The Savior of the World
THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD
I want you to notice vs. 42 again. When John wrote this gospel account some 40 years after Jesus was crucified this verse, this declaration must have shocked and horrified the Jews! Look at what it says:
And they were saying to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world.”
John the Baptist had told the Jews this when he said in chapter 1:29 that “Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”
- And then in John 3:16 we are told that “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
So, you have John the author of the gospel and an apostle, and John the Baptist, a prophet, declaring Jesus as the Savior of the world and we are not surprised by that!
- And since the Messiah was to come through the Jews and since they had the oracles of God we wouldn’t be surprised if they said this. But the Jews didn’t say this!
Here in vs. 42 you have a group of people from a village in Samaria called Sychar…
- This is a group of people who are alienated from Israel; who are a by-product of mixed marriages between Jews and idolatrous Gentiles…
- They are a group who have a limited knowledge of God because they only recognized and accepted the first 5 books of the Old Testament…
- This is a most obscure gaggle of Samaritan villagers, not a group from Judea or Jerusalem as you might expect, but they are from Samaria, and they make this monumental declaration that Jesus is “indeed the Savior of the world!”
- And some 40 years after they crucified Jesus and rejected Him, this must have horrified them!
Now, I mentioned that this is a monumental declaration. Let me tell you why. You can put the emphasis of this declaration two ways.
- First, that Jesus is the Savior of the whole world in that He will redeem people from every part of the world—from every tongue, tribe, nation, and people.
But there is another emphasis to be made from this declaration and that is: for the whole world there is only one Savior!
- He will save many people from all parts of the world but there is only one Savior for the whole world…there is no other! See John 14:6; Acts 4:12.
- Which means that unless you come to Christ, and trust in Him for the forgiveness of sin, you will die lost in your sins; John 8:24; 1 Cor. 16:22.
And, what that means is, all religions of the world that do not point you to salvation in Christ are, boldly put, Satanic deceptions; all of them!
- You hear so much today about being politically correct; that we need to give equal honor and respect to every religion in the world.
- Well, we need to love the people just as God does; but there is only one Savior for the world, and only one way of salvation; and that is by faith in and obedience to Jesus Christ.
- He and He alone is the “Savior of the world” and that is why this is a monumental declaration.
So, how is it that this hated group of Samaritan villagers with whom vs. 9 says that the “Jews have no dealings with”, how is it that they are the ones who make this declaration that Jesus is the Savior of the world and not the high priest of Judaism, or the chief priest of the Sadducees, or the Pharisees?
- Well, it all started with one Samaritan woman who had a questionable past and her encounter with Jesus.
- So, let’s go to vs. 27 and learn some things from this passage.
Now, there is something here in vs. 27 that I want you to notice. It seems that there is an ongoing process in all of this that causes these Samaritans to declare that Jesus truly is the Savior of the world.
- 27 says: “And at this point…” The NIV says, “Just then.”
- In the Greek that is very specific; “at this point; at this specific moment.” It indicates a critical juncture.
- You wouldn’t use this phrase unless you were trying to make a point of precise timing that was going on here.
Listen, Jesus has walked about 20 miles; He arrives at exactly the right moment to encounter this woman who, oddly enough, comes at the 6th hour to get water and she comes when His disciples are gone!
- And then Jesus has this conversation with this woman; and then the disciples finish their business in Sychar; it took whatever time it took to do whatever they needed to do to get the food and walk back.
- And they return to the well at the very moment that Jesus declares who He is in vs. 26.
If the disciples arrive earlier Jesus’ conversation with this woman gets interrupted and perhaps this woman doesn’t go back into Sychar to tell the people there.
- If they arrive late, they don’t even know about the conversation.
- The timing is perfect: they are not too early and they are not too late.
- And when they arrive, this woman leaves her water pot; which indicates she was anxious to go tell others; and she goes into the city.
So, what is taking place here, is God working everything, every moment, every detail, everything to converge exactly the way it did to fulfill His divine purpose.
- The good news of Jesus Christ was to come through the Jews; vs. 22.
- But when the Jews didn’t take the good news to the world, God turned to these hated Samaritans.
- And so what you have in this situation is a subtle but magnificent look at divine providence.
- God will use these Samaritans for His glory to tell all the world that Jesus is the Savior of the world.
- And that, along with the receptiveness to the word of God, is how these Samaritans make this amazing declaration.
Now, look again at vs. 27. The disciples come and they marvel that Jesus had been speaking with a woman, and yet no one said, “What do You seek?” or “Why do You speak to her?”
- What Jesus is doing here is completely out of bounds in Jewish society and yet, the disciples keep silent! Why?
Even though they are new disciples and even though they haven’t been with Jesus very long, they are learning what all disciples of Christ, including us, need to learn and that is trust.
- We may not understand at times; things may not go the way we think they should; and sometimes what He commands may not make sense (baptism; money in the plate; elders are to be men); but as disciples we understand that He is sovereign; that He has all authority; and that He is working out His will and our prejudices and our ideas are not important.
- As disciples of Christ we too must learn to trust just as these disciples did.
So in vs. 28 when the disciples return the woman leaves her water pot, and goes into the city and speaks to the men.
- And that too is amazing! She is not the kind of woman who rushes up to men without those men backing off for fear their wives might be looking.
But she comes to the men and in vs. 29 she tells the men of the city “Come, see.”
- It may be that the providence of God is working here again because if this woman would have said to these men, “Gather up. I have got to tell you that I just met the Messiah” they would have mocked her and ignored her; especially since she is a woman and especially because of her background; and these men would have never gone to meet Jesus.
- But she doesn’t do that. Instead, she calls them to “come see” for themselves and decide if they think He is the Messiah.
- Again, it seems as though God is working every detail to fulfill His purpose.
So in vs. 30 “the men of the city go out to meet Jesus.”
And notice how vs. 31 begins: In the meanwhile…
- All of this seems to be providentially coordinated.
Vs. 31: In the meanwhile the disciples were requesting Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” 32 But He said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about. 33 The disciples therefore were saying to one another, “No one brought Him anything to eat, did he?” 34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to accomplish His work.
- Do you think that Jesus knows what is about to happen?
- If He knew the woman at the well’s past; it is certain that He knows that the men from the city are coming out to see Him.
- Is that why He doesn’t sit down and eat?
And if He did sit down and eat, and the men from the city show up, how would it go if He told the men from the city, “You guys just hold on, I will be with you in about 20 minutes. I have to finish eating?”
- Jesus knew what was important, and in this situation, eating came in second and that is the lesson that His disciples needed to learn; and it is the same for us.
- Yes, we need to eat; but there are times when doing what God wants us to is more important.
So, Jesus continues to teach His disciples, look at vs. 35: “Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes, and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest.
- When it comes to farming, the farmer plants the seed and then waits for the harvest.
- But Jesus says that is not true when it comes to spiritual matters especially those pertaining to conversion.
- When it comes to people coming to Christ his disciples must always be ready to harvest the crop when the opportunity arises and, for these disciples the opportunity is now.
- The men of Sychar are coming from the city and “they are white for harvest.”
36 “Already (the NIV says “Even now.” The harvest is now. Don’t wait. Don’t delay.) “Even now he who reaps is receiving wages, and is gathering fruit for life eternal; that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.
- Few things are more joyful than bringing someone to Christ; and the one who sows the seed that brings one to Christ shares in the joy of the one who actually harvests them.
37 “For in this case (in this situation where the men from Sychar are coming) the saying is true, ‘One sows, and another reaps.’
- Who did the sowing in this story? The woman? Jesus Himself? What about Moses?
- Last week we had a baptism? Who did the sowing in that situation? Her mom, dad, brother, teachers, friends here at church? Who did the reaping? The whole process usually involves more than just one individual. It involves those who sow, and the one who reaps.
38 “I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”
Many times I have heard this passage taught that this is talking about the world as a whole and that the world is “white for harvest” and Christians have been disappointed because they go out and try to bring others to Christ with the idea that they will have a lot of success.
- I don’t believe that is what Jesus is saying. There are many instances where He sent His disciples out only to have them be rejected; and that is especially true of the apostle Paul.
- In this passage, Jesus, knowing that the men from Sychar are coming out, and Jesus knowing what is going to happen, tells His disciples to take advantage of the opportunity and reap what another has sown.
- And they do. Look at vs. 39:
39 And from that city many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all the things that I have done.” (Who sowed seed?)
- You never know when what you say will bring forth fruit for harvest..
40 So when the Samaritans came to Him, they were asking Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of His word;
- Did you know that this never happened in a village in Israel? In fact, the disciples were getting tired of going into villages and proclaiming Christ only to be rejected and mistreated. And Jesus never stayed two days in a village in Judea; He was always told to leave.
- This never happened in Judea. What happens here is a very significant event because it is the only time a town is converted.
- And look again at what they say.
42 and they were saying to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world.”
The Jews didn’t believe this. They still don’t today. Do we?
- One woman planted the seed and the whole town came to Christ.
- You never know what will result when you or I plant the seed.
And always be watchful for those who are ready to be harvested. In fact, it may be that someone here this morning is ready to come to Christ, to confess Him as Lord and be baptized into Him for the forgiveness of your sins, and to put away the old self and walk in the light as He is in the light.
© Sunset Ridge Church of Christ 2024