Quenching Our Thirst, Entry #13

“Jesus answered her, 

“If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”

John 4:10, (context 4:7-42)

A rusty pail and a very old well. A woman comes to draw out some water from a well dug by Jacob, a patriarch from the pages of Genesis. I believe she was a ‘scarred’ person, she had been married to five men, and she really hadn’t decided to marry #6.

Noon wasn’t the norm, it seems she purposefully waited until the coast was clear. She avoided any contact with others. She would go in the heat of the day. But really deep down, she was ashamed of herself, and grieved over how she had destroyed her life.

She didn’t count on meeting someone at the well, much less a Jewish man who was tired and weary and waiting for a cool drink. She was even more surprised when Jesus spoke to her, that wasn’t proper. A Samaritan woman with a checkered past conversing with a holy Jewish teacher. On heard of.

Jesus waited for her to come, she has an appointment to keep with the second person of the Trinity who was waiting by this well.

“Living water,” how quickly we zoom through this phrase. We seldom stop to consider that what Jesus was offering her was ‘alive.’ It was water infused with life itself. It was water with eternal vitality over sickness, sin or death. When He talks about “living water,” Jesus is referring to Himself.

This particular incident with the woman at the well became the entry point for the ‘good news’ to come to the entire village. Living water would quench the thirst of this backwater Samaritan town.

“People pay attention when they see that God actually changes persons and sets them free. When a new Christian stands up and tells how God has revolutionized his or her life, no one dozes off. When someone is healed or released from a life-controlling bondage, everyone takes notice.”

-Jim Cymbala

  

The Doves in the Temple, Entry #11

“And he told those who sold the pigeons, 

“Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.” 

John 2:16, (context 13-17)

The temple was meant to be a place where people could seek and find God. It was meant to be a place of seeking, of sacrifice, and a place of worship. It had no other purpose other than linking man to God. It wasn’t architecture, it was ‘reconciliation.’ The temple was God’s plan of making a way for sinners to engage Him.

Along the line somehow it became corrupted. Unscrupulous man had a way figured to make money off of pilgrims. The temple required temple currency, hence the money-changers who made a tidy little profit. The birds, lambs and bulls were suddenly provided to the worshipers as a convenient way to ‘sacrifice.’ (That made it easier if you had the cash to spend.)

“So he took some rope and made a whip. Then he chased everyone out of the temple, together with their sheep and cattle. He turned over the tables of the moneychangers and scattered their coins.”

John 2:15

Was this wrong? Did Jesus really make a “whip?” Did He really flip over tables like some sort of ‘religious’ brawl from some old western movie? I have to believe He did do this. Chapter 2:17 explains things like this:

“The disciples then remembered that the Scriptures say, “My love for your house burns in me like a fire.”

Jesus loved God’s house, at least for what it was designed for at the beginning. (Some translations use the word, “zeal.”) God’s heart is for fellowship with man. He desperately wants to engage us, to bring us directly into the “holy place of the Holies.”

He wants us there for the companionship. He seeks “friends.”

The doves? Jesus never hurt them. His anger wasn’t directed at them, but rather at the humans who made the birds available to be sacrificed. The Lord didn’t focus His displeasure at those fine feathered ones in the cage, rather He commanded that they be removed from the temple. No whip was used here, only understanding of the need for a kinder approach. (They’re just little birds after all.)

He really wants to fellowship with you. He will do whatever it takes to remove things that should’ve never been there in the first place. He ‘discerns’ the issues, and is very gentle, not an ounce more than is necessary will be applied to your life. He is supremely wise and astonishingly kind.

“Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength.”

-Francis de Sales