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Sermon #1149

The Problem of Prejudice

A Sermon on John 4:13-14


John 4:13-14 ESV KJV
Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” …

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Sermon Description

The living water of Jesus Christ is the mark of a true Christian. It is the fullness of life that followers of Christ receive and experience. In this sermon on John 4:13–14 titled “The Problem with Prejudice,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones speaks of this living water by diving into the story of the Samaritan woman at the well. He begins by focusing on Jesus’s approach with the Samaritan women. This is an important aspect to understand because it is also Jesus’s approach with His people today. First, Jesus is always in complete control. There is never a moment that all are not fully in His hands. This truth can bring Christians much comfort in realizing that He is in control of our lives. Second, Jesus draws gently to Himself. Dr. Lloyd-Jones goes on to show how Jesus pursues after and loves His people with a never-ending love, wanting them to accept His living water. However, the sinful flesh creates hindrances that keep the Christian from His living water. In this case, Dr. Lloyd-Jones shows that the woman at the well created a hindrance of prejudice. He ends by challenging the listener to view their own lives for any hindrances that may be keeping them from the living water of Christ.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon begins by introducing the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well from John 4. Dr. Lloyd-Jones emphasizes that this story provides rich spiritual lessons, especially regarding the higher reaches of the Christian life.

  2. Dr. Lloyd-Jones then gives an overview of the previous week's sermon, which focused on Jesus, the Samaritan woman, and spiritual lessons from the story. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says the current sermon will focus on Jesus's method of dealing with people and spiritual hindrances.

  3. Dr. Lloyd-Jones's first point is that Jesus is always in complete control of situations and people's lives. If we are Christians, Jesus is in control of our situations and will bring us to the desired end.

  4. Dr. Lloyd-Jones's second point is that Jesus shows amazing gentleness, especially with the Samaritan woman. Jesus does not bludgeon or force people but draws them in with gentleness. We would not be Christians without Jesus's gentleness.

  5. Dr. Lloyd-Jones's third point is that Jesus often uses an indirect method, speaking in riddles or parables. With the Samaritan woman, Jesus speaks indirectly before bringing her to confront spiritual truth directly. Jesus still uses indirect methods to teach us spiritual lessons.

  6. Dr. Lloyd-Jones's fourth point is that Jesus leads people from "step to step" and "stage to stage." The Christian life is one of growth and development, not remaining static. We must continue progressing in our knowledge of Jesus.

  7. Dr. Lloyd-Jones's fifth point is that Jesus shows wonderful patience, as demonstrated with the Samaritan woman. None of us would be Christians without Jesus's patience.

  8. Dr. Lloyd-Jones's sixth point is that Jesus shows perseverance. Jesus persevered with the Samaritan woman until she understood the gospel, and he will persevere with us until we are perfected. Our perseverance depends on Jesus's perseverance.

  9. Dr. Lloyd-Jones then transitions to discussing hindrances to spiritual life, using the example of the Samaritan woman. The hindrances are of our own making, as demonstrated by the obstacles the Samaritan woman created.

  10. Dr. Lloyd-Jones's first example of a hindrance is general prejudices, like those between Jews and Samaritans. We carry prejudices from our old lives into our new lives in Christ and must work to shed them.

  11. Dr. Lloyd-Jones's second example of a hindrance is nationality and traditions. Our backgrounds influence how we think about and live out our faith. We must examine ourselves for prejudices from our backgrounds.

  12. Dr. Lloyd-Jones's third example of a hindrance is a "common prejudice" about what Christianity is in a culture. We must fight against absorbing prejudices from our surrounding culture.

  13. Dr. Lloyd-Jones concludes by saying we raise obstacles to Jesus through our prejudices but that Jesus perseveres with us despite these obstacles.

The Book of John

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.