August 20, 2018
John 4:7-26 New Living Translation (NLT)
In our Scripture lesson from Sunday, I shared about how the words of Jesus had the ability to cause people to stumble. He said, “Blessed is the person who finds no occasion for stumbling in me” (Matt. 11:6). The word scandal comes from the Greek word, “skandalon.” It does not bring along the thought of causing one to be embarrassed or endure emotional pain. Rather, skandalon encompasses such things as “a trap, a snare, or a stone that causes someone to stumble. It’s an image that refers to something that makes you fall down as you are moving forward.
The skandalon never existed in Jesus’ teaching itself—he told the hard Truth. The skandalon existed then and still exists in the heart of people who are unwilling to make a journey of faith in order to seek the wisdom of God. In our passage today, Jesus meets the Samaritan woman. At first she stumbles with Christ’s words to her. They don’t make sense. He doesn’t have the right equipment. Does he really think he is more spiritual than Jacob? Ok, now he has gone to messing in my personal life! But, the woman presses in and continues to listen and she finds salvation as she confesses to her need. This woman is looking for some answers and Christ gives them to her. She grows as she worships in spirit and truth.
7 Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” 8 He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food.
9 The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?”
10 Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”
11 “But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? 12 And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?”
13 Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. 14 But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” 15 “Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.”
16 “Go and get your husband,” Jesus told her.
17 “I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied.
Jesus said, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband— 18 for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!”
19 “Sir,” the woman said, “you must be a prophet. 20 So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim, where our ancestors worshiped?”
21 Jesus replied, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. 23 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. 24 For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”
25 The woman said, “I know the Messiah is coming—the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
26 Then Jesus told her, “I am the Messiah!”
Prayer: Lord, in life I have sought to live in a spiritual dimension of peace and love no matter how great the skandalon is at the time. As you guide me, I need your strength and power to continue moving forward while remaining in peace. In Jesus’ name. Amen.