Love Lost, Life Found

How can a seemingly random discussion of past husbands and other sexual relationships lead a whole town to recognize that Jesus saves the whole world?

This story is about a woman seeking water but finding more. It is about prejudice and tribal hatred left behind. Love shattered, yet springing to life with mere words. But … maybe they are more than mere words.

This story begins hundreds of years before the passage we will examine.

It actually starts thousands of years before then, when God Most High conceived an incredible plan. We will leave that part of story for another time.

Hundreds of years before the events that make our story, the kingdom of Solomon had split into a northern and a southern kingdom. David and Solomon had moved the center of identity to Jerusalem, in the southern region.

And Solomon built a stunning Temple for the worship of God Most High. In Jerusalem. In the south. Not on Mount Gerizim in the north, where worship had been centered. Quite divisive.

In many modern nations, collective identity is focused on sports teams: football, Aussie Rules football, rugby, Amercian football etc. Moving the national stadium would be the source of riots in most places. So it was when Solomon built the temple in Jerusalem. This act threw fuel on the rapidly growing fire of animosity. The people of the northern group were furious.

Solomon also ruled with an iron fist. His authority extended into important aspects of every home. The noisome vapors of revolt rose across the land, but especially in the jilted northern people.

Throughout history, in every epoch, the dominant struggle has been power: governance. If you have read through the history of the Israel, you know that they do not differ from the other nations of the world in such things. After Solomon died, almost as if scripted, the normal violent events followed. Differing powers struggled to seize the throne. Some of the players in the game made clever use of the underlying tension between north and south. This resulted in the split, with the northern kingdom keeping the name Israel and the southern kingdom taking the name Judah, after one of the 2 tribes that formed the southern kingdom.

From this name issue alone, one can begin to imagine the strife. For several hundred years, the people had developed their heritage around the name Israel, which was the name God Most High gave Jacob, the grandson of Abraham. As is clear from all history, all people groups develop strong and violent distinctions based on their group identity. So keeping this idea in mind, we can sense the deep conflict developing as the northern group claims the name Israel.

The southern group formed their identity around the name Judah and came to be known as Jews, a derivative of the group name Judah.

The northern kingdom from its inception mixed the worship of God Most High with the worship of other gods. Starting with the golden calves and progressing to such as Baal and Ashteroth. They were conquered by one of the later Assyrian empires, which had the very effective subjugation technique of transporting most of the conquered peoples to other lands. So people from other lands became mixed into the lineage of the few Israelites that remained. The original tracing of specific lineage to Israel (Jacob – the grandson of Abraham) was lost.

This northern group, with its new introduction of other unknown ancestries, formed its new identity around the ancient city Samaria. They became Samaritans.

It is relevant to observe that the continuous worship of other gods did not erase the belief in the God Most High. By the time of Jesus, the Samaritans continued to believe the first 5 books of the Bible to be from God.

The southern group, the Jews, also had many years of integrating the worship of other gods into their society. The southern kingdom, Judah, followed in an almost parallel story. Babylon conquered and deported the kingdom of Judah into distant lands.

But the Jews and Samaritans differed in 2 important ways. Although strained, the Jewish ability to trace specific ancestry was somewhat preserved. And the Jews believed that God Most High gave more books, not just the first 5 books.

Some years later, a group of the Jews were encouraged to return to Judah and rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. The events surrounding this are remarkable and worthy of your time. But not in this essay.

Some of the Samaritan leaders offered to help. The Jews refused. In the accounts we have, the relationship went bad.

And stayed bad for several hundred years.

History is littered with parallel stories of internecine hatred. Example cases abound in every era. One recent example is the hatred that has brought such suffering to Ireland. Divided on religious lines, the 2 opposing groups despise each other. From the outside, other peoples look in and despise them for despising each other. There exist various resources documenting the lives of people from either group, including interviews that give us the opportunity to understand the concepts through which they view life. These innate beliefs include the intrinsic belief in irreconcilable differences. I do not point to this to chastise those peoples, but to allow us the opportunity to understand, really understand, how innate beliefs can dominate a person’s thinking with no room for adjustment. And those beliefs result in action. We can apply that understanding to the Samaritan-Jew relationship, and put ourselves into the outlook that the Samaritan would have, or the outlook the Jew would have.

When advent of the Jesus the Christ happened, the mutual hatred was quite strong. This is why Jesus used a Samaritan man in his famous parable. It would stir intense conflict in the listener’s minds. Jesus uses this technique very often – presenting truths of utmost importance using a method that hides the truths as a force that beckons in the peripheral vision. And maybe, just maybe, they would hear the message. Ears to hear.

The Jews, at the time of our story in John, had control of Judah in the south and Galilee in the north. Samaria was between the 2 regions, but on the west side of the Jordan river. Jews despised the Samaritans enough that they would add several miles to the trip from Judah to Galilee by crossing the Jordan and traveling up the east bank.

Jews were convinced that the temple in Jerusalem was the one God had ordained. The Samaritans insisted Mount Gerizim was the place. And the Jews and the Samaritans differed on various theological issues. Jews were convinced that the Samaritans were unclean (spiritually filthy – untouchable). And they treated them as such – untouchable. Contact with them could require a ritual cleansing.

To some extent, the Jews held similar, but less violent, views about contact between men and women. The more extreme Jews would diligently avoid contact. Because there is always a chance that the woman could be menstruating, during which days contact would require ritual cleansing.

Keep in mind that to be unclean is to be unholy, unable to join with God Most High. While unclean you must be separated from the clean people. On a practical level this meant you were to be in isolation outside any Jewish town. On the emotional level, it meant you were a failure, sure to be despised by the serious God people.

So how would you feel if you were a Samaritan and thought about Jews? Would you say “By Jove, those Jews are right. I am inferior. They have it right. We Samaritans have had it wrong for hundreds of years. Even though I have always known my family was a bunch of evil people, I still defended them because we are related. But now I know they had their theology wrong too, so I am ready to leave all my family and friends.
Now I suppose I’ll look forward to meeting a Jew.”

Obviously, a Samaritan would hold the opposite perspective. Especially a Samaritan woman, who would feel the added level of condemnation being a woman, perceiving the gender discrimination as yet another reason to meet a Jew Man with a wall of protective distrust, even disgust.

With this mindset, here is our story in John 4.

When Jesus knew that the Pharisees heard He was making and baptizing more disciples than John (though Jesus Himself was not baptizing, but His disciples were), He left Judea and went again to Galilee. He had to travel through Samaria, so He came to a town of Samaria called Sychar near the property that Jacob had given his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, worn out from His journey, sat down at the well. It was about six in the evening.

A woman of Samaria came to draw water.

“Give Me a drink,” Jesus said to her, for His disciples had gone into town to buy food.

“How is it that You, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a Samaritan woman? ” she asked Him. For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.

It is, of course, entirely possible that this meeting and conversation were simply happenstance. Jesus just happened to be there when the woman happened to come for water. Or it could be that Jesus had this in mind or something like it.

Either way, Jesus knew exactly what to say.

I have spent some of your time building a frame into which you can picture the nature of this Samaritan woman. I know you can relate to the ethnic tension, if you can rise above your innate beliefs enough to see it.

Given our understanding of the relationship between Jews and Samaritans, it seems likely that she was not feeling mild curiosity when she posed her question. I expect she was feeling irritation that a Jew man would speak to her. I presume the question to be almost a snarl.

Jesus answered, “If you knew the gift of God, and who is saying to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would ask Him, and He would give you living water.”

“Sir,” said the woman, “You don’t even have a bucket, and the well is deep. So where do You get this ‘living water’? You aren’t greater than our father Jacob, are You? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and livestock.”

I still hear the snarl in her voice. And now she focuses back on the superior regional heritage. Both her lineage and this Jew man’s lineage would lead back to Jacob (however vague the generations). And this well and town are at the foot of the holy Mount Gerizim.

She might be saying: So Jew man, you are sitting on my people’s land and we are still here. We are the people that stayed in the right place.

And she appears to be somewhat defensive as this Jew man talks about “living” water after implying that she doesn’t know the gift of God. That would sound like a very Jewish thing to say to a Samaritan, asserting the Jewish superiority, especially in matters of proper theology.

But at the same time, the undercurrent tugs at her heart – the gift of God, living waters. Concepts juxtaposed to the constellation of concepts formed from the Torah and the traditions of pride and Law. Buried deep inside is a latent desire to know the Gift of God, to drink living water; a desire that has been there since the beginning, but hardly perceptible now. The force calling from the peripheral vision.

Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks from this water will get thirsty again. But whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty again — ever! In fact, the water I will give him will become a well of water springing up within him for eternal life.”

Answering her with more pointedly obscure concepts, Jesus is the Mastercrafter of dual use concepts. I personally believe that at this point her tired heart, long since buried in the mud and gore of a life too long, stirs. The flicker of hope.

I feel this force of hope every time I read these words of Jesus. Never thirsty again. Here I am again, my heart straining to reach his fountain.

But I know Him. She does not. For her, this is a Jew man, whom she meets with a preemptive strike of disgust and distrust. It will take more than a tug to get that heart out of the mud and gore.

“Sir,” the woman said to Him, “give me this water so I won’t get thirsty and come here to draw water.”

“Go call your husband,” He told her, “and come back here.”

Jesus, who knows and loves this woman standing before him, sets her up. And how wonderfully and terribly he knows her.

Jesus instructs her “Go and get your husband”.

As we will see in a moment, this instruction would cause great difficulty and smashed that heart back into the mud and gore.

“I don’t have a husband,” she answered.

“You have correctly said, ‘I don’t have a husband,’ ” Jesus said. “For you’ve had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.”

Now is the time for some extremely important background. In the Kingdom of Heaven essay, there is a section dealing with marriage (reviewing Matthew 19). You should read that.

Bear with me while I present some material that may seem unnecessarily direct. I believe the depth of the Love of Jesus is only visible through the truth. As your perspective comes from deeper truth and more honesty you are able to see more of the Love of Jesus. So it should be meaningful to bring some depth of truth to the perspective of the Samaritan women. So we can see how the Love of Jesus worked a miracle beside an old well.

The question of human sexuality is astonishingly divisive and destructive. The subject is adroitly avoided by most people. And each group has their respective list of shameful and hated words, representing ill-defined activities. The topic, although a fundamental human experience, is hidden in a fog of implications and vague allusions. Sorry: “Fog” does not represent it well, it is more like a storm combined from the blinding nature of a blizzard, the heat and fury of a hurricane, and the destruction of a tornado. People form their concepts of propriety from the tempest of implications and actions, gossip and news articles, education and religion, fantasy and experience. All built on the foundation of expulsion from the Garden of Eden.

Certainly God Most High speaks strongly of limits to acceptable behavior.

I am hoping to communicate the situation which has smashed this woman’s heart into the mud and gore. But to do so without crossing word boundaries is nearly impossible.

Marriage is defined by the act of coitus. I debated leaving you to look that word up. But for the sake of context, I will cross word boundaries here. The word “coitus” is primarily used to describe the act of penile insertion into the vagina. This act of itself is held by God Most High as originally good, part of the perfect creation before our progenitors ate the sweet fruit of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden.

But this beautiful act is so easily twisted to destruction. As the woman at the well could, and does, teach us.

So it is reasonable to assume our Samaritan woman experienced what most humans do with passions and drives – libido. And felt the universal shame that accompanies that part of human experience.

The body parts described above (as I avoid the words again), are not mere animal parts, although most animals have something along that line. We humans are somehow different, we each instinctively know this, and when we come to the place in our journey where we meet God Most High and choose to believe him, we see that he holds that opinion as well. We are not animals and our relationships have more depth than even the most human like animals.

Most marriage manuals will give some good instruction about how the male and female can learn to get along. “Male” and “female” are the technical words to indicate possession of the avoided words describing the physical body parts.

Most such manuals quickly move into advice on how the man and woman can learn how to get along. With “man” and “woman” being words that indicate more of the whole being, the feelings and tendencies and emotional needs. The advice can be quite excellent in regards to the subject I am steering us towards.

If a male and female experience each other in a manner that is almost completely dominant in the animal world, the relationship between the man and the woman will deteriorate. The point I am attempting to bring us to is that these activities that are common to almost every person are not dry scientific discussions. These are people, full of hopes, desires, fears, needs, pains and desperation. And this act of coitus is not an animal act. I should say it was not designed to be that for humans. As most people know from their first experiences it was intended to be at a level much more spiritual than the animals can know.

People are driven to do these things and the drive is part of the original design. Again we can refer to Matthew 19 to illuminate this, for those with ears to hear. God Most High loves the complete persons, male and female, man and woman. Many years after the expulsion from the Garden, he made some rules to protect the precious hearts of the persons as they are dragged through the mud and gore of the battlefield of love (eros, physical love). Because both, male and female, are integrated beings. Their sexuality is integrated into their whole being. In anticipation of Love (agape, complete love), male and female give themselves to a person that seems to offer complete love. Then the almost universal experience of ultimate disillusionment comes. Rejection destroys. Rejection does not destroy merely the relationship. Rejection destroys the small, vulnerable hope – the hope of meaning. Meaning that is only validated by Love. The woman is overwhelmingly aware of the damage from the failing relationship. The man as well, although the resulting emotions are not exactly parallel.

The male – female acts are powerful. Power is latent force available to cause change. Power can produce beneficial results or detrimental results. The power of coitus produces results tied to the well being of the whole person, the woman and the man.

God Most High knew all this, so he made several rules about marriage and coitus. Because he Loves people and wants to them to know the truth of what will hurt them. These rules give us insight into how God sees these things. It is important to understand how God Most High sees these things, but it is not a brief study. Such a study is complicated by the teachings that Jesus and Paul gave, but the complications are not from Jesus and Paul, whose sayings can be understood in harmony with the previous sayings from God Most High. The complications appear from reading those sayings without having understood the Kingdom of Heaven before venturing into the enticing realm of creating new Law.

Allow me to summarize, at a high level, the Laws that God Most High gave to Moses. I will not take the time to provide the detailed scripture analysis to back it in this document. I will simply assert that it is there and not difficult to find.

According to the Law given to Moses:

The first important truth from the Law: marriage is initiated by coitus.
The second important truth from the Law: God Most High makes abundantly clear that there are several acts of coitus that destroy the intended LOVE relationship. The death penalty is the prescribed punishment. The tremendous impact of this penalty should cause a sudden and overwhelming threat to concepts, if misaligned. This man-woman relationship that is integral to the male-female relationship is important to God. It would be hard to over-emphasize the importance of this issue to God. He communicated the importance by prescribing so great a penalty. But his mercy is evident even in the practical application of these laws. Read Deut 19. It is exceedingly difficult to apply the death penalty, as Jesus demonstrates with the woman caught in adultery.
The third important truth from the Law: marriage can be dissolved through some prescribed methods of divorce. The Law specifically states that divorce can take place for reasons all the way down to dissatisfaction. For both man and woman. God Most High provided a way out because of their hard hearts. If you are married to someone who has no Love, a hard heart, God Most High gave a way out. BUT THINK OF THE PAIN BEHIND SUCH A SITUATION. The rejection. The damage to the woman and the man. This is what God Most High hates – the damage. The hearts left feebly trembling in the mud and gore.

It is almost unavoidable to have a discussion of these principles from the Law without requiring a lengthy defense with analysis of the various passages in the Old and New Testaments that speak to this topic. It is almost unavoidable, but I am going to avoid it. If you need to figure out how to reconcile the apparently opposite sayings in the various references, do not let me stop you. I have done so and am personally satisfied. But defending that here will detract from the purpose of bringing all this up. We want to understand the Samaritan Woman at the well.

Okay, now let’s bring these rules to illuminate the situation of our Samaritan Woman. Recall that the Samaritans held the Torah to be the Law from God Most High. When Jesus refers to her having had five husbands he would have been using the Torah to define his words. How the marriage is initiated is not important to the Torah or to us. Whether she had a ceremony and a license has little bearing on the deep emotions of offering herself, her being, the depths of vulnerable self to a man. And the man to her. That first union carried the full power of potential Love. But it was rejected. Divorce.

But the Law does require a minor official step for divorce. The step of formally requesting the divorce. She was divorced 4 times. She could have requested it sometimes. And the man could have requested it other times. Again, the technical details are almost meaningless when the eyes of Love look in on the situation. The eyes of Love see the massive, unrecoverable damage done. To both man and woman. The woman has been through the hell of living in a world that appears to be eternally getting smaller, like starting in a vast open field and then with each successive union seeing vast walls appear and close in. 5 marriages. Five new episodes of anticipated Love changing into another blood bath. Five times seeking to fulfill that insatiable need we all have to be loved, really loved, loved even when all the gloss and polish are gone, loved even when the inability to be a perfect wife or husband is clear. Five times rejected. 5 marriages, 4 divorces.

This does help us understand an important point. “The man you now have is not your husband”. This simply and clearly means that she did not have the official divorce from marriage 5. She could easily get it. But she no longer cares. The hope of Love and commitment was such an illusion. But she still has needs. Lowered expectations make it sensible to find a like minded man, jointly trying to satisfy the physical and simple relationship needs. But without expecting any kind of real permanent love. An attempt to prevent more damage.

But if any of the Law Keepers in the village peep in her house, she would be at risk. Two or Three witnesses and she can be killed. Such people, anxious to kill and destroy, exist in every group. This would mean that she would not be completely open about her current man. So I doubt that it was common knowledge that she had an adulterous relationship. Either that or she was considered trash. The Law Keepers generally prefer to take down the respectable people. It is of minor gratification to flex your power against the despised people.

Let me tie this together. Our woman at the well has experienced too many Rejections. She has given her private, intimate, shameful self so many times. She is jaded, considers herself disillusioned, freed from the fanciful illusions that were so deeply embedded from her childhood. There is no more need to pretend that she needs the societal approval that the institution of marriage brings to coitus. She has not even divorced the last husband.

She is broken and tired.

Jesus tugged on her almost dead heart with hope of the Gift of God and Living Water. Then he pushes the heart back into the mud and gore with “get your husband”. Pulling her failures and destruction to the top of her consciousness. Scattering the little fantasy concepts we all have: “I’m really pretty good”.

She informs him that she has no husband.

Jesus, in a simple statement opens her heart. He reveals that he knows the details of her life.

“You have had 5 husbands”. The gifts of self to too many followed by rejection. Too many because being rejected once is too many.

“The man you now have is not your husband”. She is vulnerable now. These words to a woman in her situation carry the risk of the death penalty. And if no death penalty, the crushing force of societal scorn. Society never hesitates to hate.

Yet the woman’s reaction is not adamant denial or an immediate departure. Something has caused her to react in a surprisingly trusting manner.

Jesus could have launched into one of the teachings on being evil and failing to be good enough to please God Most High. But he consistently speaks that subject to those who still have some hope in their own ability to be good. Here, at the well, we see the Gospel in action.

I am convinced that Jesus’ Spirit made it clear he was not seeking her death for adultery. I doubt that the sense of fear crossed her mind for than an instant. I know that when Jesus is speaking in way that tugs at your heart, you have no doubt that he wills only Love for you. You can feel the nature of Father, Son and Holy Spirit: Love.

The Samaritan Woman becomes aware of the nature of the Jew man in front of her. He knows her. He spoke directly to the dominant struggle in her life. Here, in front of her, stands a Man that has brought her back to a place of awareness. She had left hope behind, yet here is a man exuding the hope so long buried beneath the mud and gore that dripped from the years of love gone awry. Her heart awakens with yearning for the true hope, hope so long forgotten, hope from a time when she trusted.

She feels the pull of Love, similar to the pull she has felt many times before. But the context here at the well raises the pull to a completely different realm. This must be the real Love. He knows all about her. He knows her long history of love rejected. He knows the actions that accompany the history that are so shameful no one speaks of them. He knows the current male-female relationship that she purposely built to accommodate failure. She knows that he sees her dead and rotting heart. Yet he loves her. He has offered her eternal life. She feels a subtle yet overwhelming pull at the level she thought dead.

She wants to believe.

But the weight of the tribal knowledge crushes in. This Man is a Jew. The connotations cause suspicion. He could be deceiving her. She goes to the core of the issue that spawned the hatred between her tribe and his.

“Sir,” the woman replied, “I see that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, yet you Jews say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem.”

Jesus told her, “Believe Me, woman, an hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know. We worship what we do know, because salvation is from the Jews. But an hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. Yes, the Father wants such people to worship Him. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Jesus brings eternal perspective.

Our Samaritan Woman has granted authority to this Jew Man in front of her. With her statement “I see you are a prophet”, she shows us the impact of the words he spoke, revealing that he knows what has happened in her life. His knowledge of her precise situation, combined with his compassion and Love for her, forces breath through nearly dead airways, and awakens a surge of hope. But tribal hatred looms as a beetling, rusty wall, rising to block her way to hope.

Desiring the Gift being offered she pursues the answer to a tribal barrier built into her from birth.

Using the tentative authority she has granted him, he speaks the truth. About the holy mountains, about worship, about knowing hope, about knowing Jesus.

The prophecies of the Messiah indicate lineage through the tribe of Judah. Most of those prophecies are outside the books of Moses, the only books acceptable to the Samaritans. Jesus validates the other books containing prophecies, the Jewish perspective, with his “we know” comment. But he does not linger on this divisive issue for an instant. He immediately moves the conversation to the coming change that carries far greater significance. “But the time is coming and is now here”. With this phrase, he pulls the direction of the conversationthroughthe differences to the Messiah. Salvation comes from the Messiah. This perspective overshadows the significance of the division between Samaritan and Jew. Jerusalem will join Mount Gerizim as part of the past. NOW is when both locations become past.

Jesus uses an adversative conjunction – “but”. This clearly indicates that the thought after the joining word “but” stands in opposition to the previous thought. The “true worshipers” stands in contrast to the worshipers previously mentioned – the Samaritans and the Jews. The true worshipers supersede the older set.

Jesus has lifted her over the barrier of tribal hatred, joining with her while inviting her to join with him. And he reinforces for her that “Yes, the Father wants such people to worship Him.” Jesus says “yes” to the question that springs out to the mind of a Samaritan hearing a Jew say God Most High wants the two to join in worship. Jesus says “yes” to the question that springs to the mind of a woman of failed moral and social standing as to whether “such people” could include her.

And he states the Kingdom of Heaven principle: people like you will worship the Father in spirit and truth.

Our precious sister, the Samaritan Woman, whose heart is now fully awake and yearning for the spirit and truth to defeat the mud and gore, has one more obstacle. There is only one who can bring this … is this the one?

The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will explain everything to us.”

“I am He,” Jesus told her, “the One speaking to you.”

The moment has arrived. “I am the one”. He speaks to her heart, lifting it with one powerfully gentle motion out of the mud and gore. Eternity has dawned. All the tribal hatred fades. All the endless debates about the location the holy mountain fade. All the smashed dreams of respectability fade. All the lifetime of agony seeking fulfillment in the embrace of other people fades. She has given water to the Messiah, and he has led her to well of life, himself.

She walked to the well that day, immersed in her culture of hatred and division, captured by beliefs so deep that she never considered the basis for the beliefs. She despised Jews and expected to be despised by them.

She walked to the well that day, carrying a heart that could scarcely be recognized, long past revivable, flat-lined. Long ago her sense of reality numbed to dullness under the weight of carrying the remains of her true dreams and desires. Long lost, those beautiful original visions of life, born in the heart of every person, providing a deep well of strength, filled with hope, peace, contentment, and over all, Love. But the well of hope is dry. The vision lost. The many years and many wounds of love rejected took that heart and subjected it to the death of a thousand cuts, the spiritual Lingchi.

But the God Most High, the maker, who had predestined the inception of the Kingdom of Heaven, met her at the well of her desolate life, reached in and touched the dead, rotting heart. With deep and astounding beauty, in a moment of astonishing soft power, the maker remakes her heart.

He knows her completely.

Yet he loves her completely.

She is alive.

She knows it.

She knows him.

The story could end here, but with the Kingdom of Heaven the end has not arrived.

Just then His disciples arrived, and they were amazed that He was talking with a woman. Yet no one said, “What do You want? ” or “Why are You talking with her? ”

Then the woman left her water jar, went into town, and told the men, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could this be the Messiah? ” They left the town and made their way to Him.

In the meantime the disciples kept urging Him, “Rabbi, eat something.”

But He said, “I have food to eat that you don’t know about.”

The disciples said to one another, “Could someone have brought Him something to eat? ”

“My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work,” Jesus told them. “Don’t you say, ‘There are still four more months, then comes the harvest’? Listen to what I’m telling you: Open your eyes and look at the fields, for they are ready for harvest. The reaper is already receiving pay and gathering fruit for eternal life, so the sower and reaper can rejoice together. For in this case the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap what you didn’t labor for; others have labored, and you have benefited from their labor.”

Now many Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of what the woman said when she testified, “He told me everything I ever did.” Therefore, when the Samaritans came to Him, they asked Him to stay with them, and He stayed there two days. Many more believed because of what He said. And they told the woman, “We no longer believe because of what you said, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this really is the Savior of the world.”

The disciples arrive and don’t get it. It takes time to get your concepts rearranged so that you can see and hear the Kingdom of Heaven.

They wonder about food (again). Jesus uses the opportunity to speak about the harvest. “Even now the reaper is earning his pay”. The harvest has begun. Our precious Samaritan Woman has joined the Kingdom of Heaven and is already back at her town, ignoring her social respectability and stirring others to listen by telling her story of meeting the Messiah.

“Many believed”. “We no longer believe because of what she [our precious Samaritan Woman] said, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this really is the Savior of the World”

“we have heard for ourselves” – it seems that each went through a journey similar to our precious Samaritan Woman. Stepping over all the failures to reach out to the Messiah. And realizing, perhaps before anyone else, that the Messiah came to save them. He came to save the all the people filled with hatred and driven by destructive passions.


And you

He is the Savior of THE WORLD.

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