John Day 6: The Woman at the Well

Woman at the Well by Wayne Forte

Gospel of John Reading Plan
Day 6 Reading:
John 4:1-42

Bringing the Word to Life
Have a conversation with a person you would not normally speak with.

Pastor Lisa’s Journal
Scripture
Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony. “He told me everything I ever did.”- John 4:39 (NIV)

Observation
Jesus’ deep discussion with the woman at the well breaks down barriers: men and women, teacher and student, theological disputes (where to worship), Jews and Samaritans (cultural, racial ethnic). Jesus reveals to her the truth of his character, the truth of God’s character and the truth of her character. Hearing the truth of who she is opens her to believing the truth of who Jesus is, the Messiah. She shares what she has found with others in her town and they come to faith as well.

Have no fear of robbers or murderers. They are external dangers, petty dangers. We should fear ourselves. Prejudices are the real robbers; vices the real murderers.
– Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

Clarence Jordan, the earthy Baptist preacher and scholar who wrote the “Cotton Patch Version” of the New Testament, observes that “it is neither wealth nor poverty that keeps people out of the kingdom [of God} — it is pride.” There is much truth in his words, yet pride is not the only sin barring entry into God’s realm. Self-loathing and despair born of shame are equally effective barriers to love. Knowing our sins of pride and self-degradation keeps us mindful of our need for God’s cleansing and healing grace. – The Way of Blessedness Participant’s Book by Marjorie J. Thompson and Stephen D. Bryant

Application
Jesus is ready to engage us on a deep, honest level. He shines a light on who we are. We see who we really are and we see that Jesus sees it and stays anyway. There’s no need to hide anymore. The truth draws us out of isolation. The truth frees us to trust Jesus and believe in Jesus.

Two quotes from Jean Vanier from his book
Drawn into the Mystery of Jesus through the Gospel of John
1. When we realize that we do not have to be clever, powerful or successful in order to be loved, then we can live in truth, come to the light and be led by the Spirit of God.
2. Jesus is revealing that if we drink from the fountain of the love and compassion of God, we become a fountain of love and compassion. If we receive the Spirit of God, we will give the Spirit of God. The life we receive is the life we give.

The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves–say rather, loved in spite of ourselves- Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

Prayer
Jesus, Light of the World, light up our lives and reveal the truth. Help us to run to this truth and run to your welcome. Draw us out of the darkness of fear, prejudice, unimportant details, self loathing, and public shame. You are the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Thank you for making a way to freedom and new birth. Set us free from our hiding. Free us for faith. Free us to worship in Spirit and in truth, now and always. Amen.

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Be sure to check out Steve Garnaas Holmes reflection on this passage, Woman at the Well

For a worship resource on the theme of God drawing us out of the darkness and into the light, click here

For more information on the Gospel of John Reading Plan, click here

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