What do you think motivated Jesus while he was on earth? Who was he? Do you think he wanted to be popular and become a king, or do you think he had a different agenda? If so, what?! If he were a shyster, wouldn’t he just quit preaching instead of allowing the Jews to have him crucified? Or, do you think he was delusional? If so, how did he maintain such a quiet, unselfish demeanor?
And, what about his teachings? Do you believe his teaching that the greatest commandments concern love? Most people would agree that love is greater than faith and the cornerstone in each of our favorite relationships, but I think it’s also true that believing in someone—trusting their integrity and veracity—is the only sure foundation for a secure relationship. Billions of people, including Jews and Muslims as well as Christians, believe that Jesus was a prophet and a good man. Some would go so far as to say they admire him . . . a few might even say they love him, but only those who truly believe what he teaches is true are willing to entrust their lives to him. Jesus was asking the woman at the well to believe him, and I think he’s asking us to believe him today. To say that Jesus is a “good” man without acknowledging him as truthful is an oxymoron. Here are few of the monumental claims he made about himself:
* “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).
* “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst” (John 6:35).
* “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5).
* “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” (John 11:25-26) The question we all have to answer for ourselves is: Do we believe that Jesus was really telling the truth, or do we think he was a liar who deceived the people?As C.S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity: “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
On what basis was Jesus asking the Samaritan woman to believe him? Remember, this is the first and only time they’d ever met. She only had one bit of evidence to go on—his wisdom—but that was enough. He knew things about her humanly impossible to know, and he understood spiritual truth: He spoke with authority about God the Father and how to worship Him.She was convinced, and when the disciples returned with food, she left her water pot and went into the city, urging the men to “Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?” (John 4:29). Many of the men who went out to the well to talk with Jesus were convinced by his words and responded to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world” (John 4:42). (Note: Jesus did not deny what the men said; He did claim to be the Savior of the world! And, of course, I believe He is!! 🙂 )
Have you asked Jesus to reveal himself to you? Are you willing to let him tell you what he sees in you? Are you willing to read what he taught in the Bible? Or, do you think he was a lunatic and an evil deceiver, out to trick people into believing lies?
John 18:23 “Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me?” Are you smiting Jesus?
“Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous” (1 John 5:1-3).
Text for this study: John 4: 19-30; 39-42. “The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.27 And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her?28 The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men,29 Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?30 Then they went out of the city, and came unto him . . . 39And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did.40 So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days.41 And many more believed because of his own word;42 And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.”