IS NOT THIS THE CHRIST?
John 4:25 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.
In verse four of this chapter we read that Jesus “must needs go through Samaria.” Even though the Jews would go miles out of their way to bypass Samaria, as they considered these people cursed, he, as the Lord of life, had an eternal appointment to confront his elected daughter. For it was her times before appointed to seek the Lord. Acts 17:26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; 27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:
But there had already been preparation made within her heart, for she had a firm conviction that Messiah would be known by revealing the inner workings of the heart. For her only proof to the men of her village was, “Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did!” And as soon as the Lord had revealed to her that she had five husbands, she said, “Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.” And we also read in verse thirty-nine, “And 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.”
Yet why is this such a determining factor to absolutely identify a physical man to be the very Son of God, when the Jews continued to doubt, no matter how many miracles they witnessed. For they even witnessed him raising a man from the dead, but still doubted! John 10:24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.
Although these Samaritans worshipped in ignorance; John 4:22 Ye worship ye know not what: Yet they had knowledge of the scripture which gave description of this characteristic of Messiah. John 4:25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. And that one thing caused the Lord to plainly reveal himself to her as he had never done to anyone before. 26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.
Here is one passage in the law which set this forth: Isaiah 11:1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: 2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; 3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:
She knew that this man did not have to call any of her neighbors as “eye witnesses” to testify of her character! Without anyone else involved in their private communications, he had “told me all that ever I did.” He fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah in “not judging after the sight of his eyes, nor reproving after the hearing of his ears!” Therefore he could be none other than Messiah!
But the highly educated Jewish lawyer, Nicodemus, did not have the same understanding, although he had more light than this Samaritan woman. For when the Lord told him his heart, that he needed to be born again, he responded, “How can these things be?” John 3:9
The words of the Apostle Paul come to mind in this situation. Romans 10:5 For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. 8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
For both she and her fellow Samaritans acted upon the word that was already in their heads and hearts. But the religiously proud Nicodemus was too well trained not to question everything, and so he had not the very Son of God to plainly tell him, “I that speak unto thee am he.”
Sad to say, but far too many religiously trained Americans, with memorized verses in their minds, have not the Person of the Living Word in their hearts! “Sad, sad that bitter wail, ‘Almost! But lost’!” It is the true gospel preacher’s prayer that the Spirit will grant life to those who hear his voice. 2 Timothy 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
For does not the Person of the Holy Spirit continue and extend the very same work as the Messiah – the Lord Jesus Christ? Of course he does! John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;
When the gospel is preached under the anointing of the Spirit, the revelation of the sinner’s heart is manifest unto him. Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, (‘alive’) and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. Therefore being under the Spirit’s application of the gospel to the heart, one would have to exclaim that this is not just a religious tradition. But like the Samaritan woman, they would have to proclaim, “Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?”
For the absolute results of the new birth into the kingdom of God are the gifts of repentance and faith! They are always the result of the spiritual birth and never the cause of it! Therefore when the Holy Spirit moves upon the darkened, dead heart of the sinner, he grants life and light which reveals both that sinner’s heart for repentance, and Christ, for whom faith is given. 2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
It is God’s amazing and sovereign grace which initiates spiritual life, and is without fail always followed by good works. It is never in the reverse. For no one is ever saved by works, for all are dead in trespasses and sin. And a spiritually dead man can do nothing! But once he is made spiritually alive, all are most assuredly saved “unto good works.” Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
For good trees always produce good fruit! Matthew 7:17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
The verses immediately preceding the account of Christ’s encounter with Nicodemus give plain and clear understanding of this same matter. Christ, the Messiah knew all men’s hearts! John 2:23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. 2:24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, 2:25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man. 3:1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 3:2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
The Greek word translated, “believed” in John 2:23 is the same word translated, “commit” in John 2:24. Therefore those who “believed” on the false basis of seeing miracles did not have the Lord Jesus to “believe” in them. And this false basis of ‘committing’ to him, did not have his true ‘commitment’ to them. Chapter two ends with the statement “for he knew what was in man.” Then we are introduced to “a man” in John 3:1, who stated that he knew the Lord Jesus due to the miracles that he had seen! But being the Messiah, and knowing all men’s hearts, the Lord went directly to the true issue and need of this Jewish leader’s heart. He needed to be born again!
With the Samaritan woman the issue was brought out by the words, “Go call thy husband.” And here with Nicodemus it was, “Ye must be born again!” And you only have to carefully read the eleventh chapter of the Book of Hebrews to see that which was the issue of faith with each individual listed therein. Abel’s issue of faith was being the first to offer a blood sacrifice to God. He had to believe that the drastic action of slaying an innocent animal and offering its blood was a pleasing and acceptable sacrifice for God. Noah had to believe that water should fall from the sky and cause a devastating flood! For previously the earth was watered from “a mist from the earth.” Genesis 2:6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.
Abraham’s issue of faith was to leave his home and all his kin to venture out into a strange land, in order to dwell with God. Genesis 12:1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
Every individual mentioned in chapter eleven of Hebrews was given their own personal issue of faith which corresponded with the revealing of their hearts by God! For true salvation is a personal matter of the individual with the Lord God, who brings upon every soul the blessing of God-pleasing, personal faith! Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
All true believers did not just hear a “sermon” brought by a religious spokesperson when they were effectually confronted with the personal issues with their hearts! They heard a “message” from the Holy spirit, revealing the secret intents of their hearts. This caused them to stand as it were, ‘naked and open with him with whom we have to do.’
The great Prophet Isaiah is recorded some seven times in his first five chapters as stating, “Woe unto them.” But in chapter six his focus is elevated from the natural into the spiritual, he says, “I saw the LORD, high and lifted up.” Then we read of him stating, “Woe is me!” The Messiah had shown him his own heart, therefore his self-righteous morality is replaced by a God-provided righteousness, by the work of the Holy spirit.
John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
Religious morality loves to throw stones at their favorite false issues in order to make themselves look holy. But those with imputed righteousness have no stones to cast, as Messiah has come to them and told them all that ever they did! Therefore they, like Isaiah have now seen King Jesus, high and lifted up. Therefore they walk in a repentant spirit, praying, “Woe is me!”
Isaiah 6:1 ¶ In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.5 ¶ Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.
May God have mercy on lost, legal-hearted church members!
Pastor Gene Breed
July 21, 2022