Christ at the Crossroads
John 4 Dec. 21, 1997
There are three events of life that gather the widespread attention of those around us. What are they? They are the beginning of life, the continuation of life, and the end of life. In other words; birth, marriage, and death - the crossroads of life, the places where lives intersect in reverence for the Author of Life. Christ had each of these crossroads covered and he influenced greatly in each. Two are obvious. His birth attracted the attention of shepherds, angels, kings, and us. We and the world celebrate His birth even now though many do not really know him or care about him. His birth becomes merely an excuse to celebrate, get gifts or make money. How about his death? Certainly the cross upon which he died attracted the attention of many, which is appropriate, because it is for the many that he died even though few would be saved. Just as many used his birth as an excuse to celebrate, so also they used his death. And again, many just didn’t care (like the painting of Christ on the cross in the midst of a busy marketplace square with everyone going about their business as usual). But you may not know about his marriage, a wedding that attracted widespread attention at a crossroad of life. No, it wasn’t the miracle of the wedding at Cana in Galilee. It was at a ‘well known well’ in Samaria, at another crossroad of life from which all around came to drink.
Last week we saw that Christ came to deal with sin. This week we will see that he also came to bring salvation. Some wells are better than others. No earthly well will truly satisfy the thirst of the human soul. Most are downright polluted. But there is One that is pure and refreshing. What can we learn about Christ at the crossroad in Samaria concerning his way of relating to us, his knowledge of our nature, and his desire for us? And what can we learn about ourselves?
1. Jesus comes to us on purpose at the intersection of our lives. (vv. 4-5)
2. He is always on time and even willing to wait at the intersection. (v. 6)
3. He desires our service. (vv. 7-8)
4. Our first reaction is to use unworthiness as an excuse. (v. 9)
5. His response is to offer us his own worthiness and service. (v. 10)
6. We stand in disbelief of the ways of God. (v. 11)
7. We hold on tightly to the ways of men. (v. 12)
8. Jesus exposes the futility of men’s ways. (v. 13)
9. He offers us the gift of the Person of God. (v. 14)
10. Our first understanding of truth is limited. (v. 15)
11. Jesus confronts our sins and puts us to the test. (v. 16)
12. Sin must be confessed in order to grow in truth. (v. 17a)
13. Jesus is never surprised at our sin. (v. 17b)
14. Jesus helps us face all the truth about ourselves. (v. 18)
15. His respect for us prompts our respect for him. (v. 19)
16. We desire to worship him but are caught in worldly ways. (v. 20)
17. Jesus asks us to believe that true worship is not in a place. (v. 21)
18. A place is too impersonal. (v. 22)
19. True worship is in the Person of God alone. (v. 23-24)
20. The understanding of this truth brings us fully to the Savior. (v. 25)
21. Christ Jesus! It is He! Will you worship Him this Christmas? (v. 26)
John 1:10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.
11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.
12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God--
13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.
Over 70% of the human body is water. Nothing lives without water. Have you ever seen anything freeze dried? It is merely a shell of its former self. Add water and it comes back to life, so to speak. Our lives are like that, freeze dried through sin, the life sucked right out of us, a mere shell of what we were meant to be until we are infused with deep drinks of the grace and truth of Christ unto spiritual life. (Strangely, this season of joy can become rather freeze dried without this, can’t it?) This woman was freeze dried in sin, a product of her culture, but she drank of the free gift of the water of life to become one in Spirit with the One who gave her to drink. She invited the whole town to her wedding at the Chapel of the Well. She had found her true love. She had truly found a husband. And they had many spiritual children. It may have been most of the people in town.
What crossroad are you at right now? Are you too busy laboring to drink from polluted wells to notice the One standing there offering you the drink of your life? He comes with unlimited refills. Drink as much as you want. You’ll never thirst again. Christ is the husband who will never leave you. He is the friend who sticks closer than a brother. He is the most generous contributor to your welfare. He is the Lover of your soul - at every crossroad of your life - even at Christmas time.
Will you come forward, as Joanna plays, to rededicate your soul to him this Christmas? Perhaps you have never taken that step of trust to place your soul in his capable hands. Perhaps you have never tasted the pure water of faith and true spiritual power. I invite you to come.