Saturday 27 December, 2014

John 4:16-26

16 He told her, “Go. Get your husband and come back.” 17 “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands. And the man you have now is not your husband. What you have just said is very true.” 19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our people have worshiped on this mountain for a long time. But you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.” 21 Jesus said, “Believe me, woman. A time is coming when you will not worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know. We worship what we do know. Salvation comes from the Jews. 23 “But a new time is coming. In fact, it is already here. True worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. They are the kind of worshipers the Father is looking for. 24 “God is spirit. His worshipers must worship him in spirit and in truth.” 25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah is coming.” (He is called Christ.) “When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” 26 Then Jesus said, “I, the one speaking to you, am he.”

God loves to break boxes.

At one moment she is so clueless that while he is talking about profound spiritual blessing she can’t see past his lack of a bucket (v11). She’s fitting right into the stereotype: a Samaritan … a woman … an unfaithful woman at that. What would you expect? She’s well and truly in her box.

But God is clearly speaking to her heart. Jesus points to a core issue in her life and she is obviously feeling uncomfortable. She tries to divert the conversation away from her life to an academic diversion (her equivalent of “what about evolution”).

And then she suddenly grasps hold of the most significant issue here: the Messiah. This must be an insight from God. And she’s willing to believe that Jesus really might be him. And as a result of her testimony, the whole town comes to Jesus.

The cleverest theological minds of their day so completely miss who Jesus is that they have him put to death, but this outcast Samaritan woman hears and sees who he really is. The people of Nazareth and Jerusalem don’t believe Jesus, but this Samaritan town does.

“God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise.” (1 Corinthians 1:18-30)

I’m challenged never to put anyone in a box. God reveals himself to whomever he chooses. And I’m especially challenged never to put God in a box – unless I want to look foolish. He’s always surprising me, and delighting me.

Written By David Cornell

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