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Remember discussion of Opportunistic Evangelism from previous lesson.


A. Prejudice

1. The Disciples

“they marveled that He had been speaking with a woman” yet they knew better than to question the master’s conscience regarding right and wrong and what is appropriate;

Love overcomes Prejudice — impossible to be successful at this very difficult type of evangelism (opportunistic) without love;

apparently they had been content to ignore the spiritual needs of the Samaritans when they went into town to get the food; they just wanted to pass thru and get to Galilee–to the place of spiritual ministry–completely blind to what ministry the Lord would have for them on the way

2. Samaritan Woman

Prejudice had not shut her ears to the message of Christ and she took the initiative to break down the walls of prejudice for her fellow Samaritans — asking them to give credence to a Jew.

B. Preoccupation with Physical Needs Rather Than Spiritual Ministry

1. The Disciples

“Rabbi, eat” — a very reasonable concern;

too often the good is the worst enemy of the best;

the purpose of food is to give us the fuel so that we can effectively serve God — but if we are missing the opportunities to minister we have things backwards;

What was Christ doing instead of eating at that moment? Probably praying for a harvest of souls

2. Samaritan Woman

“she left her waterpot”

a. Was it full? — her desire to dedicate all that she had to her new Master; responding to His request for water;

trusting Him with her valuable waterpot; telling Him to stay put while she brought her family and friends

b. Was it empty? — her haste to tell others

C. Perplexion Regarding Their Mission and True Power for Living– for carrying out that Mission

1. The Disciples

What makes you keep going? What gives you the greatest satisfaction? What feeds you and makes life meaningful for you?

What is God’s Program? What part has He called you to fulfill in that Program? Are you gripped with a sense of your divine commission?

2. Samaritan Woman — Simplicity and Single Focus

Her message was very simple: promised Messiah, Savior of world;

content to tell others the little that she knew rather than waiting for full indoctrination; her life was not cluttered with other activities that prevented her from carrying out this mission — she was able to focus on the task of evangelism very naturally;

simply pointing other sinners to Christ (her closest friends might not have been the most upright people)

D. Procrastination Regarding the Urgency of the Task —

1. Disciples

this opportunity to evangelize cannot be put off until tomorrow;

lost opportunities are lost forever;

Some believe it was probably December. It takes six months in Palestine before the crop is ready for harvesting. There were apparently four months still remaining. But more likely this is a proverbial saying. There is evidence that the agricultural year was divided into six two-month periods: seed/time, winter, spring, harvest, summer, and the time of extreme heat. Thus four months elapsed between the end of seed-time and the beginning of harvest.

This might well have given rise to a proverbial saying indicating that there is no hurry for a particular task. The seed may be planted, but there is no way of getting round the months of waiting. Growth is slow and cannot be hurried. But not so in terms of the urgency of being God’s instruments in bringing salvation to needy souls. (Morris)

“Now is the day of salvation” and “Now is the day for testifying”

2. Samaritan Woman

zeal and enthusiasm


3 Reasons we need to be alert to seize every opportunity for evangelism (both sowing and reaping)

3 ways that it will pay off

A. It Sustains Us — the spiritual fuel that keeps us going “food”

Stedman: The first thing Jesus taught them was that there is a deep satisfaction in obedience to what God wants that is just like eating food: it fills you up; you feel satisfied, ministered to, fed. Many have discovered that there is nothing like obeying God to give a deep sense of satisfaction to life.

Lenski: The disciples had left Jesus thirsty and hungry and now found him refreshed and declining to eat. Someone had been there in their absence and had just left.”

B. It Fulfills God’s Will

God has a Master Plan — includes His will for our role in that plan — our own divine commission or calling.

Oriented around spiritual gifts — with regards to building up the body;

Everyone has the mandate to evangelize;

we have been sent into this world for a purpose;

Do we know our Father’s will? Certainly He is not trying to hide it from us.

Are we accomplishing His Work?

Opportunistic Evangelism not only Sustains us and Fulfills God’s Will but

C. It Enriches Us in Partnership with our Fellow Laborers in the Gospel (:36-38)

It truly pays off — both now and for eternity —

both for us and for those we witness to who are the fruit

destined for eternity and for those who participate in God’s testimony over the life of that individual

saying of R. Tarfon A.D. 130: “The day is short and the task is great and the laborers are idle and the wage is abundant and the master of the house is urgent”

no competition between sower and reaper —

sowing is often viewed as hard and wearisome work — in contrast to reaping with its joy (Ps. 126:5)

Each Christian worker is dependent for his work on the labor or his predecessors.