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Saturday, January 29, 2011

1/30/11- John 4:1-6 Resting by the Well

1 Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John— 2 although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. 3 So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.  4 Now he had to go through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.

(Anelika Kauffmann 1796)

Thoughts: We can learn much about Jesus here. 1) Jesus was tired.  John often emphasizes the divinity of Christ- and does so here- but he also recognizes that Jesus was tired, hot, and thirsty.  2) Jesus broke down barriers.  All people needed God and faith in God.  He was sympathetic to the Samaritans who were enemies of the Jews since 720 BC when the Assyrians brought them into the land.  The Samaritans mixed their religion with the Jewish one.  They set up a rival temple on Mt. Gerizim.  Yet Jesus refused to allow James and John to call thunder down on them.  It was a Samaritan leper who came back to give thanks- while the other nine Jewish lepers forgot.  It was the Good Samaritan who helped the wounded man.  Jesus went through Samaria not just for a shortcut, but with a purpose.  Jesus also spoke to a woman which was a bit unheard of- especially a woman who had so many different men.  3) We see Jesus' sympathy.  He reached out to her with his love and his living water.  Some may have thought her unworthy.  Jesus saw a sinner in need of salvation. 

Prayer: Lord, give me a heart for others.  Give me your sympathetic and barrier-breaking heart.  Make me more sympathetic and kind-hearted despite my human weaknesses.

John Calvin Abridged:  Jesus avoided becoming an enemy- for his time had not yet come.  We should learn to avoid trouble until the time God calls us to stand.  Simeon and Levi killed the early inhabitants of this place (Gen. 34:25).  Abimelech raised the place to the ground even though he was a naive (Judges 9:45).  Jacob bought a field here that he willed to Joseph (Gen. 48:22).  Christ did not pretend weariness, but was actually fatigued which led to his sitting. 

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