December 29, 2019

December 29, 2019

The Undeserved Gift of God

John 4:7-19

Many of us are familiar with the story of the Samaritan woman at the well. We know of the Samaritan women and her many husbands. While some readers have assumed that woman is a prostitute and others an adulterer, it is clear that she is a person who has defied set morals. Yet, Jesus comes to her to give a gift.

In the beginning of John 4, we read that Jesus is traveling to Galilee and goes through the Samarian region. In Samaria, Jesus takes a rest by the well of Jericho. Wells were a common place for people of all types to rest at and not just draw water. To draw water you would need some equipment. We do not know how deep the well was back in Jesus’ time, but evidence suggests it would not be easy to draw water and impossible to draw water with just your hands.

The Lord Jesus came to earth as a human being to reveal the truth to us. He comes to us at odd times and places to offer us a gift. Just like Jesus with the Samaritan woman, He came at a time she was not expecting a savior.

There two characteristics that stand out about the Samaritan woman, her pride and shame.

1. She was a Samaritan but also a descendant of Jacob. She is proud of the fact that she is a descendant of Jacob and has some claim to the well (John 4:12). In this sense she knows her place and how it is well with her. Samaritans and Jews would not even walk on the same path. After the Babylonian captivity, it was revealed that the Samaritans had married outside the fraternity of the chosen people. This was the beginning of the rift and the Jews considered the Samaritans as uncircumcised.

2. The woman had some pride and she had secrets she did want to discuss or share with others (John4:17-18). She comes to the well at the 6th hour of the day which is not a very convenient time. Many at that time would have gone to get water either early in the morning or later in the day to avoid the intense heat. Women would have also gone in groups and not as an individual. She was an outcast. Her marriages had not gone well, and she would have been shunned for having had so many husbands. No self-respectful woman would be seen with her. Yet Jesus offers her the gift of God.

In this passage, we see that Jesus shocks the woman in two ways. Jesus knows her crooked past and things that she did know anyone knew, but more shockingly that Jesus still loved her despite past. Jesus came all the way to Samaria to tell a woman who she is and give her the gift of God. Jesus understood who she was, but Jesus does not condemn her. Instead Jesus brings her to the understanding of who she is and how much she needs God (John 4:15, 19). We need to put ourselves in the women's place. Jesus has found us and does not judge us despite our broken hearts and crooked history. Jesus still loved us and traveled to meet us to give the gift of life.

The aspect of God's gift is that instead of turning away from us, He seeks us out to give us a gift. He then gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit. The final gift of God is the true freedom we get from God's acceptance of us.

In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
Ephesians 1:13-14 ESV

The spirit also makes us heirs. The Holy Spirit seals us that we are guaranteed salvation. We have the privilege to share the inheritance of God.

The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
Romans 8:16-17 ESV

Yet even with the presence of Holy Spirit in us, we still have struggles. The heir does not own what is intended for him until the appointed time. The pride of ancestors is fragile and the Samaritan woman realizes this. The pride she gets as an heir of God is more fulfilling and meaningful because the gift of the heir is true and will be given at the appointed time. May accept the gift and our place as heirs while we patiently wait for the appointed time to collect our inheritance. 

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