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John 4:1-9 - The Heart of a Minister

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“The Heart of a Minister”

John 4:1-9

The Heart That Ministers

A.       A Ministering Heart Reaches Out Though Being Tired (v.1-6)

1.      The Ministering Heart is a tired heart (v.6)

a)         Our Lord was weary in the service of souls.

(1)        He reacted as any other exhausted man at the end of the day.

(a)         The disciples were constantly asking Him questions

(b)        The disciples needed Him to minister to them and teach them by example

(c)         Jesus even slept during a storm being so weary from His day (Matt.8:24)

(2)        Jesus did not have any hotel or room to stay in for his needed rest

(a)         There was no room for Him in the inn at His birth (Luke 2:7)

(b)        The Son of Man has no where to lay His head (Luke 9:58)

(c)         Do you have room for Him in your heart (Rev.3:20)?

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich (2 Corinthians 8:9)

(3)        Jesus even ministered while on the cross.

(a)         The attitude of prayer—the word of forgiveness.  His public ministry opened with prayer (Lk.3:21) & closed with prayer. 

(b)        He granted eternal life to a dying sinner who believed in Him (Luke 23:26-43)

(c)         He did not overlook the responsibility to make provision for His mother (John 19:25, 26)

(d)        He was not to weary to take upon Himself the sins of the world (Matt.27:45)

(1)        He “poured out His soul unto death” (Isaiah 53:12), “endured the cross” & then “sat down” (Hebrews 12:1-3)

(2)        He first had to say, “It is finished” (John 19:30)

Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work (John 4:34)

I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do (John 17:4)

Paul said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7)

b)        The heat did not only weary Jesus but also in His search for sinners who had become thirsty.

"For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10)


(1)        The fountain of life (Jesus) asks for a drink of water (v.7)

(a)         “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink” (Jn7:37)

(b)        “I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts” (Rev 21:6)

(c)         “And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely” (Rev.22:17)

(2)        Jesus was thirstier than she knew

(a)         Jesus would one day say, “I thirst” (John 19:28)

(b)        Jesus became man and experienced all that we experience & did this to redeem man.

Have we wearied ourselves in the pursuit of other men and woman?

Have we ever become hot or uncomfortable trying to communicate the gospel to others?

(3)        Hearing the approaching woman, He could have said, “I’m tired, I have got to relax”!

(a)         That is probably what I would have said.

(b)        This is not what He did.

(1)        Our Lord reached out to this woman.

2.      The Ministering Heart carries on when it is at the edge of its capacity.

a)         The Christian World is run by tired men and women.  Why?

(1)        The laborers are few (Matt.9:37-38)

(a)         There is an unlimited amount of work to be done, but there are so few to do it.

(b)        Unless there are reapers to go forth, the harvest will die and rot upon the earth.

How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?   And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!" (Romans 10:14-15)

b)        The Example’s  of Timothy & Epaphroditus – Philippians 2:19-30

(1)        We must get involved in the service for God (1Tim.4:12)

·                  Why does God demand that we labor?  (1Thess.4:11-12)

·                  Labor for Christ’s name sake (Revelation 2:1-7)

·                  Labor in order to support the weak (Acts 20:35 cf. Eph.4:28)

·                  Labor in prayer (Colossians 4:12)

·                  Labor night and day to preach the gospel (1Thess.2:9)

·                  Labor because you love Christ so much that you labor more abundantly than others (1Cor.15:10).

·                  Labor 100% till Christ returns (Luke 19:16-17)

(2)        Nowhere in the Bible are we told to slow down and take it easy.

(a)         David took it easy and committed adultery (2 Sam.11:1)—Must be about our Fathers business.

·                  to press on toward the goal (Philippians 3:13-14)

·                  do not grow weary in doing good (2 Thessalonians 3:13)

·                  run the good race in such a way to win the prize (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)

·                  run the race with endurance, looking unto Jesus, not becoming weary and discouraged in your souls – (Hebrews 12:1-3)

·                  finish the race and ministry with joy (Acts 20:24)

·                  be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58)

·                  fight the good fight of faith, laying hold of eternal life (1 Timothy 6:12)

·                  be watchful in all things… do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry (2 Timothy 4:5)

(3)        When Jesus went to the cross, He endured all that it demanded (Hebrews 12:1-3)

(a)         He despised the shame and accepted it willingly.

(b)        We to are to go to the cross daily denying ourselves & following Jesus (Luke 9:23)

(c)         He looked forward to His Father’s reward and the joy that anticipation of this reward brought.

(d)        As we run the race of the Christian life, we can run in the anticipation of our reward

“Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord” (Matthew 25:21)

“Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8 NKJV)

(4)        Our greatest rest and recreation will be ours in Heaven!

·         Most souls are won by tired people!

·         The best sermons are preached by tired men!

·         The best camps are run by exhausted youth ministers!

·         The third world is being evangelized by tried missionaries!

·         Christian organizations are being run by tired men!

·         You show me a super VBS and I will show you some tired women!

We will never do great things for God until we learn how to minister when we are tired!

3.      A ministering heart is a working heart.

a)         Paul was constantly working & laboring to proclaim the gospel


You are writing a gospel a chapter each day…

(1)        Paul’s Credentials (2 Corinthians 11:22-28)

For you remember, brethren, our labor and toil; for laboring night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God. (1 Thessalonians 2:9)

B.       The Ministering Heart Overcomes Barriers (v.7-9)

1.      The Samaritan woman responded to a heart that crossed barriers.

a)         He struck up a conversation by asking her for a drink of water (v.7).

(1)        She was shocked, for the Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans (v.9)

·                  Jewish rabbis said, “Let no man eat the bread of the Samaritans, for he who eats their bread is as he who eats swine’s flesh.”

·                  Strict rabbis forbade other rabbis to greet women in public.

·                  They prayed, “I thank you Father, that I was not born a gentile, a slave or a woman.”

·                  They prayed, “Lord, do not remember the Samaritans in the resurrection.”

·                  Prior to the arrival of Christianity in New Guinea, women were considered to be unworthy to worship God.  In fact, if a woman would even touch a place of worship, she would be put to death.

(2)        The gospel came and broke that barrier (Galatians 3:28)

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28)

For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.   And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near.   For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. (Ephesians 2:14-18)

2.      We must, in our own lives, reach out to those who no one else does (Mark 1:40-41)

a)         Perhaps we need to cross some barriers in our own lives!

·                  Discrimination

·                  Division—Dissension                   God is shows no partiality (Acts 10:34)!

·                  Prejudice

C.       A Ministering Heart Sees Providence in Relationships (v.4)

1.      Our Hearts must be aware of divine arrangements at all times.

a)         He needed to go through Samaria (v.4)

(1)        The word must (edei) means necessity, compulsion, destiny.

(a)         Jesus was driven to go through Samaria for the sake of His mission. Samaria needed the gospel as much as other areas—Jesus was displaying His love for sinners.

For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10)

(b)        (The word “must” is so often used in connection with Jesus’ mission that it makes an excellent word study. Cp. John 3:14; John 9:4; John 10:16; John 12:34; John 20:9.)

(2)        Jesus was aware of the Sovereign ordering of His life so people would come His way.

(a)         Everyone we meet will live eternally, either as a glorious being or as a dreadful lost soul!

2.      An example to follow.

a)         In Jesus’ teaching & example we can see principles every soul-winner must emulate.

(1)        Jesus was availableHe never turned down a request for help

(2)        Jesus showed no favoritism

(3)        Jesus was totally sensitive to the needs of those around Him

(4)        Jesus showed love and tenderness to those He sought to win

(5)        Jesus always had time for others

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