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3-5-23 Get Real

Get Real

David Peterson / General

John 4:5–26

Sermon type: Textual-Topical

Proposition: The gospel confronts us with reality–a real God revealed in Jesus, a real humanity in its need, a real solution through a real relationship with God in Christ.

Introduction

I had a pastor once who liked to preach about what he called “the toughness and tenderness of Jesus.” We see those paradoxical characteristics in Jesus as we put these texts side by side. Jesus can be confrontational, and he can be compassionate. He can be unyielding, and he can be generous.

Kapp, D. J. (2010). Pastoral Perspective on John 4:5–42. In D. L. Bartlett & B. B. Taylor (Eds.), Feasting on the Word: Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary: Year A (Vol. 2, p. 96). Westminster John Knox Press.

I. The toughness and the tenderness of Jesus—He’s a Real Person

It is not only the presence but the combination of these two elements of grace and truth in Jesus Christ that calls for attention. We cannot help noticing their perfect blend and their equally perfect proportion. Grace by itself might easily lead to weakness and mere sentimentality. Truth by itself might easily be expressed in rigour, sternness, severity. But when grace is strengthened by truth, and truth is mellowed by grace, we have the perfect character and the true life of man. It is the union of these opposites in Jesus Christ in perfect balance and consistency that demands our attention. Other men are only fragmentary one-sided, biased. He is complete, balanced, perfect. Ordinary men often manifest unequally one or other of these two elements; Jesus Christ manifested them both in beautiful harmony and exquisite proportion.

W.H. Griffith Thomas. Christianity is Christ (Kindle Locations 127-133). Kindle Edition.

It is more inconceivable that several men should have united to forge the Gospel than that a single person should have furnished the subject of it. The Gospel has marks of truth so great, so striking, so perfectly inimitable, that the inventor of it would be more astonishing than the hero.

– Jean Jacques Rousseau

II. The Seeking and the Brokenness of the Woman—She’s a Real Human Being

III. The Fulfillment Jesus Offers—A Real Relationship with God

1. Religion, Rules, Ritual

2. The Reality is Christ and the Gift comes through him

John 6:29 NIV1984

Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

3. I believe in order to understand—Augustine

John 7:17 NIV1984

If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.

John 7:37-38 NIV1984

37 On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”

“For I do not seek to understand in order that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe-that unless I believe I shall not understand.”

― St. Anselm

Conclusion

1. Get real about Jesus

2. Get real about yourself

3. Get real about what alone will satisfy

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