Saturday 01 July 2017

Bible Book:

"It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Saviour of the world." (v. 42)

John 4:27-42 Saturday 1 July 2017

Psalm: Psalm 29


As we noted yesterday, the woman's conversation with Jesusis interrupted by the disciples returning with the shopping. Sheunderstandably scurries off as they bite their lips, wanting toexpress their disapproving shock that he's been talking with her.She leaves her water jar (Jesus has well and truly disrupted herroutine for the day) and goes off to be an evangelist for Christ inthe city. Rather like the disciples will be later, after Easter,she has lost her fear and has been emboldened by her encounter withJesus.

There now follows a conversation between Jesus and his disciplesof a type quite characteristic in John's Gospel. Sparked off by aperfectly normal remark, that he really ought to eat something,Jesus launches into a metaphorical discourse which probably baffledthem. It's about food, the rather similar conversation withNicodemus at the start of John3 having been about water, the image of living water alsofiguring, of course, in the conversation with the woman. This isanother aspect of Jesus's incarnational work: using verydown-to-earth imagery to explore big, theological concepts.

But the woman's place in the drama isn't quite over yet. She wasa successful evangelist and her hearers wanted to meet Jesus forthemselves; like Thomas, they weren't content with a second-handencounter with him. He responded by staying two days among thembefore continuing the journey home. They acknowledge him as theworld's saviour, another key moment in the whole Gospel ofJohn.

This story is not one of the 'signs' in John. We've already hadthe first, at the Wedding at Cana (John2:1-11), and the remainder of chapter 4 is devoted to thesecond, the healing of an official's son. However, it is still astory of miracle; wherever God is encountered in Christ, miracleshappen.

Psalm 29 is a dramatic presentation of God's power in creation,wonderfully set to music by Elgar (and, no doubt, othercomposers too). That power is exercised in word, the voice of Godbeing the instrument of all the action in verses 3-9. It is clearlya continuation of God's creative word active from the start ofcreation, and made incarnate in Jesus the Christ, as theprologue to John's Gospel explains.

The hymn Take my life and let it be is a deeplypersonal prayer of commitment, and complements the universalrelationship of God to the world explored in the psalm.

To Ponder

  • When did you last drop what you're doing and share good news(as the woman at the well did when she rushed into town minus herwater jar)?
  • How do you think you would have coped with Jesus's evidentflouting of convention?


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