Happy New Year 2017. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with your families.
January 1st always seem to bring with it promise and hope. Promise that things will be better, brighter or filled with more good. Hope that we’ll change, eat differently or act kinder or live healthier. By mid February though, all that seems to have fallen to the way side. June is frantic with things to do and keep the kids occupied. August and September is waking up said kids 10 times in the morning so that they’re not late for school. November is rushed with Thanksgiving. And then December comes around. We’ve just managed to put up the tree and wrap the gifts when the 25th is over all too soon and we’re looking forward to January 1st. Promising ourselves that this time, this year will be different.
Don’t you want some thing permanent? Some one eternal? Some one who never changes but always keeps His promises, no matter what we do or where we’ve back-sliden? I know I do.
The next few weeks I’m going to focus on the “I AM” words of Christ in John and in Revelation. The series I really want to do will involve a lot of “research and study” so while I prepare for that, I’ve found these Bible studies from Scripture Union that I will post on these I AM sentences.
In this passage, John 4 :1-26 Jesus a Jew is speaking to a Samaritan woman. It’s odd enough that since Jews and Samaritans despised each other, but He makes this startlingly announcement. While the lady talks about the coming of the Messiah. Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you, I AM He” John 4:26 .
The Messiah was someone they (and the Jews especially) waited for, longed for. He was their promised One, a Saviour, a Deliverer. They assumed He would break their bonds, bind their shackles, release their captives and set their prisoners free. After all this was prophesied by Isaiah a good 700 years before Isaiah 61 :1-3.
The funny thing is Jesus Christ the Messiah did fulfill the first part of the prophecy when He came the first time. He did heal the broken-hearted, give sight to the blind, raise the dead, heal the lame, gave the deaf hearing and the dumb the chance to speak. He also proclaimed the good news that the way to the Father was now accessible to those who believed in the Son. That life would continue after death, eternally, in joy and peace, in His presence.
Though during His earthly lifetime many people thought Him mad. They thought the Messiah would come with thunder and lightning and rendering of the heavens. They thought He would over-throw the reigning, tyrannical, earthly kingdom. They expected a Warrior and battles and wars. What they saw though was a plain, humble, poor man. A man who worked for his living. A man who chose disciples among the poor, the lonely, the outcast and those with “questionable morals”. A man who taught about peace and forgiveness and blessing enemies.
But this Man, changed the world, because He was and is and will be , God. He taught love when they wanted war. He taught forgiveness when the hurt was too much. He taught joy in the midst of persecution. He Saved the world by dying for them , for us. He Delivered us all by going into hades and taking the keys of death back, so that He is Master of death, which will not be the end. He is the Messiah.
Some questions for you to ponder this week.
- How would you respond if Jesus spoke to you unexpectedly? If He told you everything you had every done? What would He ask you to do?
- Who are you reluctant to speak to? What kind of people groups make you hesitant or anxious?
- What barriers stop you from speaking to others about Christ, the Messiah?
- What does it mean ” to worship God in spirit and in truth”?
- In verses 25 and 26 Jesus clearly claims to be the Messiah, the deliverer God had promised to send. Imagine the look on the woman’s face when she hears his words. Do you think she is surprised or skeptical, and why?
- What does Jesus’ offer of living water mean in your life and spiritual experience?