“Remember who you are and whose you are!”
In John chapter 4:1-26 and following verses, We learn a deep spiritual truth straight from the words of Jesus. Up to this point, Jesus was building up to begin His earthly ministry. John the Baptist has gone around and helped prepare the way for Him by teaching and testifying about him, and encouraging his disciples to follow Jesus.
Jesus begins calling His disciples to follow Him. And now the ministry is beginning and taking off quickly! Here in John 4 we see Jesus encounter a woman, which at that time was not well accepted among people unless you were a relative of the woman or her husband. And to set the scene up with even worse imagery, she is a Samaritan. Now, to us as 21st century readers that doesn’t sound significant but it is. You see, Jews and Samaritans despised each other! They held the deepest hate possible for the other group. They despised each other to the point that if you were traveling, and you had to go by Samaria as a Jewish person, you went around the city and the surrounding towns even if it meant going miles and miles out of your way. The hatred between these two groups of people was a generational hatred. You could almost say that their hatred for one another was a tradition for them.
And this is the scene that begins to unfold with Jesus and His new disciples. The scriptures say that “Jesus left Judea and went back once more to Galilee. Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar.” Now what is significant about this town is that the plot of ground that Jacob had given his son, Joseph, is found there. And on that plot of ground, is a well. So here Jesus and His disciples show up into town, tired, hungry, thirsty and feeling uneasy about where they are. And now they have to find some resources. So the
disciples head to town to get more food for their group while Jesus heads to the well for water. When he gets there, in the middle of the day, there this woman is. Her being there in the middle of the day should give us a snapshot of what type of woman she is. You see, most of the time it was the women that did the work around the home and a part of that was going to draw water for all of their needs: cleaning clothes, bathing, cooking, drinking, and so on. Nothing out of the ordinary here that it is a woman drawing water. But it being in the middle of the day is a red flag, because typically a woman would go to draw water for her family and make more than one trip. Meaning, she wouldn’t typically choose the hottest part of the day to go and draw water several times. She would choose to do so in the morning or evening when it was cool. But this woman is of such a character that she only feels welcome to go and draw water in the middle of the day and her hope is that no one will be there. She can go, undetected. But here we find Jesus at the well, with her.
As the scene continues, Jesus speaks truth into this woman’s life about the type of life she is leading, particularly with the men in her life. But the deep spiritual truth is found in the aftermath, when Jesus offers this woman “living water” and tells her that “whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst…it will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” You see, what we can learn from this truth is that it is one thing to point out the flaws of another person, call attention to their sin, offer suggestion and correction, and then to take the step that Jesus takes. Because here, Jesus doesn’t leave the scene how we often do, with His finger pointed at this woman with a wagging motion attached in an attempt to belittle or degrade her. But He goes on to flip His hand, palm up, and opens and closes His fingers suggesting to her that she should come and find out about this “different water” and “way of life” that Jesus can offer. As a result the woman, who wanted to go undetected and avoid conversation with anyone, goes and tells everyone she can find what Jesus said and did. And then she makes the exact same gesture with her words and hand that Jesus did, “come and see, He told me everything I ever did.” And the scriptures tell us that “many of the Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony.”
Let us be a people that aren’t afraid to call sin out for what it is, but let us always take it a step further in inviting those in our life to “come and see” and to experience it for themselves. We do that with so many other things in life don’t we? “You have to see that movie, it was AWESOME.” “Take a listen to that song when you get a chance, the lyrics are POWERFUL.” “You’ve got to read this book, it CHANGED MY LIFE.” But yet, how often do we do that with that which is the most awesome, powerful, and life changing?
Upcoming Meetings: On October 28, 2018, there will be a Parent Meeting. Bring your family, school, and extra curricular calendars. Let’s sit down at the table together and plan towards our Winter quarter here in particular.
~ Michael Rector