Come See A Man
March 2014 Blog: John 4:28-30, KJV
"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? Then they went out of the city, and came unto him."
I want to paint a picture of what experiencing the good news ought to be like. To do this, I want to use that well known story of Christ’s meeting with the Woman at the Well, referred to in the opening scripture above and presented in its totality in John 4:3-42. This cameo provides insight into what happens when we have an encounter with Jesus, if we are open to it. It also illustrates that God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34).
The story begins with Jesus urgently leaving Judaea travelling via Galilee to Samaria. On arrival at Samaria, he goes to a specific place called Sychar where Jacob’s well was located. I am a fan of understanding biblical names because to me they can be very insightful. After all in ancient times names had huge significance to the extent that they were seen to determine destiny. Jesus left Judaea (the land of the Jews) via Galilee (circuit) to Samaria (mountain watching) in order to get to Sychar (liar, drunkard) to the place of Jacob’s well. This was some circuitous journey as Christ took- going the long way round to Samaria. It reveals the lengths that he would go to save someone, regardless of their history or background.
The place of Jacob’s well is important as the account in Genesis 33 tells of Jacob’s reconciliation with his brother Esau. Prior to their reconciliation, Jacob was deeply distressed because he feared that Esau might exact revenge upon him for stealing his birthright. It was at the height of his distress that Jacob wrestled with and prevailed against the angel at Peniel (Genesis 32:24-28). I am merely mentioning it because the well represented God’s ability to bring about reconciliation. Following his experience Jacob bought a parcel of land and built an altar called “El-elohe-Israel” or “the Mighty God of Israel”. Let us hold that thought when we return to that place where a male Jewish Rabbi, who happens to be the son of God, meets and transforms the life of a female Samaritan woman.
Jesus arrived at the well just in time to meet this infamous woman who was never named. It was noon- the hottest time of the day when no decent person would be seen there. Jesus was also infamous-renowned for being radical- at least in the eyes of his contemporaries- the Scribes and Pharisees the Jewish religious leaders of his day. During the meeting, Jesus breached religious and cultural protocols: firstly, he spoke with her – a woman saying “give me to drink” (v 7); secondly, she was a Samaritan and the animosity between Jews and Samaritans meant that Jews, avoided Samaria when travelling between Galilee and Judea and thirdly, he asked her for something that would have made him ceremonially unclean.
The encounter between Jesus and the woman at the well was intense- he cut to the chase by offering her “living water” which he later told her “shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (v14). The woman wasted no time in accepting Jesus’ offer, perhaps this had something to do with her background. He revealed tactfully her history of adultery and serial marriages: “Thou has well said I have no husband, For thou hast had five husbands and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that thou said truly” (v 17-18). Rather than responding to his statement with defence, aggression, or condemnation, the woman perhaps relieved, acknowledged the truth and asks him whether he is a prophet. Eventually Christ tells her that he is the Messiah, one of the few times that he admitted openly to his divinity.
The woman responded to Jesus’ statement with exhilaration -verse 28-29 says “she left her water-pot and went her way into the city and saith to men, come, see a man which told me all the things I ever did: is not this the Christ?” Let us revisit the reference relating to Jacob’s well- just as Jacob recognised the power of God and praised him for bringing about his reconciliation with Esau by setting up an altar, thousands of years later at the same site, a woman: for all intents and purposes, a disreputable social outcast, also had an encounter with God that also transformed her life.
I have to write it in capitals: THE GOOD NEWS is the natural consequence of a sinner’s response to an encounter with GOD and the resulting experience of SALVATION. The story of this woman vividly depicts the joy, relief and the irrepressible excitement accompanying the desire to share this GOOD NEWS. This should be our experience too as Christians, knowing that God has forgiven us and given us a brand new start. It has been suggested that Christ was the “seventh man” that completed the woman- following five marriages and one live-in lover. Seven in biblical Hebrew represents completeness or perfection.
Friends we have THE GOOD NEWS, Christ died to save us. His SALVATION is symbolised by his sacrifice: he gave up his life for ours and exchanged his spotless robe of righteousness for the filthy garments of our sinful lives. Through him we have LOVE, HOPE, LIBERTY, PEACE, GRACE and an ABUNDANT LIFE; all bought and paid for by HIS PRECIOUS BLOOD. He has done it all for us and the only thing he has asked us to do when we accept his free gift is to SHARE IT. Won’t you share this GOOD NEWS today?
Postscript. Let me tell you the result of the woman’s witness of COME SEE A MAN, because it provides the evidence which supports why it is important to share THE GOOD NEWS. In John 4:39 it states “And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that I ever did.”
© hopecalls.org, 2014 (all rights reserved)
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