Thursday, December 1, 2016

A NEW FUTURE AND A NEW HOPE


Have you ever stopped to wonder why Jesus was so patient with the Samaritan woman?  Here's my guess: Jesus understood that He wasn't dealing with an evangelistic project; He was dealing with a real person who had real needs.  He knew that before she could begin dealing correctly with her sin issues, she had to become a believer first.  Because He had His expectations set correctly, Jesus was able to treat her with dignity and encouragement instead of judgment and condemnation.  As the second person of the Trinity, Jesus had access to the entire universe of information about this woman that you and I wouldn't have had.  But despite His knowledge of the problem-laden past, He didn't rub her face in it.  Instead, He chose to fan a future flame in her.  "The days ahead don't have to be the same for you," He probably said.

Evidently, it was just the glimmer of hope she needed.  The text says that once the woman received grace, she ran back to the village to tell all of her friends about this man who "knew everything" about her.  In her haste, she left her water pot there at the well -- significant because water was such a precious commodity in those days.  Here she was, a sin-scarred woman who had been freshly converted.  Now, more than anything else -- even ensuring her water supply for the day -- she desired to tell everyone how Jesus gave her a new future and a new hope.  Despite countless details the Bible could have given us about the mental, spiritual, and physical state she was in when she first received grace, all we learn is that she dropped everything and ran off to tell her friends her good news.  Christ's patience paid off, wouldn't you agree?

You and I have been redeemed and restored for a similar purpose -- a purpose that is just as notable as spending eternity with God in heaven.  You and I are expected and encouraged to share our salvation with others so that God's ultimate agenda is served -- that all people would come to know Him as Father.

-- Bill Hybels in Just Walk Across the Room


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