SBTS chapel live blog: Chuck Lawless – John 4:1-42

Communications Staff — March 25, 2010

Preacher: Chuck Lawless

Text/title: John 4:1-42; “Come see a man: The simplicity of the Great Commission.”

We live in a complex world with complex issues. We must address those complex issues.

There are complex issues related to the Southern Baptist Commission and Great Commission Resurgence. We have all kinds of complexities to work through from how the North American Mission Board and state conventions will work together, to what role the International Mission Board has here in America, to other detailed and complex issues. And we must deal with those.

But getting back to the Great Commission is not nearly as difficult as we think it is.

I take you to John 4 and the story of a woman at a well. This is a simple story, but filled with truth and purpose. What John writes he writes that we might believe that Jesus is the Son of God.

Who is this Jesus?

1. Jesus is the God of the unexpected.

Jesus was passing through Samaria. We get the feeling from the text that He needed to go through Samaria. And He did, for there was a need there.

Jesus came to the well at the heat of the day.

The woman came to the well also. She was about to have an unexpected meeting. But it was not unexpected to Jesus. Jesus is often the God of the unexpected.

Some of you have grandparents who were Christians and parents who were Christians and you became Christians at a young age. I praise God for these stories. But some of us don’t have this story. For us, there came to a point in our lives when God intercepted us and broke us with His grace.

How many millions of people are out there in the world today who don’t even know that they are following false gods? We need God to change their world.

2. Jesus is a God who reaches the undeserving.

Jesus uncovers the fact that the Samaritan woman is not deserving of hope, eternal life or anything good. She has gone through five husbands and is now on a sixth man.

As Jesus confronts this woman with her sin, he breaks down any dependence she might have on religion or any source of strength she might have contrived. He uncovers her great need.

3. Jesus a God who heals the searching heart.

As the woman throws up her defense we can see that she is in need. She goes from one man to the next to the next. She is searching, though she may not even know it. She is in need.

I think of my African friend who even today offers sacrifices to Buddha. I think of another friend who is hoping beyond hope that he will be able to do just enough good things to please God.

They are both searching and they don’t even know it. They think they have the answer, but they don’t.

The answer is the Jesus who heals the searching heart.

4. Jesus is a God worth talking about.

The woman begins to grasp a little of bit of who Jesus is. He is a man, a Jew and a prophet. She begins to speak of a Messiah who would come and know all things. And Jesus says, “I am he who speaks to you.”

She goes back to her town and says, “Come and see a man who has told me all the things I ever did.” She seems to have a fledgling faith that is still tinged with some questions. But she is beginning to understand.

Come see a man, she says, who came unexpectedly to me. Come see a man who spoke to me though I am undeserving. Come see a man who heals my searching heart. Come see a man who knows everything about me and He still loves me. Come see this man.

Jesus sees us inside and out, He knows us inside and out, and He gives us living water anyway.

If we are going to be a convention that advances the Great Commission, then must have a GCR task force. We must wrestle with tough issues. We cannot merely maintain the status quo.

But if we as Southern Baptists take for granted that Jesus knows us inside and out and loves us anyway and we can’t rejoice that get to point people to this Jesus, if we aren’t amazed by that, then it doesn’t matter what our convention does.

If we want a Great Commission Resurgence, then it begins right here.

We must see that Jesus is the God of the unexpected, the God of the undeserving, the God who heals the searching heart and the God who is worth talking about.

It is really that simple.

Are you ready to become a pastor, counselor, or church leader who is Trusted for Truth?

Apply now for summer or fall studies

Classes begin in June & Aug.