Whoever?

Let’s turn together in God’s Word to the gospel of John; John chapter 4. That can be found on page 888 in your pew Bibles. And maybe some of you are coupon clippers; you’re bargain shoppers. You like a good deal! But then you hear those dreaded words, “Some exclusions apply.” It’s not going to be as good of a deal as you once thought. I came across a department store coupon the other day that was $10 off for every $25 you spend; sounds like a pretty good deal, but “Some exclusions apply.” And the coupon could only be used in the store, on a Friday or a Saturday, between the hours of 10am and 1pm. And then it also says that it’s not valid for cosmetics, for watches, for sunglasses, for Ralph Lauren, for Levis, for Kate Spade, Cole Haan, furniture, electronics, dinnerware – on and on it went. It seems like the exclusions were excluding everything they had to sell in the store. It wasn’t as good of a deal as was initially thought.

 

I say that, because John chapter 3 gives us an offer. And the offer – we see it several times in our English translations, and we see the word “whoever” – the offer of Jesus is to “whoever.” Now that most familiar verse to us, isn’t it, John 3:16. “For God so loved the world that he sent his only Son that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” Who is the “whoever.” That’s what John chapter 4 is telling us. John chapter 4 is telling us that the “whoever” includes even a Samaritan woman who comes to Jesus with a pile of baggage. And Jesus cuts right through it and He brings her to faith. That’s the good news for us today as we read this passage. Before we read it, let me pray for us.

 

Father, we confess that we come with baggage and we come with brokenness and we come with sin and guilt. We need Your Word to pierce through those things. We are distracted and we need Your help. We pray that You would help us, by Your Spirit, to hear Your Word, to see our need, and to see Jesus in all of His sufficiency and that we would come to You in worship in spirit and truth. We pray these things in Christ’s name, amen.

 

John chapter 4. I’ll read the first forty-two verses:

 

“Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), he left Judea and departed again for Galilee. And he had to pass through Samaria. So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour.

 

A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, ‘Give me a drink.’ (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, ‘How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?’ (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.’ The woman said to him, ‘Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’ The woman said to him, ‘Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.’

 

Jesus said to her, ‘Go, call your husband, and come here.’ The woman answered him, ‘I have no husband.’ Jesus said to her, ‘You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.’ The woman said to him, ‘Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.’ The woman said to him, ‘I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I who speak to you am he.’

 

Just then his disciples came back. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but no one said, ‘What do you seek?’ or, ‘Why are you talking with her?’ So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, ‘Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?’ They went out of the town and were coming to him.

 

Meanwhile, the disciples were urging him, saying, ‘Rabbi, eat.’ But he said to them, ‘I have food to eat that you do not know about.’ So the disciples said to one another, ‘Has anyone brought him something to eat?’ Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.’

 

Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, ‘He told me all that I ever did.’ So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, ‘It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.’”

 

The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the Word of our God endures forever.

 

And I want us to break up this passage into three parts. We’ll see first the water at the well, secondly we’ll see worship in spirit and truth, and then third we’ll see work in the harvest field.

 

Water at the Well

So first is water at the well. This chapter begins with a travel itinerary for Jesus and for His disciples. Now, this is not merely a list of geographical points along the way. This is, if I were to tell you about my week, I made a trip and I went through Oxford on the way to Pontotoc. That sounds pretty simple. That’s not how simple this is as we read about Jesus going from Galilee and through Samaria. This would be more like saying that Ole Ran’l McCoy, he passed through West Virginia on the way to Pennsylvania because, you see, West Virginia was the homeland of the Hatfields, and the Hatfields and the McCoys, they didn’t get along very well. In fact, there was hostility and there was conflict at every step of the way. This would have been dangerous territory for him to be going through.

 

Nature of Relationship

Well, that was the nature of the relationship between the Jews and the Samaritans. We read in verse 9 that "Jews have no dealings with Samaritans." Now to understand a little bit of the complexity that went into that relationship between Jews and Samaritans, we have to stop and take a quick geography lesson, and even a quick lesson in Old Testament history. You see, first along the geographical lines, Judea, where Jesus was coming from, Judea was in the south. It was around the Dead Sea, and that’s where the cities of Jerusalem and Bethlehem were – in Judea. Now in Galilee, that’s where the cities of Capernaum and Nazareth – that was Jesus’ homeland. That’s where He was headed. He was headed to the north, to Galilee. Now both of those places were the home to the Jews. There were Jews that lived both in Judea and in Galilee, even though there were many differences between the two groups.

 

But you see, in between those two regions, in between Judea and Galilee, was Samaria. And Samaria was bordered on the east by the Jordan River. The Jordan River ran from the Sea of Galilee down into the Dead Sea. And the Jewish hostility towards the Samaritans was so intense that oftentimes, if somebody was traveling, if a Jew was traveling from Judea up to Galilee they would cross over the Jordan River to the east, go north, and then head back over the Jordan River to cross into Galilee so that they could avoid going into Samaria altogether. You see what they were saying? To them, a body of water, a natural boundary, was less of a hindrance for them to get to Galilee than going through the open roads of Samaria. Why was that the case? Well, it's because they had years of complex and complicated history between them. You see, at the root, this conflict, this conflict between the Jews and the Samaritans, it was a family dispute. It was civil war because these two people were initially from the same family. They descended from Jacob. They were part of the twelve sons of Jacob, the twelve tribes of Israel. And they were under one kingdom when Saul and David and Solomon reigned over Israel.

 

And yet after Solomon, Solomon’s son, Rehoboam began to reign and he ruled harshly. And so ten of the tribes separated. They formed their own nation. It was called Israel; it was in the north. The capital was at Samaria and Judah was in the south, the capital in Jerusalem. And in Jerusalem, that's where the kings of David, the sons of David reigned over Judah. And yet, in Israel and Samaria, there was one wicked king after the other. To complicate things even more, the first king in Samaria, Jeroboam, he established an alternate form of religion. It was based around these two golden calves that he had erected. And by the time 722 BC came around, the Assyrians came in and conquered Israel. They defeated Samaria, and instead of removing the people or carrying them away captive, they repopulated the area with people from all around the area, other people groups, and they mixed and they intermarried, and they became a new people. And they really lost all of their distinctive connection, their ancestry, to Abraham and to Isaac and to Jacob. That was the complex history that existed between the Jews and the Samaritans. This wall of separation between them. There were layers – there were religious and ethnic and cultural and historical layers that went into that. Maybe, maybe a river was not such a hard thing to get over when you had all of that working against their relationship with one another.

 

And I wonder, as we sit here today, if we could come up with an example or an illustration of strained relationships between groups of people. And who would come to our mind? Maybe it would be black and white or maybe it would be Christian and Muslim. Perhaps it would be democrat and republican. That’s where this passage is taking us this morning, and to see the way that those kinds of gaps are bridged; bridged by Jesus. And maybe that makes us uncomfortable. It may make us squirm a little bit. It may even make some people mad, and that’s good, because now you’re getting to appreciate a little bit of what’s going on, a little bit of what’s at stake as Jesus goes through Samaria to get to Galilee, and as He comes to this town called Sychar. And that’s the shock, that’s the scandal that would have existed in the minds of the initial readers of this passage.

 

Now to complicate things even more, who is Jesus' main interaction within this passage? It's with a woman. Now in these days, women did not have access to opportunities. Their credibility and their value in society was discounted at every step of the way. And D.A. Carson explains in his commentary that there were some teachers in Judea, that they would argue that it was a waste of time to enter into a conversation with a woman if you were a teacher. And worse than that, it could even be harmful to a teacher to engage in a conversation with a woman. And yet that's who Jesus is engaging within this passage. And we see that His disciples, when they come back from gathering food, what is their response? "They marveled." And you know, this is a group of men – we know the disciples, don't we? They were not afraid to let their prejudices show. And yet, they're rendered speechless; they're shocked. It says in verse 27, "No one said, ‘What do you seek?' or ‘Why are you talking with her?'" They're thinking that, but you see, they're baffled. 

 

Do you notice how almost everything in this encounter between Jesus and this Samaritan woman is the opposite of Jesus’ encounter with Nicodemus in John chapter 3? You see, Nicodemus was a Jewish man; he was a Pharisee. He was one who was orthodox. He was religiously devout. He was a ruler of the Jews and he was prominent and respectable. He was like what Paul would say in Philippians chapter 3. He was “a Hebrew of Hebrews.” That was Nicodemus. And yet, how did he come to Jesus? He came to Jesus in the cover of darkness. He was afraid to be seen with Jesus. And yet, we have this passage and this woman, this Samaritan – we don’t even know her name; she’s unnamed. And Jesus approaches her and He initiates a conversation with her in the middle of the day. And as He talks with her, some of the details of her life begin to emerge and we find out that she’s been married five times and the man that she is with now is not her husband. Now whether he was someone else’s husband, we don’t know that, but there is obviously a complex relationship, a history with this woman. And religiously, she’s not a part of the tradition of God’s people, of the Jewish tradition. She’s outside of the bounds of those who would be the remnant of true worshippers.

 

The Controversy

Do you see what’s going on here? In chapter 3, the controversy is for Nicodemus to be seen with Jesus. Here in chapter 4, the controversy is for Jesus to be seen with this woman. That’s the astonishment. It’s that Jesus would be seen with her and that He would reveal to her who He is. How does Jesus do that? How does He reveal to her that He is the Christ? It’s interesting, isn’t it? This whole encounter takes place at a well. Now, why did people go to wells? To get water, right? It was to get something to drink and to provide water for their flocks and for their livestock. And here is this woman and she's at the well, but she's on her own; she's by herself. And Jesus asks her for a drink. This is one of two instructions that Jesus gives to this woman in this passage. He asks her for a drink. And it seems like a reversal of roles. That she would serve Him? That a Samaritan would give Him water? Wouldn't Samaritan water be unclean? Would it even be drinkable? Wouldn't it be worse than Jackson water? It makes her pause. When He asks her for a drink, she pauses because she had probably been to that well thousands of times. It had become a mindless routine for her. You think about the times at the end of the day when you get in bed and you think, "Did I lock the door?" It's so mindless and it happens so often, you don't even think about it anymore. That's sort of like her going to the well over and over and over again.

 

But now, she’s confronted with the fact that she’s at the well and she’s the one getting water – it’s not her husband; it’s not even a son – and she has to go to that well every day. Over and over and over again. And what Jesus says to her is, “If you knew who you were talking to, you would have asked Him for water, for a drink, and He would have given you living water.” A water that anyone who drinks of it will never be thirsty again; water which becomes a spring welling up into eternal life. You see, there was something insufficient about the water that she was getting out of the well. It was necessary, she needed that water, but it was only to sustain life. It ran out. It would only satisfy her thirst for a little while. And yet the water that Jesus is offering to her, or that Jesus is talking about, it gives life – new life, eternal life. It’s a water that never runs out. So Jesus is challenging this woman as they discuss the water at the well. He’s challenging her to recognize her true need and He’s challenging her to recognize His greatness, His uniqueness, His supremacy.

 

Temporal Concerns

And yet, she’s still thinking along physical lines. Isn’t she? She’s still thinking about temporal concerns. Because what does she say in verse 15? She says, “Sir, give me this water so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.” That’s when Jesus gives her the second instruction in this passage. He says to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” Now let’s think about this. What else do we find happening at wells in the Bible? If you think back to Genesis and to Exodus, oftentimes what we find at the well is that men are meeting women. There are relationships that are being formed at the well. You can think about how Abraham sent his servant to find a wife for Isaac and there his servant found Rebekah. Or you think about how Jacob found Rachel at the well. Or even Moses, he met his wife, Zipporah, at the well in Exodus. There’re relationships that are being formed.

 

And here’s this woman and she’s a serial bride. She’s a notorious marrier. And when Jesus says something to her about her husband, she’s forced to encounter her past and she’s forced to reckon with her longings for the future. Where is she looking for fulfillment? Where is she looking for acceptance? It was in one relationship after the other and none of them found satisfaction. None of them were able to satisfy her. Now for us, there might be all sorts of things that we look to, to find satisfaction and to fulfill our deepest longings. It could be work; it could be success. It may be relationships. It could be the success of our children. It could be the next night out or the next fun vacation or trip that we’re looking forward to. And yet what we find is, over and over and over again, those things never satisfy us like we thought they would or like we hoped they would. For this woman, it was five marriages and now a relationship that she really doesn’t want to talk about. She was looking for satisfaction in relationships and then she meets Jesus.

 

And think about what is the hardest thing, oftentimes, about meeting someone new? No matter what social context it may be in, we meet somebody new, isn’t there that fear that “Once they get to know me, will they really like me? Will they still want to be with me?” And here is this woman, she had been in marriage after marriage, and when the men really got to know her, they rejected her, they discarded her. Can you imagine the emotional damage and the wounds that she has had inflicted upon her? And yet here is Jesus. She meets Jesus at the well and He knows her. He truly knows her. He knows her deeply. He knows all that she has ever done and yet He stays with her, He sticks with her, and He continues to pursue her in His grace. When she sees that, when she recognizes that Jesus knows her and He doesn’t leave, she recognizes that He is no ordinary man. He’s not what she expected Him to be.

 

And she says, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet.” Do you see what’s happened here? Jesus has broken down all the barriers and He’s worked through the baggage that this woman has. And they’re no longer talking about water at the well; they’re no longer talking about relationships. But they’re talking about what the issue that is at the heart of this woman’s deepest needs. They’re talking about the issue which is at the heart of who Jesus is and what He has come to do. They’re talking about true worship. Worship in spirit and in truth.

 

Worship in Spirit and Truth

That’s where the conversation moves – verse 20 – it moves from water at the well to worship in spirit and truth. That’s our second point for us to see today. Look at verse 20. The woman says to Jesus, “Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” You know, we’ve just come out of the holiday season not that long ago. You’ll see things from time to time, articles and stories about suggestions and advice on how to navigate difficult interactions or difficult gatherings, how to tone down some of the tension you may face in some of those gatherings. I saw one article and it identified four conversation killers to avoid at holiday times. And kind of the top one that they identified was being divisive. “Stop being divisive” was what the article was saying.

 

Divisiveness

Well if you think about in a mixed setting, in a mixed context, what is the thing that may be at the top of the list of divisiveness. It would be talking about religion. And that’s where this woman goes at the well. She starts talking to Jesus about religion, about worship. Maybe that was her way to clearly stress the difference between the Samaritans and the Jews and to kill the conversation and they would go their separate ways right there. And don’t you hear something very modern in the way she says that to Jesus? Because we live in this pluralistic culture and so often we hear the phrase where people will say, “You believe what you believe and I believe what I believe, but as long as we don’t impose it on one another. And aren’t we all going to the same place? We’re all on the same journey; we’re just taking different paths to get there.” That’s what this woman is saying. She’s saying, “This is our tradition of worship. It’s based on the good authority of our forefathers. We’ve been doing it for years and years and years. And your way is your way. You worship in Jerusalem, and really there’s no compromise; there’s no unity between Samaritans and Jews. And so that really does it; that settles it. We’re done here.”

 

Centrality of Worship

What does Jesus say? Verse 21, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming, the hour is coming and is now here, when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth." This is the most important part of this passage, this interaction, because worship is central to our existence. Worship determines our understanding of everything – of who we are and what we do. There's no more important question for us to ask than, "Who do you worship?" or "What do you worship?" Either you worship the true and the living God and we worship Him in humility and joy and find wisdom and life and the power to love other people, or we worship at the altar of a manmade religion, which ultimately can be manipulated and turned in on ourselves so that it is self-worship, self-devotion, self-promotion. Worship matters. Everything is ordered under the category of worship. Work and family, finances, our bodies, our time, our recreation. It's all worship. Worship is about every second of every day of our lives. And God cannot be limited to a certain place or to a certain people and certain rituals. God desires the heart of His people. And this woman, ultimately, she has a worship problem. She's trying to fill that hole in her heart with relationships, one relationship after the other.

 

And Jesus says to her that the time has come when worship will no longer be based among a certain group of people or in a specific location – and here, it was the temple in Jerusalem – but He’s saying that up to this point salvation was from the Jews, it was coming from the Jews, and yet through Jesus God was extending His grace to those who are outsiders, to those who are ignorant and lost, to those who are without hope. Salvation now comes to Jew and to Gentile alike. Salvation is for the world. And it’s not a coincidence, is it, that Jesus, when He points her to true worship, worship in spirit and truth, He points her to worship of God the Father. Isn’t that interesting? For this woman who has had so much trouble with relationships, that here, He’s pointing her to a relationship. True worship is about relationship. It’s about worshiping God the Father, the one who always protects and provides for His people, the one who never leaves or forsakes or rejects His children.

 

And that would be almost unheard of for a Jew to talk about worshiping God as Father. How much more so for this woman who seems like the least likely candidate to have access to God or to give Him true worship. That’s exactly what Jesus is offering to her. He’s offering to her life, life, life that is ordered by worship of God the Father in spirit and truth. If she would just recognize who He is and respond to Him in faith. And it’s almost as if she recognizes something, doesn’t she? It’s almost as if she recognizes that Jesus is talking about something new, some new age or some new work of God. And she says, “I know that Messiah is coming. When He comes He will tell us all things.”

 

Jesus is the Christ

And then was Jesus says in verse 26 are some of the most astounding words to come out of the mouth of Jesus that we find in the gospels. He says, “I who speak to you am he.” You see, Jesus rarely made such explicit claims to be the Messiah, to be the Christ, because there were so many political connotations and misunderstandings that went along with the Messiah. But here, Jesus is saying outright, “I am the Messiah. I am the anointed one. I am the one promised in the Scripture, the one who knows all things and the one who establishes the kingdom of God.” And with that, she leaves what she’s doing, she leaves what she had come to do, she leaves her jar at the well and she goes back into the town to tell the people about Jesus. She says, “Come see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?”

 

Why does she go? Why did she leave and go tell others? Because she believed. She recognized that Jesus is the Christ. She believed Him. And sure, she didn’t have all the details worked out in her mind, but she believed and she went and told others. Do you see the patience of Jesus? Do you see the kindness of Him? How Jesus pursues this woman and He, in this gradual and persistent and gentle way, He leads her to faith. It’s an amazing picture and it shows us that there is no one here today that is outside the bounds of those whom Jesus calls. Maybe someone here – you haven’t grown up in the church, you really don’t know that much about the Bible, maybe you feel like you just don’t fit in. Or maybe you have a checkered past and some rough edges are still there. Maybe you have some guilt and shame for some things that you’ve done or a temptation that you’re fighting against. Maybe you’re trying to fill your life with one thing after the other to find satisfaction and it’s just not working. Guess what? Jesus comes to seek and to find people just like us. If you would look to Him, look to Him and find life, find salvation, find satisfaction, the way to true worship, that’s what Jesus came to do. That’s the work that He came to do and He’s going to pursue that work all the way to the cross. And by His death and resurrection, bring about what He came to do.

 

Work in the Harvest Field

And that's the last thing we see here. We'll briefly look at the third point – the work and the harvest field. The work that Jesus came to do. The disciples come back, they've brought food, they're shocked that He is talking with a woman, and they offer Jesus food and He doesn't take it. He says in verse 34, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to accomplish his work." Jesus is saying here that His most basic necessity is to do the will of the Father who sent Him. His most basic need is to accomplish the plan of salvation, to go to the cross, and by His death and by His resurrection, to defeat sin and death and to establish this worship in spirit and truth. That’s what Jesus came to do. He looks at them and He tells them, He says, “Look up, and the fields are white for the harvest.” It’s time for them to go to work. It’s time for them to enter into the work that He has called them to do. And that includes going to reap a harvest from the Samaritans.

 

Now we’ve talked a lot about the woman and about her background, but what do we know about these people in Samaria and Sychar? Very obviously, there were plenty of men willing to take on this woman who had a shady background. And when she goes to tell them about Jesu, they don’t say, “Here comes that crazy lady!” They say, they respond by going. See, she has credibility with them. Her character is not in question with them. They’re just like her. And yet, Jesus goes and He finds a harvest among them. He reaps fruit among the people in Sychar, among the Samaritans, among the idolatrous and the immoral and the adulterous and the shameful and the outsider. Those who have every barrier and who come with loads of baggage, Jesus works through it all and brings them to faith. Verse 39, "Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony." Verse 41, "Many more believed because of his word, and they said, ‘We know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.'" "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Who is the “whoever”? The “whoever” includes even the Samaritans. That’s who Jesus came to save.

 

I was at a funeral for a childhood friend about a week and a half ago. And he was, my childhood friend, he was a bartender. And at the funeral, there were a number of people, a number of his friends that were waiters and waitresses and bartenders and cooks and those who he served at the bar. And there were a number of those with rough edges – multiple tattoos and colorful hair and piercings and all of those things. And I thought, sadly, we don’t see people like this typically in church. Do we? And then I thought, “But that’s the Samaritan woman. That’s the Samaritan woman. And these are the people that Jesus came to save.”

 

And maybe it’s somebody for you, it’s a family member who you think is the least likely to want to hear and talk about Jesus. Maybe it’s a friend who is pursuing a destructive lifestyle. It could be a waiter or a waitress in your favorite restaurant. Perhaps it’s someone in the poor community or going across the racial divide. See, what this passage is calling us to do is to go to those to whom we are the least likely to pursue and the least motivated to pursue because that’s who Jesus pursues and that’s who Jesus calls us to pursue. That’s the “whoever” we’re called to tell about Jesus. Sometimes it may be easier for us to go across the world or around the globe to reach those who are different from us, when really they’re right next door to us, they’re right next to us at work or in our neighborhood or in our communities. And maybe we feel like we’re really not qualified to go because we have all sorts of baggage and we’re just not worthy to tell others about Jesus. But did you notice how it’s the woman with this background who is the very one who tells them about Jesus and they come. She relates to them. They know her, and they come. They have the same baggage and Jesus pierces through it all.

 

We can’t ignore the different and we cannot ignore the difficult, because Jesus is indeed the Savior of the world. Let’s pray.

 

Father, we thank You that You have come to seek and to save the lost, that You are the Savior of the world, You are the Savior of the broken and the sinful and those who are needy and thirsty and hungry. Thank You that You are our Savior and You have called us and pierced through our unbelief and our doubt. We pray that You would do it again, that You would use us for Your glory to proclaim the goodness and the majesty and the salvation of Christ, that You would bring in a fruit for His glory. We pray these things in Jesus’ name, amen.



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