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Service Archives > 43 John - 2016 > John 4:19-54

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John 4:19-54

Taught on | Keywords: Samaria, worship, spirit, truth, Scripture, Messiah, testimony, evangelism, harvest, healing, faith, miracles

As we study Jesus' encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well, we learn He was not there by accident. Through that one woman's testimony, word of Jesus spread throughout Samaria. In this teaching, we learn that we should not underestimate how God uses the seeds we are planting in those around us.

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5/4/2016
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John 4:19-54
John 4:19-54
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
As we study Jesus' encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well, we learn He was not there by accident. Through that one woman's testimony, word of Jesus spread throughout Samaria. In this teaching, we learn that we should not underestimate how God uses the seeds we are planting in those around us.
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43 John - 2016

43 John - 2016

The gospel of John is a unique eyewitness testimony of the life of Jesus that emphasizes His deity and provides information about Him that's not found in the other Gospels. John wrote this account so we would know that we can find true, abundant life in Christ alone: "But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name" (John 20:31). In this verse-by-verse study of John, Skip Heitzig takes us through Jesus' public ministry, His teachings to the disciples, His death, and His resurrection.

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Detailed Notes

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  1. Introduction
    1. The Samaritan woman at the well
      1. She was cynical
      2. She knew her way around men, and to her, Jesus was just another man
      3. She came to the well at noon instead of in the morning or evening with the other women
      4. Interesting history with men
        1. Five husbands in the past
        2. Living with a man who was not her husband
        3. With each relationship, she must have thought it was the one that would bring her satisfaction
    2. When she met Jesus, she realized He knew more than He was letting on
    3. Jesus was not there by accident (see John 4:4)
      1. He wanted to get a hold of this woman's heart
      2. She would be a witness to all of Samaria
  2. John 4:19-24
    1. The woman was making worship about the geographical location in which the Samaritans and Jews worshiped
      1. Jesus told her that it did not matter
      2. As long as we worship in spirit and truth
    2. Worship must be candid and credible
      1. Authentic in spirit
        1. Not the Holy Spirit, but your spirit
        2. Pneumati = spirit
        3. Human spirit
        4. The deepest part of you worshiping God
        5. Worship is not just going through the motions (see Matthew 15:8)
      2. Based on truth
        1. It's not enough to be sincere
        2. It has to be based on the Scriptures
        3. Samaritans only believed in the first five books of the Old Testament
        4. Twisted some of the stories around
    3. The failure to worship God authentically can always be traced back to an inadequate knowledge of God
      1. The heart of our worship must be expository Bible study
      2. Without a prophetic vision, the people perish (see Proverbs 29:18, KJV)
  3. John 4:25-30
    1. The Samaritans were also waiting for the Messiah
      1. Even though they had a separate worship system and temple, they still believed in a coming Messiah
      2. They were waiting for another prophet like Moses (see Deuteronomy 18:15)
    2. The woman left her water pot and went to the city to tell the men about Jesus
      1. She was touched
      2. She drank from a well that satisfied her thirst
    3. One encounter with a person can change them forever
      1. Never underestimate how the Lord is using the seeds you are planting
      2. The woman's testimony caused many people in Samaria to believe in Jesus
  4. John 4:31-38
    1. Jesus' disciples urged Him to eat
      1. He said He had food of which they did not know
      2. He was referring to spiritual food (see Deuteronomy 8:3)
      3. He meant that there is nothing more fulfilling than doing the will of the Father
    2. Jesus told them the harvest was ready
      1. He was not talking about crops
      2. He was speaking spiritually
      3. Possibly about the Samaritans who were approaching them from the city
    3. Often in evangelism, it is not the fields that are not ready---it's the workers
      1. God wants laborers to do His work
      2. Matthew 9:36-38
  5. John 4:39-42
    1. Many Samaritans believed in Jesus because of the woman's witness
    2. Many more believed because of His powerful word
    3. The Samaritans were the first group ever to call Jesus the "Savior of the world" (v. 42)
      1. Jews did not come to Samaria
      2. They realized that Jesus was the Savior not only of the Jews, but of the Gentiles as well
  6. John 4:43-54
    1. In Cana, a nobleman implored Jesus to heal his sick son
      1. Basilikos = connected with a king; royal; regal
      2. He probably lived in the city of Tiberius
        1. No record of Jesus ever visiting this city
        2. Capital Gentile city on the Sea of Galilee
      3. He probably heard Jesus was staying in Capernaum
        1. Traveled by boat across the Sea of Galilee
        2. Expected to find Jesus there
      4. When he was told Jesus was in Cana, he left his son in Capernaum to find Jesus
      5. The only thing he knew was that Jesus healed people
        1. Jesus was a means to his end
        2. He just wanted his son healed
    2. Jesus replied that these people would not believe without signs
      1. A surprising sentence
      2. He had other surprising and shocking statements
        1. "Get behind Me, Satan!" (see Matthew 16:23; Mark 8:33; Luke 4:8)
        2. "Do you want to be made well?" (John 5:6)
      3.  An arrow of sweet rebuke
        1. Speaking not to the man, but to the crowd
        2. They were interested in Jesus because of His miracles, not His mission
    3. The man got a faith lift
      1. Jesus challenged the man's faith by not going physically to the child
      2. The man believed Jesus' words and went his way
      3. He had only a promise, and he believed
    4. It seems that the man spent the night in Cana and went on to Capernaum the next day
      1. He believed Jesus' promise
      2. He and his whole household believed in the person of Jesus
Figures referenced: Herod Antipas, Herod the Great
Greek words: basilikos, pneumati
Cross references: Deuteronomy 8:3; 18:15; Proverbs 29:18; Matthew 9:36-38; 15:8; 16:23; Mark 8:33; Luke 4:8; John 4:4; 5:6
Topic: Evangelism
Keywords: Samaria, worship, spirit, truth, Scripture, Messiah, testimony, evangelism, harvest, healing, faith, miracles

Keywords: Samaria, worship, spirit, truth, Scripture, Messiah, testimony, evangelism, harvest, healing, faith, miracles

Transcript

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Welcome to Expound, our verse by verse study of God's Word. Our goal is to expand your knowledge of the truth of God by explaining the Word of God in a way that is interactive, enjoyable, and congregational.

Father, we're especially excited tonight because of the material we find ourselves in in Scripture. The Gospel of John is always rich, a gold mine, a treasure trove of truth, an insight into the nature and character, the authority and love of our great God and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

We want to see Him exalted tonight, Lord, as he already has been through song, as He is exalted by means of our worship as we give You our full attention to what is revealed about Him in the word. Lord, I pray that when we leave tonight, our hearts would sing a new song. Whatever burdens we're carrying, Lord, we want to roll them over onto You and ask You to carry them for us.

Lord, You know the end from the beginning. So it's only reasonable that our trust in You would be absolute. Teach us, Father. Expand our knowledge of Your will as we expound Your Word. We ask in Jesus' name, amen.

If you grew up in church at all, you've heard of the Good Samaritan. Now, I know you have. But even if you weren't coming here, most people raised in church have heard the story of the Good Samaritan. And I'm sure growing up in church, though it wasn't a Bible-based church, I'm sure that I heard the story of the Good Samaritan.

But to this day, in my mind, my first recollection of the Good Samaritan was a little sticker on the back of RVs that I saw, a little man with a halo, the Good Sam Club, the Good Samaritan's Club, a club for recreational enthusiasts who'd drive those Airstream and RVs across the country. That's what I remember as the Good Samaritan. Of course, later on, I was fully aware of the story, reading through the Scriptures.

Fewer know about the Samaritan woman. And that's the story we're reading in John chapter four-- not the Good Samaritan, but the good Savior who is speaking to a Samaritan woman at the well, who has come to draw water. Now, last week we discovered a little bit about this gal. She's been around the block. She's a little crusty by now. She puts on a clever sort of a facade, very cute little terse answers.

She's been around men. She knows her way around men. And to her, this is just another man having another conversation at a well.

She comes at noon, rather than in the morning. She comes right at the middle of the day, because the townspeople would come in the morning or in the evening. So as not to mingle with them, probably because of her reputation, she comes at noon. And there is Jesus.

She's had a very interesting history with men. She's had five husbands in the past-- married and divorced five times. And according to our Lord, who has insight into her character, she is living in an unmarried state, having a conjugal relationship with a man who is not her husband. They're living together, but it's not a sanctified relationship. They are not married. They're just living together. And Jesus knows that. She doesn't know that He knows that until all the highlight of the conversation.

I've told you before about that very interesting woman who had not five but four husbands. And the first husband she married was a banker. And she divorced him. The second husband she married was a movie star. And she divorced him. The third husband she married was a preacher. And she divorced him. And the fourth husband that she was married to was a mortician.

And a friend said to her one evening, it's very interesting the line up of men you have chosen to marry. Why did you marry those men? She said, well, I married number one for the money, two for the show--

[LAUGHTER]

Three to get ready, and four-- the mortician-- to go. I can never resist that stupid joke. It's now become a part of me. And I always think of that joke when I deal with this woman.

This woman has had five husbands, as I mentioned. I am sure that with each relationship, she thought, this is it. This is the one that's going to quench my thirst. This is the one that's going to bring me satisfaction and fulfillment. Finally, I found the man.

Five have come and gone. She's given up on the institution of marriage all together. She just thought, I'll enjoy the fringe benefits by just living in a conjugal relationship, but I won't be married. Perhaps at that point, nobody would marry her-- that is, in an official sense perform the marriage for them.

But she meets Jesus. And she has an uh-oh moment with him. The uh-oh moment is when she goes, uh-oh. Because she discovers this person I'm talking to knows more than He has let on. When He said, go call your husband and she said, I don't have a husband,

Jesus said, well, you're right. Technically, you're right about that. You've had five in the past. And you're now currently living with a man who is not your husband. Now, she had never met him before. She has no idea how this stranger has such intimate knowledge of her.

And so she says to Him, sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. That was the uh-oh moment. I realize I am having a conversation with, dealing with, no ordinary person. This person is prophetic. This person has insight into my deep past, my secrets. I've never met Him before. I know He's a Jew. He's not from around here. How on earth does He know?

We discover that Jesus is not here by accident. But he deliberately chose to go through Samaria. Verse four tells us, but He needed to go through Samaria. That's because He needed to get a hold of this woman's heart. And He wanted in turn to get a hold of the hearts of the other Samaritans in those villages, which He would do through her testimony, her witness.

So in verse 19, the woman said to Him, sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. And she continues, our fathers worshiped on this mountain. And we told you last week the history and the background, Mount Gerizim, that rival temple. And you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one 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 know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming. And now is when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the father is seeking such to worship him. God is spirit. And those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.

What does that mean, to be a worshipper of God in spirit and in truth? She was making it about geography-- Mount Gerizim or Mount Zion, our temple or your temple, my church or your church? Jesus said, geography is irrelevant. What's most important is that you worship in spirit and in truth.

That is, for worship to be authentic worship, true worship, it has to be two things. It has to be candid. And it has to be credible. It has to be candid in spirit. That is, it's authentic. It's real. It's not fake. It's from the spirit.

Now, the spirit isn't the Holy Spirit here. If you notice in your Bible, it's not a capital S but a small S. That's because in spirit refers not to the Holy Spirit but to your spirit. Because in the Greek language, it is in pneumati-- in pneumati, in spirit. There's no definite article before spirit. It's not in the spirit, which could refer to the Holy Spirit. It's just in spirit.

So it's a reference to the human spirit not the Holy Spirit, which means this. You and I are tripartite beings. There is three distinct parts to us-- body, soul, and spirit. Your spirit has to be touched. It has to come from the core of you. It has to be real. It has to be authentic. It's you in the deepest part of you, worshipping God. That's the idea of worshiping in spirit.

You see, a person can worship on a physical level and even an emotional level but still not really be worshipping God. They can get all emotional and all hyped up. And we would say, oh, look. They're emoting in their worship. It's gotta be authentic.

Or physically, they're bowing down. Their hands are raised. They're standing up. All of that is good, and all of that is proper. But you can do all of that and it can be just going through the motions that you think you have to go through.

You see, Jesus said, well did Isaiah prophecy of you hypocrites, saying these people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrine the commandments of men. So it has to be candid. It has to be real. It has to be something you are purposing in your own heart, your own spirit. It's real for you. It's authentic.

But then it has to be credible. It has to be based on truth, in spirit, it says, and in truth. Real worship is more than sincerity or being earnest. How many times have you heard people say, well, they're so sincere?

And this woman worshipping at a different temple with a different worship system was worshipping sincerely. But she was sincerely wrong. So it has to be based on truth, on knowledge.

Look at verse 22. "You worship what you do not know. We Know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews."

The Samaritans had the first five books of Moses. That's the only Scripture they believed in. The rest of the prophets, the rest of the writings, they did not believe. So they didn't have the full revelation of Scripture, which was the Old Testament at that time. So it was an incomplete knowledge.

And the scripture that they have, the first five books of Moses, they also twisted some of the stories around from the original. So we know that Abraham almost sacrificed Isaac on Mount Zion, Mount Moriah down in Jerusalem, where the temple stood. But they changed the story, saying that it was on Mount Gerizim that he sacrifice his son, Isaac. They changed the Scriptural story.

So they had an incomplete knowledge base. And by the way, failure to worship God authentically can always be traced back to an inadequate knowledge of God. That's why sincerity is not enough. It has to be in spirit and in truth. It has to be candid. It has to be credible, has to be based on the credible objective truth of the Scripture.

This is why I believe firmly that at the very heart of our worship must be expository or expositional preaching and teaching. It has to be there. Because if it is not there, you could just have all sorts of sincere thoughts about all sorts of wrong things and walk away feeling really great. Has to be based on spirit but also truth.

You know, in the book of Proverbs, it says, "Without a vision, my people will perish." Proverbs 29-- without a vision, the people perish. And I have often heard that quoted by preachers, saying without a vision, the people perish. Therefore, let me give you my vision. Here's my vision. Here's my desire. This is what I see the Lord doing in our midst.

That is so out of context. It's one of the most out of context ways to apply a scripture there is. It does not mean let me share my vision with you. It literally means without a prophetic vision, the people perish or the people will wander and go astray, be led astray, be untethered is the idea in the Hebrew, and a speaking of God's word, a vision of prophetic revelation. Without God's clear word, God's people will languish and will perish.

"So our fathers, she says, worshiped on this mountain. You Jews say Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship. Jesus said, woman believe me. The hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem worship the Father." You see, it's not about where you worship. As I mentioned last week, it's about whom you worship.

And let me just reiterate again. The mistake, the error many people make is that God will be near or God will be far, in terms of space or location. This is why people make pilgrimages to Rome, or pilgrimages to Jerusalem, or pilgrimages to Mecca, or pilgrimages to Chimayo. God is near or far because that space is a holy space. And if I go to that place and make that pilgrimage and touch that relic, God will be near.

I learned a valuable lesson years ago when I was single, living in an apartment in Santa Ana, California, flea-bitten, cockroach-bitten. But it held my surfboards and a couch that I slept on. It was perfect for me. I wanted to feel the presence of God, and so I went to Israel. And I went there to work on the kibbutz. And I lived there, but I had the opportunity to visit Jerusalem.

And I remember going into the Garden of Gethsemane. And I had heard stories. Well, when you go into the Garden of Gethsemane, just, it's going to come upon you. And you're going to just be like transformed. And some magical thing is going to happen. So I remember going to the Garden of Gethsemane and just sitting there going, oh. Ah, yeah. Come on. OK, Lord.

After a while, I'm looking at my watch, going, I wonder if the Lord got the appointment right. He's a little late for this thing. And I remember walking away feeling utterly disappointed that I didn't have some surreal experience being moved out of my being.

But I do remember going back home and sitting with my open Bible in my little flea-bitten apartment in Santa Anna. And one night after being in Israel, I opened my Bible and had a time of fellowship with the Lord. And, oh, did I feel the intimacy, and warmth, and closeness with the Lord, not in Gethsemane, but in Santa Ana of all places. If you know the place, you can laugh legitimately at it.

But I was making a mistake that the Lord will be near if I make that special pilgrimage. Now, in the same way, people get used to worshipping in a place, their place. When we left our first meeting place, the Lakes Apartments, and we moved to the movie theater on Sunday morning, I remember people saying, it's not the same. There's just something special in that clubhouse.

I'm going, uh, the smell of beer? I mean, I'm trying to think. People were partying, and I don't know what you think is so special. But they thought it was so special. And every time we moved to new locations, even this location, oh, it's just not the same as the old.

And when somebody takes your seat, gets and sits in your seat. You've come a little bit later or something. And you think-- you do think this-- they're sitting in my seat. That's not their seat. I always-- that's where God speaks to me, in that seat. And you're thinking those thoughts. Get out of my seat. I want to sit there so God can speak to me.

What Jesus is saying, it doesn't matter where. What really matters is whom and how. You need the right God and the right manner in spirit and in truth. The time is coming, and now is. "God is spirit," verse 24. "Those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth.

The woman said to him I know that Messiah is coming, who is called Christ. When He comes, He will tell us all things. You know, she's saying, well, you know, this is the right place. You just say that is the right place. Jesus said, first of all, you're ignorant about this. We know what we worship. Salvation is of the Jews. And the place doesn't matter.

And she goes, well, you know what? Let's not argue. When the Messiah comes, He'll sort this whole thing out. So you know she was surprised by the next statement of Jesus.

"Jesus said to her, I who speak to you am He." It's the uh-oh moment. Not only is this stranger know everything about me, this stranger claims to be the Messiah, whom I am expecting. Question-- why were the Samaritans expecting the Messiah? That's a Jewish thing, right? Samaritans have a rival worship system, a rival temple, only for the first five books of Moses.

Because in the first five books of Moses, in the fifth book, Deuteronomy chapter 18, it says, "God will send another prophet like Moses that the people will hear." The they knew that. They took that to mean Messiah. So there was an expectation, even among Samaritans. Messiah is coming. I who speak to you am He.

At this point, His disciples came. And they marveled that he talked with a woman. Yet no one said, what do you seek or why are you talking with her?

The woman then left her water pot, went her way into the city, and said to the men. Now, before you read what she said to the men, notice what she left-- her water pot. Why was she even there? To get water, right? To get water. She brought her water pot to fill it up. That was the purpose of her journey. She now leaves the very thing she came to take back filled with water.

Why? Because something just happened. Something just happened. She was touched in a way. She's drinking from a well of water that is satisfying her thirst, just in this little encounter, that's greater even than the water she came to fetch. She left it.

Now she's on a mission. Watch this. She said to the men, "Come see a man who told me all things I ever did. Could this be the Christ?"

Now, she tells them what happened. She tells them about this man. You're going to see how it effects them in the story. One person having one conversation, one encounter with Jesus, will go out and be a spokesperson. Never underestimate the one conversation you have with a person.

You walk away from the conversation. Oh, that's not going to do much good. There is no hope for them. Nothing's going to come of this. Over the years, I've come to see the conversations I've had in the past with people I never thought would come to Christ, that those people have come to Christ because of that conversation. And they tell me years later about it.

Never underestimate how the Lord is using the seeds you are planting, the words you are speaking, the truth that you are sowing. The Lord Jesus Christ is going to be honored in Samaria by the testimony of this woman. She's the catalyst here. You're going to see it. Many, it says, will believe in Jesus because of her word, her testimony, her witness.

I don't know what your idea of successful evangelism is, but most people would say, well, you know, if we had the budget and we could fill stadiums filled with people, and bring in bands, and have the gospel preached, and call people to Christ, that is how we will win the world. And that has been a way, a wonderful way, that God has used to spread the gospel. And I am all for it. I'm all for it.

But you know, I read something by Evangelism Explosion that sort of changed my thinking a little bit. They put out these statistics. If you could fill a stadium of people every night of the week every week of the year for 35 straight years, and every night you had 50,000 people in that stadium, and every night you had 1,000 people coming to Christ, which is about the typical percentage. It's about a 5% yield in stadium evangelism. 5% of the crowd will come forward to receive Christ.

So let's say you could fill a stadium of 50,000 people, every night, different people. Every night, 1,000 people come to Christ, every night, every week, every year for 35 years. By the time you're done in 35 years, if you had that kind of budget, when you're done and all those thousands of people come to Christ, you will be, at the time you are done with the 35 years, further behind the task of world evangelization than the day you started.

You heard what I just said. You will be further behind it. And that is because the exponential birth rate people are being born on the Earth, so that if you look at the ratio, the percentage of saved souls in the world after that kind of evangelism, you'd be further behind.

The same report said, if there were no Christians on the Earth and you were the only one, and in one year, you led one other person to Christ, so that after one year, there were two believers, and then at the end of year two, those two believers personally led somebody to Christ. So after two years, there's four believers, after year three, eight, and then 16, and then 32, and 64. By the end of 35 years, there would be no more unbelievers left. The world would be won to Christ.

Isn't that interesting-- the power of a single conversation, a single witness. So Jesus needed to go through Samaria, touched a woman's heart. This woman now goes out to speak.

And look at verse 30. "Then they went out of the city and came to Him. In the meantime, the disciples urged Him, saying, Rabbi, eat." Remember, they came. They went into the village to buy food. Jesus is at the well having a conversation with the woman.

The woman goes out after the conversation, tells people. Now people are starting to come to see this Jesus at the well. In the meantime, the disciples are there. They're thinking about food. They're just guys. You ought to eat, Jesus.

And he said this to them. "I have food to eat, which you do not know. Therefore, His disciples said to one another, has anyone brought Him anything to eat?" I love these guys. I love them, because they don't get the spiritual meaning. I say I love them because I so often am just like them. So often, so often, spiritual truth goes over my head till I give it a second, third, fourth, fifth, 10th look. So I relate to these guys. That's why I go, I like these guys.

"Jesus said to them, my food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work." Now, Jesus said, I have food to eat that you don't know of. He's speaking spiritually. They're thinking physically, right?

It's similar to Deuteronomy eight. "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." Don't misunderstand what the Lord is saying. Jesus isn't saying, really spiritual people don't eat. He's not saying that. What he's saying is there's nothing more satisfying in life than doing the will of the Father. That's what He means by it. And if you have ever led any person to Christ personally, you've actually spoken to them, shared the gospel with them, and then led them to Christ just out and about, you know the elation of that.

It's interesting. When I met my wife, she was with a mission organization. And when we married, though she was involved in evangelism and involved in mission work, she said, you know, I have never personally prayed with a person to receive Christ. I've witnessed to several. I've shared with several. I have offered to pray, but I've never yet been able to lead a single person to Christ. That's when we first got married.

So shortly after we were married, we went to India. And people we found were very receptive. And I remember my wife having a conversation with this Indian man. And he was listening and listening. And she said, are you ready? Do you want to receive Christ? This was all done through a translator.

And he shook his head like this. And she thought, oh, OK. He's not ready. So she kept sharing with him. And she said, are you ready now? And he kept going like this. And so she took that as a no.

And this went on a while. And finally the interpreter said, I hope you know that this means yes here. That shaking of the head that way is like this in our country. He's been saying yes to you for the past 10 minutes.

[LAUGHTER]

Finally, she goes, well, I didn't know. I wish you would have told me 10 minutes earlier when he did this. Ravinder, you know what that's like, right? That. Yes. So you go, (INDIAN ACCENT) yes, I would like to pray.

[LAUGHTER]

And so the exhilaration I saw in her. We didn't think about food. It was like my food, my meat, is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work. "Do you not say, there are still four months and then comes the harvest?" No.

Notice here, please, Jesus is changing the metaphor from eating to farming. He's now talking about harvesting. "Do you not say there are still four months and then comes the harvest? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest."

I'm guessing that it was around December or January when Jesus was speaking. In four months from that time, it would be the harvest time. But at this point, the seedlings that had been planted were just, because of the winter rains, just poking through the soil. And so people would be saying, now is not the time to harvest. This is just a time to wait and see what grows.

Picking up on that, Jesus said, don't say that. "Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest." I have a guess when he said that. When he said to His disciples, look at the fields, you could at that point see the Samaritans coming from the village toward Jesus and His disciples, wearing their white robes, which is common. Perhaps since it was winter, wrapped their head in white. So it looks like white heads on a stalk, just this movement of white robes coming toward them.

Lift up your eyes and look. Look at the harvest. Look at these people who are coming. "And he who reaps receives wages and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this, the saying is true. One sows, another reaps. I sent you to reap. For that which you have not labored, others have labored. And you have entered into their labors."

The physical reality of those little seedlings, those little green shoots coming out of the ground, Jesus uses for a spiritual reality. Don't say it's four months. I know you would say that physically in four months is going to be the harvest. But on a spiritual level, look. Look at these people who are coming out from the village.

Now is the time. Now's the time to speak to them. Now's the time to share.

You know what? I betcha if you were to send in a crusade or a mass evangelistic committee to Samaria to assess the idea of having a meeting there, they'd probably come back and they'd say, you know, Jesus, we've scoped it out. And we think that some day Samaria is going to be ready for it, but not now. It's a little too early for it.

Different worship system, and a rival temple-- they don't like Jews around here. They get a little antsy about that. But give a few years down the road, and it'll be primed for it. Jesus said, nope the time is now, right now. As long as there are people with needs, speak to them. Sow truth into their hearts. "And he who reaps, receives wages and gathers fruit for eternal life."

You know, the problem with evangelism is not that the fields are not ready. It's that the workers are not ready. Jesus said, in Matthew 15, He saw people coming. He's filled with compassion for them. He said, pray that the Lord of the harvest sends out laborers into the harvest. Not foreman, not supervisors, not analyzers, just people who will roll up their sleeves and do the work of evangelism. Pray that the Lord of the harvest will send out laborers into His harvest field.

And look at verse 39. "And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified." What she said was, He told me everything I ever did.

I'm sure seeing this woman come, the men said, oh, here she is. We know her well. But this woman is changed. She goes, I just talked to somebody who told me all of the sins, all of the adulteries, all of the divorces, all of the relational junk. He knows all about it. And I'm believing in Him. And I want my life changed because of Him. So many of them believed in Jesus because of her witness.

"So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them. And He stayed there two days. And many more believed because of His own word. Then they said to the woman, now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him. And we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world."

So many believed because of her personal witness. Many more believed because of His powerful word. They listened to her. They were driven to Him. And in being driven to Him, they made personal investigation. And they surrendered their hearts to Him. It's a beautiful, beautiful story.

Notice what they said in verse 42 at the end. "This is indeed the Christ, the Messiah, the Savior of the world." Now, you that little phrase. The Samaritans are giving Jesus the title. This is the first time in the Bible, the first group ever to call Jesus the Savior of the world was the Samaritans. It's very interesting.

And they would know, because they know that Jews don't come through Samaria. Why is this Jew coming through to Samaria? And now they're coming to believe He is the Messiah. They go, so the Messiah isn't just a Jewish entity, nor is it just a privately Samaritan entity. He's the Savior of the world, the Jew and the Gentile, the Jew and the non-Jew.

"Now after two days, he departed from there, and He went to Galilee. For Jesus Himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country. So when He came to Galilee, the Galileans received Him, having seen the things he did in Jerusalem at the feast, for they also had gone to the feast.

So Jesus came again to Cana of Galilee, where He had made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman whose son was sick at Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus had come out of Judea into Galilee, he went to Him and implored Him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. And Jesus said unto him, unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe. The nobleman said to Him, sir, come down before my child dies."

OK, now back up. This man is called a nobleman, a nobleman. The Greek word basilikos-- ever heard of a basilica? Basilica is a medieval church or a medieval worship center structure. But the original term basilikos means one who belongs to a king, one who belongs to a king.

So this nobleman, this basilikos, is one who belonged to a king. Which king? It was probably Herod Antipas. Remember, there was Herod the Great who killed the babies in Bethlehem and lived down in Jerusalem. He's now dead. One of his sons, Herod Antipas, ruled in Galilee.

So this nobleman probably worked for Herod Antipas, probably lived in the city of Tiberias. Jesus never visited Tiberias. There's never record that He did. But that was the capital Gentile city on the Sea of Galilee. On the other side of the sea was Capernaum, that little lake. On the other side was Capernaum.

This man heard the news of this miracle worker. He's gotten quite a reputation. He heals people. So we are told that this nobleman had a son who was sick at Capernaum. How did that happen?

Well, he's living in Tiberias. He hears about Jesus. He knows, he hears that Jesus is in Capernaum. That's His headquarters. So he, probably by boat, goes across the Sea of Galilee to Capernaum, expecting to find Jesus. Well, Jesus is not here, they say. He's been down in Jerusalem at the Passover. But now we hear He's in Cana. That's 20 miles away.

So the man leaves his son at Capernaum. He can't travel 20 miles with his son. He's sick. He walks 20 miles or takes an animal 20 miles to see Jesus at Cana. At this point, the only thing this nobleman knows, this government official knows, is that there's a guy named Jesus who heals people. He didn't have faith in Jesus personally, but He has faith in a higher power.

And I bet if you were to interview Him, he would say, you know. I don't know who this Jesus is. And I don't really care who heals my son. I just want to make sure my son is healed.

Jesus was an ends-- or a means to his end. And that is, he had a sick son. He didn't care theology. He didn't care source or origin of this power. He just wants his son healed. And if this guy heals people, I want Him to do it. That's probably as much faith as he had.

So he sees Jesus. And he asked Him, heal my son. Verse 48, "Jesus said to him, unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe." Can I please nominate this verse for some of the most surprising words Jesus ever spoke? Of all the statements He ever spoke, I'd like to nominate this phrase as one of the most shocking, most surprising phrases, sentences Jesus ever said.

Unless you see signs and wonders, you will by no-- it just sounds like Jesus is having a bad Messiah day. He is just so put off by this. Like, go away kid. You bother me. Now, I nominated that as one of the most surprising verses. There are others that are shocking.

When he said to Peter, get behind me Satan, that ranks up there pretty high up. Or the man who was at the pool of Bethesda, there for 38 years. He was lame. And Jesus asked him, do you want to get better? Wh-wh-what? What kind of a question is that?

There are several things Jesus said that seem shocking or puzzling. This ranks up pretty high. This is what some commentators call, one in particular, an arrow of sweet rebuke. He's not rebuking the man himself. He's rebuking the-- it's in the plural.

That's why I think the old King James says, unless you see signs and wonders. The new King James adds, unless you people. Because it's a plural pronoun. Unless you, as a crowd, this whole group of people. Unless you.

In other words, what he's saying is these are crowds of people who are interested in me because of my miracles, not because of my mission, not because I am the Messiah, the Savior of the world. They just want a free lunch. They want to get their family better. They want health and wealth. That's all they want. They're following me for the health and wealth gospel.

"Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe." It's an arrow of tender rebuke. "The nobleman said to him, sir, come down before my child dies." Can you hear the desperation?

Look, I'm not here to argue signs and wonders or theology. I just have a sick kid. And it's in the continuous tense in the Greek. Over and over again, Lord, please heal him. Please heal him. Please come.

"Jesus said to him, go your way. Your son lives." Do you see the contrast? The man says come. Jesus says go.

Let me tell you what's going on here. This is called getting a faith lift-- not a face lift, a faith lift. Jesus is lifting this man's faith, which is at a low level, to a high level. He believes in Jesus as a miracle worker. He has faith in a higher power.

He says, come. Come and heal my son. Jesus says, go your way. What he's doing is putting more weight on the bench press to see how the nobleman could lift it. What will he do if I just give him a promise, a promise? Here's the promise. Go. Your son lives.

Now there's a promise. I'm going to add that weight to your bench press to see what you do with that, if you lift it or not. So the man believed-- watch this-- the word that Jesus spoke to him. And he went his way. He rose to the occasion. It worked. He lifted the weight.

He left. He went away with just the promise that his son was healed. He believed the word. First, he had faith. He had faith or faith in a higher power. Now he has faith in the promise, the word of God. Now watch this as we close it off.

"As he was now going down-- it's a 20 mile journey-- as he was going down-- down into Capernaum-- His servants met him and told him, saying, your son lives." Interesting they chose the same statement that Jesus said to the man. Jesus said, your son lives. They said, your son lives. And I'm sure he went. [GASP] That's exactly what that man told me. Your son lives.

Then he inquired. I like this. He had a probing mind. He inquired of them the hour when he got better. And they said, yesterday at one o'clock in the afternoon. The seventh, hour the fever left him. Now, wait, wait, wait, wait. Yesterday? You mean to tell me that that man didn't come that day after one o'clock when he said your son lives, the day before? He didn't rush down to Capernaum to see if it worked?

It's 20 miles. He could have made it there before sunset easily or as sunset began. He could have made that journey. No. It would seem that the man spent the night in Cana and then went to Capernaum the next day.

Now, that's faith in the word. I'm going to sleep here tonight. I believe that man's promise. I'll go tomorrow. Yesterday, the fever left him at one o'clock. He got a faith lift.

"So the father knew that it was at the same hour in which Jesus said to him, your son lives. And he himself believed and his whole household." Do you see how the faith is being lifted? First, it's just faith in a higher power. Then it's faith in the promise of Jesus. Now it's faith in Jesus Himself.

He believed. The implication is he believed in the person of Jesus, not just the promise, not just the power, but the person of Jesus. And his whole household-- this guy's evangelizing already, leading them to faith. This, again, is the second sign Jesus did when he had come out of Judah or Judea into Galilee.

Beautiful, beautiful story. We finished chapter four. We want to enter now into a time of the Lord's supper, taking these elements together. It's our point of contact. I'm going to pray. And as I do, I'm going to ask the communion board to come.

Father, thank you for an opportunity to highlight the miracles, the message, and the man, the God man, the Messiah, Jesus our Lord. Seeing the people He encountered, seeing that He's moving at a perfect timetable, having a heart for the Samaritan, the one that was marginalized, the one that the Jewish religious folks wanted nothing at all to do with. Jesus needed to go there.

Not only that, He was satisfied fully in doing Your will, Father. He was driven, motivated, by the Father's will. And it fully satisfied Him to do it. Father, I pray that we would see why we are here, what our mission is, that we would be driven by a purpose to serve You and to glorify You.

Lord, even as the Samaritans said that Jesus was the Savior of the world, we are taking these elements, because we too believe Jesus is the Savior of the world, the Jewish Messiah sent to save sinners all over the world, Jew or Gentile. And so we take, as a point of contact, these elements because we believe that.

We have received Jesus. And we take the piece of bread and the fruit of the vine that speak of that Passover where Jesus changed the meaning of the Passover. So we don't look back to Egypt, we look back to Calvary, the Lamb of God slain for sinners. In Jesus' name, amen.

If you've missed any of our Expound studies, all of our services and resources are available at expoundabq.org.

Additional Messages in this Series

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3/30/2016
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John 1:1-25
John 1:1-25
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The book of John is the go-to gospel for new believers. While the other Gospels were written for specific groups of people—the Jews, Romans, and Greeks—John was written for the whole world. As we begin our study in John, we discover that it is a studied portrait of Jesus' life, and it shows Him for who He really is: the Son of God.
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4/6/2016
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John 1:19-51
John 1:19-51
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What is your view of Jesus? John the Baptist was very aware of who Jesus is: "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). We learn that our faith should not be dictated by the world's opinion of God because the majority of people have not received Him—but those who do have the right to become His children.
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4/13/2016
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John 2
John 2
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Jesus' first miracle could have been performed in front of all of Israel, demonstrating that He was their Messiah; instead, He performed His first miracle in private, bringing joy to a group of people at a wedding and cementing the disciples' faith in Him. In this study, we learn about that first miracle and why it was significant to Jesus' ministry.
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4/20/2016
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John 2:23-3:19
John 2:23-3:19
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When Jesus began His ministry on earth, many people were interested in who He was and what He was doing because of the signs and miracles He performed—not because they believed in His mission. In this study, we learn that Jesus' mission was to save all people, and He already did the hard part: He bled, suffered, and died on the cross for our sins.
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4/27/2016
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John 3:22-4:24
John 3:22-4:24
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Many people believe the church is a society of perfect people; it is, however, a society of redeemed people who express their personality through God's spirituality. In this teaching, we learn that Jesus chooses sinful people to do His work, and He loves everyone regardless of who they are and what background they come from.
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5/18/2016
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John 5:1-36
John 5:1-36
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When Jesus healed the paralyzed man at the pool of Bethesda, He proved He was the ultimate Healer—but not everyone saw Him that way. In this teaching, we learn that this was the point in Jesus' ministry that most of the Jewish nation formally set itself against Him, and the opposition would only continue to mount until they finally succeeded in crucifying Him.
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5/25/2016
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John 5:31-6:21
John 5:31-6:21
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Jesus provided many reasons for why people should believe in Him. As we look at some of His miracles, we see that when we go God's way, He will get us to our destination and teach us vital lessons along the way.
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6/8/2016
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John 6:22-6:71
John 6:22-6:71
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Miracles bring awareness that God is real and near to us. But along with that awareness is the danger of seeking the Lord not for who He is, but for what He does. Some people only seek Him because they want what He can give them. In this study, we see that Jesus wanted people to know the true miracle: that they can be eternally saved simply by believing in Him.
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6/15/2016
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John 7:1
John 7:1
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God gives us all the information we need, even if it's not all the information we want. In this Communion message, we learn that adjusting to God's sovereignty is always better than suffering the consequences of our own obstinacy. As we take the Lord's Supper, we remember that the Jews wanted to kill Jesus because they hated Him, but He willingly gave His life to save the world.
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8/17/2016
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John 7:1-36
John 7:1-36
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When Jesus came to Earth, people responded to Him with disbelief, debate, and division. In this Communion message, we learn that the Jewish leaders' hatred and animosity toward Jesus grew, culminating with His death on the cross. As we take the Lord's Supper, we remember that it has always been the plan of God to send His Son to the earth as a sacrifice for our sins.
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8/24/2016
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John 7:37-8:11
John 7:37-8:11
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The highest place of satisfaction in our lives is when we allow God to use us for His glory and purpose. He desires for us to be conduits of His love, not just reservoirs. As we study Jesus' ministry, we are reminded that He gives the most incredible invitation to quench the thirst of our lives.
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8/31/2016
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John 8:12-59
John 8:12-59
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God treated Jesus like we deserved to be treated so we could be treated like Jesus deserved to be treated. We are all slaves to sin, but Jesus took that burden from us so we could be children of God. As we continue our study in the gospel of John, we learn how Jesus explained His deity to the Jews.
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9/14/2016
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John 9
John 9
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Nobody enjoys suffering, but God can use it to bring about good. Suffering equips us for ministry, strengthens us, and sometimes even corrects us. As we study John 9, we learn how Jesus healed a blind man and demonstrated that spiritual sight is more important than physical sight.
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9/21/2016
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John 10:1-24
John 10:1-24
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Sheep recognize the voice of their shepherd and follow him because they trust him. Scripture refers to humans as sheep and calls Jesus our Good Shepherd. As we study John 10:1-24, we learn that Jesus gave His life for His sheep, and He desires to lead us to an abundant life in Him.
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10/5/2016
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John 10:21-42
John 10:21-42
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To believe or not to believe—that is the eternal question. John 10:21-42 highlights the fact that even though Jesus said He was the Son of God, many people in the world still do not believe this truth. As we take the Lord's Supper, we learn there is a huge difference between doubt and unbelief.
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10/26/2016
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John 11:1-35
John 11:1-35
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Sometimes God doesn't answer our prayers exactly when or how we think He should. Tragedy happens to all people, even those who love Jesus. As we study the story of Lazarus, we learn that God's delays are not His denials, and He does things on His own perfect timetable.
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11/2/2016
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John 11:33-12:11
John 11:33-12:11
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There is no question about whether God can heal people—He absolutely can. Jesus did more than heal Lazarus—He raised him from the dead. As we take the Lord's Supper, we are reminded that although we will all die, we will one day be raised to eternal life because of the redemptive love of Jesus Christ.
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11/9/2016
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John 12:12-50
John 12:12-50
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Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem was an exciting time, but many of the people who shouted, "Hosanna!" on that day would be demanding His death less than a week later. In this message, we learn about Jesus' countenance in the week leading up to His crucifixion.
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11/30/2016
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John 13
John 13
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During the Last Supper, Jesus spent a private moment ministering to His disciples. In this Communion message, we learn that God is not shocked by our failures; in fact, we are expected to learn from them. And one day, we will eventually be restored because of Jesus' humility in sacrificing Himself for us.
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1/4/2017
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John 14:1-26
John 14:1-26
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When Jesus' public ministry was over, He shared the Last Supper with His disciples, teaching them more before His death. He promised that though He was leaving them, He would send a Helper to aid them as they shared the gospel. In this Communion message, we learn that obedience to Christ opens the door to intimacy and satisfaction with Him.
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1/11/2017
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John 14:12-15:27
John 14:12-15:27
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The Bible is filled with God's promises, and we know He always keeps them. In this study of the Upper Room Discourse, we see Jesus promising His disciples His comfort through the Holy Spirit, His peace through His omniscience, and His joy through a life devoted to Him.
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1/18/2017
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John 16
John 16
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Jesus' disciples had a hard time understanding that He was going to die, rise again, and ascend to heaven. In this study of the Upper Room Discourse, we see that Jesus told His disciples He was leaving them and they would eventually suffer persecution, but they would be filled with everlasting joy in the Holy Spirit.
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1/25/2017
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John 17
John 17
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Jesus' ministry began, continued, and ended in prayer. John 17 records Jesus' one-on-one communication with His Father about Himself, His disciples, and us. In this teaching, we learn just how important prayer was to Jesus and how it should be the same in our own lives.
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2/1/2017
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John 18
John 18
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As Jesus' time on the earth drew to a close, His disciples might have felt their world was spinning out of control. But Jesus was not a victim of His circumstance; rather, He was the orchestrator, and He knew that it was all in His Father's plan. In this Communion message, we examine Jesus' betrayal and the trials that ultimately resulted in His crucifixion.
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2/15/2017
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John 19:1-22
John 19:1-22
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Jesus endured extreme torture up to and including His death on the cross. In this message, we examine the political and spiritual circumstances surrounding His trial and crucifixion, and we learn how this historic event was all part of God's ultimate plan.
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2/22/2017
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John 19:23-42
John 19:23-42
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Jesus suffered a gruesome death on the cross. Not only that, but the majority of his followers abandoned Him in His greatest hour of need. In this message we examine the Roman practice of crucifixion, and what Jesus must have felt as He paid the atoning sacrifice to save us from our sins.
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3/1/2017
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John 20
John 20
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After Jesus' death and burial, His followers were confused and in despair. Little did they know their sorrow was about to turn to joy—Jesus was alive. As we take the Lord's Supper, we examine the experiences of those who saw Jesus after His resurrection and learn about the commission He gave them and all believers.
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3/8/2017
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John 21
John 21
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As we conclude our study in the book of John, we learn Jesus had a mission when He invited His disciples to have breakfast with Him. Jesus gave Peter a chance to redeem himself and commissioned the disciples to spread the gospel to the ends of the earth.
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There are 28 additional messages in this series.