Day 9 (March 5), John 4:16-38

John 4:16-38 

Context:  As Jesus presses in on his conversation with the Samaritan woman he peels off a couple of layers of her personal defenses to the gospel.  The woman asks Jesus to ‘give her the living water so she would be never be thirsty again.’ Rather than presenting the gospel directly, He asks her to call her husband and join them there.  She replies she has no husband and then Jesus exposes a pattern of sexual immorality in her life (you have had 5 husbands and the man you are with now is not your husband).  She identifies Jesus as a ‘prophet’ but then changes the subject altogether by focusing on the differences of Temple worship (and location) between the Jews (Jerusalem) and the Samaritans (Mount Gerazim).  Eventually Jesus points her to and identifies himself as the Messiah!!  She is so moved she returns to the town and says to everyone, ‘Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did.  Can this be the Christ?’

Observations:  Can you identify the woman’s defenses to true spirituality?  One was her own and very personal moral choices, the other was the veneer of what constituted true, religious practice.   Have you encountered both kinds of excuses?  Have you made both yourself as a way of keeping God at a distance in your life?  Why do you think she went into her town and told everyone to ‘Come and see’ Jesus?  What do you think of the disciples response to Jesus when they return from getting food?  How might that convict us?  Do you feel/sense the ‘fields are ripe for harvest’ in a spiritual sense?

Application:  Do some soul searching.  If God reveals a way in which you have been rationalizing your moral choices turn from that and ask Him for the power to do what’s right!  If He reveals a way you’ve practiced religious traditions or spiritual activities without truly connecting to Him personally then ask Him to remove that layer, too!  What can you learn from Jesus’ conversation with this woman?  How could you incorporate that into everyday discussions with people you meet through the workplace, errands, clubs, sports and activities or through the neighborhood and community?

Prayer:  Pray for the grace, wisdom and truth required to engage people throughout the week in a Christ-like manner.  Pray that Evergreen continues to reach people for Christ through many different means:  personal interactions, serving and meeting needs unconditionally, invitations to Lent services, our blog (which you are reading now!), Facebook, our website, word-of-mouth, and more! Pray that we see those lives touched, changed, transformed!

Day 8 (March 4), John 4:1-15

John 4:1-15

Context:  Jesus leaves his initial and relatively brief jaunt into Jerusalem and Judea to return to Galilee. He chooses the most direct route through Samara, though devout Jews had so much animosity toward the Samaritans (who were half-Gentile and half-Jewish) that they took a longer detour around the east side of the Jordan.  The Samaritans were descendants of the 10 northern and dispersed tribes who intermarried with Gentiles.  They even established their own Temple for worship on Mount Gerazim.  Languages differed, as did physical appearances … the Samaritans even wore blue fringes on their robes as opposed to the white fringes for the Jews!!  When he stopped at Jacob’s well,  Jesus was tired and thirsty but chooses to engage a Samaritan woman.

Observations:  Why were the Jewish leaders jealous of the baptisms performed by Jesus’ disciples?  Could this be the reason Jesus left Judea at that time to travel north?  Jews did not talk to Samaritans and Jewish men did not talk with women in public so what can we conclude from Jesus’ actions?  Why do you think he began the conversation by asking the woman for a drink and discussing the topic of living vs. physical water?

Application:  Who has God placed in your path that makes you ‘uncomfortable’ and/or triggers some sense of animosity or dislike?  How can you ‘be more like Jesus’ with them?  What common areas of interest can you build on with people that could lead to deeper spiritual discussion?

Prayer:  Ask God for a divine opportunity this week to engage someone about spiritual realities and the gospel.  Then take advantage of it!!  Pray that God would lead us to more people in our circle of influence and in the community where we can both provide and discuss ‘living water.’

Posted by Dave Blum with