I posted this in my HisHolySpace, but I thought I would share it with my fellow friendly google bloggers. :) I'm kinda stuck on the Samaritan woman. It's kind of funny, but years back I posed as her for Marilyn Hickey's Outpouring Magazine....Just so I don't get into trouble, it was February 1991 Volume 14, No.2. Dang...that was 16 years ago...yikes. Check this out...then hee hee hee and now...wooo hooo...it must be the living water 'cause I haven't aged a bit (shhh...just let me believe that).
Anyway...on to my blog...
What an awesome verb. How we claim to know how to show love, yet we fall short way too often. To say we accept and forgive is simple…to show it…not so simple.
Over the past eight weeks I have been pulled to John 4…stepping away and being pulled right back. It preaches like no other! I’ve learned about worship, seeking the lost, and love so deep that God sets aside the wrong done and fully embraces the undeserving.
Here’s my personal assessment pulled from my complete exegesis of John 4:4-26 (email me if you are interested in reading the entire thing…it’s pretty long, but awesome if I do say so myself):
The passage of the Samaritan woman is not just a portrayal of what Jesus did, but rather John writes about who Jesus is. Knowing the struggle that lay between the Jewish people and the Samaritans, Jesus entered Samaria with a purpose…they too were God’s people and he had to draw them back into fellowship with the Lord. Today, Jesus is the bridge that connects everyone to God. It is all too easy to take on judgments of other people neglecting the fact that they too belong to God. Jesus met the Samaritan woman where she was. Sure, she walked up to the well, but Jesus brought her to a level of reality that said he knew her and still accepted her. We all have baggage that we carry, but Jesus meets us in the midst of our everyday life and gives us a free gift of eternal life.
When Jesus explained to the Samaritan woman the life he had to offer, he didn’t tell her to go to Jerusalem to worship there because he was not concerned about the place of worship, but rather the condition of her heart. It is so important that we are not in a game of leading people to Christ simply to populate the house of God, because we are the temple; 1 Cor 3:16 says “[d]on't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?” Relationship with Christ, as we see in this story, does not begin at a place of worship; it begins within the heart.
Though the focus of drawing the unbeliever to Christ is not to lead them to a church home, it is important to be in fellowship with people of like faith. Today religion is a plethora of whatever goes. Reality is no longer truth because truth is subjective. Many Christians today are being led away from the Christian faith to fit into the mold of the modern practices of worship which are no longer about the Lord, but about how we feel. The church of the United States, which prides itself on diversity, has passively sat by and allowed religious diversity to spill into the church just as the king of Assyria had planned for Samaria. Samaria knew the Messiah after Jesus’ meeting with the woman at the well, but their customs drew them back. Later, in Acts, we see Philip going into Samaria to preach the Gospel; without constant edification in the things of God, it is natural to slip back into the life we once knew.
God is love, and yet so many times we thrive on hate. Please be aware that every seeker can see through any pretentious stance we may carry. It is so important that we stay humble, that we not fear the rejection of people who have different cultural standards, that we view no one as less than - because we are all God’s children. What greater act of worship can we give God but to present Him with the sacrificial obedience of walking in love and reaching out…just as Jesus did…to those enticed away from the things of God in order to fit societies mold. That love that we pour out may transfer from one person to an entire city.