Thursday, September 27, 2007

Woman at the well-3

John chapter 4.
Jesus has come to sit on a well, an ancient well that was at least sixteen centuries old, that belonged to Jacob. It is about noon. A woman comes out to draw a pot of water for the house. The fact that she came at this time indicates that she was a social outcast. Women usually went in a group early in the morining and late in the evening to get water. But if she came with the other women they would have abused her. Why? Because she was -- well -- she was like you and I, with one little difference. Most people knew her dirty little secrets. Most people don’t know yours and mine.

She came out and found Jesus sitting, and he asked her to run her jug down into the well and get him a drink. He, in turn, offered her “living water” (everlasting life) that, by drinking, one would never thirst again. You can read the whole conversation for yourself. I just want to point out a few things.

1. In the same way that Jesus did not have anyway to get water out of the well, the woman had no way to get the water that Jesus offered. Actually Jesus could have gotten water from the well by some other means, but the woman was completely dependent on Jesus to even know about the water of everlasting life, as well as to have it.

2. It was something everyone needed, but he only offered it to her and her friends. It was his water and he could choose to give it to whom he would. Some, in fact, many, were passed over. It is conceivable that only some of the people she invited from the city ever came out to receive the gift. In another place, Jesus said that many are called, but few are chosen.

3. He gave it to her because he wanted to, and after she had been made known of the living water, eternal life, she was able to recognize her need for it and she asked Jesus for it. If he had not made the first move, she could not have made any move at all, nor would she have known that she needed to or could or must. That was a ridiculously long sentence. My point is that she asked for it.

4. It was given to her freely, sovreignly, and by God’s foreknowledge and determinate counsel (remember, it said “he must needs go through Samaria.”

What stands out to me is that this woman was truly converted because Jesus converted her. I have become more and more appalled at the way we in evangelical circles tell people that by walking down an aisle and filling out a card and praying a prayer, they can “get born again” or “get saved”. Such words do not appear in Scripture. The Scripture’s way of saying these things is “be born again” “be saved” “be converted”. They are all passive. They are all done by God to the person, just like the drink of living water was given to the woman. She could not “get” it.

It is no wonder in my mind that so many people in churches show no evidence of having been reborn, made new, changed. They haven’t been. They have done something religious and joined the club and that is all. But often people have been robbed by this type presentation. We fail to tell folks that they are estranged from God and that He is working through their conscience and circumstances to bring them to the place of conversion. We fail to exhort people to seek the Lord diligently, and ask to be converted, so that we can believe the Gospel of Christ and be saved by Jesus. We are remiss to say that we must repent and bring forth evidence of repentance.

“Seek you the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon” Isaiah 55:6-7

1 comment:

John Cowart said...

Hi Wes,
Keep posting.
Your writing gets better and better. Tuesday's entry about Sande was magnificent and this series about the woman at the well shows great insight. I hope you attract more and more readers.