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2277. Sychar’s Sinner Saved

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No. 2277-38:481. A Sermon Delivered On Lord’s Day Evening, April 13, 1890, By C. H. Spurgeon At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Intended For Reading On Lord’s Day, October 9, 1892.

Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give me a drink’; you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” {Joh 4:10}

For other sermons on this text:
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 782, “Saving Knowledge” 773}
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2277, “Sychar’s Sinner Saved” 2278}
   Exposition on Joh 4:1-29 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2570, “Jesus Sitting on the Well” 2571 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Joh 4:1-32 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2423, “Model Soul Winner, The” 2424 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Joh 4:1-34 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2897, “Source, The” 2898 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Joh 4:1-39 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3135, “Golden Sentence, A” 3136 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Joh 4:1-42 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2277, “Sychar’s Sinner Saved” 2278 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Joh 4:1-42 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2623, “How Faith Comes” 2624 @@ "Exposition"}

1. I could not help saying, in the reading, that the woman’s answer to our Lord was, at least, somewhat brusque, if not really rude; but, with great meekness, Jesus took no notice of it so as to blame her for her tone, or for her unkind manner. He was too intent upon saving her soul to care about a little rudeness on her part. Learn a lesson from your Lord’s conduct. When you are dealing with souls, do not always expect them to yield to you at once; do not expect them even to receive your expostulations with thankfulness. Be prepared to be repelled, and even to be ridiculed; and so when it happens, do not loose your temper, or loose heart, but go straight on with your work whichever way they may go.

2. Our Saviour, instead of being vexed at the rudeness of the woman, said to her, “If you knew.” “Ah, poor soul, you do not know to whom you are speaking so rudely!” “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give me a drink’; you, would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” Oh, that we might have a passion for the souls of men! May we be vehement in our desire, with a love that burns like coals of juniper! May we not be put off by any discouragements; but let us resolve that, before we are finished with any poor sinner, we will do all in our power to bring him to Christ, so that, if men are lost, it shall not be our fault; and if they are saved, we will, at least, have this part in it, that we have set Christ plainly before them as their soul’s only hope.

3. Now, our Saviour, having set us an example of great meekness, went on to read this woman’s heart in a very exceptional manner; and, reading her heart, he foretold what her action would be when her ignorance was removed. It is a difficult thing to tell what people will do under such and such circumstances; for men and women are very unaccountable creatures; but the Saviour made a prediction concerning what this woman would do. That will be my first point, Jesus foretold what her action would be when her ignorance was removed; and then, secondly, I will show you that the fact justified the prediction. As soon as the woman knew who it was who spoke to her, she asked him for the living water; Jesus gave it to her, and she went on her way rejoicing.

4. I. First, then, JESUS FORETOLD WHAT HER ACTION WOULD BE WHEN HER IGNORANCE WAS REMOVED. He saw in her a kindly disposition towards right things; but she was hindered by her ignorance. If that hindrance could be taken away, she would at once travel in the right road.

5. Let me mention the points of saving knowledge, which it was desirable for her to know.

6. These were, first, the nature of salvation. “If you knew the gift of God.” Thousands of people in the world do not know what salvation means. They conceive, if they have any notion of it at all, that it means escaping from hell, and going to heaven when they die, which is a very imperfect and incorrect idea of salvation. “The gift of God is eternal life,” and that is salvation. God gives to all who believe in Christ a new life, a vital principle, something to be within them always, the reigning and ruling principle of their lives. Salvation means salvation from sin. To the drunkard, it is salvation from the drink; to the swearer, it is salvation from a profane heart; to the unchaste, it is salvation from impurity. It means deliverance from the power of evil in the life, and submission to the power of what is good and gracious, by which sin shall be cast out. You remember the meaning of the name Jesus. “You shall call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins.” The salvation that we have to preach produces a change of heart, a renewal of nature, a deliverance from the power of the devil, and brings the renewed man under the supreme power of the Holy Spirit of God. If some men knew this, they would begin to seek for it. Are there not many here who feel that they ought to turn over a new leaf, and they do not know how to do it? They do not have the power, even though they have in a measure the will. Now, salvation brings you both will and power; it saves you not only from the wrath to come, but from the sin that is within you now. That is the nature of salvation.

7. This woman did not know the freeness of salvation. “If you knew the gift of God,” — “the gift of God.” She thought, perhaps, that it had to be bought with money, or procured by sacrifices, or attained by good works after a long period of preparation. The Saviour assured her that salvation was the gift of God; freely given, not because it is deserved, but because God delights to bless even the unthankful and the evil; given, not because of penances, or austerities, or myriads of prayers, or floods of tears, but freely given to every soul that is willing to accept it by faith in Jesus Christ. Oh, if many knew this, they would seek to have it; but they do not know what salvation is, and they do not know that it is to be had for nothing, and to be had on the spot. “If you knew the gift of God.”

8. Further, it was necessary for this woman to know the person of Christ. “If you knew who it is who says to you, ‘Give me a drink.’ ” Some do not know who the Christ is. Though he has been here, and lived, and died, and is gone to heaven, and is preached by tens of thousands of preachers, and his blessed Book is with you to this day, yet you do not know that the Saviour is God over all blessed for ever, the second Person of the sacred Trinity, the Son of God and yet Man. He took upon himself the nature of man, was born into this world, lived a suffering and obedient life, died an ignominious and painful death, and now he has risen from the dead, and he is sitting at the right hand of God, even the Father, and will shortly come to judge the quick and the dead according to our gospel. Now this is he, this God, this Man, this Mediator between God and men, who is to be trusted. He was commissioned by God, and therefore he was called the Christ, the anointed. He has come into the world on purpose to do the will of him who sent him, and to finish his work. Oh, you sons and daughters of men, if you would be saved, you must come and trust yourselves with the Incarnate God, who is bone of your bone, and flesh of your flesh!

9. This woman also did not know the freeness of Christ, for when our Saviour said, “If you knew the gift of God,” he really meant himself. Paul said, “Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift.” This is he, the gift of the Father. Christ has not come into the world simply to save the rich, or the learned, or those who struggle through many examinations to obtain a high degree of human wisdom. He died also for the poor, for you who know your own ignorance, and bewail it, for you who know your sinnership, and repent of it. He did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. God has given his Son Jesus Christ, freely given him. You may have him for the asking; you may have him for the taking. “Whoever believes in him has everlasting life,” and if you will only trust him, there is eternal life for you. It was important that this woman should know this. “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give me a drink.’ ”

10. If you look at the text, you will now see the conduct which follows this saving knowledge. Christ foretold what this woman would do when her ignorance was removed. What would she do?

11. Well, first, she would forget the idea of giving Christ anything. He began by saying to this sinful woman, “Give me a drink,” but he later said, “If you knew the gift of God, you would have asked him.” I am continually hearing, from converts and others, the expression, “I gave my heart to Christ,” as a description of conversion. Now I do not find fault with that expression, for we must give our hearts to Christ; but very seriously let me say that I am afraid that that phrase will do much mischief unless it is well guarded and looked after. The gospel is not, “Give your hearts to Christ, and you shall be saved.” The gospel is, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ,” — that is, trust him, “and you shall be saved.” When you do that, you will be sure to give him your heart eventually, if not at once. Salvation is not by your giving anything to Christ, but by Christ giving something to you. I am glad that you have given your heart to Christ; but have you learned first this lesson, that he gave his heart for you? We do not find salvation by giving Christ anything. That is the fruit of it; but salvation comes by Christ giving us something — something, did I say? — by Christ giving us everything, by his giving us himself. I used to notice that a good deal of Sunday School teaching to the children was, “Dear child, love Jesus.” That is not the way of salvation. The way of salvation is to trust Jesus. The fruit of salvation is that the dear child does love Jesus; but that is not the way of salvation. The way of salvation is to take Christ, to trust Christ. When you are saved, the proof of it will be that you will give your heart to Christ; but do not let us turn things upside down lest, beginning with a little blunder, we should go on to some great error, and set up again the ruinous doctrine which once sank the world in darkness, the doctrine of an imaginary salvation by our own works.

12. Next, the text suggests the idea of asking for Christ as the first thing for us to do. How many there are, who know that salvation is a gift; but they never seek it! They know that it is all by grace; but they never ask for it. An occasional prayer, when you are half asleep at night; now and then an expression of a wish that you were better, that is all the effort you make. The Lord says, “You shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me with all your heart.” Men seek after gold as if they had a thousand hearts; but they seek after grace as if their heart were cut into a thousand pieces, and only one solitary thousandth part of it went after the blessing. This woman did really ask Christ, and asked with earnestness; and so must you. If you only knew Christ, if you only knew the value of his salvation, if you only knew its freeness, my hearers, you would get to your knees, and you would never rise from them again until you had found him who alone can save your souls. Let me ask you unsaved ones, do you cry to God for mercy? Are you in earnest about it? Does your very soul go up to God in prayer? If not, do not wonder that you still remain in the gall of bitterness. How can you expect God to give to you what you do not value enough to ask for heartily?

13. This woman, when her ignorance was removed, would be led to put asking first, and then really to ask; and, next, receiving would graciously follow the asking. I call your attention to the words, “You would have asked him, and he would have given to you.” Dear hearer, if you had asked, you would have had. “You do not have because you do not ask.” Sitting in that pew tonight, without God, without Christ, it is because you have not sought him, you have not cried for him. If you had sought him, you would have found him, “for everyone who asks receives; and he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks it shall be opened.” I do not like merely to utter this truth; I wish I could press it home upon your heart, and that you would feel that, if you have not asked, it is right that you should not have received, and that if you had asked, you would not have asked in vain. “You would have asked, and he would have given.”

14. Then she would have received, and the preciousness of the gift would have been apparent. The result would have been that she would have been a happy woman, greatly prizing the gift of God, greatly valuing the dear Saviour, singing in her delight because she had found him who could take all her sin away, and send her back to Sychar, a renewed woman. Instead of being a destroyer of the souls of men, she would become a herald of the cross to them, and the means of their salvation.

15. So our Saviour pictured what she would have done. I wonder whether it is true about any of you here, that you have only kept from prayer because you have not known better; you have not found Christ because you really did not know anything about him. You have been making mistakes and blunders, and that is why you are not saved. Now we have explained the matter to you, and you can see it, I trust that not another day will begin and end without your seeking and finding Christ, and so entering into eternal life.

16. Now consider the line of action which this teaching suggests to us.

17. If it is, in many cases, the fact, that nothing but ignorance is keeping men out of eternal life, if it is true of many that, if they only knew, they would ask and they would receive, then if you have not found Christ, be wise enough to try and learn all about him. Do not remain in ignorance where that ignorance is not bliss, but endless woe. Wake yourself up, and say, “If I can find out what salvation is, I will find it out, even if I have to burn the midnight oil, and wear my eyes out in searching through the sacred Book. I will hear as well as read. I will know all that I can about salvation, and about this Jesus, the Son of God, the unspeakable gift of God.” Well, take care that you do go where Christ is most preached. A little girl heard her mother say, “We went to the house of God to hear about Jesus.” “Mother,” she said, “at the place where aunty goes, they do not hear anything about Jesus, I am sure, for I went with her every time, and I never heard anything about him.” Do not go to places where Christ is not preached. Let those go who have no souls to be saved, if there are such people; but you, dear hearers, are in an anxious state; you want to find salvation; and lest ignorance should hinder you, take heed what you hear, and take heed how you hear. I was only a child when I first began to seek the Saviour; but I have a distinct memory that as soon as the sun shone into my little bedroom, I was awake; and what was I reading? Doddridge’s “Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul,” Alleine’s “Alarm to the Unconverted,” and books of that order, I read when I was only a child, in the hope that I might somehow find Christ, and be saved. When I went to a place of worship, I took no notice of the music of the organ, or the eloquence of the preacher. I kept listening with this one thought in my mind, “Oh that I might only find salvation! Oh, that I might only find Christ!” Whenever that is the case with anyone, depend on it, sooner or later, the ignorance that bars the way will melt and disappear; and you will ask, and God will give, and there will be joy in heaven and joy in your own heart because you are saved.

18. One thing more, if you do discover the truth, then go on learning more about it so that you may tell it to others. It is of the nature of the grace of God, when it gets into one heart, that it wants to flow into another. The woman of Sychar believes in Jesus. Now she must go, and tell the men of the village about the Christ. I wonder whether she went to the men with whom she had sinned. Women did not often speak openly to men in those Oriental regions; but this woman did. She had broken through the laws of decorum and of the Word of God, so away she goes, and says to the men, “Come, see a man, who told me all things that I ever did: is this not the Christ?” Go on learning about Christ, I say, so that you may teach it to others; and never think a day is well spent unless you have spoken to someone about your Master, unless you have at least dropped one tiny seed somewhere to produce fruit for his praise. Our Saviour predicted that the woman would ask, and that she would receive, if she could only get rid of the ignorance that weighed her down.

19. II. My second point is, that all this came true. THE FACT JUSTIFIED THE PREDICTION. When this woman’s ignorance was taken away, she did what Christ said she would do.

20. First, let me remind you that, what she did know stood her in good stead. She was not converted when she came to Christ, very far from it; but she did know something about him, for she said to him, “I know that Messiah comes, who is called Christ.” It is a good beginning when you know anything. I heard, yesterday, a piece of bigotry concerning Dissenters which astonished me for the moment, and then I said, “I am rather glad to hear it, for I like to meet men nowadays who believe anything, for the majority of people do not believe anything at all, and there is hope for a man, or a woman, who really does know and believe something.” If you have one solid bit somewhere, we can get a fulcrum for our lever, and so can move you. This woman said, “I know that Messiah comes.” Teachers of the children in the Sunday Schools, it may be years hence, but if you have taught a child to really know something, that knowledge may be the beginning of his salvation. It was partly by common tradition, partly by conversation, and partly by the belief of her associates that this woman came to say, “I know that Messiah comes.”

21. Then she had gotten into her head another thing, that when he did come, he would tell them all things. “When he is come, he will tell us all things.” In effect, the woman’s belief led her to say, “When the Messiah comes, we shall all be set right. Now, we Jews and Samaritans have had a quarrel about where we ought to worship. The Samaritans say that Mount Gerizim is the place where the blessing was pronounced, and that we ought to worship here. They only believe, as you know, in the Pentateuch. Those five books of Moses do not say much about Jerusalem, or about a temple. Clinging to that grand old Pentateuch, I believe in worshipping here at Gerizim; but the Jews say that we ought to worship at Jerusalem. Well, when Messiah comes, he will tell us all things.”

22. She had that idea firmly fixed in her mind. Where did she get it? I will read you the passage, in order that you may see how a single text may give a hook on which a soul may hang. One single text may be a little bit of solid rock, on which you may plant your lever, and begin to lift the heavy weight of an immortal soul. In the eighteenth chapter of Deuteronomy, we read as follows: “The LORD your God will raise up to you a Prophet from the midst of you, from your brethren, like me; you shall listen to him; according to all that you desired from the Lord your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Do not let me hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, so that I do not die.’ And the LORD said to me, ‘They have well spoken what they have spoken.’ ” {De 18:15-17} They need a Mediator; they shall have a Mediator to speak to them from me. Now, here is the special verse, “I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like you, and will put words in his mouth; and he shall speak to them all that I shall command him.” This woman twisted the text a little; but she gathered this from it, “There is a great Prophet to come, God’s anointed Prophet, the Messiah, or Christ; and when he comes, we shall know him by this, that he will tell us all things. He will more fully expound the truth of God about which we may now be in doubt.” That is what she did know, and that helped her a great deal.

23. But, next, what our Lord told her was a still greater help to her; for he directed her to himself. He began first by preaching the gospel to her. He would give her living water, and if she drank it, it would remain in her for ever a well of water, springing up to everlasting life; and he was ready to give her this living water then and there.

24. Next, he unveiled her life before her. He told her that she had had five husbands, and that the man with whom she then lived was not her husband. With two or three strokes he drew her portrait. She marvelled at this. It is a great thing for a man to see himself; it is a greater thing for him to see his Saviour. After you are once converted, do not study yourself; study your Lord. God has given one object for the soul’s eye to rest upon, and that is Christ; keep your eye always resting upon him. But, in order for her conversion, she was made to see herself, a wretched woman, living in abominable sin; and she was astonished at the sight; but even that helped her.

25. Then the Saviour took her away from all outward religion. He said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour comes, when you shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.” Jesus told her that the hour had come when the true worshippers would worship the Father in spirit and in truth. Notice, too, that Christ took her away from the Samaritan worship. He said, “Salvation is of the Jews.” But then he took her away from the Jewish worship, too, and said. “Neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem.” It is all very well for you to try to convert a Roman Catholic into an English Churchman; that is converting him from a Samaritan to a Jew. It is all very well for you to turn him from a Wesleyan into an Independent, or from an Independent into a Baptist, or from an Arminian into a Calvinist. The fact is, you have to get him away from everything but Christ, and you have not done your work until you have brought him to know that no profession of religion, no outward ceremonies whatever, can save the soul. “Those who worship God must worship him in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him.”

26. The Saviour had done this woman a great service. He had preached to her the gospel, unveiled her sin, taken her away from herself, and away from all external religiousness. Then came the main point of all, he revealed himself to her, unveiling the sacred majesty of his divine glory. He said to her, “I who speak to you am he.” When she said, “I know that the Messiah comes,” he at once spoke that grand word, “I am he.” Now, dear friend, if the Lord has given you only to know one truth, hold on to it; and may he teach you more of yourself, and more of himself, and bring you to know that Jesus Christ is the sole and only Saviour, even as he brought this woman to know it!

27. Well, once more, her own experience of Christ settled her faith. I do not know whether you see my drift. The woman had the idea in her mind that, when the Messiah came, he would tell all things. She listened to Christ, and when he drew a picture of her entire life, something began to whisper in her heart, “He is telling you all things that you ever did. Is this not the Christ?” And when Christ said to her, “I who speak to you am he,” the work was completed; and off she went, and said to the men the first thing that she could think of. She said, “You know that the Messiah, when he comes, is to tell us all things. Moses said that in Deuteronomy; you remember the passage in the Pentateuch. Now,” she said, “I have met a Man who has told me all things that I ever did; at least, he has told everything in one particular line. Do you not think that this must be the Messiah?” In her poor, womanly way, she had argued herself into that belief, and I think that it was good, reasonable argument, too. I have known many a soul to get to heaven with no better guidance than only one text of Scripture. One truth will guide a man to heaven, though fifty may feed him better than one. When a bridge is to be made across some deep chasm, what is to be done? The first thing is to shoot an arrow across, or a gun-shot that will carry a thread. When you have a thread across, you can pull a string over the gulf. When you have the string across, you can pull a thicker and stronger cord across. That can pull a rope, that rope can carry a bigger rope, that one can bear a cable; and, eventually, when you have gotten your cables across, you can begin to make your iron bridge. Now, in this woman’s heart, that one belief, “I know that the Messiah comes, who is called Christ,” was like the thread shot across the chasm. “When he is come, he will tell us all things,” was like the piece of string; and when she found that she had met One who told her all things, she had a cable across the chasm. This is the way in which God removes ignorance; this is the way in which God builds up faith; little by little; and I therefore urge any of you who believe even a little, to hold on to it, and not to give it up. Search the Scriptures, and hear the gospel, until you believe a great deal more; and, believing that Jesus is the Christ, sent by God to save sinners, trust him wholly, trust him alone, and so you shall enter into eternal life.

28. I think that I hear one ask, “Do you mean to say that that woman was saved?” Yes, I expect to meet her in heaven. Among the fair daughters of the New Jerusalem, the woman who was waiting at the well will surely be found. “But she was such a shocking character,” one says. She was a shocking character; I hope that there is not any woman here half as bad as she was, though there may be, and there may even be some worse than she was; but she was saved, and so will you be, if you go the same way that she went. There may be men here who are steeped in vice much worse than this poor woman ever was. You generally blame the woman, and the man is allowed to go scot-free. But tonight, man or woman, I do not care which you are, even if you have committed the same sin — the very same — and are guilty in the sight of God, and before your own conscience, yet listen to two things that Jesus said to that woman.

29. The first was, “Woman, believe me.” Woman, believe Christ. Man, believe Christ. Never mind me; never mind ministers or priests. Believe Christ, the Sent One of God; for he cannot lie. He speaks the truth. Believe him, and believe in him, that is, trust him, rest on him for salvation.

30. And then Jesus left her with this word ringing in her ears, the last word that he spoke, “I who speak to you am he.” Believe that Christ is he whom God has sent to save sinners. Believe that Christ is he who took our sin, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. Believe him as he says, “I am he,” and say to him, “I, Lord, am like this woman, one of the chief of sinners; but I believe that you are the Saviour of sinners, and I trust myself with you. Save me, Lord, for your own name’s sake!”

31. Now, you see, I have brought the horses to the water; but I cannot make them drink. I have set Christ before you; but I cannot make you have him. May the Holy Spirit help you to take him tonight once and for all! Do not go away until he has done so. Do not give sleep to your eyes, nor slumber to your eyelids, until you have come to Christ, and accepted him as your Saviour; for when you fall asleep tonight, you may never wake up again on this earth. It will be a dreadful thing to wake up in the land where hope can never come, where you shall see afar off God’s chosen ones; but, as for yourself, you shall be told that there is a great gulf fixed between you and them, so that they cannot come to you, and you cannot go to them. “Repent, and believe the gospel.” May the Holy Spirit constrain you to do so even now, for Jesus’ sake! Amen.

Exposition By C. H. Spurgeon {Joh 4:1-42}

1-3. When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, (though Jesus himself did not baptize, but his disciples,) he left Judea, and departed again into Galilee.

Our Lord knew that the Pharisees would assail him now that he was prospering, and gathering disciples. He, therefore, went away from them; as he did on other occasions. Whenever the cause of God grows, Satan is sure to be violent against it.

Notice that our Saviour himself did not baptize his followers. Now, if baptism depended on the character or the office of the baptizer, Jesus would certainly have done it; but to show us that the person baptizing does not impart any grace to the person baptized, our Lord did not baptize, but left that work to his disciples.

4. And he must needs go through Samaria.

Men say that, “ ‘Must’ is for the king”; but our King puts himself under an imperative “must,” under a divine necessity. Though obliged to do nothing, yet he obliges himself to do deeds of mercy and grace.

5, 6. Then he comes to a village of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there.

Holy men often impart an interest to the very place, which they inhabit. We should not have cared anything about Sychar, or its well, if Jacob had not been there. Where godly men have been, the ground is sacred. How much more so where the God of men comes to visit us!

6. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well and it was about the sixth hour.

Only half a day spent on his journey, yet he is weary. See, brethren, how he was encompassed with infirmity. Our Great High Priest so truly took our flesh, that he was wearied with his journey. He who rolls the stars along was weary in the middle of the day. He was so weary that he sat in the very attitude of weariness, as best he could, on the rim of the well: “Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well.”

7. There comes a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus says to her, “Give me a drink.”

Wonderful words of condescension! The Creator is asking for a drink from his creature. Perfect holiness is asking from a sinner. He, without whom there were no clouds, or rain, or springs, or wells, says to a sinful woman, “Give me a drink.”

8, 9. (For his disciples were gone away to the village to buy food.) Then the woman of Samaria says to him, “How is it that you, being a Jew, ask for a drink from me, who is a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.”

In effect, the woman said, “Now that you are thirsty, you can ask for a drink from me; but at another time, proud Jew that you are, you would not speak to a Samaritan.” Surely, this was rather a brusque answer, if not really rude. If she had known who it was to whom she was speaking, she would not have answered him like this.

10. Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give me a drink’; you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”

Something better than the water from Jacob’s well. Though you have denied him a simple draught of water, he would not have denied you something infinitely better, namely, living water. She little knew what that living water was.

11, 12. The woman says to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from where then have you that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, and his children, and his cattle?”

That last word, “cattle,” lets us see how the water of Jacob’s well could never be compared to the living water that Jesus gives. If beasts can partake of it, it is not that high and spiritual thing which immortal souls need, which Jesus came to give. Unwittingly, the woman had answered her own question, “Are you greater than our father Jacob?”

13, 14. Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks from this water shall thirst again: but whoever drinks from the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”

If Christ gives you grace, it is eternal life that he gives you; it is not a life that can die; it is not a grace that you can lose. It is everlasting life; a supply of living water, which turns to a spring or well, and always remains within the heart that receives it.

15. The woman, says to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I do not thirst, neither come here to draw.”

She had caught the Lord’s meaning so far as the perpetuity of the water was concerned, but still she did not know what the living water was. It was all a riddle to her, as I am afraid it is to some of you. There is many a Doctor of Divinity who cannot explain what the living water is.

16. Jesus says to her,

Since she had apparently learned nothing by his instruction, he now tried another plan with her, and began to deal with her conscience.

16, 17. “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband’:

Praise people whenever you can. There was nothing good about this woman, but she had spoken the truth: “You have well said, ‘I have no husband.’ ” Our Lord purposely laid the emphasis on the last word.

18. For you have had five husbands; and he whom you now have is not your husband: in that you said truly.”

What an exposure of the life she was living! Jesus laid bear what she and her companion in sin may have thought that no man knew: “He whom you now have is not your husband: in that you said truly.”

19. The woman says to him, “Sir,

She is getting more respectful now. When conscience begins to work, men treat the ministry with greater deference.

19, 20. I perceive that you are a prophet. Our forefathers worshipped in this mountain:

How pleased she was to get away from that unpleasant subject of her five husbands and the man who was not her husband! How anxious people are to salve their consciences by discussing religious matters of a general character! When you come a little too close to them, they edge off if they can; so this woman said, “Our forefathers worshipped in this mountain.”

20, 21. And you say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” Jesus says to her, “Woman believe me,

Our Saviour gave the woman good gospel advice, “Woman, believe me.”

21, 22. The hour comes, when you shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem worship the Father. You do not know what you worship: we know what we worship: for salvation is from the Jews.

They have the oracles of God. The Saviour comes from the Jews. They are right as far as they follow the instruction they have received; and you Samaritans are wrong in keeping to the law of Moses alone, and rejecting the rest of the Scriptures.

23, 24. But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and those who worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth”

All the true worship in the world is initiated by God. No one would ever worship him properly if he did not lead them to it. He seeks them, and then they seek him.

25, 26. The woman says to him, “I know that Messiah comes, who is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.” Jesus says to her, “I who speak to you am he.”

Now her eyes were opened. That last word had made her see.

27. And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman.

How big they were, how wise in their own conceit, to be astonished that Christ was talking with a woman! The followers of Christ often get much too big for their places, and too big to please their Master, too. Though “they marvelled that he was speaking with a woman,” as the 1881 English Revised Version translates it, —

27. Yet no man said, “What do you seek?” or, “Why do you talk with her?”

They dared not do that; they had too much awe of him. But, do you know, I have often wished that they had done so? I should like to have read what Christ would have said to them. How he would have reproved them for thinking that he had degraded himself by talking with a woman, or with anyone. Our Saviour would have vindicated a woman’s place in the world in a way that one might have liked to have heard.

28. The woman then left her water-pot, and went her way into the village,

Why should she stay any longer? The faces of the disciples did not look pleasant; but their Master had comforted her. She would not stay to lose that comfort by harsh words from the disciples: she “went her way into the village.”

28-32. And says to the men, “Come, see a man, who told me all things that I ever did: is this not the Christ?” Then they went out of the village, and came to him. In the meanwhile his disciples urged him saying, “Master, eat.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.”

39, 40. And many of the Samaritans of that village believed in him for the saying of the woman, who testified, “He told me all that I ever did.” So when the Samaritans were come to him they besought him that he would stay with them: and he abode there two days.

Two days of Christ’s personal ministry — what might not come of that?

41, 42. And many more believed because of his own word; and said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of your saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.”

Oh that many might be brought to know that Christ, the Saviour, tonight! Amen.

{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Gospel, Invitations — Come And Welcome” 492}
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Gospel, Invitations — Come And See” 507}
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Gospel, Received by Faith — The Great Sight” 561}
The Sword and the Trowel
For October, 1892, Contains: —
Fellowship with God’s Greatness. A Missionary Address. By C. H. Spurgeon.
“Our Sufficiency is of God.” A Missionary’s Testimony. By N. H. Patrick, of Tangier.
Prayer as the Resort of the Minister of Jesus Christ. By Arthur T. Pierson, D. D.
Mr. Spurgeon’s Last Drives at Menton. By Joseph W. Harrald. (With three illustrations.)
Enlarging the Cap Factory.
Four Mottoes for Earnest Souls. By W. Y. Fullerton.
A Batch of New-comers at the Stockwell Orphanage. (With illustration.)
Dr. Nettleton as a Preacher. By R. Shindler.
Medical Mission Work in Tangier. Letter from Dr. Churcher.
Worthless Weapons. By Robert Spurgeon, Madaripore, Bengal.
A Providential Disappointment. By John Burnham.
Psalm civ. (Poetry.) By Pastor E. A. Tydeman.
Romanism as it is. (Review of “Life inside the Church of Rome,” by the Nun of Kenmare.)
Fishing. By Pastor W. Higlett, Albion, Brisbane, Queensland.
The Rose of Sharon. (Poetry.) by Pastor C. A. Slack, Faversham.
Notices of Books, Notes, Accounts, &c.

Price 3d. Post free, 4d.
London: Passmore and Alabaster, Paternoster Buildings; and all Booksellers.


Gospel, Invitations
492 — Come And Welcome <8.7.4.>
1 Come, ye sinners, poor and wretched,
      Weak and wounded, sick and sore;
   Jesus ready stands to save you,
      Full of pity join’d with power;
         He is able,
      He is willing; doubt no more.
2 Come, ye needy, come and welcome,
      God’s free bounty glorify;
   True belief, and true repentance,
      Every grace that brings us nigh,
         Without money,
      Come to Jesus Christ and buy.
3 Let not conscience make you linger
      Nor of fitness fondly dream:
   All the fitness he requireth,
      Is to feel your need of him:
         This he gives you;
      ‘Tis the Spirits’s rising beam.
4 Come, ye weary, heavy laden,
      Bruised and mangled by the fall;
   If you tarry till you’re better,
      You will never come at all:
         Not the righteous,
      Sinners Jesus came to call.
5 View him prostrate in the garden;
      On the ground your Maker lies!
   On the bloody tree behold him,
      Hear him cry before he dies,
         “It is finish’d!”
      Sinner, will not this suffice?
6 Lo! th’ Incarnate God, ascended,
      Pleads the merit of his blood:
   Venture on him, venture wholly,
      Let no other trust intrude;
         None but Jesus
      Can do helpless sinners good.
7 Saints and angels join’d in concert,
      Sing the praises of the Lamb;
   While the blissful seats of heaven
      Sweetly echo with his name!
         Hallelujah!
      Sinners here may sing the same.
                        Joseph Hart, 1759, a.


Gospel, Invitations
507 — Come And See <7s.>
1 Sinners! come, the Saviour see,
   Hands, feet, side, and temples view;
   See him bleeding on the tree,
   See his heart on fire for you!
2 View awhile, then haste away,
   Find a thousand more, and say:
   Come, ye sinners! come with me,
   View him bleeding on the tree.
3 Who would still such mercy grieve?
   Sinners! hear instruction mild,
   Doubt no more, but now believe,
   Each become a simple child;
4 Artful doubts and reasonings be
   Nail’d with Jesus to the tree:
   Mourning souls, who simple are,
   Surely shall the blessing share.
         Nicholas Louis Zinzendorf, 1736.
         tr. by Charles Kinchin, 1742


Gospel, Received by Faith
561 — The Great Sight
1 In evil long I took delight,
      Unawed by shame or fear,
   Till a new object struck my sight,
      And stopp’d my wild career.
2 I saw One hanging on a tree,
      In agonies and blood,
   Who fix’d his languid eyes on me,
      As near his cross I stood.
3 Sure never till my latest breath
      Can I forget that look;
   It seem’d to charge me with his death,
      Though not a word he spoke.
4 My conscience felt and own’d the guilt,
      And plunged me in despair;
   I saw my sins his blood had spilt,
      And help’d to nail him there.
5 Alas! I knew not what I did;
      But now my tears are vain;
   Where shall my trembling soul be hid?
      For I the Lord have slain.
6 A second look he gave, which said,
      “I freely all forgive;
   This blood is for thy ransom paid,
      I die, that thou mayest live.”
7 Thus while his death my sin displays
      In all its blackest hue
   (Such is the mystery of grace),
      It seals my pardon too.
8 With pleasing grief and mournful joy,
      My spirit now is fill’d
   That I should such a life destroy,
      Yet live by him I killed.
                        John Newton, 1779.

Spurgeon Sermons

These sermons from Charles Spurgeon are a series that is for reference and not necessarily a position of Answers in Genesis. Spurgeon did not entirely agree with six days of creation and dives into subjects that are beyond the AiG focus (e.g., Calvinism vs. Arminianism, modes of baptism, and so on).

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