Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Woman at the Well

I wanted to share with you an amazing section of a book I read.  The book is titled, The Me I want to be. It is written by John Ortberg.

The Section I want to share with you is found on page 49 and the subsection is called "The Freedom Way." In this section Ortberg is demenstrating to us that because we are each so unique that there is not one universal way we all grow-spiritually speaking. He continues on to say:

"If we really want to help someone to grow, we will have to help them in a way that fits their wiring...
         Our great model for this is God himself, for he always knows just what each person needs. 
He had Abraham take a walk, Elijiah take a nap, Joushua take a nap, and Adam take the rap.
He gave Moses a forty-year time out, he gave David a harp and a dance and gave Paul a pen and a scroll....
         Jesus was stern with the rich young ruler, tender with the woman caught in adultery, patient with the disciples, blistering with the scribes, gentle with the children, and gracious with the thief on the cross."

It's true that "God never grows two people the same way." However, I find that when two people have a similar part of the story...the same tactics might apply to each person. While reading the above section, the part that called out to me was "Jesus was...tender with the woman caught in adultery." This rings true with me. I looked at the story in the Bible about the woman at the well...John Chapter 4 verses 1-26. You can take away many things from reading this chapter.

Jesus Talks With a Samaritan Woman

Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John— although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.
Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.
When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.[a])
10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”
13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”
17 “I have no husband,” she replied.
Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”

Jesus doesn't yell at the woman for what she has done. He factually points out that she is living a life of sin...and He still offers her eternal life. He doesn't have others stone her. He doesn't tell her she is going to hell. He doesn't keep bringing up her past. He is tender with her. 

I can relate. Jesus was tender with me too. He blessed me with a second chance at love and marriage with my husband. My marriage could have fallen apart so fast...and yet God gently and carefully allowed my marriage to be healed. Scott and I now have a marriage full of trust, respect and a deep love. God's tenderness shines through my husband. My past sin has been forgiven and my marriage has been resurrected.

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