Lucia's Blog: THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD
Google Logo
Image Caption goes here.

Share!

Monday, October 18, 2021

THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD



“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” 
Luke 19:10


The greatest life-saving medicine this world has ever known would help very few people if they had never heard of it. God, our Creator, has watched humanity self-destruct since the beginning of time and has cared about each and every one, knowing the end from the beginning. We know that the Son of God came to seek and save every lost sheep, every lost soul. We have a great example of how Jesus saw His work in the simple conversation He had with a Samaritan woman whom He met when their paths crossed at a well. His efforts to reach her are a lesson for us today about how to reach out to a stranger and coax him into seeing what life can be.

Jesus, our Savior, came to earth to seek and save the lost.  Jesus, who is the Christ, came down to earth and lived among us as a man to bring the good news of joy to all people.
"And the angel said to them, 'Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord"  (Luke 2:10-11).  

Jesus’ good news must be spread all over by the preaching of the Gospel.
"For 'everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'  14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?  And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, 'How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!'"  (Romans 10-13-15).  

His salvation must be proclaimed to the whole world.  Jesus saves! Jesus saves!

“And he said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”’  (Mark 16:15-16).  


God wants all Christians to speak of His salvation from day to day to all the people because He loves the souls of man.  We must tell sinners God’s plan of salvation to save them.  We must tell them what Jesus did for us to redeem us.  Christ, our Savior, came into the world to save sinners (1 Tim. 1:15).  Salvation is only possible through Christ the Savior.   

Because Jesus fought the fight by His death and endless life and because salvation is in Christ, we can sing triumphing over the tomb.  Jesus’ salvation produces great joy.    

“Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.  3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.”  (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)

“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”  (Acts 4:12)


The angels rejoice in heaven over one sinner who repents. All people of all nations who heed the Gospel of Salvation and come to Christ can rejoice. They can rejoice because salvation in Christ gives us a song of victory.

“When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:  ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’  55 ‘O death, where is your victory?  O death, where is your sting?’  56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’”  (1 Corinthians 15:54-57)


The heart of the Gospel of salvation is Jesus Christ.  We who have been tested or redeemed must proclaim the good news of Salvation in Christ. To evangelize is to proclaim the good news of salvation in Christ. According to the Scriptures, salvation is found in Christ and following His way, not in any other religion or system.  Knowing all that Jesus our Savior did for us, we are compelled to proclaim and deliver God’s Message of salvation to this sinful world.  We must tell the world that  “Jesus Saves!”


I.   THE WOMAN AT THE WELL AND EVANGELISM:  

“Just then his disciples came back. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but no one said, ‘What do you seek?’ or, ‘Why are you talking with her?’ 28 So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, 29 ‘Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” 30 They went out of the town and were coming to him.  31 Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, saying, ‘Rabbi, eat.’ 32 But he said to them, ‘I have food to eat that you do not know about.’ 33 So the disciples said to one another,’ Has anyone brought him something to eat?’ 34 Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.’”  (John 4:27-34)


In my previous study, “The Living Water,”  the apostle John narrates Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well.  Jesus engaged in a conversation with her about the living water.  He revealed to her that He was the foretold Messiah, the Christ they had been waiting for for a long time.  Jesus exposed this woman’s sin to make her aware of her spiritual blindness.  Jesus’ purpose for doing this was to help her see that she needed the living water He was offering.  That living water would lead her to eternal life.

  • True Satisfaction:  (John 4:27-34)

While Jesus was speaking to the Samaritan woman, the disciples returned from the city since they had gone to buy food (John 4:8). They were astounded to see Jesus talking to this Samaritan woman. They did not question Jesus, but I’m pretty sure they wanted to know what had happened in their absence. The Samaritan woman left her water jar, in her excitement, and went into the city to tell the people to come and see a man who might be the Christ. You see, this woman went from spiritual darkness and blindness to see with eyes wide open what Jesus was offering. She saw the light and could not wait to share the good news of Jesus with the people in the city.  That’s remarkable!

Our story leaves the woman here and focuses on the apostles’ training. 

They approached Jesus, urging Him to eat with them.  Remember, they went to the city to find food for lunch.  Our chapter in John 4 starts with Jesus being weary from His journey to Samaria. Because He was tired from His journey, the apostles asked Jesus to eat to recover from the journey. But Jesus responds to them, saying, 

“I have food to eat that you do not know about.” 


Notice that Jesus used the same type of language He used with the Samaritan woman.  He did this to engage their spiritual hearts and minds. The apostles simply asked if anyone had brought Jesus food to eat.  But Jesus responded by saying that they didn’t know anything about His food.  He explained, 
“My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.” 

Jesus’ work, as we have seen throughout this Gospel, is to offer eternal life. Jesus came, not to condemn the world, but to save the world and offer us eternal life. He is the Light that came into this world’s darkness to give sight to the blind so that they would not perish.  

Jesus used the same words that He quoted to Satan when he tempted Him in the wilderness.   

“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).  


Jesus' satisfaction is doing the works of His Father in heaven.  Jesus’ works are God’s works. His true satisfaction was doing the will of the Father.  His food was doing what God called Him to do. Jesus found true and great satisfaction in teaching the Samaritan woman.  To Jesus, teaching this woman the will of the Father was greater than any food the disciples could offer. Jesus was so focused and engaged with the woman’s spiritual well-being that He did not care about anything else. He was trying to teach His disciples something with this response. Jesus very well could have eaten a bite to avoid the discussion.  But He wanted His disciples to learn something.  He wanted to direct the disciples’ hearts to higher, spiritual matters.  To Jesus, serving God and doing His will was a much greater priority than any physical demand.

The work of God can sustain God’s true disciples.  Marriage, food, and wealth will not sustain us. Nothing this world can offer us will bring us true satisfaction except doing the work of God. Doing God’s work is what upholds our life. When God is our satisfaction, we will live by every word from the mouth of God instead of bread alone.  Jesus’ words reveal this truth.  Our joy must be to do the will of the Father. As the psalmist declares,

“I have come to do God’s will” (cf. Psalm 40:8). 


God’s purpose for us here on earth is to do His will with joy.  When we do God’s will, we are doing His work. Jesus declared that thought in verse 34
“My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.”  

Jesus was indeed focused on accomplishing and completing God’s work. We, His disciples, must also continue and complete the work of the Lord. Christ is the head, and we are the body and all members of that body (cf. 1 Corinthians 12). The truly satisfying life is to live in complete submission to the Father.  Sadly, our food is often nothing but junk food: 
  1. Entertainment.
  2. Worldly pleasures.
  3. Popularity.
  4. Wealth.
  5. Success, and 
  6. Anything else physical and worldly. 

They are empty and cannot satisfy and sustain us.  God has saved us to serve Him and be conformed to His will.  


II.   BEHOLD THE HARVEST!  

"Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. 36 Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. 37 For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.'"  (John 4:35-38)


  • True Urgency:  

In John 4:35-38, Jesus is stressing to His disciples the urgency of their work.  Usually, when a seed is planted, it takes months before the harvest is ready for reaping. They had a saying at that time, “Four months and then comes the harvest.” But this is not the case here. When Jesus said, “Lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest,” it was not just a theoretical metaphor. The woman’s proclamation to the city was compelling the people to leave the town and come to Jesus (John 4:30).   Imagine such a large group of people leaving the town and coming to Jesus and the disciples! Jesus was telling the disciples: 

  1. Look and see that the fields are white for harvest. 
  2. They are coming now.  
  3. The time is now. 
  4. The harvest is ready now! 

This was the food Jesus was talking about: doing God’s will.  God’s will was to teach these Samaritans His Word so they could have eternal life. John 4:36-38 describes what is happening.   

“Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. 37 For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”


Although the disciples did not do the sowing, they would be reaping as the crowd came to Jesus. Jesus and the woman had done the sowing! Their work led to the reaping.

Can you grasp the excitement in Jesus’ words?  Jesus was trying to teach His disciples something extremely important.  This crucial teaching began with the disciples wanting to know why Jesus was talking to this woman. Jesus stressed the urgency of doing His work to His disciples, especially sowing and reaping with the Word of God. Indeed, His disciples would’ve never done that.  Why?  Because she would have been ignored by most of the Jewish rabbis because of her low social status. But with Jesus, it was different because His food was saving souls. Thus, Jesus’ disciples must also have the same urgency and intensity to save souls. Let us go back to John 3:17

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”


So, what is the reason for Jesus coming?  The Father gave the Son to save us. Saving people’s souls can only happen when we talk to them about the good news of salvation.  It cannot be communicated any other way!  Somehow, we have been deceived, thinking that by just living good moral lives, people will see our lives and come to Jesus, that is, become Christians.  Only when we tell people the reason for our good works and holy living will they glorify God.  But if we remain silent, though we are doing good works, people will never know that we are Jesus’ disciples and the reason for our holy living.  We must open our mouths and proclaim the saving Gospel!  Jesus’ disciples could never have saved this woman from her sins by ignoring her and keeping silent.  Thus we must plant the seed of God’s Word in people’s hearts.  

  • True Work:

“Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, ‘He told me all that I ever did.’ 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of his word. 42 They said to the woman, ‘It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.’”  (John 4:39-42)


Here there is a very stark change of direction.  Why?  Because Jesus’ disciples don’t seem to understand why Jesus was talking to the woman and also because the woman was talking to the whole town about the long-awaited Messiah, the Christ that she had found.  This woman went into the city proclaiming that she had found a man at the well who knew her life story.  Pay attention to verse 39
“Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, ‘He told me all that I ever did.'” (John 4:39

Because of this woman’s testimony, the people in her town believed in Jesus.  She was indeed the catalyst for this crowd of people coming to Jesus.  It is remarkable what this woman did!  Do you suppose this woman knew everything about the Law of Moses? Did she know enough about the Messiah, the Christ, to tell the people about Him?  Although she was not a Bible scholar, she plainly told the people to come and see this man.  
“Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?”  (John 4:29)  

Obviously, anybody can do that.  Any of us can say, 
“Come and see the place where I worship the Lord.”  

We can say, 
“Come and listen to a Bible lesson online.”  
  1. We can ask people to come and visit with us for a Gospel meeting or lectureship.
  2. Any of us can easily tell people about Jesus and how much He has transformed our lives.  
  3. We can ask them to come and experience the same.  
  4. We can tell them about the new birth that Jesus is offering.  

However, we must not underestimate what we can do because it is the power of God and the Gospel that saves us. We are simply inviting people to come and see for themselves.

When our satisfaction and sustenance is doing the will of the Father, the calling of people to come and see will be a natural extension of our lives.  When our joy and purpose in life is doing God’s will, we will have an urgency to tell people to come to Jesus and share the good news, the Gospel, to save their souls.  People, we must lift up our eyes and focus on what must be our highest priority in life!  

  1. We must penetrate their physical and materialistic way of thinking so that they may see their need for a Savior. 
  2. We must use our conversations to compel people to think about life after death, their eternal destiny, and spiritual things.  
  3. We must warn them about the consequences of following the physical things of this world, forsaking the eternal ones. 
  4. We must be ready to ask people questions about what they believe happens after death.  
  5. We must ask people if they believe in the existence of God. 
  6. We must ask people their purpose in life.  
  7. We must ask people everything with an eternal impact to compel them to think beyond the now and break free of their spiritual blindness.


Many more Samaritans also came to believe Jesus as He stayed in Samaria for two days. John, at the end of this chapter, recorded an important truthThe Samaritans acknowledged that Jesus was the Savior of the world. Jesus was not the Savior for the Jews only. He was not a Jewish Messiah. He is the Savior of the world! He came to save every person and every soul regardless of heritage and background.  The theme of universal redemption continues to be a key theme for John in this Gospel.

CONCLUSION:

When we do the will of God, we find the secret to true satisfaction.  Jesus told the woman at the well that the water He offers will cause us to never thirst again. Jesus taught His disciples that He had food they did not know about because the food that sustained Him was doing the Father’s will. Jesus wants the living water He offers to continue flowing from Him through us to the rest of the world.  Since we are God’s recipients of Grace and recognize His will to save the world, that must compel us to tell the world the good news, the Gospel, to save them.  He wants us, His disciples, to tell others to come and see the changed life we have found in Him.  We Christians are the light of the world, shining in the darkness, striving to open the eyes of the blind.  Let us not turn off our light. Let us not hide our light. Jesus is the Light that has come into the darkness of the world to save sinners and give them the hope of eternity!

Jesus came to seek and save the lost (Lk. 19:10).  Jesus savesThus we the redeemed must proclaim salvation to every land, for we have heard the joyful sound.  These glad tidings of joy are the good news that a Savior was born to save the world from sin.  However, this good news must be spread all over by the preaching of the Gospel.  There is power in the Gospel to save people from sin!  (Rom. 10:13-15; Mk. 16:15-16).  Salvation must be proclaimed and heard by sinners far and wide because Christ came to save them (1 Tim. 1:15). 

The good news among all nations is that Jesus saves!  (Psa. 96:2-3).  There is freedom from the bondage of sin through Jesus, the Savior of the world (Gal. 5:1).  Salvation is possible because of what the Savior of the world did for us.  Thus, we can sing in triumph because of salvation in Christ (Acts 4:12).  Salvation produces great rejoicing.  The angels rejoice in heaven over one sinner who repents (Luke 15:1-7).  All those who come to Christ can rejoice (Phil 4:4).  Salvation gives us a song of victory! (1 Cor. 15:54-57).  Jesus saves!  Jesus saves!

Jesus Christ is the heart of the Gospel of salvation.  Therefore, we must evangelize or proclaim the good news of salvation in Christ to sinners.  Salvation is found in Christ and His Way alone, not another religion or system.  We, Christians, must deliver the Gospel Message to this sinful world.  We must tell them that Jesus saves!

May we sow the seed of God's kingdom, His Word, in the souls of those who are lost in darkness because of sin.  May we sow the seed, water it, and let God give the increase.  May we in God's kingdom grow in faith and knowledge and contribute to the growth of His kingdom.  May all people be like the Samaritans who developed a genuine faith in Jesus.  May we also be like the Samaritan woman sharing our faith with the lost, bringing them to Christ, the Owner of the vineyard. May we pray for the harvest that He send forth laborers into His harvest to yield a great and mighty harvest of souls for His glory.  May we understand that the Savior of the world is here among us to heal those who are woefully ill because of sin and is gently seeking those who are lost to restore them to the flock.  May we approach those He brings into our path in the same graceful manner as He did with gentleness, humility, and a servant's heart.

“Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. 36 Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. 37 For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.  39 Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.’ 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of his word. 42 They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.’”
(John 4:35-42)

I hope the following song may compel us to spread the tidings, the good news,  to every soul regardless of race, nationality, or tongue.  We must bear the good news, the Gospel, to every land because Jesus saves.  Let us compel ourselves to tell sinners from all over, both far and wide, that Jesus saves.  Let us shout salvation full and free.  Highest hills and deepest caves; This our song of victory:  Jesus saves! Jesus saves!

Jesus Saves!

We have heard the joyful sound 
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Spread the tidings all around:
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Bear the news to every land,
Climb the steeps and cross the waves;
Onward! ’tis our Lord’s command;
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!

Waft it on the rolling tide:
Jesus saves! Jesus saves! 
Tell to sinners far and wide:
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Sing, ye islands of the sea;
Echo back, ye ocean caves;
Earth shall keep her jubilee:
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!

Sing above the battle strife:
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
By His death and endless life
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Sing it softly through the gloom,
When the heart for mercy craves;
Sing in triumph o’er the tomb:
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!

Give the winds a mighty voice:
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Let the nations now rejoice:
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Shout salvation full and free,
Highest hills and deepest caves;
This our song of victory:
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!



Luci



No comments:

Post a Comment