Jesus Christ: The Great Evangelist, Part 1 :: By Dr. Donald Whitchard


Summary: In the fourth chapter of John’s Gospel, the Lord Jesus is presented as the Great Evangelist. From the time He won Nathaniel (John 1:48-51) to the thief on the cross (Luke 23:39-43), He was busy bringing sinners to Himself.

In Chapter 4 of his Gospel, John has us turn our attention to the Lord Jesus as the Master Soul-Winner and our example for sharing the good news of salvation to everyone regardless of background, culture, nationality, or any circumstance. No one is exempt from hearing and receiving the message that they can be forgiven and redeemed by the Lord Jesus Christ if they will but turn to Him for true rest, peace, and the assurance of life everlasting in His presence someday (Matthew 11:28-30; John 10:28-30). No matter the inconvenience or trouble, we are to follow the example He set in seeing that everyone should have the opportunity to hear the message of the Gospel.

As we read of the encounter between the Lord Jesus and the woman from Samaria, we see that Jesus exemplified what He expects of His followers. His teaching is based on “Do as I say and do as I do.” With Him, there is no double standard.

Look at your own life in light of what Jesus is presenting to the woman at the well. Do you know Him personally? Is He truly the LORD of your life? Do you understand the meaning of the Gospel? Do you know from what it is that you’re saved? If not, please know that from the outlet that Jesus cares for you (1 Peter 5:6-7).

Can you identify with King David as he wrote “No man cared for my soul” (Psalm 142:4)? You might feel that way as you read this message. In today’s world, concern and kindness towards others are all but extinct (2 Timothy 3:1-7). It may be true that no one cares for your soul, but the Lord Jesus Christ, God Incarnate, cares for you more than you know. He cared so much that He willingly left the glory of heaven and proved His care and love for you by dying for your sins upon the cross (Romans 5:8).

As you read of the soul-winning encounter between the Lord Jesus and a woman who was at her last strand of hope, allow Him to speak to you, and then come to Him for the peace and salvation He freely offers to everyone (John 3:16).

We have, first, the Confrontation with A Sinful Woman (4:1-8): In these opening verses, Jesus is shown in His compassion and humanity. Even though He was God, as a Man He was acquainted with the trials and problems we all face in this life, demonstrating His care for His lost sheep. Although He had access to the unlimited riches and splendor of heaven, He lived like the common people and walked everywhere He went. What earthly monarch then and now would stoop to such a level of humility and poverty (Hebrews 4:15)?

He also went out of His way to reach out to a woman who was seen in the society of that time as a second-class citizen, whose words were not even allowed as testimony in a court of law and were denounced in ancient Jewish prayers where the rabbis actually thanked God for not being Gentiles, dogs, or women. This woman was also seen as an enemy of the Jews by being of Samaritan descent, a mix of Jewish and pagan intermarriage generations before, and had built their own temple that was later destroyed by order of past Jewish rulers. The animosity was so deep that Jewish citizens bypassed Samaria on their way to Jerusalem and other regions, going miles out of their way so as to not stain themselves with what they viewed as inferior soil of an inferior people.

History has not changed the views of nations or individuals in the matter of prejudice and animosity towards one another, whether it be for real or imagined grievances. Hatreds and vendettas have stained the world’s soil with blood and treasure, often for something that, in the end, was not worth all the trouble. Hatred and its vile offspring prejudice have either deprived or brought about misery and distrust to cultures and nations, making the spread of the Gospel a challenge and a danger for those who go into such areas to bring the Good News, be it a neighborhood with a violent disposition or an entire nation that has shut out all attempts for the message of Christ to enter its boundaries.

Jesus had no such prejudices and took the risk to reach out to this poor woman who was not only a foreigner but an outcast from her own people, as we will see in the encounter. Weary from the work of the day and the journey He and His disciples had taken, Jesus sat at the well, resting, waiting for this poor soul to come His way in order that He may give her the wonderful gift of peace and redemption she was not even expecting.

The woman enters the picture (v.7) at what John refers to as “the sixth hour,” or in the Jewish calendar, around noon. For her to be drawing water at such an unusual time was out of character, for the other women would tend to gather in the early hours of the morning, when it was coolest, to draw the water from the well, catch up with the village gossip, visit, and be on their way. This woman is alone, symptomatic of an outcast where the other women would have nothing to do with her. Alone, she would not be subject to verbal insults, nor be the convenient target of their deliberate silence and the ostracization by the entire village (4:16-18).

We are no different today. We now tend to ostracize, insult, ridicule, and demean each other, not in public but in the privacy of a bedroom, office, or basement where, on the internet, we tend to do the dirty work of “canceling” the speech of others or bullying poor souls to the point where they feel that suicide is the only option. Those whose acidic tongues initiated this tragedy merely laugh it off or choose to envelop an indifference towards such situations that chill the blood of anyone with an ounce of conscience and empathy.

I have no doubt that some of you who have taken the time to have read thus far fall into that category. You know it, and deep down, it gnaws at your soul and will not go away with a drink, drug, or anything else. Whoever you are, and whatever wickedness you have done in your life, the Lord Jesus waits for you at the well and offers you the gift of living water and salvation He offered this poor woman who had no friends, no love, no peace, and no life, at least not until Jesus began talking to her.

Stay tuned.

My YouTube broadcasts titled “The Reality City Review” will be posted on Facebook, GETTR, Parler, and on my website when completed. My main area of discussion will be on the basics of the Christian faith but will also deal with prophetic issues and other topics as the Lord impresses upon me to handle.