God Gold of the Day
John 4:7-9/ When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.
Excited to get back into the gold today and see what God has in store! Yesterday’s gold kind of laid the foundation of the simple truth; we don’t know what to do but that’s okay because we have the perfect example of Christ to look at and learn from. Also, understanding that Christ has walked in these same shoes we’re walking in today and He did it without ever giving in to temptations or stumbling along the way, that makes striving to become more like Christ daily even more important. With these messages the main thing the Lord has put on my heart is that I’m just tired of always doing what Jordan would do because the way I handle situations and act always ends up making a bigger mess. I don’t have a clue what I’m doing or where to even begin trying to learn and apply WWJD but I’m excited to dig in to these pieces of scripture and learn more about Christ and His ways.
So yesterday we saw that Jesus was in the middle of His earthly ministry and while He was traveling, He became tired and decided to stop in Samaria at a well. It’s kind of cool when I was looking yesterday I saw Jesus said “He needed” to go to Samaria and after looking at where He was coming from and where He was going, Samaria wasn’t even on the way to His destination. Samaria was a detour, why would Christ need to go there? Why would He take time out of His very important and short ministry to go out of His way to Samaria? It’s funny when you look at it a lot of the things Christ did doesn’t make a lot of sense to us and I guess that’s kind of the point. Even when we think our intentions are really really good and we’ve got it all figured out, the outcome doesn’t usually look as good as we thought it would. Those are moments when we look back and see exactly how applying a Christ-like approach or living in His will instead of our own could have made a big difference in how the situations in our lives turn out. I thought about a lot of stuff Christ did and taught us to do by example; turning the other cheek, hanging out with the worst of the worst, and so many others. Christ was the weirdest dude to ever walk the earth compared to the way we do things and the way we’re taught by this world to act. Following Christ is weird, uncomfortable, and doesn’t always make sense so I guess if we’ve got one of those symptoms we’re getting closer to a big case of WWJD and by looking at what He’s capable of and the outcomes that come when He’s in the lead. I don’t know about you but bring on the WWJD.
I’ve noticed too one of the biggest problems I have is getting so caught up in my “to-do-list”, in the mundane of the everyday grind, trying to get my stuff done to the point that detours and interruptions in my plans get me so upset. I’ll even see those things coming up and completely avoid them so I can stay on my path to get my stuff done. The big lesson I noticed from Jesus here is that He’s operating completely in God’s will, He’s so in tune with what God is doing and wants done that He doesn’t just want to go out of His way on His journey from town to town but “He needs” to go out of the way. It’s the submission of self, our plans and wants, putting our lives down and following God’s will for our lives even when the majority of the time it may not make sense, His ways are higher than ours. His direction and purpose for our lives always leads us to destinations and outcomes for our good. More importantly for the good of the Kingdom because when Jesus stops at this well in Samaria, He’s not the only one there. For ourselves and even the lives around us, we NEED to follow His will above our own. Embracing God’s plans and purposes, seeing detours as a new path in His plan instead of an obstacle and seeing interruptions as what God is putting in front of you in the moment, not something holding us up but something that God has divinely appointed to happen so you may decrease from your selfish wants and plans in submission to His will that we need. Those things we see as interruptions can be a something that moves us forward, it could be a moment where not only it’s a breakthrough moment in our life and relationship with the Lord but also a chance to help someone else to have a very similar breakthrough impacting moment with Christ.
Jesus goes out His way on His travels to Samaria and when He stops at this well a Samaritan woman comes up to draw water. What’s even crazier that Jesus would take important time out of His important ministry schedule, Samaria is a place that Jews just don’t go. During the time of exile for the Jews, some of the Jews made families and came together with the people that took them captive and that is Samaritans. Jewish people wanted nothing to do with these dirty, sinful people because in their eyes they were a disgrace to the Jewish race. Jesus not only goes out His way but into a territory of the “enemy’, a people that are looked down upon and in the Jew’s eyes they are the worst of the worst. I rarely go out of my way much less going somewhere and interacting with people that are by world standards “not from the right side of the tracks.” Not only with people in a different worldly standing than ourselves or in a worse place personally than we are, but the people right around us in our lives that we see often. Maybe we have a problem with them, for some reason we can’t help but not to like them or the people that constantly cause problems for us and don’t treat us very good either with words or actions. No matter what kind of person it is and what kind of relationship you have with them, Jesus shows us a big truth here. You ready? It’s a big one and it’s one that hit me right in the gut. It doesn’t matter who they are or how you feel about them, love them. Even if that’s just being in their presence and not necessarily doing anything for them, just love them by being around them. If anything that’s a start and it’s farther than we would go if it was up to us, I prove that everyday.
Whether it’s an enemy or someone that you wouldn’t usually associate yourself with, go out of your way and love them. It’s hard to see Christ is “loving her” from just looking at these verses since He’s just sitting there and asking for a drink of water. Looking at it deeper, His love is everywhere in this situation. The fact that He went out of His way, to a place to be around people like her which are the Jew’s enemies, He’s the Son of God so if He really needed water He could probably make that happen without getting some from her, just the simple fact He was sitting there talking to her, that’s love. I had to ask myself, “how often do I lower my pride and selfish ways to reach out to others, even when I could sit and try to figure it out on my own. It takes a lot of humility to express your need for something, especially from someone you’re not supposed to like. Christ turns the tables on this whole situation because wouldn’t you think it’s the Samaritan asking for a drink from the Jew, the human asking for something from God in the flesh? The example Christ sets here is for us to humble ourselves not just below the people who are “above” us but to every single person no matter who they are. Also, I was thinking about how Christ once again goes against what we see as “normal” in this world. It sucks that we’re constantly influenced to think if someone is from a different social class, skin color, sexuality, or whatever is not Christian then we are supposed to stay as far away from them as we can and from a distance talk bad about them or the bad things someone has done in their past. How is handling it that way ever going to make things better or help them see Christ in us? It’s not and it’s convicting knowing how often I do that. Just like Jesus shows us, you don’t have to do anything special, try to turn them with Bible knowledge or give them a bunch of money, whatever the situation calls for. Just be willing to go places around people you may see as enemies or people who you wouldn’t usually associate with, and then love them. Whether with words, actions, or however just be there and love them. Christ could have looked at this lady and said, “well here comes a Samaritan, I don’t associate with those filthy people and I don’t want anyone to see me doing that so I’m outta here.” Instead, Christ set the example, He was weird about it by going against the norm to show her how much he loved her by just being there and humbling Himself admitting His need of water. He’s also showing us that we don’t have to live in the norm because following Christ is so far from that planet. Humbling ourselves before all people, loving all people. This Samaritan lady is even puzzled on why Christ is talking to her, a Samaritan? She can’t believe that He is doing this, she hasn’t met Christ before so can’t comprehend what the Savior is all about.
After looking at all the different takeaways from the example Christ is setting for us, there isn’t a situation in which having this humble, loving attitude wouldn’t turn the “normal” outcome upside down. Taking these lessons of WWJD and applying them to whatever person or situation you’ll ever have, people will sit there with their jaw-dropped at how you’re acting because remember, being Christ like isn’t normal, it’s just downright weird. And to think that those jaw-dropped people may have never met Christ so that weirdness coming out of you could change their day or even their lives. Dang. I’m pretty upset at myself for all the times I’ve acted out of what Jordan was feeling or thought was best. The good thing is that there’s no better time than right now to put ourselves and our pasts aside, attack the day in front of us like the biggest Jesus loving, humble, light-filled weirdo this world has ever seen!