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3.10.2009

A Little Three Letter Word

I spent some time today reading through John 4:1-42. Contained within these verses we read John's account of Jesus' encounter with the Samaritan woman of Sychar, known to most of us as the "woman at the well."

I have read this many times before but today it has caused a stirring within my soul.

Let me set the stage for you. Jesus had been in Judea where His popularity was rapidly increasing. To avoid possible trouble with the disciples of John the Baptist who were yet to understand who He was and to avoid a run in with the Pharisees, Jesus left Judea and headed toward Galilee. There were many roads that led from Judea to Galilee- one could enjoy of nice leisurely stroll along the seacoast or choose to travel through the region of Perea- but, most would not, especially a Jew, travel by way of Samaria. To the Jews of that day, Samaritans were thought to be heretical half-breeds of which no "righteous" Jew would waste any time on and who would, at all cost, avoid any kind of contact with them. So, of course Jesus, being a Jew Himself, would not choose to travel by way of the town of Samaria, right? WRONG!

John tells us in verse 4 of chapter 4 that Jesus "had to pass through Samaria." Do you see that? He HAD to pass through this town of misfits, low-life's, the rejects of society; He HAD to. I have never noticed that three letter word before, but today it hit me square in the face. Jesus had to pass through the Samaritan town of Sychar that day because He had a divine appointment with a woman who was in need of the Living Water.

Oh, hold on a minute! The plot is about the thicken. Not only is Jesus, who is a Jew, going to travel through this Samaritan town of rejects because He "has" to, but His reasoning for doing so is for the purpose of meeting up with a WOMAN! Oh no He didn't! Oh, yes, my friend- yes He did! Jesus Christ is traveling through this Samaritan town because He has an appointment with a Samaritan woman who is in desperate need of Him.

Life had left this Samaritan woman thirsty; her life circumstances had left her drained. She had no friends, hence the fact that she was alone at the well in the middle of the noon-day heat. She had been ostracized by the people of the town for being "easy" due to the fact that she had been married 5 times and was currently shacked up with a man who was not her husband. Poor decisions had left her life in ruins. Blame it on a rotten up-bringing, blame it on unfaithful men, blame it on being doomed from the get-go, blame it on an addiction, blame it on the rain- whatever it was that got her where she was this day had left her totally empty, utterly in need of something to fill the void in her life. She had a thirst that no man had been able to fill. She had a longing deep within her soul that no addiction could satisfy and no irrational, co-dependant behavior could cure; this Samaritan woman needed a once and for all fix that could only come from the Most High Himself.

Jesus knew her. He knew ALL about her. He knew her life story and loved her beyond it. He knew she had tried all her life to fill her heart with whatever was around the next corner. Jesus stepped across racial divides that day; He stepped across political lines that day; He stepped across every kind of imaginable barrier that day and offered to this woman what she had spent her whole life looking for. She came to the well that day to get water, but she left with a new life, a full heart, and a forgiven past. That day she met the man of her dreams; her knight in shining armor.

As I read, re-read, and yet read again these verses today several things pierced my heart:
~Every appointment on God's calendar is a divine appointment; none of them are coincidences.

~All I need is Jesus- not more stuff, not more friends, not a position- just Jesus.

~Jesus' love goes beyond man.

~Jesus is my knight in shining armor who will rescue me from the fiery dragon.


Today I leave you with one question: what are you filling your life with- Jesus or _________?

4 Lovely Thoughts Shared:

Dotwigg said...

Great post!!! I have learned to like this story and passage when you just glance at it, you miss these awesome jewels you have highlighted. My favorite part is how Christ speaks with her, for the first time in her life she is not a ...., she is HER, and he Knew her life and her deeds but did not require her to recite each and everyone, just acknowledge who HE was, and Believe and she went back to town still the slighted and outcast and brought others to the Well and to "The Living Water" so they thirst no more. Incribly encouraging. You HAVE to read it and SEE it and recieve the awesome uplifting power of the knowledge packed in this passage.

Thanks for sharing this great nugget.

Lisa@BlessedwithGrace said...

Great job, Jennifer. I think I missed the three letter word, too. How awesome. Thank God that he knows our divine appointments, and has planned them out, before time began. Praise God that He reveals Himself to us, when we need Him the most!!

Alicia, The Snowflake said...

What a beautiful post my friend! Thank you! My son and I have been reading through the Gospels for school this year. His compassion and grace never cease to amaze me. It is a love that I will never understand. But I am so thankful for it!

Jennifer said...

What a wonderful and powerful post. I wonder how often I read a passage that "I know" and simply read it....instead of digesting every word?! How amazing are even those "three letter words"!

God truly loves each of us...ready to meet us exactly where we are - no matter how Satan tries to convince us otherwise!

Great insights today - thanks. Have a great week.