Sunday, October 21, 2007

Living water

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: John 4, 5; Psalm 140

John 4:39-42 (NIV)

39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in [Jesus] because of the woman’s testimony. “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to Him, they urged Him to stay with them, and He stayed two days. 41 And because of His words, many more became believers. 42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”

Good morning!

How important is our testimony? Does it really matter what we say and do?

When Jesus stopped at Jacob’s well and asked the Samaritan woman for a drink, can you imagine her surprise? She had come to the well, at high noon, to draw water alone. This woman had a reputation in her community, and it was far easier to sneak out in the heat of day alone and draw water to drink knowing she would not have to face the stares and gossip of her cruel neighbors. She thought she was off the hook when she saw Jesus approach. Jews and Samaritans never speak. In fact, they would go way out of their way to avoid having to interact with each other. So why was this man, a practicing Jew, asking her for a drink? How could He not know who she was? The woman’s life story read like the pages of a lusty romance novel. Could He not see the torment and fear in her eyes?

All she ever wanted was to be loved and cared for. This woman had given her heart in marriage five times. With every failed attempt, she was reminded of her inadequacies. She felt so unloved and alone that it drove her to resigning herself to a live-in arrangement with a man whom she knew would eventually leave her one day. The guilt she carried was heavier than the jar of water she hoisted over her shoulder. She had no real friends. Her family had written her off long ago. No one even bothered to look at her and listen to her heart. What lasting difference would this woman’s testimony make in this town?

When Jesus shows up, it is never a mere coincidence. Even His disciples could not understand why their Lord ventured over to the Samaritan woman, and boldly asked her for a drink of water. Jesus Christ saw so much more. He not only knew this woman’s story, He knew her need. Jesus had come to save women and men just like the Samaritan. He offered her a drink of living water, the water that would never leave her thirsting for real love anymore. He offered her a new way of life, and this precious child of God, so lost and alone, recognized the real deal when she saw Him and immediately accepted Jesus Christ at His Word.

In that extraordinary moment, amid the speculation and cynicism of both Jews and Samaritans, a life was forever changed by the Lord of love. It was so apparent, that her words somehow cut through the judgment and harsh criticism of others. She proclaimed to her neighbors without fear, “Come, and meet a man who told me everything I have ever done. Could He be the Christ?” The miracle was not in the curiosity of the community that came out to meet Christ – the miracle was that her neighbors paid this woman any attention at all. Something remarkable happened at Jacob’s well. Fear turned to faith. Real love shattered distrust. Living water was offered and accepted by a people whose pagan culture knew very little of the Great I Am.

If you ever find yourself doubting whether God can use your testimony to change the heart of another human soul, remember the Samaritan woman who stood at the well alone, in seclusion and shame. Everything changes when Jesus Christ offers you a drink of living water.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO

Pray for: a thirst quencher! No matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done, Jesus Christ knows your story, and He loves you enough that He carried your sin on the cross to give you new life in Him. Won’t you take a drink of living water today?


© Copyright 2007, Deb Spaulding

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