John 4 – Overview

As May (for Australian Baptists) is “mission month,” we looked at the story of Jonah last week. And this week, we see Jesus on mission in John chapter 4.

A model witness

I like hearing the stories of how couples started going out; particularly the ways in which guys try to broach the subject. “Pick up lines” you might call them in less-reputable institutions. One of my favourites is a guy in my church who asked out a girl with the following phrase: “please bear with me; I haven’t done this before.” Surprisingly, she agreed to go out with him, and they’ve now married for quite some time.

Continue reading

John 4:1-9

This week we’re looking at the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman, and what we can learn from him about raising people’s interest in his life-giving message. (You probably want to start with Monday’s short post to get the framework.)

Today, we see how Jesus models witness that crosses social boundaries.

1. Witness that crosses social boundaries

You see, Jesus shouldn’t have been doing what he was doing. Not according to the social conventions of the day, anyway. He was crossing three uncrossable boundaries.

Continue reading

John 4:10-15

This week we’re looking at the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman, and what we can learn from him about raising people’s interest in his life-giving message. (You probably want to start with Monday’s short post to get the framework.)

Today, we see how Jesus models witness that creates intentional interactions.

2. Witness that creates intentional interactions

Take a look at Jesus’ strategy: he has a plan, and that plan is to engage in dialogue. He doesn’t just start by whipping out the two-ways-to-live pamphlet in his back pocket. (“In the beginning, God created us to live under his rule. Hey look, that’s me there, that little crown above the earth – not a great drawing, I know, but at least it’s an improvement on the ones in the Good News Bible.”) He doesn’t start with a pre-packaged presentation.

Continue reading

John 4:13-26

This week we’re looking at the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman, and what we can learn from him about raising people’s interest in his life-giving message. (You probably want to start with Monday’s short post to get the framework.)

Today, we look at three more ways in which is our model witness:.

3. Witness that offers satisfaction to those who thirst

The reason Jesus engages with this woman – despite his exhaustion (v6) – is that he knows he’s bringing the offer of satisfaction to those who thirst. We’re not just part of some marketing campaign looking to recruit people to buy something or join something or vote for something. We’re not engaging in intentional conversations for our own gain – far from it! We bear witness to Jesus because we know that we bring satisfaction to those who thirst. Unlike the rest of the world, we have the answer to the meaning of life! As Jesus said:

Continue reading

John 4:27-43

This week we’re looking at the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman, and what we can learn from him about raising people’s interest in his life-giving message. (You probably want to start with Monday’s short post to get the framework.)

Today, we look at two final ways in which is our model witness:.

6. Witness that seeks to impact a whole network

Unfortunately, just as Jesus starts to get somewhere, his dialogue with the woman comes to an abrupt end. The disciples return and she scuttles off, embarrassed. But this turns out to be no bad thing. In fact, she’s been impacted enough by what Jesus has said to go and tell her whole town.

Continue reading