The Christmas Gift That Almost Wasn’t Opened

John 4:5-27

Dec 25, 2012 AM (Christmas Day)

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland


I.                   Introduction


A.    Did you unwrap ALL your gifts yet?

B.     If you had your gift-giving already, I wonder if you opened up every gift there was for you

C.     Let me show you a great gift-giving instance in the Bible, where a Gift was just about missed, overlooked, and passed by

D.    Please, don’t miss THE Gift that may still be waiting to be opened by YOU today!


II.                Message


A.    The Gift Waits to be Noticed (John 4:5,6)


1.      Jesus and His disciples were on their way down from Galilee to Jerusalem, and He is travelling through Samaria

2.      The disciples had gone into town to get some food, so Jesus was sitting on the well all alone (John 4:8)

3.      Strange that he would do this


a.       To actually go into Samaria – a Jewish no man’s land – not welcome, and not wanted

b.      And then to actually go right over to a well, and set Himself down on it and do nothing but sit there


4.      But He actually was not doing nothing


a.       He was waiting

b.      He was wanting to be noticed

c.       Jesus was sitting there ON the well – blocking this woman from getting water


5.      It all got her attention all right

6.      God has some great gifts for all people

7.      They just need to be noticed – maybe even tripped over because we are usually so blind to the best gifts


B.     The Gift Challenges a Need – thirst (John 4:7)


1.      Jesus was tired. Not looking like some superhero, or body-builder – but weary

2.      And He strikes up a conversation, about being thirsty!

3.      It was a simple thing to talk about, to ask her about

4.      Well, what do you know! That is what she had come there for!


a.       Just imagine how much water you use

b.      Your whole family

c.       No wonder they want to bring in water charges

d.      If you had to go and get your water, every day… WOW! You would freak out!

e.       She did this every day of her life! Sometimes several times a day


5.      Jesus usually talked to people about what they were needing

6.      THAT’S why we have a Bible believing church – so that people can trust that when they come here, we are going to talk about what people really need – not what they want, or what they feel like talking about

7.      Jesus challenged her need – a thirst


a.       More important need than hunger

b.      You can go 40 days without eating

c.       You can’t go 4 days without water

d.      A thirst is a craving

e.       When you are thirsty, you get desperate


8.      Jesus knew this woman was thirsty – for more than just water!

9.      God’s gifts always challenge our biggest needs!

10.  Jesus simply asks her to give Him a drink

11.  Was that so hard?

12.  He did not ask her to climb a mountain, say a million prayers, or do penance for her sins

13.  He just asked her for a DRINK of the water from that well


C.     The Gift Is Offered to All (John 4:9)


1.      This woman is quite surprised


a.       That a Jew was even sitting there on that well in Samaria

b.      And that this Jew was even talking to her at all!


2.      The Jews NEVER have ANY dealings with the Samaritans

3.      The Samaritans were evil in their eyes – and they were!


a.       They were the descendants of the Israelites that had intermarried with all the pagan nations around them

b.      They were no longer Jews, but mongrels

c.       Their faith was a mixture of the Old Testament and sun worship, and idolatry

d.      They rejected Jerusalem and the Jewish temple as the right place to worship

e.       The Samaritans WERE wicked, pagan, lost, and without God


4.      And yet, here was this Jewish man talking with her like there was no problem at all!

5.      You see, the Gift of all Gifts, is offered to all


a.       Sinful men and women

b.      Ungodly men and woman

c.       Jew, and Samaritan

d.      Gentile and foreigner

e.       Civilized and barbarian


6.      Praise God!

7.      And it just gets gooder and gooder now!


D.    The Gift is Wrapped and Must be Opened (John 4:10)


1.      If she only knew!


a.       What the gift of God was

b.      And just WHO it was that was speaking to her!


2.      Oh that the people of this world only knew


a.       WHO was born in that manger

b.      WHO it was that healed the leper and raised the dead

c.       WHO it was that spoke the words of eternal life

d.      WHO it was that allowed Himself to be captured, tortured, beaten, whipped, crucified

e.       WHO it was that three days later rose from the tomb!

f.       WHO it is that is knocking at every man’s heart, right now, wanting to come in and save them from their sin


3.      When people finally do realize and know who Jesus is, that is when they usually cry out in anxious prayer for HIM to give them living water!

4.      When people get truly born again, they don’t usually need to be coaxed and pushed and pulled to humble themselves and ask the Lord Jesus Christ to fill their thirst - To save their souls!

5.      Jesus is the gift of God

6.      But He is not something to hang on your wall, or keep in a church

7.      He is not something you just accept as fact

8.      He is someone that must be sought for, and seen for who he really is – your only hope!

9.      Isn’t it amazing how SIMPLE Jesus kept things?

10.  He just said, ASK ME, and I will GIVE TO YOU ALL YOU WILL EVER NEED!


E.     The Gift is More Than Can be Imagined (John 4:11,12)


1.      This woman can only think about liquid H2O – water

2.      That all she thinks she needs

3.      She wouldn’t mind getting a drink of some water – glad to let someone else do the work of lowering and raising the water bucket

4.      But she knows Jesus was kidding. He didn’t even have His own bucket or rope like her

5.      She accused Jesus of playing with her. She reminded this Jewish man sitting on that well, blocking her from its water, that a great man named Jacob had dug that well, 800 yrs earlier

6.      He was certainly a great man

7.      And it was a great well

8.      So… WHO ARE YOU to offer to give me a drink without even a BUCKET?

9.      This woman could not imagine that a Gift could be greater than anything she had ever imagined before!


F.      The Gift is Everlasting (John 4:13,14)


1.      Jesus tells her (and all of us) that a drink of water only lasts a moment

2.      But the drink – just ONE DRINK, will last a thirsty soul forever!

3.      Not only was the drink going to give the thirsty person satisfaction – it would become a WELL, springing up, forever and ever and ever!

4.      What a FANTASTIC gift – if only it were true!

5.      Well, you better start believing that it is true!


G.    The Gift Only Opens for Repentant Sinners (John 4:15-19)


1.      Notice how she LIKES what she hears

2.      But she only still thinks about H2O water – liquid water

3.      AND, she would be so grateful to not have to come every day to collect a huge bucket of water for herself

4.      But Jesus changes the focus – and draws her into thinking about the man back at her house, and the kind of relationship she was living in

5.      He did not accuse her, or condemn her

6.      Her own heart condemned her

7.      Did you know, the purpose of this Book is to…


a.       Get you to see your own sinfulness?

b.      To get you HONEST about how you REALLY are, and how much sin you allow into your own life!


8.      At least she was honest!


10.  And now she was just living with a guy

11.  Do you realise that Jesus COULD NOT save her, salvage her life until it was broken, and sad, and remorseful for her own decisions

12.  Once she accepted her own sinfulness, THEN Jesus could give her the gift He was offering

13.  Do you realise how much effort I go to just to get some of you to get to that same place?


H.    The Gift is More than Religion (John 4:20-25)


1.      This is an important part

2.      The first thing she tries to do when confronted with her own sinfulness is, SHE FOCUSES ON RELIGIOUS DIFFERENCES

3.      Jesus gently reminds her that salvation is a Jewish reality


a.       You HAVE to have a Jewish Bible

b.      You have to believe on a JEWISH Saviour

c.       You have to know and trust the God of the Jews – as He is – a Spirit, not an idol


4.      You see, God’s gift to this world is not religion!

5.      Leads me to my next point…


I.       The Gift… is Jesus (John 4:26)


1.      The gift offered to this world was NOT His miracles, or His blessings

2.      It was just Jesus HIMSELF! She had been looking for water, looking for love, looking for something in life that would quench her thirsty soul – and right there was the quencher!

3.      EXAMPLE:


a.       It is like many soldiers right now over in Iraq, and Afghanistan, whose children and wives are back home, missing them

b.      Those men risk their lives

c.       And send their paychecks home

d.      Some even get onto the internet and purchase gifts for their families

e.       But there is NOTHING like when one of those soldiers gets a special pass to get on a plane and fly for 36-48 hours straight, to get to come through the door of their home and rush into the arms of their children!


4.      The PERSON of Jesus Christ is the greatest gift ever given to this sin-cursed world!

5.      This Gift was not a teaching, or a religion, or a doctrine, or a religious writing

6.      This gift was not a “better way” or a “new way”

7.      It was THE way! The LIVING way!

8.      It was the living, breathing, walking, talking, Son of God, right here WITH Us!

9.      Those of you who have family around you this Christmas – YOU ARE BLESSED! Without gifts, or tree, or lights, or money – YOU HAVE PEOPLE, LOVING PEOPLE AROUND YOU!

10.  How much more to HAVE JESUS! In you, and YOU in Him

11.  Wow! Do you have JESUS?

12.  Did you EVER yet get HIM?

13.  Or maybe He is still a Gift unopened!


J.       The Gift Changes the Receiver (John 28,29)


1.      You may ask, How do you know if you got Jesus?

2.      Well, watch this woman from that moment on…


a.       This woman dropped her bucket – left it behind her in the dust

b.      She ran past those 12 disciples as they were returning with their McDonald’s burgers and fries!

c.       She was no longer thirsty for water

d.      She was no longer lonely for love

e.       She was changed

f.       No longer worried about what people thought of her and her past sins and failures

g.      She was concerned for that town that was just as wicked as she had been

h.      I guarantee you she did NOT go home to that filthy, wicked man she had been living with


3.      She was gloriously changed!

4.      Just like some of YOU wish you could be!

5.      Freed from not just the bondage of sins, but the bondage of her past!

6.      Well, you can be free too! Christmas is not over!

7.      This is why Jesus came to that Manger in Bethlehem

8.      To save us – to save us one and all - from our sins, and from the devil, and from the world, and from the righteous punishment of almighty God!


III.             Conclusion


A.    Did any of your gifts this Christmas do that for you?


1.      Save you from your sinful past?

2.      Change you from an introverted, slave of sin, into a free man in Christ, bold as a lion?

3.      Have ANY of your gifts in all your life changed your attitude about life, about troubles, about God, and about yourself?


B.     Maybe you haven’t unwrapped ALL your gifts yet!

C.     Please, don’t miss THE Gift that may still be waiting to be opened by YOU today!

D.    God’s Gift, 2012 years on, still Waits to be Noticed

E.     God’s Gift Challenges a Need – a thirst in every person’s life

F.      God’s Gift Is Offered to All


1.      Don’t you tell me, that is an American belief, or and English religion

2.      Don’t you ignore the truth that Jesus is the universal answer to the universal need of all mankind!


G.    God’s Gift is Wrapped and Must be Opened


1.      It is not something that is so easily seen – not with all our sinful pride and self-righteousness

2.      Jesus is usually sought for and noticed only when we are in a crisis

3.      But it is there that God waits for us to seek to know HIM, and SEE Him as he is, and learn of Him

4.      He must be examined, so that you can fully trist Him!

5.      If only you knew who Jesus is!


H.    The Gift is More Than Can be Imagined


1.      More than anything you could ever want or need in this world!

2.      The gift of God is greater than owning the entire world!


I.       The Gift is Everlasting – lasts forever! Never fades, dries up, wavers, or quits working!

J.       It is Only Open to Repentant Sinners. People who admit what they are & how lost they are

K.    God’s Gift is More than Religion – as a matter of fact, God hates religion, because religions blind people, and make them think THEY are doing fine as long as they are in their religion and doing their good works!

L.     The Gift… is Jesus – I think this is the best part


1.      Wow! Do you have JESUS?

2.      Did you EVER yet get HIM?

3.      Or maybe He is still a Gift unopened!


M.   The Gift Changes the Receiver (John 28,29)


1.      Have YOU been gloriously changed? (2Cor 5:17) A new creature!

2.      Freed from not just the bondage of sins, but the bondage of her past?

3.      You must be, and you can be, TODAY!