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Encounter love, find hope . . . John #13. John chapter four

podcast: We are in need.  So was she, but she did not know what she really needed. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink? The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) vs. 7 and 9 She went to the well thirsty, and left satisfied...  she went to the well empty inside and left filled... she went to the well friendless and lonely, and left knowing true love... she went to the well, believing in some small way, the Messiah would come one day, she left, having met him; she went to the well, a woman scorned and rejected, she skipped away, renewed, filled with hope ~ a woman loved by Jesus. You have to really read the whole passage— —to get the picture of the Woman who went to the Well. But even then, you do not fully appreciate the story John recounts unless you understand the cultural and historical biases of the day and just why John said Jesus ‘had to travel through Samaria’ as though it were the only route when it was not. This story shows the rich impact Jesus made on people. --‘Seems once folks met Jesus they were never the same. --‘Seems once folks meet Jesus they are never the same. So, Jesus leaves the Judean countryside to return to Galilee, and chooses to go through Samaria because he knows he has a divine appointment waiting there. Jesus breaks the social and religious code, as a Jewish rabbi traveling into Samaritan territory, and then, horror of horrors, as a Jew speaking to a Samaritan, and God forbid, a woman!  Jesus still goes out of the way to meet us. Let’s take a look at the biases attached to this setting—The Jews and Samaritans had hated each other since 700 B.C. when the Samaritans’ ancestors, the Assyrians invaded the Northern Kingdom of Israel and carried its residents into captivity. When a few Israelites escaped and returned home, the Assyrian king sent some of his men to guard the former Israelite territory from future revolts. Over the years that followed, there was intermarriage between Israelites and Assyrians - called Samaritans. Even the religion was ‘half-breed’, so to speak, a mixture of Assyrian superstition and gods, with Jewish truths and traditions. The Jews hated the Samaritans, and resentfully, the Samaritans hated the Jews.1 As for speaking to a woman . . . well, Jesus was unaffected by social mores—actually, he violated them in every single encounter he had with women recorded in the gospels.2 Jesus was a revolutionary with regard to his treatment of women! You must be aware that in the first century, at every synagogue service, Jewish men prayed, “Blessed art thou, O Lord, who has not made me a woman.” Women sat in a separate section, were not counted in quorums, and were rarely taught the Torah. In social life, few women would talk to men outside of their families, and a woman was to have no close contact with any man but her spouse.3 ‘And for rabbis? They were forbidden to speak to women in public. So here we have Rabbi Jesus actually addressing a Samaritan woman [radical!]… and just as he had done with Nicodemus, he goes right to the woman’s greatest need-- ‘living water’ to quench her spiritual thirst.  Jesus knows that this woman has never known spiritual truth . . . never been satisfied in her soul . . . and so he explains that his living water will give her hope and will produce in her eternal life! He’s got her now. You can almost hear her urgent demand, ‘tell me how to get it!’  But first … Jesus must get her to see her sin and clear it up. “Go call your husband,” He tells her, “and come back here.” Uh-oh. He knows. Yes, he does. Jesus helps her deal with her sin so she can hope again. Jesus knows all about her and loves her anyway.  She goes to the well for water . . . Jesus sets her free, gives her hope, lifts her head, gives her living water. Jesus is coming to you today with the same offer: freedom from yourself/your sin hope for today the promise of forever with him.  don't walk away. Christine 1 Anne Graham Lotz, Just Give Me Jesus 2 Walter Wink 3 Philip Yancey, The Jesus I Never Knew

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