Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Freedom for all

Good morning. This is a devotional for single adults from Parenting Solo, but the message also applies to single adults without children who may one day marry a single parent and be a step-parent. Feel Free to forward it to a friend.

Scripture: Matthew 4:5-9 (The Message) Jesus came into Sychar, a Samaritan village that bordered the field Jacob had given his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was still there. Jesus, worn out by the trip, sat down at the well. It was noon. A woman, a Samaritan, came to draw water. Jesus said, “Would you give me a drink of water?” … The Samaritan woman, taken aback, asked, “How come you, a Jew, are asking me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?” (Jews in those days wouldn’t be caught dead talking to Samaritans.)

Jesus committed two faux pas in the exchange. First, he was alone with a woman, and two, he was alone with a Samaritan. The Jews hated the Samaritans. In fact, when Jesus said he wanted to take a shortcut on his journey from Aenon to Galilee, his disciples were indignant. No self-respecting Jew went through Samaria – most would walk around and add a couple of days to their trip rather than go through Samaria.

But Jesus had a mission. He had to be at Jacob’s Well in Sychar at noon on this very day to witness to a harlot. Her life was at stake. Jesus even made sure all his disciples were in town buying food (wells usually were a short walk from the center of town). Jesus needed to be alone with the Samaritan woman in order to have a conversation with her and gain her trust. Had the disciples been hanging around, they would have shoo’d the woman away from Jesus.

Jesus was smarter than the average bear and planned around his disciples’ bigotry. That day, the Samaritan woman found new freedom, something she had never experienced in her rugged life. She kept bouncing from one man to another, hoping to be set free of her bondage. She was a virtual sex slave to whatever man she was with at the time. She probably had no friends; all the women in town shunned her because of her reputation. She was fetching water at noon – the other women would have done it in the cool of the morning and spent perhaps an hour socializing. She had gone through five husbands and was now living with a sixth, so the other women wanted nothing to do with her.

What Jesus offered her was equality, the same thing anyone who comes to know Christ receives. Other religions in the world – even today – set women aside as second-hand citizens. Jewish women sit on one side of the room, while the men sit on the other. Muslim women are not allowed into mosques. Mormon women can’t get to heaven unless they are married and produce children. Jesus offered a harlot equality with every woman in town. John goes on to tell that the entire town of Sychar comes to faith because of this woman’s testimony. People saw change in this woman’s life. Jesus changes all the rules when it comes to faith. He chooses the weakest vessel to do his work because it shows the mighty power of his hand. The Samaritan woman loved Jesus because he set her free.

How does this apply to my life?

Today’s prayer: Lord, I pray that you help every woman reading this know that you want to use them for your glory. Let them know that, no matter what their past, God can use their struggles to bring others to Christ. May they humble themselves in order to know you better. Amen

Doug Mead

Parenting Solo

Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.

Vol. 3, No. 153

This week’s reading plan can be found at http:/

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