John 4:28-31, 39-42, NIV

28 Leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town
and said to the people, 29 "Come, see a man who told me
everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?" 30 They came
out of the town and made their way toward him.

31 Meanwhile his disciples urged him, "Rabbi, eat something. . . . "

39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him
because of the woman's testimony, "He told me everything
I ever did." 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they
urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41 And
because of his words many more became believers. 42 They
said to the woman, "We no longer believe just because of
what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we
know that this man really is the Savior of the world."


February 5, 2010
Why does this woman not have a name! She may have been our
Lord's first evangelist and no one thought to give her the dignity
of recording her name. Many people from her village believed
in Jesus because of her testimony, yet we have to continue
calling her the woman at the well. You know, the one with all
those husbands, who waited until everyone else had filled up
on water before venturing out of her house.

Thankfully the people of Sychar were wise enough not to allow
her reputation to mar their future. They accepted her praiseworthy endorsement of the man who told her everything she had ever
done. They came to see what she was so excited about and
welcomed Jesus into their hometown with open arms, minds
and hearts.

Although Jesus didn't eat at the urging of his disciples, I'll bet he
ate plenty during the two-day welcome he received from his new
converts. Eating and celebration go hand in hand.

In the end, these Samaritans declared Jesus to be the Savior of
the world. Savior because he removed the load of excess weight
and baggage which they had carried far too long. Savior of the
world because they too were included in his invitation to drink
his living water that would become a spring welling up within
them to eternal life. They heard and witnessed an inclusive
message--wide enough for the whole world, with no one

                                                                    More journal entries

December 4, 2001

The woman moves quickly from thinking prophet to thinking
Messiah. When the Messiah comes, he will explain the answers
to our difficult questions and settle all disputes concerning
religious matters. Jesus quickly tells her he is the Messiah, and
boom! The disciples return, breaking the magic of Jesus'
revelations. The disciples had raised eyebrows because Jesus
was speaking to a Samaritan woman, maybe even drinking
from her cup.

The woman left her water jar and did something she had
probably never done before. It was so out of character. She
went back into town and talked to everyone in sight, saying,
"Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did.
Could this be the Messiah we've been waiting for?"

She brought the whole town, all who were willing. Many of her
neighbors agreed with her premise. They welcomed Jesus with
enthusiasm, urging their hospitality upon him.

After two days, they were fully convinced Jesus was the Savior
of the world. They knew it, not only on a intellectual level, but
deeper, in their heart and soul. Life would move on. Doubts,
questions and discouragement would come, but today was a
celebration of certainty. We know this man is the Savior of the
world. Such days generate vital memories which can get us
through months of doubt and nothingness.

November 15, 1982
How earthly and practical-minded the disciples of Jesus were.
Were they never so engrossed in something that they forgot
they were hungry? Didn't they know that the mind can control
feelings of hunger, that it's possible to go without a meal and
feel just fine? The disciples sound like they are right out of
Lancaster County--if you don't want to eat there must be
something wrong with you!

We can smile at how concerned these disciples were about
food. Lacking sensitivity to what had just occurred, they missed
completely the significance of what this woman and their Rabbi
had just shared. They couldn't appreciate what they had not
participated in. Their own concern was all that mattered, and
they were upset with Jesus because he didn't appreciate the
trouble they had gone through to bring him food.


November 27, 1982

She was a reaper in a field like one Jesus just described to his
disciples. A woman--how about that--being rewarded and bringing
in a harvest for eternal life! Suddenly, unexpectedly, reaping
where another had planted. Gathering grain into the barn for
her heavenly Father.

November 30, 1982
Jesus was a Jew and generally Samaritans didn't like Jews. But
here in Sychar, they wanted to keep him! Was Jesus ever tempted
to stay in one place and settle down? Jesus belonged to no place,
or people. His loyalty was to God alone. Therein lay his freedom.

They believed and were convinced, in the span of two brief days.
These people were so receptive--like Jesus' parable of the soils
where the seed sprang up quickly. But that was just the beginning.
The real test of faith is faithfulness. Had he stayed in Sychar,
people may have remained faithful so long as Jesus was with
them, just as the Israelites of old remained faithful as long as
Moses was with them. In order for authentic faith to grow, must
we feel abandoned for awhile? And then discover for ourselves
that the presence of God is Spirit and ever present with us?

Later in John 16:7, Jesus is quoted as saying, "It is to your
advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper
will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.."
The visible Jesus could be in one place at a time. The Holy Spirit,
the invisible Jesus, can be in all places at the same time.

December 2, 1982
There are no reports of miracles or healings done there. They
simply heard his words and were convinced. Jesus didn't turn
the well water into wine! The Samaritans from Sychar didn't
need that sort of thing in order to believe.

Like all good things, it would come to an end. And gradually
for some, suddenly for others, life would get back to something
resembling normal. Remaining behind is hard. There's a sense
of loss and being lost. Not so with the Spirit.

Some people in town probably were never the same again
because they believed God's spirit remained after Jesus was
long gone. What a beautiful testimony of faith and hope. After
the mountain top experience, the Spirit walks the valleys with us.
Those who believed were blessed. Those who reserved judgment
or downright refused to believe, missed out. Then Jesus left,
continuing on his journey to Galilee.

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