Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Was it Just a Chance Meeting?

Recently, I started reading through the book of John. It's a book in the Bible packed full of truth. Each chapter reveals a mutitude of insights. There is so much spiritual meat to sit and chew on. Today, as I read the story about the Samaritan woman, I thought why not share with you the trinkets of truth I gain from this great book John.

So here goes.... a journey with me through the book of John. I hope each writing will inspire you and God will use it to make a difference in your life. On to what I read today.....

Today's truth comes to you from the fourth chapter of John, verses 1-26. The heading at the top of the chapter made me catch my breath a little. You know that feeling you get when you suck in a little gasp of air because what you just read spoke to you. It said this "A Samaritan Woman Meets Her Messiah". I thought .... "That's me!, I am that Samaritan woman, lucky enough to meet my Messiah."

I connected with this woman in so many ways. First, the fact of where she came from and what it meant to come from Samaria drives really close to home for me. A "Samaritan" was considered by Jews to be an outcast. A Jew would not speak to a Samaritan.

A little side history lesson for you.... the jews were invaded by Babylon and taken into captivity. The wealthiest Jews and those considered to be of intelligence were taken to Babylon. They were all kept together in captivity and allowed to continue in there faith. Those left back in the area of Isreal and Judea were very poor. During the others captivity, those left behind began to incorporate worship of pagan gods along with their worship of Yahweh. They made sacrifices outside Jerusalem and the temple walls. Those taken away had kept their beliefs in Yahweh. They believed that all sacrifices must be made in the temple in Jerusalem. Therefore, they had not made sacrifices during captivity and longed to return and rebuild the temple.

After seventy years they were allowed to return to their homeland and rebuild their temple. Worship and sacrifices could again be made to God once the temple was rebuilt. Those who had been left behind, were now living in the area of Samaria. Because of their differences they were hated and no longer considered Hebrew. They became the despised "Samaritans" to the Jewish people.

I get where that woman came from..... I get how her environment molded her. She was despised by those considered to be God's chosen. She was a woman living in a place corrupted by deception and pagan religion. I get that place. I wasn't raised in the church. When I was young, the church looked like it was full of Godly people. I thought they were God's chosen people. I was outside those walls. My surroundings weren't full of the pursuit to be holy or pleasing to God. The God I was familar with was the God of self. In my world you were your own God. Self gratification and the pursuit of happiness was revered above all else.

I get the feeling of being an outsider. I also get this womans life and what she was living like. In Verse 16-18 Jesus tells this woman, "go call your husband." She answers and says "I have no husband." He then proceeds to tell her the truth about herself. "You have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband."

I get how she was living her life. I get it because I lived it. NO, I haven't been married five times. And the one I am with IS my husband. It's not the specific circumstances but the way she was pursuing her life, man after man. I lived that. I let the pursuit of a man override my pursuit of holiness for many years. I married young and it only lasted a year. Then I spent eighteen years trying to find myself a man. I thought it would be what made me happy.

Here she is.... A woman steeped in sin, giving herself away over and over to man after man. Her worth to herself is non-existant. She comes from nothing, lives where she is considered nothing and believes she is nothing. Then something happens to change everything she believes..... She meets Jesus at a well.

Going to the well to draw water, she finds Jesus sitting there. "Draw Me a drink" he tells her. She is shocked that a Jew would be asking her, a Samaritan, to draw Him some water. Most Jews would have no dealings with her. But He did and He had much more to tell her. He had come to the well at just that time of day so He would meet her there. His path had deliberately taken Him the route less traveled so this woman could hear a truth that would change her life.

"If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water." Jesus tells her. Living water? Where do you get living water she asks him? This is confusing.... water that is living? He has nothing to draw the water with. The well is deep. How would he draw this water that is living? "Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us this well and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestocks?" She asks.

Jesus gives her an answer that now rings in my ears. "Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give will never thirst. But the water that I shall give will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life."

I too met Jesus at the well. I came from nothing, was considered nothing by others and believed what they told me about myself. My worth in myself was non-existant and my heart was thirsty. I went to the well and Jesus was there. I wanted the living water He had to offer. I drank from His water and have never been the same. It started in my heart with just a trickle. The trickle over time has turned into a stream. That stream nows runs like a rapid and flows over its banks. It flows onto others so they too can hear about the man at the well.

A Samaritan woman two thousand years ago had the same response as I did..... "Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw." She needed a filling that only Jesus could supply and so did I.