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Bringing People To Jesus: The Work and Its Reward

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This message deals with the work and rewards of bringing other people to Jesus.

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Bringing People To Jesus:
The Work and Its Reward
John 4:27-42
John 4:27–42 NLT
27 Just then his disciples came back. They were shocked to find him talking to a woman, but none of them had the nerve to ask, “What do you want with her?” or “Why are you talking to her?” 28 The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, 29 “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?” 30 So the people came streaming from the village to see him. 31 Meanwhile, the disciples were urging Jesus, “Rabbi, eat something.” 32 But Jesus replied, “I have a kind of food you know nothing about.” 33 “Did someone bring him food while we were gone?” the disciples asked each other. 34 Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work. 35 You know the saying, ‘Four months between planting and harvest.’ But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest. 36 The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike! 37 You know the saying, ‘One plants and another harvests.’ And it’s true. 38 I sent you to harvest where you didn’t plant; others had already done the work, and now you will get to gather the harvest.” 39 Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, “He told me everything I ever did!” 40 When they came out to see him, they begged him to stay in their village. So he stayed for two days, 41 long enough for many more to hear his message and believe. 42 Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not just because of what you told us, but because we have heard him ourselves. Now we know that he is indeed the Savior of the world.”
INTRODUCTION:
A- Background (John 4:1-26)
1- Jesus had an agenda that prioritized reaching people.
a- The wording of vs. 4 in the Greek indicates that Jesus viewed it as a necessity to go through Samaria ( ἔδει δὲ αὐτὸν διέρχεσθαι διὰ τῆς Σαμαρείας.)
This was not a matter of physical necessity, since the custom of scrupulous Jews would be to follow the roadway that would had northwestern Jericho, cross over the Jordan River and not set foot on Samaritans soil at all.
As the Savior of all men, and following the leadership of the Holy Spirit, Jesus’s compulsion to go through Samaria – and Sychar in particular – was due to a spiritual necessity. It was a matter of divine appointment.
There were many people, including the woman at the well, who needed to be reached with the message of Jesus.
2- Summary of Jesus’ conversation with woman at the well.
a- Jesus began by starting a general conversation with the woman.
b- Jesus move the conversation to the woman’s need for personal salvation.
c- Jesus demonstrated genuine concern for the woman as he answered her questions forthrightly.
d- Ultimately, Jesus led the woman to the point of receiving personal salvation.
e- The events that followed her conversion help us to understand some foundational principles for bringing people to Jesus.

I- BRINGING PEOPLE TO JESUS REQUIRES THAT WE REORIENT OUR FOCUS (John 4: 27 – 34).

A- It is sometimes easy for us to get our focus on the wrong things.
1- While taking care of physical necessities is a must, we must always be careful that we do not miss spiritual opportunities while taking care of physical needs. (John 4:4) ( John 4:8).
John 4:4 NLT
4 He had to go through Samaria on the way.
John 4:8 NLT
8 He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food.
a- Jesus and the disciple had legitimate physical needs that required attention.
b- The contrast between Jesus and his disciples illustrates the danger.
Jesus maintained his focus in spite of his physical needs (John 4:6 – 26).
His disciples could not see the forest of spiritual lostness because of the trees of their own physical needs. (John 4:27 – 31).
John 4:27–31 NLT
27 Just then his disciples came back. They were shocked to find him talking to a woman, but none of them had the nerve to ask, “What do you want with her?” or “Why are you talking to her?” 28 The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, 29 “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?” 30 So the people came streaming from the village to see him. 31 Meanwhile, the disciples were urging Jesus, “Rabbi, eat something.”
B- It is necessary for us to reorient our focus so that we do not miss opportunities for bringing people to Jesus. (John 4:32 – 34).
John 4:32–34 NLT
32 But Jesus replied, “I have a kind of food you know nothing about.” 33 “Did someone bring him food while we were gone?” the disciples asked each other. 34 Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work.
1- We must always keep our spiritual eyes and ears open and focused to see where God is at work in the lives of people around us.
a- Jesus was hungry, tired and thirsty, but oriented his focus on spiritual opportunities around him.
Jesus lived with the realization that his Father was always working , and therefore was always watching for the opportunity to join him. (John 5:17).
John 5:17 NLT
17 But Jesus replied, “My Father is always working, and so am I.”
He saw the opportunity to minister to an outcast woman to desperately needed life transformation.
He knew that he had the answer to the deepest cravings of her heart (John 4:10-15).
John 4:10–15 NLT
10 Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.” 11 “But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? 12 And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?” 13 Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. 14 But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” 15 “Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.”
2- We must always keep our focus on our primary purpose for living.
a- Our primary purpose for living is to do the will of God and carry out his work in this world.
b- Accomplishing God’s will and work will nourish and energize our spiritual being.
c- Notice that Jesus said that this was his source of nourishment – tried to help the disciples understand that there was more to life than the physical.

II- BRINGING PEOPLE TO JESUS IS A MATTER OF GREAT URGENCY (John 4:35).

A- It is easy for us to get lulled into a false sense of security and think there is much time to do the work of Christ. (John 4:35 a).
John 4:35a NLT
35 You know the saying, ‘Four months between planting and harvest.’ But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest.
1- We have no guarantee about how much time we have because no individual has a guaranteed life expectancy. (Hebrews 9:27).
Hebrews 9:27 NLT
27 And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment,
(Proverbs 27:1)
Proverbs 27:1 NLT
1 Don’t brag about tomorrow, since you don’t know what the day will bring.
(James 4:14)
James 4:14 NLT
14 How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.
2- We have no guarantee about how much time we have because Christ could return at any moment.
(1 Thessalonians 5:1-3).
1 Thessalonians 5:1–3 NLT
1 Now concerning how and when all this will happen, dear brothers and sisters, we don’t really need to write you. 2 For you know quite well that the day of the Lord’s return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night. 3 When people are saying, “Everything is peaceful and secure,” then disaster will fall on them as suddenly as a pregnant woman’s labor pains begin. And there will be no escape.
(Matthew 24:36)
Matthew 24:36 NLT
36 “However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows.
B- It is necessary for us to see the urgency of the spiritual plight of human beings around us.
1- The need to bring people to Jesus is urgent.
a- Jesus said that the fields are already white and ready for harvest.

III- BRINGING PEOPLE TO JESUS OFTEN INVOLVES A TEAM EFFORT (John 4:36 – 38).

John 4:36–38 NLT
36 The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike! 37 You know the saying, ‘One plants and another harvests.’ And it’s true. 38 I sent you to harvest where you didn’t plant; others had already done the work, and now you will get to gather the harvest.”
A- Jesus referred to two types of people involved in bringing people to Jesus.
1- Those who plant and those who harvest.
B- The apostle Paul expanded that a little bit farther, mentioning three types. (1 Corinthians 3:6-9)
1 Corinthians 3:6–9 NLT
6 I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. 7 It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work. 9 For we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field. You are God’s building.
1- Planters, cultivators and harvesters.
C- All of the workers will be rewarded for their labor.

IV- BRINGING PEOPLE TO JESUS IS WORK THAT CAN BE DONE BY ANYONE WHO KNOWS JESUS (John 4:39-42).

John 4:39–42 NLT
39 Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, “He told me everything I ever did!” 40 When they came out to see him, they begged him to stay in their village. So he stayed for two days, 41 long enough for many more to hear his message and believe. 42 Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not just because of what you told us, but because we have heard him ourselves. Now we know that he is indeed the Savior of the world.”
A- God will use anyone to bring people to Jesus.
1- There only two requirements:
a- a life that has been genuinely transformed by Christ.
b- Heart that wants to share the joy of knowing Jesus with other people.
2- Notice what is not required:
a- a perfect life
No one except Jesus has lived a perfect life!
(1 Peter 1:18-19)
1 Peter 1:18–19 NLT
18 For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. 19 It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.
(Romans 5:12)
Romans 5:12 NLT
12 When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.
b- extensive biblical knowledge
c- a spiritual pedigree
d- the right heritage
(Philippians 3:5-9)
Philippians 3:5–9 NLT
5 I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law. 6 I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault. 7 I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. 8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ 9 and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.
CONCLUSION:
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