Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Gospel Of John 4:1-30 4:39-42 #JesusisLord

Ok.  I got a little off track.  I haven't added another entry in my trip through the Gospel of John.  I have been especially excited about this particular passage.  This is probably one of my favorite passages in the Gospels.  Jesus and his disciples were returning to Galilee and they passed through Samaria on the way.  Jews and Samaritans were mortal enemies.  They had been Jews, but they had intermarried with foreigners.  They had set up their own religion apart from the Jewish temple.  They were probably one of the most despised groups for Jews of the day.

Jesus' disciples leave him at a well.  As he is sitting there a Samaritan woman comes to draw water.  Jesus asked her for a drink of water.  She was a little confused, because he is a Jew.  Any regular Jew wouldn't have bothered to talk to a Samaritan.  She asked him if he understood that she was a Samaritan. "Why are you asking me for a drink of water", she said.  I love Jesus answer!  He tells her that if she had any idea who she was talking to, that she would ask him for a drink.  He would give her living water.  It would create inside her a spring, and she would never thirst again.

She doesn't quite understand what he is talking about, and asks him how he will draw water without a rope or pail.  She asks him how he plans to give her better water than Jacob, because this is a well that Jacob dug.  He says whoever drinks from this water will thirst again.  The water he is offering will be a permanent solution to a persons thirst.  She is excited by the prospect of Jesus' water, and asks him for his living water.  He tells her to go and get her husband.  She tells him that she doesn't have a husband.  Jesus says I know that is true.  He tells her she has had five husbands.  He also tells her that she is now living with a man who is not her husband.  I can only imagine her shock, that this stranger can know so much about her life.

She beginnings to question him about worship.  She says that the Samaritans worship at Mount Gerizim, and the Jews only worship in Jerusalem.  He tells her that there is a time coming when it won't matter where men worship.  He tells her that in the future men will worship God in Spirit and in Truth.  God is a Spirit, and so those who worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

She tells Jesus that she believes the Messiah is coming.  When the Messiah comes that he will explain everything to the Samaritans.  Jesus tells her, "I am the Messiah".

Fast forward a little.  She goes into the village and brings all her neighbors out to meet Jesus.  I love her testimony about him.  She tells her friends to come and meet a man who told me everything I ever did!  Many samaritans come and believe that Jesus is the Messiah.

There are a couple amazing things we can learn from this passage.  First, God is not concerned with your particular human standing.  It seems from his ministry that he often prefers to minister to the outcasts of human society.  God is looking for people who will submit to him.  It isn't important where you come from, or what you may bring to the table.  If we are honest with ourselves, what could we bring to a God that he doesn't already possess.  Even when we say we have given ourselves to God, we are only giving to God what he has already purchased at a great price.

Second, when we come to God, then we are indwelt with the Holy Spirit.  The presence of God begins to live within us.  When Jesus was talking about living water, he was talking about this Holy presence that will move us closer and closer to Christlikeness.

Third, there are no secrets with God.  This is a good thing for the believer and the unbeliever to consider.  There is nothing that you can keep from God.  God knows all.  He knows all the sins that you struggle with.  You are not going to be able to keep them from God.  In fact, if you are a believer the indwelling Holy Spirit is going to make you very uncomfortable when you think you are hiding something from God.  If you are a non-believer, this should come as a relief.  You can't make excuses at the altar.  There is nothing that you could confess to God, that could catch him off guard.  He already knows it all.  He knew all of the evil you would do, and he sent his Son for you anyway.  He already saw your entire life.  From beginning to the end, and said you were worth the cost of the Cross.  That is what it means to be known completely and be delighted in.  God knows all of your failings.  He knows everything that trips you up in your life.  He knows every bit of it, and he will still rejoice when you yield to the Spirit and commit yourself to Christ.  That is amazing.

Lastly, worship should not be confined to the Church.  Church is important.  When we talk about the comforting of God, God accomplishes that through the body of Christ, or the Church.  We need to be in Church.  We have gifts that God desperately wants to use to bless his people.  There are people in Church that have gifts that can bless you.  Nothing says that you have to stop worshipping God, when you leave church.  If you spend time thinking about all that God has done for you, then you should be in a constant state of praise.  You can praise in your car.  You can praise in your cubicle.  He has also given his Spirit that will give you a spirit of praise.  The indwelling Spirit will create in you the desire to praise him continually.  How could we not?  We were God's enemy!  We were fighting for the other side in this great spiritual battle!  He chose to redeem us!  Isn't that amazing!  Imagine your greatest enemy.  Would you give your life to save theirs?  That is exactly what God has done for us.

One last thought, this woman came face to face with the creator of the universe.  Her natural response was to run back into the village.  She had to bring everyone she knew to meet this man.  How often do you say to the people you care about, "come meet a man who told me everything that I ever did?"  We should take some lessons from the faith of this simple Samaritan woman.

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