Wednesday, September 22, 2010

"How Is It?

"There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. (For His disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) Then saith the woman of Samaria unto Him, How is it that Thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans" (John 4:7-9).

The Samaritans were the product of intermarriage between dispersed Jews and their pagan captors centuries before the Lord Jesus Christ met and conversed with the woman at the well. Thus, they were considered to be a mongrel people by the Jews, and despised and avoided.

The Lord Jesus nevertheless related to the woman, placing Himself in a position of need before her. She had access to water, and the means to secure it. He was thirsty. Clearly orchestrated by God, this led to unexpected discourse between the Savior and one whom few would have expected Him to touch. Humility led to relationship, which ultimately led to faith not only in the Samaritan woman, but among many of her people. "Many of the Samaritans of that city believed on Him for the saying of the woman" (John 4:39).

We should all be amazed that the Lord Jesus would involve Himself in our lives. If we are honest about ourselves and our history, the stark truth is that rejection rather than relationship should be our portion from God. "Your iniquities have separated between you and your God" (Isaiah 59:2). We are all a "mongrel people" in the sense that we rightly belong to our Creator, but we have all "went a whoring after other gods" (Judges 2:17). As the woman asked, "How is it?," that is, "Why are You having anything at all to do with me?!"

If we have believed, and if have read and studied the New Testament, we doctrinally know why the Jesus has so fully immersed Himself in our lives. It's simply who He is, and what He does as our Creator, and as our most merciful Redeemer. However, the basic attitude of "How is it?" should never leave us. Deserving of utter rejection, born again believers have nevertheless become "accepted in the Beloved," and spiritually birthed into living relationship with God as "dear children" (Ephesians 1:6; 5:1). If we are thinking rightly, the wonder of it all will never leave us, and as with the woman at the well, our testimony of the most magnanimous mercy will not simply remain in our own hearts. We will powerfully influence others who need the same grace of "How is it?"

Sometimes believers say to each other, "When we get to Heaven, we'll likely be surprised by some people who are there." Maybe, but the greater wonder in all our hearts should be the fact that if we have believed, we ourselves will be there! Shocking! All others we know from afar, in relative terms. But we know ourselves intimately, and we know that God could rightly "have no dealings" with us. This is not the case, however, and at the highest cost to Himself, He united Himself with us in an eternal bond of loving devotion. It is who He is, and it is what He does. Eternity will not be long enough to express our grateful amazement, but this moment offers opportunity to once again wonder with bewildered gratitude, "How is it?"

"Now when Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, was come unto David, he fell on his face, and did reverence. And David said, Mephibosheth. And he answered, Behold thy servant! And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely show thee kindness for Jonathan thy father's sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually. And he bowed himself, and said, What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?"
(II Samuel 9:6-8)

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