Sunday, January 8, 2012

8. John 4

(This is the third in a series of ten posts counting down my ten favorite chapters in the New Testament. My friend David is also counting down his ten favorite chapters in the New Testament. You can find the corresponding post on his blog by clicking here.)

On my preliminary list of top ten chapters from the first half of the New Testament, John chapter 4 was ranked behind five other chapters. Since then, John 4 has leapfrogged over some of those chapters to #8. Of course, it doesn't hurt that the name of the blog comes from verse 29:

"Come, see a man who told me all that I have done. Is this not the Christ?"
This verse is the response of a Samaritan woman after her encounter with Jesus at the well. The story of the woman at the well is only found in the gospel of John, but it is my favorite story among all those in the gospels. The Samaritan woman was a typical person living in the world, thirsty for satisfaction. However, she could never find what she desired. She tried five different husbands, and by the time she met Jesus, she was on her sixth (verses 16-18). Just like this woman, we all have many different husbands we turn to for satisfaction: education, wealth, entertainment, sports, relationships, food, etc. However, none of these things can satisfy us.

But once the woman met Jesus, she met someone that could satisfy her thirst! We need to meet Jesus in the same way! Jesus told the woman in verses 13-14:
"Everyone who drinks of this water [the wordly water] shall thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall by no means thirst forever; but the water that I will give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into eternal life."
The water that Jesus gives us, which is just Himself as life, not only quenches our thirst eternally, but also wells up and overflows from us like a fountain! At this point in the story, the woman was amazed enough to realize that Jesus was a prophet (verse 19), but she still thought she had to go to Jerusalem to find the living water and worship the Father. Jesus' response in verse 24 is crucial to our Christians life:
"God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truthfulness."
We don't have to go to Jerusalem or any specific place to worship God and receive the water of life. We just have to turn inward to our human spirit, where the water of life is springing up! Finally, the woman was convinced that Jesus was not just a prophet, but rather the Christ. All she could do was to go tell her friends and all the people in her city to come see Jesus (verse 29). When we meet Jesus Christ as the water of life, we will also spontaneously tell people to "come, see a man."

The previous paragraphs explain John 4 from the view of the woman's need as a thirsty sinner. However, we can also examine this chapter from the view of God's need as the thirsty Savior. Actually, Jesus was the first person to indicate his thirst, before the woman, in verse 7:
"There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, Give Me something to drink."
But at the end of the chapter, Jesus is no longer thirsty or hungry. When the disciples offer him food, he refuses, saying in verses 32 and 34.
"...I have food to eat that you do not know food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work."
In between these two verses, what happened? Jesus met the woman's need by giving her the living water! God's need is to meet our need. He is satisfied when we allow Him to satisfy us.

What an awesome chapter! I have written three previous posts about John chapter 4, which just underscores how much I like this chapter. How can there possibly be seven chapters that I like more? Those chapters must be pretty good...


Vania said...

I love this! Jesus came to the woman because HE was thirsty. We satisfy God when we allow Him to satisfy us.

c.chan said...

Well done my boy. I'm going to repost this.

Jobo Huang said...

Amazing how he said he has food that the disciples didnt know about. that food is to do the will of the father! Praise the Lord such a one lives inside of us!

Billy said...

Amen Leon. Many people would consider this Samaritan woman immoral, but the Lord knew she was just simply unsatisfied and thirsty. Praise the Lord that we can take this living water and never thirst again!

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