Sermon for 03.12.23 “The Lord is with us”

Lent 3, March 12, 2023
Text: John 4:5–26 (27–30, 39–42)
Theme: The Lord is among us
Other Lessons: Exodus 17:1–7; Psalm 95:1–9; Romans 5:1–8

A. In the Name of the Father…Amen.

B. The Gospel lesson from John 4 serves as our sermon text for this morning.

C. Grace, mercy, and peace be yours from God our heavenly Father through
our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

D. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us pray:
• Holy God, I wander off.
I am distracted by shiny things, and I get lost.
Merciful God, You come to find me.
Lost and afraid, I become stubborn and hard to deal with. Loving God, You
pick me up and brush me off and take me home.
You are the light of the world, so give me eyes past this present darkness.
I will wander again, but for the moment, I am safe and forgiven. And so I
thank you. Amen.


E. “Is the Lord among us or not?”
• That was the question the people of Israel asked Moses in the Old
Testament lesson from Exodus 17:7.
• They were weary of running,
• they were tired,
• above all, they were thirsty.
• “Give us water to drink” seems like a reasonable request, doesn’t it?
• Yet under their request lies:
a. a complaint,
b. a grumbling,
c. a desire that they would get:
1. everything just the way they wanted it,
2. when they wanted it,
3. and how they wanted it.

F. This same attitude was what the Samaritan woman at the well was used to
• People came from all over to draw water from the well.
• It was Jacob’s well, after all.
• People would come from all over in that desert climate to rest and be
refreshed in the waters of Jacob.
• When Jesus comes and sits down by the well, this woman thinks he is just
like all the others.
• Now, in a way, he is like all the others.
• But ultimately, this woman learns who Jesus is, and what the living water
he offers will really give her.

G. To the Samaritan woman, Jesus seems like everyone else.

H. Jesus is wearied from his journey (verse 6).
• His travel,
• his behavior,
• his every other manner make him appear like everyone else.

I. The woman expects him to be like everyone else.
• The woman is surprised that he would even converse with her, far less ask
for water.
a. John 4:9 (NASB95)
9Therefore the Samaritan woman said to Him, “How is it that You, being a
Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?” (For Jews have no
dealings with Samaritans.)

J. After six men in her life, she was perhaps only used to everyone wanting
from her what they wanted, when they wanted it.

K. In some ways, we, too, think Jesus is like everyone else.

L. Deep down, we think he operates as everyone else does:
• that he gives us what we want if we do what he wants us to do.
a. A “give and take” relationship.
b. The Lord God is the big “vendor machine” in the sky.

M. Oftentimes, we do not depend on God until we need to depend on Him.
• When human options fail, it is then we find ourselves ready to turn to
• We in turn treat Him like He is the “last resort”

N. Thus our Lord is just another business client or perhaps a conversation
partner for our curiosity, but not a loving, intimate friend and brother.

O. Jesus reveals himself to the woman (and us) as the Living Water.

P. In asking her for water, Jesus acknowledges her humanity:
• he needs the same things she needs.

Q. And Jesus’ words go beyond what the eye can see or what the ear can hear.

R. He is the one who gives living water.
• John 4:10 (NASB95)
10Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it
is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He
would have given you living water.”

S. He is the Messiah.
• John 4:25–26 (NASB95)
25The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called
Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.”
26Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”

T. He is the Savior of the world.
• John 4:42 (NASB95)
42and 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.”

U. The Lord Is among Us, Giving Living Water.

V. In fact, we recognize him as the Living Water.

W. Just as Jesus revealed such things to the woman, even so he reveals them
to you today.
• Jesus acknowledges your basic human needs by showing his own.
• He is not a business client or an object of curiosity but one who became
as we are to redeem us:
a. even by dying as we must.

X. This revelation changes what you see before you.
• You no longer see Jesus as someone with whom you must make a deal, but,
in faith, as one who loves you.
a. Instead of “give and take”, the Lord gives…and gives…and gives even more.
b. We receive what He gives with joy and thanksgiving.

Y. This frees you to look to Jesus as the sole source of love, and also to
see your own Samaritans as children of the heavenly Father.
• Regardless of where we were raised as children,
• Regardless of the color of our skin,
• Regardless of what circumstances have happened in our lives,
• Our Lord loves us and gives us the best!!!


Z. In the TV series Undercover Boss, an executive or owner of some company
goes “undercover” to see the real inner workings of his or her company.
• There’s something charming about the thought of a high-powered exec doing
manual labor or entry-level work.
• We’re attracted to people who are willing to stoop down below their
station in life.

AA. Our Lord, however, does not just “stoop down” to do our work.
• He actually takes on our very flesh and blood and “was made man,” as we
confess in the Creed.
• Wearied by his travels, this Lord asks the Samaritan woman for a drink of
water (John 4:7).
• Even after he is lifted up (on the cross), Jesus never loses his
• It’s not simply a part of him; it is who he is.
• So when Jesus comes to the woman at the well, he’s not going undercover
to catch her in the act of doing something wrong.
• Rather, he’s come to lift her up
a. and to give her something she can get nowhere else:
b. God in the flesh, for her.

BB. Jesus is come into the world that we may see and commune with him.
• He is the one who gives living water, so that you will never thirst.
• He is the one who knows you for who you are and loves you all the way to
the cross and into death itself.

CC. In Exodus, the people grumbled at the Lord because they didn’t
understand what he was giving them.
• He did not simply come to rescue them from oppressors.
• He came to be their God, their Savior, their Messiah.
• It was true for them, it was true for the Samaritan woman, and it is true
for you.

DD. Because of this, how you look at Jesus and at your neighbors around you
ought to be different.
• You see their basic humanity.
• They are neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, Samaritan nor Galilean,
white or black or yellow or brown or any other color.
• We are all of the same race: the human race.
a. We all bleed red.
b. The same skeletal structure.
c. People filled with emotions, needs, and cares.
• We are human beings, made in the image of God.
• And all of us need the living water, which only he can give.

EE. So come, receive the gifts God gives to you in his own Son.
• He gives of himself freely.
• He bids you come, to eat and drink.
• He calls you his own people, who now worship him in spirit and in truth.
• It is who you are, who he has made you to be in the waters of Holy
Baptism and as we commune with Him in His holy Supper. Amen.

FF. Let us pray:
• Holy God, I am an imperfect person and I need Your love. Forgive me when
I ignore Your children who cry out in distress. Forgive me when I choose
not to see those who remind me too much of myself.
Forgive me when I put rules ahead of people, and choose legality over
kindness and judgment that lacks mercy.
Enable me to see as You see, the wide vistas open to the possibility of
compassion and grace.
O God, hear my prayer. Amen.

GG. The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, guard your hearts
and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.

HH. In the Name of the Father…Amen.