Tuesday Morning: 15 Jan 2019 – John 4:1-26 ~ a wellspring of eternal life

Tuesday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (Collect for Purity)

Almighty God: to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid; cleanse the thoughts of my heart through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that I may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name, through Christ my Lord. Amen.

Morning Reading – John 4:1-26 (NLT)

Jesus and the Samaritan Woman

Jesus knew the Pharisees had heard that he was baptizing and making more disciples than John (though Jesus himself didn’t baptize them—his disciples did). So he left Judea and returned to Galilee.

He had to go through Samaria on the way. Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food.

The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?”

Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”

“But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?”

Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”

“Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.”

“Go and get your husband,” Jesus told her.

“I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied.

Jesus said, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband—for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!”

“Sir,” the woman said, “you must be a prophet. So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim, where our ancestors worshiped?”

Jesus replied, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”

The woman said, “I know the Messiah is coming—the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

Then Jesus told her, “I am the Messiah!”

Morning Reflection:

Jesus offers eternal life to everyone,
even the most unlikely people.

The Samaritan woman was surprised when the Jewish man resting by the well asked her for a drink of water. For all the reasons described by John – geographical, historical, religious and cultural – it was a most unlikely encounter between two people living worlds apart. And yet, it changed her life.

Jesus began the conversation with a simple request for water. And, when she responded with her own questions, he gently moved the conversation from physical thirst to spiritual thirst. And then Jesus zeroed in on her real problem – her unmarried cohabitation with a man after having five previous husbands. This was a women living in sin, on the margins of her own society.

“Although we thirst throughout our whole life, yet it is certain that we have not received the Holy Spirit for a single day, or for any short period, but as a perennial fountain, which will never fail us.” – John Calvin (Commentary on Psalm 63:1)

Jesus used the metaphor of “living water” to describe what he was offering her – “a perennial fountain” of eternal life. A wellspring of the Holy Spirit that would connect her with God “in spirit and truth.” What was the catch? Believing that Jesus was who he said he was – the longed for “Messiah” who had come to save her.

Questions for your consideration: Are there people around you who seem like unlikely recipients of the Good News of eternal life offered by Jesus Christ?

+ What barriers would need to be overcome to engage them in conversation?
+ Can you think of a natural point of contact to begin the conversation?
+ What metaphor could you use to describe Jesus’ offer of eternal life?

Morning Prayer:

Loving and Merciful God: You want everyone to receive the gift of eternal life offered by your Son, Jesus Christ. Uncap within us the wellspring of the Holy Spirit that we received when we first believed. And give us the ability to recognize the endless possibilities for engaging others – even the most unlikely people – with the Good News of eternal life. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

“Mighty to Save” – Hillsong United



May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen