March 15th, 2020
5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon. 7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”
13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”
17 “I have no husband,” she replied.
Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”
Sermon: The Messiah is coming!
In the current political climate, men and women have thrown their hats into the ring to seek election as judges, representatives, senators, and president of these United States. In my twentieth year as a United Methodist minister, I will not disclose my support for any candidate or political party. This pulpit is strictly a place to proclaim that anyone can confess sin, repent, and profess faith in Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior. Many will devote time, energy, and financial contributions for politicians to fix our nation’s problems. We can pray for our leaders, first responders, and the brave men and women who serve in the armed forces. No politician can save us; only Jesus can save us, for he alone is our Savior and Lord.
Many terms are used in Holy Scriptures to describe the Lord our God. He is the creator, author of all life, the God who gives us life and breath. The Lord provides everything his children may need: food, drink, health, healing, mercy, and forgiveness. He alone can free us from the bondage of sin and death. To accomplish his plan of salvation, God sent his Son, Jesus, who came down from heaven to earth to save us. Many words are used in the Old Testament to describe this Savior. The most important term is Messiah.
Messiah means God’s anointed one, the one anointed and empowered to deliver his people and establish God’s kingdom on earth. Many Jews envisioned a Messiah who would lead the armies of Israel to defeat their enemies and bring a golden era of peace and prosperity. In Christian terms, Messiah means the one who will deliver us from sin and death. In Hebrew, Messiah means anointed one. In Greek, this term is translated as “Christos.” The phrase Jesus Christ means that Jesus is the God’s anointed one, the Promised Messiah.
In the Old Testament, part of the ritual for commissioning a person for a special task was to anoint his head with oil. Messiah is used thirty times in the Old Testament to describe kings, priests, patriarchs, and even the pagan King Cyrus, who led the exiles out of Babylon. The term was also used to describe King David, the model of the messianic king who would come at the end of the age. In the sixth century BC, the Prophet Daniel described a future king, not a current political figure. In Isaiah 53, we find the only prediction that the Messiah would be a Suffering Servant.
The New Testament provides additional information about the peoples’ expectations for the Messiah. Some thought that John the Baptist might be the Messiah. Others were convinced the Messiah would come from Bethlehem. Most expected the Messiah to be a powerful military leader, who would deliver his people from cruel Roman oppression and restore peace in Israel.
As Jesus began his earthly ministry, he read from Isaiah 61: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.” As Jesus rolled up the scroll to this prophecy, he declared, “This prophecy is fulfilled in your hearing.” In other words, Jesus proclaimed that he was God’s anointed one.
After John the Baptist was arrested, he sent several of his disciples to ask Jesus in Luke 7:20-23, “Are you the Coming One, or do we look for another?” And that very hour he cured many of infirmities, afflictions, and evil spirits; and to many blind he gave sight.
Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of me.” Jesus did not publicly announce that he was the Messiah; he simply let his actions demonstrate his true identity. Religious scholars call this the “Messianic secret,” in that Jesus was the Messiah, but did not want it known publicly until after he was raised from the dead.
In today’s scripture lesson, Jesus met a most unlikely candidate, the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well in Samaria. She demonstrated tremendous faith in God when she said in John 4:25, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” Much to her surprise, Jesus responded only to her in John 4:26, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”
None of us were eyewitnesses to Jesus’ teaching, his suffering death on the cross, and his glorious resurrection. But we can now boldly confess that Jesus is God’s anointed one, the Promised Messiah, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Jesus will deliver us from sin and death, granting us eternal life in heaven. Jesus Christ is God’s Messiah, our Lord and Savior! He alone deserves our worship and praise.