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The Most Sinful Woman in the Land

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John 4:1-42

The Most Sinful Woman in the Land

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ny beauty she once possessed has long since disappeared.  The excessive use of cosmetics fails to hide the fact she has lived fast and loose.  Her voice is hard and devoid of feeling.  Her talk is crude and incessantly sprinkled with vulgarities.  When caught in better company, she desperately tries to gain acceptance by becoming one of those sugar-sweet, goody-goody types of persons who fools no one but herself.  Even her dress reveals a conflict in her soul between wanting to be acceptable to everyone and attempting to draw attention to her physical endowments.

Accidentally found in her presence, most people scheme to cut the contact short and then breathe a sigh of relief when she is gone.  Seldom spoken of by name, for years now she has been referred to as The Town Whore.  Dwarfed in soul, self-centred, deceitful, promiscuous—in the moral slime pit in which she lives, few sink lower.

The story of just such a pathetic creature is related in these Holy Scriptures in John’s Gospel, chapter four.  If you think this is the kind of story that has little significance so far as you are concerned, get ready for a surprise.  Unless you have never strayed from the straight and narrow, always faultlessly choosing what is right and best, unless you have always been and still are absolutely noble and clean and pure and moral, then few stories can mean so much to you.

Jacob’s well, still today providing sparkling water as in days of yesteryear, was situated just outside of and somewhat to the south of two little villages.  Jesus, tired from a long trek across the Samaritan wastelands, rested by that well while His disciples went into the village of Sychar to purchase food.  As Jesus rested, a forlorn figure carrying a clay ewer appeared.  It is the woman of our story, referred to throughout the ages since as the woman of Samaria.

It was (and still is in many unmodernised lands) traditional for women to flock to the nearest well twice daily—the first thing in the morning and again in the early evening.  Coming together as they did was a vital part of their social life.  The custom afforded them the opportunity to gather the latest news, exchange gossip, and lighten the strenuous chore by engaging in cheerful banter.

The woman of Samaria had purposely waited until noon.  It was not by accident that she came alone.  She wanted to avoid other women.  She had good reason to be ill at ease in their company.  Anyone reared in a small community knows by experience the heartless criticism that is heaped upon a person of this reputation.  Ever scandalised, often ostracised, few, if any, have a good word for her.  To someone of compassionate spirit, it is nothing less than shocking to hear her neighbours talk about her.  “That thing?  She’s more animal than human.  I doubt if she even has a soul.”  Another declares, “She’s got just what’s coming to her.  I don’t have the least bit of sympathy for her.  She made her bed; now let her lie in it.”  Many are quick to say, “She is nothing but a cheap, low-down, two-timing tramp.  If you are trying to help her, forget it.  You are just wasting your time.  She’s no good and never will be.”

The woman of Samaria is the type of person about whom a mother today might say to her little girl, “See that woman over there, dear?  If you ever happen to be in the washroom the same time she is, don’t dare touch anything she touches.  She is a bad woman, and you might get an awful disease.”

Such is the individual who now approaches the well beside which Jesus rests.  Jesus knew what kind of woman she was.  His reaction to her, His attitude toward her, the way in which He treats her, all speak loudly about the manner in which God regards sinners.  Perhaps He will ignore her.  Maybe He will scorn her or hold her in contempt.  He may even criticise and condemn her.

If you think me intent upon knowing the answer to such questions, it is for good reason.  The destiny of my own soul hangs upon the answer to these questions.  Unless I am prone to deceive myself, I cannot ignore the fact that I have a lot in common with this woman.  In fact, I have more in common with her than with the saintly, for I, too, stand guilty as a sinner, and deserve God’s punishment.  In God’s sight, sin is sin; and one sinner is no better than another.  Although I have never committed her particular sin, the reaction of the Son of God toward her will tell me whether I, with my own particular sin, will be acceptable to Him [Cf. Romans 3:10; 3:23; 6:23].

When the approaching woman first became aware of our Lord, we do not know.  Reaching the well, she tied the jug to a rope and lowered it down into the well, ignoring Him as though He were not there.  Right now, I cannot think of many reasons why He would take note of her.  He was weary.  When one is bone-tired, need he have any other reason for refusing to become involved in the needs of those about him?

Jesus was a Jew; she was a Samaritan.  It was taken for granted that the two races would not associated.  The Jews and Samaritans despised each other.  Race?  Religion?  Politics?  Any one of these can spawn the most volatile prejudice; and the prejudice between Jews and Samaritan had been steeped in all three!

She was a woman.  He was a man.  In Christ’s day, a man needed no other excuse for ignoring a person.  Even now, in many countries where the influence of Christ’s life and teaching has not permeated society, a woman is thought of as no more than one of life’s possessions.  She is treated as a mere convenience, a beast of burden.

The weightiest reason of all why Jesus might not associate with her was that she was notoriously depraved, she was morally soiled, she was an utterly repelling personality.  Jesus is without sin, spotlessly holy.  They have nothing in common.  What interest could He possibly have in her?  Yet, He is interested in her, and now He breaks the silence: “Give Me a drink,” He says to her.

Can you imagine her surprise?

Jesus’ Conversation with a Sinner — Were Jesus to speak directly to sinners today, what do you imagine He would say?  Would He, as is true of some of His professed servants, castigate sinners and roundly condemn them for their sinful nature?  Would He excoriate them because of their sinful lives and demean them?  As He spoke, would they find themselves “dissed”?  Never a sinner met Jesus but that that sinner was confronted with his own sinfulness.  Never a sinner met Jesus but that that sinner discovered a heart longing for the sinner’s good.  Jesus always spoke the truth in love, a demonstration of His holy character and compassion which ought to be represented in each believer.

Did you notice from the conversation recorded in our text that Jesus confronted this sinful woman with her past even as He extended her the offer of unconditional grace?  You are right when you say you have no husband.  The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband [John 4:17, 18].  Yet, He lovingly revealed Himself as the Messiah who was to come, inviting the woman to drink living water.

There are some principles to be noted here which are vital if you will discover the freedom which is found only in Christ the Lord.  The first of those principles is the principle of disclosure or the principle of openness.  The woman would never have peace with God until she confronted her sinful state and acknowledged her need of salvation.  So long as she maintained that she was not so bad, or that another was perhaps worse than she was, or even that she would be acceptable to God because she considered herself to be a good person, she could never have peace with God.

God is holy, perfectly righteous.  In His presence we acknowledge that we are utterly unsuited to come before Him, that we are utterly unworthy of coming to Him, that we have no right even to expect that we will even be accepted by Him.  You see, salvation is all of grace.  We are not saved by merit; we are saved by grace.  We must not think that we can cover over sin and still be accepted by God.  We stand before Him as an open book.  This woman was confronted with the fact that she was morally destitute.

Long years before, a prophet named Hanani confronted Asa, a king who was guilty of grave sin against the Lord.  The words of that obscure prophet, though they cost him dearly, are worthy of consideration at this hour.  The eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him [2 Chronicles 16:9].  I have often considered the words of the Risen Christ which were spoken to the Laodicean church to be among the most terrifying words one could ever hear: I know your deeds [Revelation 3:15].  God knows me!  Indeed, the Psalmist has said:

O LORD, you have searched me

and you know me

you are familiar with all my ways.

[Psalm 139:1,3].

An old, dearly loved hymn among many of the saints of another day was entitled Rock of Ages.  The third verse of that hymn states the issue pointedly:

Nothing in my hand I bring,

Simply to Thy cross I cling;

Naked, come to Thee for dress,

Helpless, look to Thee for grace;

Foul, I to the fountain fly,

Wash me, Saviour, or I die!

The second principle is the principle of humility.  Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty [4:15].  Do you wish to be free from condemnation by Holy God?  You must be prepared to receive from Jesus every rebuke without defending your wickedness.  If you are exposed before the searching gaze of Him whose eyes are as blazing flames, how could you think to resist His probing queries?  Always His questions are designed to draw the sinner to declare the innermost desire for spiritual refreshment, for forgiveness of sin, for freedom before the Father.  This woman was drawn out through the exchange which preceded her request for water which would never disappoint.  Her response reveals that she possessed a humble heart where God could dwell.

In Isaiah’s prophecy is found a startling statement from the Living God concerning the one whom He esteems.  Listen to His Word.

This is the one I esteem:

he who is humble and contrite in spirit

[Isaiah 66:2].

Have you sufficient humility to confess that you are a sinner?

The battle for salvation is fought, not about the intellect, but about the will.  The religious leaders of that ancient day were frequently astonished by Jesus and His teaching, one of which is germane to this particular point.  In John 7:17 Jesus is recorded as saying: If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on My own.  A somewhat more literal translation would reveal that He said: If anyone wills to do God’s will…  If one is but willing to pursue righteousness in Him, they will know the truth of His teaching.

You may recall the account of how Jesus was questioned before His passion.  Among those questioning Him was a teacher of the law.  That teacher asked which of all the commandments was the greatest.  Could one commandment suffice to sum up the will of God?  Jesus, you will remember, pointed to the need to love God supremely and then appended a second akin to it which is the need to love our neighbour.  That teacher of the law saw immediately that this was the essence of the Faith and in humility he confessed that the condition of the heart was of far greater importance than adhering to the minutiae of religion.  Note the commendation of Jesus: When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God” [Mark 12:34].  To reject the trappings while seizing the essence is a mark of humility which brings the commendation of God.

Do you imagine that God seeks only to destroy the sinner?  You may have heard how a rich young man came to Jesus because he was seeking life eternal.  The young man stated that he was scrupulous in keeping the law.  Mark reveals the heart of the Saviour when he states that Jesus looked at him and loved him [Mark 10:21].  The Master put His finger on the one great issue which stood between this young man and everlasting life—pride of position resulting from his possessions.  Confronted by the need to humble himself under the mighty hand of God [cf. 1 Peter 5:6], the young man went away sad.

The final principle is the principle of submissionCome see a man who told me everything I ever did.  Could this be the Christ [4:29]?  Faith in Jesus leads us to embrace His implicit command to invite others to life in Him.  Those who have been redeemed are obliged to tell others of the grace they have found.  While we have multiplied commands to speak of the life which is found in Christ the Lord, the very fact that we have found freedom, forgiveness of sin and life demands that we invite others to share in our fortune.  Such obedience is nothing less than submission to the call to speak to the lost.

Permit me to be quite pointed in my comment on this issue.  If you remain silent, never speaking to another urging them to faith in Christ the Lord, it is questionable whether you truly know Him as Master.  Can you actually claim His grace if you refuse to share that grace with others?  Can you actually lay claim to the forgiveness of sins if you are silent before the lost?  Just as you would condemn one who having found food during days of famine refused to share with the dying, so the one who fails to share the Faith of Christ Jesus is guilty of lèse majesté and has no compassion.

The Sinner Discovers the Nature of God — Observe Jesus speaking with this sinful woman.  Throughout the conversation, you see a revelation of the nature of God.  First, God has no fear of receiving a sinner.  Jesus willingly spoke with this woman, carefully drawing her out so that she would discover who He was.  He patiently endured her puerile efforts at insulting Him and avoiding His probing questions.  The most damning charge the religious leaders of that day could level against our Lord was to His glory.  This man welcomes sinners and eats with them [Luke 15:2], charged the religious leaders.  Aren’t we glad that He does welcome sinners?

God does not fear receiving sinners into His presence, a truth which seems almost incongruous to us.  God is the blessed and only Ruler …who alone lives in unapproachable light [cf. 1 Timothy 6:15, 16].  Long years ago the prophet Habakkuk cried out to God, saying:

Your eyes are too pure to look on evil;

you cannot tolerate wrong

[Habakkuk 1:13].

It is true that God is holy and that He is too pure to look upon evil.  Therein lies the great dilemma of those who wish to devise a way to approach God.  Man’s finest efforts are soiled, tainted, contaminated with the awful stench of his own sinful condition.  If man is to approach God, it must be that God Himself provides a way.

From earliest days following the Fall of our First Parents, God ordained that man must approach Him only with a sacrifice to make propitiation for sin.  That word propitiation is a big word not much used in this day, but it simply refers to the fact that we must provide a covering for our sin—an atoning sacrifice.  Man’s sinful condition must be covered by that which permits him to be seen as holy.  The author of the Hebrews letter has stated the situation well.  The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean [Hebrews 9:13]!  The blood of an animal provides atonement only transiently.  If atonement or sacrifice is to propitiate Holy God, the sacrifice must itself be infinite.  God Himself must provide a sacrifice which is holy, pure, infinite.  That provision is given in the person of Jesus the Son of God.  The law … can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.  If it could, would they not have stopped being offered?  For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins.  But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:

“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,

but a body you prepared for me;

with burnt offerings and sin offerings

you were not pleased.

Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—

I have come to do your will, O God.’”

…We have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all [Hebrews 10:1-7,10].

God is pure in His dealings with sinners.  This soiled woman discovered that God receives her with pure purpose, treating her with dignity due one created in His own image.  Jesus saw her as a person and not as an object.  May I say that each of us who professes to bear the image of Christ by faith in Him should reflect this holiness.  This admonition is nothing less than a reminder of the Apostle’s injunction to the saints of the Most High.  It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honourable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him.  The admonition continues with this warning.  The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you.  The reason for this instruction in mutual respect is that God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.  Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit [1 Thessalonians 4:3-8].

God will not tolerate sin.  Those who seek to manipulate Holy God reveal that they have no understanding of Him.  They are yet in their sin—enmeshed in the devil’s snare, blinded by the prince of this darkened world and themselves walking in darkness.  Since God is pure and holy, those who come to Him must come acknowledging that they have no merit of their own, but that it is by the merits of another that they come into the presence of Holy God.  Yet, approaching the unapproachable God on the merits of His Son, the sinner will always find that God is pure.  He will not lie.  He will receive the sinner with gentleness and respect.  He will treat the sinner with purity.

To this moment, the woman of Samaria must have thought that men saw her only as a means to gratify their own lust.  No doubt, she despised the very men who used her for their own purposes.  In a strange way, immoral women and men consider themselves superior to those who spill out their lust on them.  For a moment, these fallen souls hold a measure of power over those who satisfy their own primal urges.  Yet here before this filthy woman was a man who spoke to her pointedly—yet with respect.  He conversed with her as a person and dignified her by pointing her to life.  Those who name the Name of Christ the Lord are responsible to speak with respect to all, treating each individual as Christ Himself would treat them.  We are to endeavour to be pure and holy in every act.

God is gentle toward the humble heart.  As the conversation proceeded, the Master gently guided this woman to a confession of her wicked relationship.  He directed her to admit that she was engaged in serial adultery, much as practised by many social doyennes in this day.  Multiple marriages following serial divorce is nothing less than legalised prostitution—socially condoned adultery condemned by God.  There is nothing new about the new morality.  It is as old as sin itself, and just as vile.

When confronted with her condition, the woman attempted to deflect the conversation into religious argumentation, but the Master skilfully parried her thrust by pointing her to the source of life eternal.  She opined that He was a Jewish prophet.  Thus saying, she felt free to begin to speak of the differences separating Samaritans and Jews.  It was at this point that the Lord redirected her thinking to the issue of life.  Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.  You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.  Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.  God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth [John 4:21-24].

No doubt with growing awareness reflected in her voice this sinful woman stated I know that Messiah is coming.  When He comes, He will explain everything to us.  Even the Samaritans awaited the revelation of the Messiah.  They recognised that Messiah, when He came, would come from the Jews.  The Lord then declared, I who speak to you am He.

Do you long to experience forgiveness of sin?  Do you yearn for peace with God and peace with yourself?  Do you truly desire freedom from condemnation?  God is gentle with the humble heart.  As you humble yourself before Him, confessing your own sinful condition and confessing that He has provided the means for you to approach God, you will discover that He accepts you on the merits of another.

I know the passage is so familiar as to seem trite, but to the child of God the teaching becomes a source of profound joy.  If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.  As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”  For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” [Romans 10:9-13].

The purpose of Messiah’s first advent was to provide a sacrifice for mankind’s sin.  Christ died because of your sin and raised that you may be justified before God.  However, the atoning sacrifice which He provided is of no value to you until you accept that it was because of you and that it was for you.  If He will be Lord, there must be a coronation ceremony.  His coronation ceremony results as you confess that He is Master of your life, agreeing with God that it was your sin which caused His Son to die and that since He has raised from the grave that His resurrection was for you.

The biblical confession of His mastery is through baptism.  It is as though you were publicly putting on the uniform of a follower of Christ.  The baptism does not save, but because you are saved, you will endeavour to be obedient to Him and to identify with Him.  As an aside of no small significance, there is no individual identified as a disciple of Christ found in the whole of the New Testament who was not baptised.  The first step of every single individual confessing Christ in the New Testament accounts was to openly identify with Him through baptism.  We are disobedient at best and deluded at worst in this day if we denigrate baptism for those confessing Christ as Master of life.

The Impact of Jesus’ Love on a Sinner — No one ever meets the Master except they are wondrously changed.  This soiled woman became a powerful evangelist and many people were swept into the Kingdom of God because of her testimony.  She heard the message of life, which is to believe that Jesus is the promised Lamb of God, the Messiah.  Hearing the message, she believed and the impact of her belief changed her from a creature of the night who skulked about in darkness into a vibrant woman who wanted everyone in her town to know what she now knew.

This changed woman was eager to honour the Lord.  She had discovered for herself that the man she met at the well was the Messiah.  Thus, she sought to share her discovery with her neighbours from the town.  She was eager in honouring this Jesus, leaving her water jar at the well she hastened into the town.  This was the Messiah.  He knew her and yet did not condemn her.  He told her everything about herself, and yet He offered Himself as the fulfilment of prophecy.  Should she not eagerly honour the Messiah who had extended her such grace?

Not only was this transformed woman eager to tell others of Jesus, but she was bold for the cause of Christ.  Shouldn’t we, if we have discovered the Lord, quickly identify ourselves with Him?  Shouldn’t we, if we have found Him precious, hasten to tell others of our discovery?  Logic tells us that we will be excited when we have found the Lord.  One of the strongest evidences of the feebleness of the professions of faith in the Son of God which are related within our evangelical Zion in this day is the fact that those same professions fail to impel the one telling the story to eagerly tell others.  Salvation so changes the redeemed and they cannot be silent.

Somehow, we think it strange if one having been saved becomes bold for Christ.  Salvation breaks out like the measles on the new-born child of God and he cannot be silent.  He has to tell somebody.  He was dead; now he lives.  He was weak; now he is strong.  He was powerless; now he is powerful.  He was impoverished; now he possesses all things.  He was guilty; now he is forgiven.  He was fearful; now he is bold.  Somehow we consider it acceptable for men and women to yell and shout about a touchdown, a homerun, a hat trick, a song, but we consider it fanatical to shout because we are free.

I recall the account of a man who was saved in West Dallas, which was once a desperately wicked portion of the city.  This particular man had been a companion of Bonny and Clyde in the 30s and he was noted for his prowess in drink.  Upon converting to Christ, he immediately went back into the bars in that rough area, witnessing to his faith and telling others of his new-found Saviour.  An old companion met him outside a bar shortly after his conversion and noted that it was said that he had given up alcohol.  “That’s right,” said the man.  “I’m a Christian and I don’t believe it is right to drink.”

The one confronting him laughed at his testimony and stated that he believed the man would slip if given a little time.  With that, the new saint’s tormentor poured a glass of beer over this Christian’s head and then he laughed uproariously at his discomfort.

When the Christian didn’t become agitated or reveal anger, his abuser abruptly slapped him.  The new Christian merely turned his head at the blow.  His persecutor, perhaps angered himself by the lack of response to this insult, struck that young saint again on the other cheek.  The new-born child of God unexpectedly retaliated, striking swiftly and savagely, knocking the taunting former friend to the ground.  Standing over the fallen tormentor the new believer said, “Jesus told us to turn the other cheek, but He didn’t tell us what to do after that.”  God used that response to open the door to a powerful witness with the result that many of those people living in that area who once appeared so far from Christ turned to faith in the Risen Son of God.

I am not suggesting that we should pummel sinners into submitting to the Lord, but I do note that this man proved exceptionally bold in the place where God had placed him.  You may recall the powerful account of a demonised man whose story is told in Matthew 8:28-34.  I have often noted the subsequent impact of that man’s conversion.  The demonised man, once freed, attempted to follow Jesus away from the site of his deepest embarrassment and what seemed his defeat.  The Lord, however, instructed him to return to his family and tell them how much the Lord had done.  Mark’s Gospel concludes the account in this manner.  So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him.  And all the people were amazed [Mark 5:20].  The people of the very region where this man had lived, though at first angered by their perceived loss and fearful of Christ’s power, were brought to seek Christ’s forgiving power because of the testimony of one transformed man.

I note that when Jesus again came into this same region, His reception was quite different.  Beginning in Mark 7:31 we are given an account of Jesus’ second journey to the Decapolis.  The sick were brought to Him and a large crowd gathered to hear Him.  He had a great ministry evangelising and preaching in that region.  The only difference we can discover is the presence of one man telling what Jesus had done in his life.  If indifference to spiritual reality is characteristic of the inhabitants of this present world, we must not think that they will not respond to a clear witness of Christ’s deliverance.

When I was saved, I was set free from the tyranny of sin.  I found that I could not be silent about my faith.  Zealous for Christ, I was cautioned by older Christians that it would soon pass.  Don’t ever say such a thing to a young believer.  That zealous young saint is the one who is right and you whose ardour has cooled are the ones who are in error.  By and large, that desire to speak of Christ’s conquest of evil has never left me.  Neither has it utterly left you who are members of His Body by faith in Him.  Perhaps you have stifled the witness of His Spirit because of fear or through censure by the more vocal among us, but you need not remain silent.  Just as Jesus counselled the one man set free to go to his family and tell how much the Lord had done, so He counsels us to go to our own loved ones to tell how much He has done for us.  It is a starting place.

This newly saved woman was powerful in witness for the Master.  This is the final truth I want you to grasp.  One bold witness who is eager to honour the Lord Christ will prove powerful before a lost world.  Yes, some will reject the witness, but we can never know how many will turn to faith if only we will speak of His salvation and grace.  Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.”  So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days.  And because of his words many more became believers.

They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Saviour of the world” [John 4:39-42].

Some among us will say that they cannot speak powerfully.  Their witness, they imagine, is weak and will have no effect.  This woman simply invited the townspeople to come see a man who told her everything she ever did.  She simply stimulated interest by asking, Could this be the Messiah?  The people, perhaps more in curiosity at the messenger than in earnest desire for peace with God, found Jesus and urged Him to stay.  Scope in on the forty-first verse: And because of his words many more became believers.

You can speak to your friends, relatives and neighbours of your experience with the Saviour.  You can tell them how He set you free from guilt and condemnation.  You can tell them of the peace your have found in Him.  You can speak of His goodness to you and of the change in your own desires.  Some will want to come see for themselves if His teachings are real, and because of His words many more [will become] believers.  What is required is one transformed life willing to serve where He has set that servant.

I conclude that Christ’s love impels us to speak of Him; and speaking of Him, some will believe.  In the context of our responsibility to speak of Christ the Lord, seeking to turn others to faith in Him, consider once again the words recorded in the Second Corinthian letterSince, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men…  If we are out of our mind, it is for the sake of God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you.  For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.  And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again [2 Corinthians 5:11,13-15].  Amen.

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