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Sunday, June 19, 2016

Samaritan Woman at the Well – John 4:27-42 -- New Food

Disciples Rejoin Jesus

          Just then His disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?” v27

            Jesus’ Jewish disciples returned to Him with physical food. They are surprised that Rabbi Jesus is talking with a woman in public. Not only is she a woman, she is also an adulterous woman and a Samaritan whom the Jews considered their enemy. His disciples didn’t say anything to the Samaritan woman or Jesus. No doubt through their travels with Jesus, they had learned not to question His authority or actions. After all, Jesus had transformed water into wine. They had learned that His ways were not their ways!

Jesus is doing a totally unconventional thing. Rabbis did not talk to women in public let alone one of ill-repute lest their reputation be marred. And they surely didn’t talk to Samaritans because of the hostility between them. Jesus will bring His Jewish disciples and this Jew/Gentile Samaritan woman together as one in Him. He has taught this Samaritan woman about His “living, spiritual water.” He will now teach His disciples about His “spiritual, living food.” Jesus taught truth to both male and female, Jew and Gentile so together they would come up with pure spiritual Truth.

Jesus while on earth was walking amongst people who were spiritually dry and barren. Jesus wanted them to know about the eternal, living water that only He could give and the eternal, living Word that He is. Jesus was bold and strong because He is the Living Word and the source of the Living Water of the Holy Spirit. Because of this, Jesus could accomplish His purpose in the midst of this spiritual condition surrounding Him. Followers of Christ also have the Living Word and the Living Water of the Holy Spirit to help them in the midst of a world full of sin and spiritual death.

            Let’s look at how Jesus dealt with this sinful woman:

  • Jesus went out of His way and entered enemy territory to save this female sinner. No one wanted this woman because of her reputation.
  • He did not judge or condemn her.
  • Jesus loved the unlovable and those considered unworthy whether male or female, Jew or Gentile, young or old. He is no respecter of persons.
  • Jesus spent time with her.
  • He drew her to Himself through His compassion, acceptance and love.
  • He spoke the Truth to her in love.
  • He brought her to confession of her sin so she could be set free, and He could reveal who He truly is to her.
  • He asked her to serve Him.
  • She became a great evangelist. Her boldness and enthusiasm about the Man/Jesus brought an entire town to Him.

In the midst of the accusers and opposition surrounding Jesus, He continued to show His love and compassion to sinners in need of salvation. He came to seek and save those who are lost. His detractors and those who plotted against Him did not stop Jesus from doing the work God sent Him to do. Believers must also show love and compassion to others in need of salvation and do the work God has called us to do.

New Food

          Meanwhile His disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.” But He said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” Then His disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought Him food?” John 4:32-33

            The disciples are talking about earthly food, but Jesus will teach them about heavenly, spiritual food. Jesus wants us to hunger for spiritual truth. Jesus often provided physical food to teach about spiritual food. Spiritual food is superior to physical food and yet, there are many more in today’s church who will go to a physical dinner, luncheon or buffet but fewer to a good bible study. Feeding on the spiritual food of the Anointed Word is feeding our spirit and our eternal life in Christ. Fleshly food sustains our physical life, but the spiritual food of the Anointed Word feeds our spiritual life. Without Truth, we remain in darkness and deception and are outside of the kingdom of heaven. His spiritual food recreates us and gives us entrance into God’s eternal abode.

            As the faithful servant in the story of Rebekah and Isaac in Genesis 24:33 refused to eat until he told his message of the father and the son, Jesus refused to eat as He taught people about His Father and Himself and God's food and will.

            Jesus continually wanted to raise the level of understanding from the earthly to the spiritual. He came to do His Heavenly Father’s will. This was His food! He was completely submitted to the will of God and was the only One who was perfectly obedient to God’s will. Jesus was God-sent to show the Father’s love toward humanity and to save humanity from eternal death. Jesus had a mighty, eternal purpose. Doing the Father’s will satisfied the deep appetite of Jesus’s Holy Spirit. Doing the work that God had sent Jesus to do and teaching the Anointed Truth made Him forget about physical hunger. Jesus toiled unendingly to carry out God’s will. He was walking in the midst of a people who were spiritually dry and barren. In spite of the spiritual condition of those around Him, Jesus accomplished His purpose. Our food should also be to do the will of God and His purpose for our lives. We live in a world surrounded by darkness and naysayers. In the midst of this spiritual condition, God wants us to accomplish His will by bringing others into His eternal kingdom. There is no other way to the Father except through His Son. The Perfect God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, work through the imperfect in accomplishing God’s will on earth. The more we come to the light of Truth and submission to it, the greater our understanding of the Word, and the greater we can accomplish God’s will for our lives. Jesus had a mission and a purpose, and He would let nothing come in the way of accomplishing that purpose for God.

            I cannot stress enough the importance of studying the Word of God. There is no other way of coming to the Truth. Jesus, the Sower, was sowing His seed of truth. Jesus revealed the Truth about His Living Water to the Samaritan woman. Then He revealed the Truth about His spiritual food to His male disciples. He gives revelation knowledge to both men and women. When they come together and share His revelation with each other, they will come to the real Truth. Jesus looks for those who hunger and thirst for His truth no matter what gender, race or background. Jesus is Truth so He is full of the water of the Word and the Holy Spirit. Reaching lost souls was more important to Jesus than physical food. And, obedience to the will of God and the work of God’s Kingdom was the essence of His being. He had to finish His work! “And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that I shall lose none of all that He has given Me, but raise them up on the last day.” John 6:19 When followers of Christ finish the work that God has called them to do, no matter how great or how small, He is pleased. Though, like Jesus, we have opposition on every side, we must not let this stop us because God is with us. Jesus said, “The one who sent Me is with Me. He has not left Me alone, for I always do what pleases Him.” John 8:29

                                                   (Next week: A New Harvest)

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