October - Reading 11

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Clint Kritzer, Oct 11, 2002.

  1. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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  2. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Good evening -

    I'm going to cheat a little bit tonight and paste a post I did long ago on the story we began in John tonight. This is by far one of my favorite witnessing stories, especially with teens:

    The woman at the well

    The story can be found in the fourth chapter of the Gospel of John 4: 3 - 30.

    There is much that one can glean from this story. First of all, look at verse 3. Christ was walking a great distance by today's standards: 60 miles, give or take. This is an important point to remember as this story unfolds. Even as great a distance as that seems, most Jews hated the Samaritans so much that they would actually cross the Jordan river and walk up the east bank just to avoid going through Samaria. This was because the Samaritans were a half bred people resulting from intermarriage when the Assyrians emigrated Gentiles into the Holy Land during the time of the northern kingdom exile mentioned in 2 Kings 17:24. Though they were an impure bloodline, these people still believed in the God of Abraham.

    We see in the story that the disciples were elsewhere at this moment and Jesus approached Jacob's well about noon (the sixth hour). As He sits there, a Samaritan woman comes to draw water. This was not common practice, to perform hard labor in the heat of the day. Usually women went to wells at the end of the day to beat the heat (see Genesis 24:11). We will soon learn that she does this because of her immorality and being shunned by the fellow villagers. I would think especially the women.

    Christ speaks first and says, "Will you give me a drink?" The woman is taken aback and says, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan! How can you ask me for a drink?" She asks this for a variety of reasons, I think. First of all, the earlier mentioned animosity of Jews and Gentiles. Secondly, Jews considered the Samaritans so unclean that they would not even use their eating utensils. Thirdly, the woman KNEW why she was there in the middle of the day. What was THIS guy's story? Was he trying to pick her up? She did not know that she was talking to the Lamb of God, Himself! Christ gives her a clue in His next statement as to who He is and offers her "living water." She doesn't get it yet but she expresses her desire for water that will quench her thirst eternally. She is still thinking about physical water but Christ knows that her deepest thirst is spiritual.

    Christ then lets on that He knows her story. He tells her to go and get her husband. The woman responds with a half truth, "I have no husband." Christ then reveals that He is well aware of that fact. He recognizes her honesty but fills in the rest of the story, stating that she has had FIVE husbands and is now living with a man out of wedlock! He praises her for her honesty (last sentence in verse 18). She sees that this Man has a gift for prophecy and seems to get a little indignant. "Our fathers worshipped on this mountain but you Jews say that we must worship in Jerusalem." This defensive statement reveals much about the woman. The "mountain" she refers to is Mount Gerizim on which the Samaritans had built a temple in approximately 400 BC. The Jews attacked and destroyed this temple in about 128 BC. Jerusalem was 25 - 30 miles away! This was a sore spot (obviously) for the Samaritans and this woman was letting Christ know that she was intelligent enough to know about this event. In other words, she was no dummy and was NOT going to be talked down to!

    Now the moment for revelation is prime. She had freely admitted that she was immoral! Why? Well, why NOT? She was a Samaritan, hated by the true seed of Israel; she was a woman, a second class citizen by the standards of that time; and she had NO REASONABLE place to worship anyway, so what was the use? Why NOT give in to her hedonistic wants? She had absolutely NOTHING to lose! She was doomed with no chance of salvation.

    Now, Christ reveals the very essence of the Good News. It does not matter to God where you worship physically. God only cares that you worship IN YOUR HEART! The woman says that she knows of the prophecies of the Messiah and Christ finally tells her that the time is now and He is the Christ.

    The disciples now return but recognize that something important is transpiring between their Master and this woman. The woman leaves and goes back to town and reveals what she has learned. The town comes back with her to meet Christ and see if this is indeed the promised Messiah.

    Now, this is my question to you. Why, in a 60 mile journey, is this the only encounter mentioned in the scriptures? I think I may have some insight.

    This scriptures and this woman have revealed to us that this woman had a lot on the ball. She was healthy, seeing as how she could labor at noon in the Middle East. She was probably good looking, after all, there must have been SOMETHING about her that the boys liked with all those marriages. She was smart in that she knew something of politics and was willing to debate this man about the Samaritan's side of the mutual hostility. She had a knowledge of the scriptures and was probably a person with a good heart. But most of all, I think this woman was honest. She reveals as much in her admission of sin to Christ but even further testimony is the fact that the town came back with her.

    Even though this woman was a sinner, even worse, a KNOWING sinner, Christ had A USE FOR HER! Sister-Bertha-Better-Than-You may have had problems with this gal, but the others in the town don't seem to have. Jesus could have chosen the town leader, a high priest, the Roman governor, anyone he wanted. Instead, with the Wisdom of God, he chose this one honest, smart, pretty, and "good" woman. It doesn't matter what you've been doing or why. Christ has need of ALL of those who will believe.

    May God bless you

    - Clint
     
  3. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Sunday School lecture - 8/31/03 (continued)

    James 5:7-12

    The Necessity of Patience


    (James 5:7-11) James now returns his address back to the converted believers in his audience as is evidenced by the term “brothers” in verse 7. We see a connection in this section from the preceding in that from a condemnation of the rich (the oppressors) the author now moves to an exhortation of the poor (the righteous). James gives three examples to accomplish this imperative: an agricultural analogy and two references to Jewish tradition, the prophets and Job.

    The implication of the word patience is self-restraint and long-suffering. It is to submit without grumbling or complaint. James assures his audience that this patience will only be required until the Return of the Lord. At that point, their servitude will end and their patience will be rewarded.

    It is evidenced in this text that some of the believers felt that the return of Christ was overdue and so James uses a metaphor that is well known to the Palestinian farmer. The “early and late rains” refer to the weather patterns to which this region was subject. We see this in numerous portions of Old Testament literature such as Deuteronomy 11:13-14. The first rain was necessary for sowing and the later for maturation of the crop. Harvest could not occur until the late rain. The reader can look at this in two ways. Either James is saying that God, like the farmer, is waiting for the harvest and thus we must recognize God’s patience for his purpose, or that the believer, like the farmer, is to be patient on the Lord as the farmer is patient on the rain.

    In verse 10, James reminds his audience of the patience of the Old Testament prophets and is likely encouraging them to use these “heroes” as an example in conduct. Hebrews 11:32-38 gives us a very similar exhortation.

    More accurate than our modern cliché of “the patience of Job,” James refers to Job’s attitude as “steadfast.” As anyone who has ever read the Book of Job knows, Job did indeed grumble and protest but the man never denounced God. Job was an example of perseverance in the most adverse of circumstances. For the contrast please see Job 13:3-4 contrasted with Job 13:15. It is noteworthy that this is the only mention of Job in the New Testament.

    Swearing

    (James 5:12) This Passage is so similar to Matthew 5:34-37 that some believe that this paraphrase is a quote. Bear in mind that until the Gospels were written, all the community had was spoken word to pass along the stories of Christ.

    [ October 04, 2004, 08:34 AM: Message edited by: Clint Kritzer ]
     
  4. mark brandwein

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    Clint, great read. you are very right. great for witnessing. God bless . Have a good evening.
     
  5. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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