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In the Word

    by Chuck Livermore

A Samaritan Woman Meets Her Messiah
Date Posted: May 19, 2009
Jesus said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come here." The woman answered and said, "I have no husband." Jesus said to her, "You have well said, 'I have no husband,' for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly." The woman said to Him, "Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship." Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." The woman said to Him, "I know that Messiah is coming" (who is called Christ). "When He comes, He will tell us all things." Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am He." John 4:16-26 NKJV

I have heard it said that religion is man's attempt to reach up to God. Relationship, on the other hand, is God reaching down to us. Jesus really didn't have much use for the religious folks. He knew that they were attempting to reach up in their own strength and grasp God. He knew that their arms were far too short for success.

The Samaritan woman tries to get Jesus to take sides. "Is the right answer A or B," she asks in my paraphrase. Jesus answers, "D, none of the above." It is not the religious people that have it right; it is the relationship people. The lights finally went on and the Samaritan woman got it, to her credit.

Have you noticed that the people that really understood and those the Lord commended were the ones considered outsiders by all the others. This woman was a Samaritan. At the beginning of their conversation, even she was amazed that this Jewish man would even acknowledge her as a person, but she finally got it and was rewarded by the knowledge that "I who speak to you am He."

One of the others that got it was a Roman centurion, Jesus said of Him, "Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!" (Matthew 8:5-13). Another was the Canaanite woman who sought to have her demon-possessed daughter healed. Jesus declared to her, "O woman, great is your faith!" (Matthew 15:21-28). Notice that none of these examples were the religious Jews, the ones to whom Jesus was sent. Its not that was no faith to be found in Israel, it was just not among the religious. Faith was found among the fishermen, the tax collectors, outcast women, and in one case a Pharisee who would not risk being seen talking to Jesus in the daylight.

How "religious" are you? Are you still coming to Jesus on the basis of who you are and what you have done? Jesus wants to tell you, "It not A or B, its none of the above. Drop those short, stubby arms and come to Me in spirit and in truth."
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Biography Information:
Chuck Livermore's knowledge of the word is the result of a lifetime of study and reading. He is part of Galilee South Community Church, a multi-ethnic congregation in South Denver. He attended Wayland Baptist University and has participated in world evangelism through research of unreached peoples.
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