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Sunday, October 2, 2016

A Serial Wife (John 4:16-18)

"He told her, "Go call your husband and come back."
"I have no husband," she replied.

"Jesus said to her, "You are right when you say you have no husband. 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."

Shunned and alone the Samaritan woman was probably at the end of her emotional rope. She had been a "serial wife", going from one man to another, looking for someone to quench the thirst of her tired and parched soul. Tired of the heartache of divorce she no longer bothered marrying.

Jesus didn't practice "friendship evangelism" but was rather intrusive and confrontational in his conversation with the woman at the well. Yet, for this woman to quench the thirst of her parched soul she had to acknowledge her emptiness; she had to come to the end of herself; she had to realize all earthly relationships are poor substitutes for the one relationship that will meet the deepest longing of her heart.

She immediately did what many do today, she changed the subject to something more "spiritual". Her diversion may work with others, but not with Jesus. He tells her that the Heavenly Father seeks to have a relationship with her by explaining, "true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. No man or human relationship could possibly meet the deepest longing of her soul. What she longed for was heavenly; the longing was not man-shaped but Father-shaped. And the Father was pursuing her.

Just remember, no matter what smoke screen we erect, God goes beyond the facade to the heart of the matter and He meets us there--at the heart of the matter. As young people are fond of saying today, He "gets all up in our grill".

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading
John 2:1-4:26
  • What instructions does Jesus give the servants at the wedding? What kind of a predicament does this create for the servants?
  • What does this miracle reveal about Jesus?
  • How does Jesus respond to those selling animals for sacrifice and changing money in the temple courts? How do the Jews react to His demand?
  • Who is Nicodemus and what does Nicodemus recognize about Jesus?
  • What two stories does Jesus use to teach Nicodemus spiritual truth? What does this teach you about the delivery of truth?
  • Describe the Father's relationship with the Son.
  • What reason does Jesus give for men rejecting Him?
  • Describe Jesus' interaction with the woman at the well.
  • What does Jesus say that really grabs the woman's attention?
  • What does Jesus demonstrate about the Father as He engages this woman in conversation?
  • What does this story tell you about God's love for women?
Turning truth into prayer
Ask the Lord to open your eyes to see what He sees--the heart of the matter. Ask Him to give you "the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him; that the eyes of your understanding may be enlightened that you may know what is the hope of His calling and what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward those who believe, according to the working of His mighty power" (Ephesians1:17-19).