Believe:879. How far will you go to find the truth? A journey through the gospel of John, with Skip Heitzig.
Turn in your Bibles to John chapter four this morning. It's the passage we looked at last week, but from a different angle this week.
Let's pray together. Lord, we believe that this book is Your Word, and that You have preserved it, inspired it, and it's Your desire to apply it to our lives. Lord, we pray that You would do that, and even, even through all of the inadequacies of the teacher this morning. We pray that Your Holy Spirit would be the One who ultimately is the teacher. You'd instruct us, not only that, You'd inspire us, Father, to be about Your business, getting the gospel out. In Jesus' name, amen.
I wanna take a little survey here this morning, an informal survey. I need all of your participation. This is a census, you have to be involved in this, um, for accuracy purposes. Um, how many of you came to faith in Jesus Christ by watching television, some program on television? Show of hands. Okay. Just a few people, very few. How many of you by listening to something on the radio, you listened to the radio and you received Christ? Show of hands. Okay. How many of you received Christ at a church service? Hands up. Lot of 'em. How many of you came to faith in Christ because of the witness of another person in your life, somebody personally led you to faith in Christ? See, that's what I thought. The last two were the greatest response, and this is what I've discovered, both personally as well as from sharing the gospel. I personally came to faith in Christ, it was by watching television but it was way after somebody shared with me one-on-one how to receive Christ and why I should. And I've had the opportunity personally to lead men and women to Christ over the years, sometimes at a Bible study, sometimes at a crusade, but the greatest thrill is one-on-one. There's just no greater joy than when a conversation leads to a conversion. It's a wonderful, wonderful experience.
The question for this morning is, How do you do that? What is the method? What is the approach? Is there one, and is there a biblical model? And the answer is a resounding yes. And it comes from Jesus' example Himself with the woman at the well of Samaria. Something about this woman, it's obvious but it should be said, this gal was not predisposed to hearing the message. She was not raised in a Christian home, she did not have the environment that would lend itself to believing what she was about to enter into. She was hardened by life, she was calloused by the experiences of life, but through this encounter and no doubt one of the reasons Jesus shares it is to show us how He led her to water, to living water.
Back in 1949 there was a guy named John Currier, and he was sentenced to life imprisonment because he was convicted of murder. He was living out his life sentence when after several years he was paroled to a work farm environment, and a work farm near Nashville, Tennessee. Then in 1968, his sentence was terminated, and a letter was sent to him to tell him he was a free man. He never saw the letter. He never got it. He never was told about it, he never read it, and so he stayed working on the farm for ten more years, until finally a state parole officer heard about it, and he personally told him about it, found the letter, showed it to him. John Currier was released. Here's the question that follows that story. Would it matter to you if somebody sent you an important message, the most important message of your whole life, but year after year after year after year it wasn't delivered? It would totally matter, like it mattered to John Currier.
And so that is really the thrust of today's message, is delivering the message. We have the greatest message the world has ever known, it's the life-changing gospel of Christ. We need to deliver it. Evangelism Explosion, a great outfit, has said ninety-five percent of all churchgoing Americans have never led another person to faith in Christ. Well, as we look at John chapter four, I want to talk to you today about two principles: first is your attitude, and my attitude, and number two is the approach. The attitude and the approach. Both are important. Attitude, all important. Your attitude will show. People will know if you care about them or you don't care about them. Even a dog knows if you care about it or not. And people will certainly pick up on the fact that you really love them or you don't so much. People don't know how much, or don't care about how much you know until they know that you care. And that's first and foremost. And then there's the approach. And I know a lot could be said about what is the proper approach to an unbeliever. And there are classes and there are seminars and there's a whole host of sometimes complex approaches to a person. And by the way, I'm for all of them, anything that will motivate a believer to share his or her faith with somebody else. But I believe in keeping it simple. And what I love about this passage is we have these two things only. And granted, I'm gonna define and describe them so there's three things hanging off of each one. But simply, the attitude of love and then the lingering approach. Here's what I mean by lingering approach. It's the approach that says, I'm gonna stick with this person awhile, I'm not gonna give up, I'm not gonna say, Well, the soil's too hard, I'm gonna bag this one and try somebody else. It's, I'm gonna enter into a conversation, in fact, a relationship, God willing, that will over time allow me to lead this person to Christ.
Now let's look at verse ten, and we'll go to verse thirty. And here's something you'll notice, we're gonna cover a few verses that we looked at last week but from a different angle, and we'll even cover next week some of the verses that we look at today more in depth. But verse ten to verse thirty. "Jesus answered and said to her [that's the woman at the well of Samaria], 'If you knew the gift of God and who it is who says to you, "Give Me a drink," you would have asked Him, and He would've given you living water.' The woman said to Him, 'Sir, You have nothing to draw with. The well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and livestock?' Jesus answered and said to her, 'Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again. But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.' The woman said to Him, 'Sir, give me this water so that I may not thirst nor come here to draw.' Jesus said to her, 'Go, call your husband, and come here.' The woman answered and said, 'I have no husband.' Jesus said to her, 'You have well said, "I have no husband," for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband. In that you spoke truly.' The woman said to Him, 'Sir, I perceive that You're a prophet. [Talk about the understatement of the century.] Our fathers worshiped on this mountain 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 you will neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem 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 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 truth.' The woman said to Him, 'I know that Messiah is coming, the one who is called Christ. When He comes, He will tell us all things.' Jesus said to her, 'I who speak to you am He.' And 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 and went her way into the city and said to the men, 'Come see a man who told me all the things I ever did. Could this be the Christ?' They went out of the city and they came to Him."
Let's begin with the attitude, shall we? A loving attitude. Start asking God to give you a loving attitude toward people who are lost. Here's the problem with some of us: some of us have been saved so long, we forget what it's like to be lost. Ask God to give you a love for those who are lost. We can't do what we're called to do without love. Now let's say you're a doctor. Theoretically, you could practice medicine without love. You might not love your patients, you're in it for the money, most doctors, however, don't do this, but it's possible, technically, to approach a patient and treat a patient without having a depth of love for that person. If you're a lawyer you can do your job without love for your clients. If you're an engineer, same is true. But you cannot, I cannot, do what we're called to do in reaching the world successfully without love. Jesus was filled with love for this woman. And there's three things I want you to notice about His loving approach.
His love transcends culture. Transcends culture. Remember how we talked last week about the Jews and the Samaritans, there was a rift between them? And in verse four it says Jesus needed to go through Samaria? But then in verse seven even the woman remarked, um, "Why are You asking a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?" And then John says, "for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans"? We covered that last week. And we noted something and I just sort of reinforce it and add to it a little bit today. Um, two thousand years ago, strict Jewish people didn't even like Gentiles, non-Jewish people. They didn't like 'em. They didn't hang with them. Least they didn't like the Samaritans because the Samaritans had defected from the true Jewish religion and had their own rival system. So listen to some of the comments by the ancient rabbis. Here's one, and I quote, "Gentiles are created by God to fuel the fires of hell," closed quote. Here's another one, "There is joy in heaven when one sinner is obliterated from off the face of the earth," closed quote. Jesus said just the opposite, didn't He? There's joy in heaven when one sinner repents. But when it came to the Samaritans, there had been this longstanding rift and animosity. In fact, a popular prayer two thousand years ago was this, "Lord, do not remember the Samaritans in the resurrection." So, needless to say, Jews and Samaritans didn't hang together. They didn't high-five each other on the street. They didn't Facebook each other. They didn't Twitter each other. They were on the outs with each other. There was no contact whatsoever. So when we read again a reminder in verse four, "He needed to go through Samaria," that's a statement about His love and His loving attitude as much as it's a statement about anything else. He needed to go 'cause He loves everyone, of any culture, of any country, in any time--He loves everyone.
There's a song you may have learned as a child or you taught it to your children. "Jesus loves the little children, all the little children of the world." That's true. He does love little children. But you know what else? He loves adults, too. And teenagers. You go, really? Yeah. And college students. And white-collar workers and blue-collar workers and drug addicts and prostitutes. He loves them all. In fact, He loves them as much as He loves you or me or Billy Graham. In fact, in reading through the gospels, it says though He goes out of His way to love them. Matthew eighteen, Jesus said, "If a shepherd has a hundred sheep and one wanders away and is lost, what will he do? Won't he leave the ninety-nine others and go out into the hills and search for the lost one? And if he finds it he will surely rejoice over it, more than over the ninety-nine that did not wander away. In the same way, it is not My Father's will that even one of these little ones should perish." I have a question I want you to just answer privately in your own heart. Is there a culture that you have trouble with? Are you prejudiced in your heart against a people group? Has that been something passed down to you from your parents or grandparents or in some of the circles you've hung out with and you say certain remarks and have certain feelings that are just flat out wrong? For white people it could be a prejudiced against blacks or Hispanics, but it doesn't end there. I know many Hispanics that have prejudices against white people, etcetera, etcetera. So then, ask, if you're not sure if you are or if that's a problem, just ask somebody who loves you and is close to you and is honest with you, and just say, "Do you see that defect in my life?" They'll tell you. Am I prejudiced in any regard? Then ask God to give you a transforming love, a real love, for those people. Did you know that Mahatma Gandhi, the great Hindu leader and social worker, almost became a Christian? He wrote in his autobiography, he was reading the gospels, he was so impressed with Christ, that he wanted to convert to Christianity and he thought Christianity would be the answer to India's caste system. But you know what kept him from being a Christian? Christians. Christians did. He said that he was going to church one Sunday for instruction on Christianity and baptism and he was stopped at the door. He was refused a seat in that church and the person at the door said, "Go and worship with your own kind." He left that church never to return to another church in his life. And he wrote in his autobiography, "Well then, if Christians have caste differences, I might as well remain a Hindu." Do you have a caste system in your heart? Does that need to be torn down? Then just start right there and ask Jesus to give you the kind of love for people that would transcend their culture and your cultural differences.
Second thing to remark about Jesus' love is it's a love that transcends gender. Gender. Now we may not have that problem but, then again, we might. Jesus was a Jew and she was a Samaritan. Jesus was a man and she was a woman. And back then those were huge differences. Even the woman said, "How is that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?" And did you notice, by the way, in verse twenty-seven, at this point His disciples came and they marveled that He talked with a woman! That's funny to our ears but here's the disciples, here's Peter, James, John, they got halos on, they're coming up the hill and there's Jesus talking to a woman and they go, "Huhhh! He's talking to a chick!" You know why that is? 'Cause they didn't talk to women. Strict rabbis had instructed younger rabbis never talk to a woman in public, even your own wife, even your own daughters, because it could be a distraction and even keep you from the study of the Torah which could eventually send you to hell. Wow! The rabbis said, and I quote, "Let a man burn the words of the Law rather than teach them to a woman." Women were subservient; they were hidden. Even Abraham, when strangers were invited into his tent, Sarah was hidden away from sight in the next quarter of the tent. Oh and by the way, when they traveled together and there was a donkey, guess who rode the donkey? The man rode; the woman walked. So I know the artist's depiction of Joseph walking alongside Mary is a beautiful one but he'd have been the laughingstock of everyone in those days. That was just not culturally done. And in fact, did you know there was a group of people, this is going to crack you up, they were known as "bruised Pharisees," or actually, "bruised and bleeding Pharisees"? Because whenever they saw a woman publicly they closed their eyes. They'd shut their eyes. They didn't want to look at another woman. They didn't want to be tempted. So can you imagine what that would do? You're walking along the street and you see a woman, you close your eyes, you keep walking, you're going to what? You're going to hit a wall, you're going to hit a house, you're going to get beaten up. Can you imagine if that happened today, how many beat up people there would be?
Now the point is that Jesus obviously did not care about these stupid social customs of man versus woman. It was a person. It was a human being. It was one of His created beings. And she lived in Samaria and she needed the truth and He cares about people, all people. Women, understand something. It's not the Christian church that has kept women subjugated and kept them as slaves and Gloria Steinem and a movement of women who just suddenly, baloney, thank God for sending Christ who liberated women and raised them up to the standard that makes them all equal. That's what the New Testament says. Paul writes in Galatians, "there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ." That is Bible. That is Bible. So, His love transcends gender. Now unfortunately, some men still want to disparage women in our culture, in our day. Oh yes. I hear the conversation sometimes, just how they refer even to their wife, I've heard men say, "Well, you know, my wife, she's not that smart, she just doesn't make choices well." You sure you want to admit that, seeing that she said yes to your proposal of marriage? I don't think you want to get that out. Because she made a decision to marry you. There was a legend about Adam having a conversation with God and he was so enamored with Eve and he said, "God! She's wonderful! Why did You make her so soft and so beautiful?" God said, "So that you'd love her." And then he lowered his voice and said, "God, so, why'd You make her so dumb?" And God said, "So that she would love you!" Don't quote me on that; it's just a legend.
The third thing to notice about Jesus' love is that it transcends character. Now, this wasn't just a woman, this was a woman of ill repute. I'll remind you again of the verses we looked at. Verse sixteen where Jesus said, "Go, call your husband and come here," and she says, "I don't have a husband," verse eighteen, Jesus says, "You've had five husbands." Now she's working on number six, she's forgetting the legalities, she's just living with them. "The one whom you now have is not your husband. In that you have spoken truly." So here's a woman who has been around a lot of men and she has a sordid character. That's why she comes to the well at noon. That's why she doesn't come in the morning or at night. That's when everybody else came. But she comes at noon because she doesn't want to be around the taunts and those respectable people that would notice her as a woman of ill repute. I'm picturing her as a young girl. I can just imagine the, fell in love, head over heels with some guy up there in Sychar and she just saw him as, you know, wow! He hung the moon! Then he marries her, she lives with him and time goes on and she gets really disillusioned and eventually it breaks up. And she's heartbroken but then somebody else comes along and she's enamored with him and this is the one! It takes two. Maybe the second time! And she marries him and then they break up and then three, and four, and five! And now she's just living, cohabitating, with a man who is not her husband.
Now here's what I simply want you to notice. Jesus did not seem to have a hang-up talking to her. Not just a woman, this kind of a woman. And the point is obvious. There's no one who is too awful, too sinful, too low, too marginalized, for Jesus to love, to be concerned with and to be touched by His love and grace. As somebody said, the love of God is like the Amazon River. It flows down to water one daisy. Everybody else thought she was a weed. Jesus sees her as a flower and gives her the attention. Here's on one hand the religious leaders who will close their eyes and rather walk into a wall than talk or look at a woman and here's Jesus, with love in His heart. His love that would transcend her gender and culture and character and talk to her. There's a lesson for us. Somebody once said, I forget who, but it, it, uh, it's so good, how many prodigals are kept out of the kingdom of God by those unlovely characters who profess to be inside? You can push people off at arm's length because we forget what it's like to be this lost. So that's the loving attitude.
Now let's look at His approach. And I call it a lingering approach because you'll notice in the conversation that all of this woman's cute, little, terse, smart remarks don't ever give Jesus the occasion to say, "I'm done with you, I'm out of here." He stays with her. In fact, what He does is, by, by three little things He reels her in beautifully. He appeals to her curiosity first. Then He appeals to her inner craving, her thirst. And then He appeals finally to her conscience, her guilty conscience. Now you've got to understand something when you deal with unsaved people. Lost people don't know they're lost. You'll, you'll rarely enter into a conversation with somebody and that person will go, "Yeah, I know that I'm lost and on my way to eternal damnation and I need a Savior." The only time people really get in touch with their lostness is when they're found and they look back and go, man, was I lost! I was so bad off and now I realize that I was lost but now I'm found, I was blind but now I see. But by and large, lost people don't know that they're lost. They don't know they're hungry because they've never had a meal. They don't know they're thirsty because their thirst has never been quenched by the living water. Billy Graham said the most devastating effect of sin is that we're blinded to it. Here's a woman blinded to it. Here's Jesus about to open her eyes to it. First thing He does, go back to verse ten, He appeals to human curiosity. Now this is what advertisers call a hook. Verse ten Jesus said, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water.'" It's a mysterious statement. To some, it's an ambiguous statement. It's not clear cut in her mind what He's speaking about. He doesn't say, "Do you know who I am? I am the incarnate Son of God come to refresh you spiritually by forgiving you of your sin." He didn't say that. He just says, "If you only knew the gift of God and who it is who's talking to you, you'd have asked Me and I'd have given you living water." That's a hook. He's producing a curiosity in her. It's the kind of a statement that would make her go, hmm. I wonder what that means. I wonder what it's all about. It's just enough information to whet her appetite. We could do this. We could do this. Let's say you're standing in line at a supermarket and there's a few people in front of you, there's all the newspapers and there's bad news like every day, and somebody looks at the headlines and they just remark out loud, "What is this world coming to?" You know, you could say something like, "Well, it seems as though this world is right on schedule." And they'll go, "Huh? What did he mean by that, what did she mean in saying that?" I think that would be a better approach than saying, "Well actually, I'm glad that you ask. This is what the world is coming to. It's coming to judgment and God's coming back and He's going to get you and here's the four spiritual laws." You could do all that or you could simply send out a statement that peaks their curiosity, makes them marvel, and gets them interested to say, "What do you mean by that? Could you tell me more? What do you believe in?"
I was reading a book by G. Campbell Morgan, one of my favorite expositors who's now in heaven, and he's commenting on a phrase in Acts chapter two about the people of Jerusalem. It says they were all amazed and marveled. Here's the disciples giving testimony and the people in Jerusalem were all amazed and they marveled. Here's what Morgan said, commenting on that: "The trouble too often is that the world is not at all amazed, not at all perplexed, because there's nothing to amaze them and nothing to perplex them. The work of the church is to perplex the city and make the city listen." Awaken their need by curiosity.
Here's the second thing Jesus does in His approach is He appeals to her spiritual craving. Now she doesn't know what it is but He's unearthing that. Verse eleven, "The woman said to Him, 'Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then are You going to get this living water? Are You greater than our father Jacob?'" and we read that so many times last week and this week. Verse thirteen, "Jesus answered and said, 'Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again.'" That's the hole in the ground, that's the well. "But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life." Now, Jesus knew this woman had a deep longing in her heart. And she's thinking, who does this dude think He is? Greater than Jacob? And she knows this is a very unusual man that she's talking to. But the statements begin to percolate and touch her deeply and go below the surface. She's coming to grips with, "Yeah, you know I've wanted that refreshment all my life." And here's the point. Human beings, all human beings, have an enormous thirst for spiritual things. They do. They're thirsty. There's this hope, there's the idea that there must be something more than what I've already experienced on earth right now. It's what one author called a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every human being. That's a great description, isn't it? Every person has a God-shaped vacuum that cannot be filled by any created thing. Paul the apostle put it this way, "The creation," that's all of us, "the creation was subjected to futility, emptiness, not willingly but because of Him who subjected it in hope." In other words, and I'll paraphrase it, God put in every human being a hole in their soul. We're born with a hole in the soul. So we walk around going, yeah, that was fun, that was good, that tasted good, that person's nice. There's gotta be more! There's gotta be more! Here's a woman preoccupied with a hole in the ground, that's the well, Jesus is all about the hole in her soul, getting her in touch with her spiritual thirst. You can have that thirst quenched, sweetie. You don't ever have to thirst again. Living water. So try that next time. Start with a statement that makes people wonder, curious. Follow that up by taking the conversation to a deeper level, like, "Are you really, honestly fulfilled? Are you really happy? Deep inside do you feel like your thirst is quenched?" That's where Jesus is taking her.
Third and finally, He appeals to a guilty conscience. It's pretty obvious as you go through this. In verse sixteen, He's doing something fascinating to me. Of course, He knows all things so He can pull this off quite easily. He said, "Go, call your husband, and come here." So here's Jesus saying, look, I'll just wait right here, go back to town, go get your husband, come back. We'll talk. And she said, the woman said, and she had no clue what's coming next, "I have no husband. I'm not married." Jesus said to her, "Well, you have said well, 'I have no husband,' for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband. In that you spoke truly." And her response, "Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet." Now do you see what's happening? Up till now Jesus has been indulging her cynicism and her flippant, little, cute little remarks, 'cause He knows she's speaking from her pain, from her callousness, from her hurt. But now it's time to go for the jugular. Now it's time to penetrate that thick, crusty defense and go right to the heart. He's gotten her curious, He's getting her in touch with her spiritual thirst, and now He gets personal. And with one statement, one sentence, "Go call your husband." It's like a sharpshooter aiming for the heart, just one arrow. Phoom! And that one statement, "go get your husband," was enough to evoke a flood of memories, past failures, past broken relationship, one after another till she finally gave up and said, "I'm not gonna even go to the judge and get a certificate or a license. We'll just live together." Go call your husband. Then Jesus said what He said and she immediately thought, How does this stranger know such intimate details about my life? He must be a prophet. I have a question. Why did Jesus go there? Why did He do this? Why would He dare pull off a scab to such a deep wound? Just to make her feel bad? No. To get her to see her great need. See, she's hiding behind her little statements and she's been around men and, "Well, where are you gonna get that living water? Oh, show me where that is! Well I don't have a husband." "You're right. You have five. And you're living with a man in sin." Whoa! This is called the uh-oh moment. This is where you know you're busted, you go, uh-oh. He gets very personal because here's the point, here's the truth. She'll never drink from living water unless she says, "I'm really thirsty and everything I've tried in the past, including these men, have not fulfilled my thirst." That's why. That's why. The same is true today. Before anyone seeks a Savior from sin they have to admit that they're? A sinner. They don't admit that they're a sinner if you just pat them on the back, "Oh, you're a good person, you're a nice person, you just keep feeling good, fuzzy thoughts and be sincere." There has to be a point where a person is confronted with their sin to see the need of having their sin dealt with. And so curiosity, thirst, and then, very personal, the guilty conscience. The broken law.
Now, for this woman it was her relational baggage. It wouldn't be the same if He was addressing somebody else in the same manner. He might walk up to some and instead of saying, "Go call your husband," He might say, "Um, go get your income tax returns and come back. I'd like to review them with you." Or He might say to somebody else, "Um, go get your internet activity records this past week. Let's talk." Or He'd say, "Your phone records, bring them here. I want to talk to you about them." See, it sort of depends on what the hang-up is, what the sin, where the failure is. Jesus gets very personal here with this woman's one, huge issue. And then finally she says, "Could this be the Christ?" And many Samaritans, including this woman, will believe. Well, you can lead a Samaritan to water but you can't make her drink. She will drink, I believe. And it's because Jesus loved and lingered. His attitude was one of love, His approach was one of sticking with her, staying with her, and taking her through this process. Hey, let's do the same. Go out and engage in holy gossip. Let's call it that. Holy gossip. It goes like this, "Psst! Have you heard what Jesus has done in my life? I want to tell you about it." Start there. J.C. Ryle, Bishop Ryle of Liverpool, said, "The highest form of selfishness is a man content to go to heaven alone." See, this is what happens, we church people, we're saved, we're so happy we're saved, and then we get fed and we grow and we get more fed and more studied up and, and better equipped and this seminar and that teaching and we get just so big, we forget what it's like to be lost. You know how to get in touch with it? Just go hang around with more lost people. You get in touch with it really quick. And let's not be content to go to heaven alone. "I'm glad I'm going to heaven." Yeah, but there's, drag a few people with you.
I want to close with a story I read this week. Fritz Kreisler. Fritz Kreisler was a renowned violinist from Germany. Wherever he would go he attracted large crowds and he made huge sums of money playing the violin. Most of the money, unfortunately, he gave away. So when the time came for him to buy the most exquisite violin he had ever seen in his life, he had no money. Well, he raised the money. He told the person selling it, hold it for me. I'm gonna raise the funds. He did, went back, the violin was already sold to a collector. So Fritz Kreisler went to the home of the collector and told him who he was. "I'd like to buy your violin." The collector didn't need the money and he wanted the violin and he said, "I'm sorry. I don't want to part with it. It's now my prized possession. I'm not gonna sell it to you." Kreisler was about to turn and go and leave, then he had a thought. He thought, I'll try this. He said, "Listen, before you consign that violin to eternal quiet, could I just play it once?" He said, "Sure, have at it," gave him the violin, put the bow in his hand. And he played so beautifully, filled the room with such emotional music, that the collector said, "I have no right to keep that to myself. It's yours, Mr. Kreisler. You can have it." And then he said, "Take it into the world and let people hear it." I think Jesus would be saying to us today through this message, "Take it, it's yours. Take it into the world and let people hear it, let people hear My message, how much I love them."
Let's pray for that today. Father, we begin with our attitude and we pray that culture or gender or character or finances or part of town or parts of the world or things that divide us between ourselves would be dealt with in our lives so that we will love as You loved, that the attitude of love that would cause Jesus to have to go through Samaria would cause us to have to talk to a person who doesn't know You, or a city that doesn't know You, or a culture that doesn't know You. Lord, as this woman was turned away by so many 'cause she was a Samaritan and a woman and a woman of ill repute, all of those three strikes, she was out in their eyes. And here is Jesus giving her a whole new at bat, and willing to start afresh. Then, Lord, I pray you'd help us in our approach with the unbeliever, not only the attitude, but the approach, that the, the words that we say, the hooks that use, would peak curiosity, stimulate interest, awaken need and thirst to the place where finally sin is dealt with. Lord, it's so simple. An attitude and then an approach. The model of Jesus. Lord, I pray that we would be faithful to take it and let the people, let the world hear the glorious truth of salvation. Lord, You once used Balaam's donkey to speak. Certainly, You can use us, in our communities, and our families, and our world. In Jesus' name, amen.