Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Difference in Priorities


"Then they went out of the city, and came unto Him. In the
mean while His disciples prayed Him, saying, Master, eat. But
He said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man
brought Him ought to eat? Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to
do the will of Him that sent Me, and to finish His
work." John 4:30-34

The spiritually deprived men of this spiritually dark city respond to the witness of the woman and begin to make their way to Jesus for the purpose of hearing from the Light of the world. In the mean time the disciples are urging Christ to eat so that He might have strength for departure into Galilee. This is not Christ's focus. His priorities do not involve getting out of Samaria because it is uncomfortable; but rather, bringing the sinners of Samaria into the knowledge of the true God.

"Master, eat." Is the exhortation of His disciples, but Jesus says "I, food I am having to eat, which you, you are not knowing (literal translation)." Christ is not rebuking them for needing food, nor is He saying that food is not needed. He is redirecting their focus. They were eager to leave Samaria because of pride and prejudice, but He wanted them to see the great need and to have compassion for that need.

They reply, "Hath any brought Him ought to eat?" They were expecting a No answer to this question. Christ patiently but firmly explains His previous statement and says "My food is, that I might do the will of the One Who has sent Me, and that I might complete His work (literal translation)." Every Christian's main goal should be to feast on and perform first, the will of God, all other things, as necessary as they are, are simply there to help obtain that goal of completing, bringing to maturity, God's perfect will.

Needs abound. How often do we ignore the multitudes of people in need and focus on completing our fleshly affairs in order that we might quickly move on? May the Lord redirect each priority in our lives to be inline with His holy desires.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Unfounded Amazement

"And upon this came His disciples, and marvelled that He talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest Thou? or, Why talkest Thou with her?  The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men,  Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?" 
John 4:27-29

   As the Lord ends His discourse with the woman, the disciples of Christ appear, and they are absolutely astounded that He would be freely talking with a Samaritan.  The text says that they "marvelled."  This means to be amazed, to wonder at, or to be astonished.  They had been taught all their lives that such contact with a Samaritan was forbidden, and yet, the text says that no one approached Christ about it.  They were amazed, and perhaps somewhat offended, but no one took their case to the Master; such is the way of reactions and feelings that are not based in the truth of Scripture.  They knew that such conversation was forbidden by the Jews, and yet, what Scripture could they go to in order to prove Christ wrong?  He was not compromising His holiness, nor was He attempting to unite heathen beliefs with Scriptural truth; He was simply seeking lost souls and bringing them truth.  A person's beliefs, actions, and responses must be based upon the truths and principles of the Bible, or else, one may find themselves being "amazed" at the direction that God would have them to go. 

   The woman then enters into her own city again and says to the inhabitants, "Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did...."  She recognized His omniscience.  This was no ordinary man.  She goes on to say, "...is not this the Christ?"  She is not asking this question for her own knowledge.  The way this question is worded in the original text clearly implies that she is expecting a No answer.  In other words, she is saying, Is this one not the Christ?, and the expected response is, No.  It is the Christ! 

   While the disciples stand back, amazed, and basking in unfounded prejudice against lost souls, Jesus Christ brings the love of God to a woman who would forever be changed by this encounter.  Refusal to share God's plan of salvation with others is a most serious form of oppression, and the Lord of Hosts hates oppression.  Let us never oppress anyone by refusing to give them the truth of the Bible.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

A Qualifying Statement of Divine Authority


"The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh,
which is called Christ: when He is come,
He will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her,
I that speak unto thee am He." 
John 4:25-26

"I know that Messias cometh...." Truly, all Israel knew that the Messiah was coming. The prophecies and time lines laid out in the book of Daniel are too clear to be missed by any. At this point in history, the time was right for the Messiah to come according to the 69 periods of seven laid out in Daniel chapter 9. The four hundred and eighty-three years had almost elapsed and Messiah would soon be cut off, but not for Himself (Dan. 9:26). Every Jewish leader of Jesus' day knew that the Messiah was nigh to come and yet they rejected the Son of the Owner of the vineyard and decided rather to kill Him that they might seize upon His inheritance; yet, they did not realize that the Prince of Life cannot be destroyed for He is God. The word Messiah is of Hebrew origin and means the anointed one. Christ is the Greek counterpart of that and also means the anointed one.

"Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am He." In the original, a literal rendering would be "I, I am, the one who is speaking to you." People say that the book of John contains about eight I am statements of Jesus; I am the Door, I am the good Shepherd etc. It actually contains far more than eight. Christ extensively used I am statements concerning Himself. In this I am statement, the Deity of Exodus 3:14 can be heard when Moses asked God by what name he should call the One Who sent him and God said, "...I AM THAT I AM...Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you." Christ qualified all that He had said to the woman by ending His discourse with a statement of Divine authority which pointed to His Omnipotence. He is the great I AM, the King of all the earth. Jesus Christ is the Living God.