in His ministry in Galilee and Judea (cf. 6:15), the Lord would not speak of Himself as the Messiah because He would immediately be charged with blasphemy by the Jews.

But now speaking to this woman, He revealed Himself plainly to her. She was a sinner troubled with her sin. There is none to help her. She must come to the Saviour. She must know the Saviour. She must know Him as the Messiah.

She must know that the Messiah is here, and He is here not merely to explain everything. He is here to save His people.

Oh what compassion of the Lord is displayed in those words He said to the Samaritan woman, for His words of salvation to this immoral Samaritan woman might also be the words that would bring the Jews to pursue after His blood.

Oh beloved brethren, are we prepared to follow the steps of our Lord… to speak about Him boldly, even to the point of being ridiculed or persecuted?


We must conclude. Was the Samaritan woman saved? I believe so, for we see how in the later part of the chapter she would put away her own shame and begin to tell others about her encounter with the Messiah.

How did the Lord win her?

1. He went out to her.

2. He showed respect to her.

3. He steered the conversation to a spiritual plane.

4. He gently led her to see her needs and directed her to Himself.

These then are the steps we must take if we are to win sinners unto Christ. We must go out to them; we must show them respect; we must seek to steer the conversation to a spiritual plane; we must gently lead them to reflect on their life and to lead them to Christ.

Beloved brethren, salvation is of the Jews. But had the Jews kept salvation to themselves, we would still be in our sin today.

Today we are the true Jews. Salvation belongs to us. But if we keep salvation to ourselves, then how can we be said to be truly the followers of Christ. For Christ our Lord was compassionate toward the Samaritan woman. He did not wait for her to come to Him. He went out to her. He talked with her. He patiently led her to see her need for salvation even though she didn’t care about spiritual things. He revealed Himself to her though it might mean danger for Himself.

Beloved brethren most of us are recipients of God’s grace because someone cared enough to follow the Lord’s footsteps. They might not have understood His doctrine very clearly. They might have been in error in many things. But this one thing they were right. They followed the Lord to seek out the lost.

Oh will we not also learn to do the same thing?

Will we not take every opportunity that affords itself that we may by the Lord’s grace lead someone to seek Him while He may yet be found? May the Lord grant us His help!

Amen. W