Monday, June 30, 2014

The Living Water





Jacob's Well
Photo Credit: http://pastorchrisowens.wordpress.com



The Woman at the Well

I have been writing this Bible study since 2007 and I hope to one day publish it as a study for women.

What is it about this story in John 4 that captivates me?

In a way, it is my story.

I'll divide this story into sections:


  • The Wanderer
  • The Waiting
  • The Well
  • The Water
  • The Woman
  • The Washing
  • The Waterpot
  • The Witness
  • The Wanderer



The Wanderer


The story of the Woman at the Well is a story of redemption. It is the story of how Jesus chose to reveal Himself to one woman. He chose the place, time, and person. This story is also where Jesus reveals the Holy Spirit as the Living Water and Himself as Messiah in the Bible.



And He did all this with a woman of ill repute. Why did God select this woman? We'll soon find out. 



Let's begin our journey with Jesus...........


******************************


John 4:1-3


"Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples), He left Judea and departed again to Galilee."


Here is the setting of this portion of Christ's ministry: Judea. In John 3, we learn that Jesus is teaching in Jerusalem about being "born of the Spirit" to Nicodemus. He also teaches that He is the light and about coming to the light so evil deeds can be exposed. John the Baptist is also exalting Christ far above himself. We finish the chapter with John saying:

"He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe in the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."

So, chapter 4 leads in with the Pharisees who thought their problems were over once John was dealt with. But even after John's imprisonment, we see that Jesus made disciples and His disciples were baptizing!

Jesus, therefore, decides to leave and head for Galilee.


Notice here that it is Jesus who makes disciples. Disciples of Christ are not born. We are transformed...we are made by Christ.


Please read:


Romans 12:2
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.


The one problem that I have with the Harry Potter books (and I do enjoy the books and movies) is that in the story, Harry Potter is told that he was "born" a wizard. That he had no choice in the matter....and therefore no consequences for his actions as a wizard.


When our son, Nathan, was younger, we explained to him that Christians are not born, but made by God. They are transformed through His atonement only through faith alone.


In the Harry Potter books, both "good" characters and "evil" characters use witchcraft (evil) to do their deeds without consequences or responsibility. One reviewer of the books, an economist, said that the economy of the Harry Potter books was way off. There seems to be no payment due for using magical means. Nothing is owed or taken away when the characters use their magic.....therefore, there is no personal responsibility involved. This was not a lesson she wanted to teach her children.

In my Dragon Forest stories, I make sure there is a payment due for using magic of any kind. I want my readers to see their is personal responsibility involved.


*****************************


"The success of the gospel exasperates its enemies." 
- Matthew Henry


The Samaritan woman, a mongrel woman...a damaged woman...will be used later on to spread the Gospel in Samaria and further exasperate the enemies of Jesus and His gospel.


John 4:4 "But He needed to go through Samaria."






Samaria

Here is a map of the region where Jesus needed to go in order to get to Samaria







Jesus, the wanderer, needed to go through Samaria, a place that no good Jewish person would enter. At this time in history, Samaria was made up of "mongrel" Jews. They knew some of Jewish law but also mixed it with pagan practices to form their own religion. Many Jews did all they could to avoid entering into Samaria for this reason. But here we see that Jesus "needed to go through Samaria." in order to complete His journey.


Why?

Jesus had to do the will of His Father. He did so many things contrary to the world, didn't He?


John 5:30 “I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me."


Jesus, being God, could have parted the Jordan River (again) and easily walked through it to avoid passing through Samaria. But He didn't do this.

Instead, He chose to enter into this controversial land.


He had to do it because He had to do the will of God.




****************

Life Application

It is always in our best interest to obey God's word at all times. It is in our best interest to know the character of God. When He tells us to go, then we go and obey.

As Jesus did....we are to do.


John 5:24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

John 8:31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples,

John 14:15  “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

John 14:23-24 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me.

We were not left here without a word from our Creator. He has given us new life, but He also gave us His words. We cannot say, "I did not know..." because we were told.

We are without excuse.

As we study here, we will begin to see just how Jesus meets a sinner, confronts her sin, reveals Himself to a sinner, then transforms her to use her for His glory.

Does that sound familiar? Is this your story as well?


Until next time...........


"The Spirit-filled life is not based on emotions, although you are likely to feel various emotions as the Spirit works in you and through you to produce the character of Christ Jesus in your life and to replicate the ministry of Christ Jesus in your life and the world.


The Spirit-filled life is also not something that a person can study from afar. The Spirit-filled life is experienced. It is lived out by real people in real life facing real, and sometimes difficult, circumstances and situations.


The Spirit-filled life is marked by purpose, power, and effectiveness. It is not something that you do, but something that you are because of who is living and working inside you. God desires for each of His children to live a Spirit-filled life, and He expects you to be led by the Spirit on a daily basis."

-Charles Stanley
(Relying on the Holy Spirit, 1996, p. viii of Introduction)



Blessings,



Ruth

No comments:

Post a Comment