Wednesday, April 20, 2011

(lent) 4


number of Gospels (according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John)

There are four human blood groups (A, B, O, AB).

Virtues, according to Plato: Wisdom, courage, self-control, and justice.

Virtues, according to the Sioux: bravery, fortitude, generosity and wisdom.

Virtues, according to Christianity: prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude.

number of elements: Fire, Air, Water and Earth.

In Tetris, a game named for the Greek word for 4, every shape in the game is formed of 4 blocks each. How many hours of my youth was wasted playing this game...

number of nations of the United Kingdom: England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland.

number of suits of playing cards: hearts, diamonds, clubs, spades.

The Beatles were commonly known as "Fab Four": John Lennon, Ringo Starr, George Harrison, and Paul McCartney.

number of corners on a piece of paper.

chapter in John where Jesus reaches out yet again to a marginalized woman at the well. with no concern of his reputation, Jesus, at the noon hour, dares ask a Samaritan woman for a drink of water.
there are so many things wrong with this encounter... this experience.
first, Jews didn't cut through Samaria if they didn't have to. they'd prefer to walk around that region. Jews and Samaritans weren't exactly on friendly terms. as John 4:9 says 'Jews in those days wouldn't be caught dead talking to Samaritans'. at the time, most Jews considered the Samaritans to be dirty and below them. but Jesus takes a shortcut.

second, it was the noon hour. in this desert area, the women didn't draw water at the noon hour, the hottest time of the day. they'd come in the cool of the morning or evening. which begs the question, why would this woman, then, be there, drawing water? Jesus points out why she would be there mid day... in verse 17-18 when Jesus points out her 'loose' way of living... this woman was a prostitute. perhaps shame prevented this woman from coming to draw water when the other women would draw.

third, Jesus allows this lowly woman to serve him. a dirty, unclean, impure Samaritan woman on the fringes of society... in the margins... lost... alone... by herself...

and it's almost as if Jesus takes this shortcut through Samaria just so he could reach out to this lost one. again, like the demon possessed man of the region of the Garasenes... the Good Shepherd leaves the 99 to get the one.

the woman gives Jesus water to quench his thirst... what does Jesus give her? living water.
"Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life." (vs. 14)

the woman responds by acknowledging her understanding that salvation was coming: “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

Then Jesus spoke, “I am he.”

what happened next? what is the rest of the story?

the woman went and told the townspeople all about her Jesus-encounter.

(vs. 40-42)

So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41 And because of his words many more became believers.

42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”

just what might happen if we went and told others of our Jesus-encounters?

and if you haven't encountered Him - ask yourself this: are you thirsty? are you satisfied? do you fully understand real love?

think about it.

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