Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Overflowing (John 4:27-30)

“Just then his disciples came back. They marveled that He was talking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you seek?” or, “Why are you talking with her?” So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” They went out of the town and were coming to Him.” (John 4:27–30, ESV) (Caps added to pronouns referring to Christ)

The conversation with the Samaritan woman began with the disciples leaving before her arrival, and it ends with their return. In the time between Jesus used asking the woman for a drink of water to lead her to the point that she was being confronted with the need to decide if she truly believed Jesus to be the Christ who was to give her living water.  We already looked at the divisions between the Jews and the Samaritans and the woman’s amazement that Jesus as a Jew would speak to her, a Samaritan. Jesus made it clear that a time was coming when these distinctions would disappear as people came to worship the Messiah (the Christ) who came to seek and to save the lost from the Jews, the Samaritans, and the whole world.

The fact that Jesus was speaking with a Samaritan did not miss the notice of His disciples either. While our passage records that they did not voice their questions to Jesus, it does record that they had the questions among themselves. As they arrived the woman left and went away into the town. But she did not return home quietly. Going back to the town she must have been overwhelmed and overflowing with excitement as she had even left her water jar behind. Arriving in town, she quickly told the people to come out and see this person who told her all of the secrets of her life. She had met a man who knew things no one could possibly know, and He claimed to be the Christ. As she proclaimed what He had done, she raised the question to them, “Can this be the Christ?” Her words must have been pretty persuasive because the passage goes on to say that the people went out to meet Him for themselves.

Here we have this woman, known to the people of the town to have a lot of blemishes, who came to them speaking of her incredible encounter with this person who might be the Christ. The same thing can be said of all of us who have trusted Christ for our salvation. He did not speak to her because she had everything neatly sewn together and lived a perfectly model life without any blemished. He spoke to a woman who had secrets which she probably would rather that others did not know. He does the same thing for us. Not one of us is perfect. We have all sinned, and have done so in many ways. Even if we didn’t recognize the things we had done as sin, every one of us has failed in things according to our own internal sense of right and wrong (Hmmm. Wonder where that came from?), known as our conscience. We have all done things which have even fallen short of what society’s standard for absolute right might be. In very simple terms there is not one of us who has been able to perfectly direct our lives and control every one of our steps. Every one of us was in need of an encounter with the Christ—the perfect Son of God who took upon Himself the sins of the world so that we might be fully forgiven and forever clothed in His righteousness. It all began with hearing the truth, believing Him to be the Christ, and entrusting ourselves to Him.

As we go out into our daily lives and contacts we encounter numerous people who also are engaged in their own various activities. Many of them may be performing the mundane, while others may be in the midst of something very significant and life changing. What could possibly have in common is that they might also be ready for an encounter with the truth of Christ and being asked the question, “Can this really be Him?” If they are ready to say, “Yes,” think of the joy of walking them through the process of coming to know Him personally. I can’t imagine the woman staying back as the people of the town went out to meet Him. I imagine her leading the crowd and pointing the way with excitement.

“All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:18–21, ESV) (Caps added to pronouns referring to God and Christ)

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