23 March 2014
Isn’t it interesting how Jesus deals with this woman? He desires to bring her to faith. His desire is to change her life. The power of life-giving water is given to a Samaritan woman who meets Jesus at a well. As Jesus has an encounter with this woman, He offers to her a changed life as she exchanges her life for His.
This is your story too. Experiencing that great exchange – God‘s mercy and forgiveness purchased at the cost of His own Son. From last Sunday’s gospel, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
Today we witness and hear the dialogue between Jesus and a woman at the well.
1. What Jesus might have done — He could have had a monologue.
Jesus could very well have refused to speak to this Samaritan woman. Such was the custom of the day. Samaritans and Jews had nothing to do with each other. Each viewed the other as having compromised the faith.
Jesus could have condemned her for her immoral life and nationalism. He chooses however to deal differently. He breaks through the moral problem by accepting a woman of doubtful character. He does not isolate Himself from a sinner. He addresses her sin and calls her to repentance.
Jesus in dealing with this woman illustrates how He chooses to deal with each of us. May we each be thankful for the forgiveness of sins, life, salvation, which each of us receive as a gift.
2. Notice how Jesus guides the conversation.
Jesus begins on common ground, water. Vv. 7-9
We see Jesus’ humanity. He is tired from walking. Thirsty from the noonday heat. Like any of us, He asks for a drink of water. We see His divinity. He offers living water of eternal life. He teaches about true worship of God, and admits that He is the Messiah.
A transition to spiritual water Vv. 10-15
The woman’s respect for her traditions prevented her from seeing the great opportunity of the present. She asks, “Are you greater than our father Jacob?” Yet, the Savior offers her a greatest gift – the Father’s grace. Jesus gave His life. He gave it freely. That any who comes to Him He will certainly not cast out.
Next, the morals question. Vv. 16-19.
We cannot hide or equivocate. We can’t quibble or fudge. We are dead to rights. Our own sin condemns us. Especially when Jesus shows us our sin. “Sir, the woman said, “I can see that You are a prophet.” What is wrong in our life must be made right if we are to have satisfaction.
Jesus inspires in us a desire. A desire for the gift of God. “But whoever drinks the water that I give him will never thirst.
Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (V. 14)
Religious questions Vv. 20-24.
Jesus shows us where to find the Father’s gift. We may be perplexed. As to which church is right. “Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
Both Samaritans and Jews claimed to know the perfect will of God. Yet, they argued. As to where God was to be found.
The true church is present where God’s Word is taught purely. The sacraments are administered according to Christ’s command. And forgiveness is applied in the lives of people. There we find the gift of God – salvation.
True worshipers are not bound to any particular place or ritual. Jesus declares, ‘Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.’ (V. 21) The worship of God is in spirit and in truth. He is not bound to any outward group or building. Church organizations can cease to exist. What a wonderful promise. True worshipers, who make up the church, will continue throughout time.
Jesus reveals Himself - The Messiah Vv. 25-26.
Jesus reveals Himself to us in the Word. “I who speak to you am He!” We can have Him now, as we are, in our emptiness and thirst, for He is the gift that satisfies. John reminds us, “Then leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, Come see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?”
Our meditation begins with the woman’s question. “Could this Jesus be the Christ? Do you know the gift of God? As He spoke to the woman, so He speaks to you this day. “I who speak to you am He.”
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