10. Who am I?

Short Meditations in John 4:  10. Who am I?

Jn 4:10    Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

This woman’s world is about to spin on its axis! I don’t know if you ever rehearse your testimony or ways to speak to people about the Lord, but it seems as if Jesus has a planned strategy to open up this woman. His starting point had been to indirectly express a need, to make himself vulnerable to this woman – I need your help – but he knew she, being a Samaritan, would be likely to respond negatively to him being a Jew. So now we come to the second stage of his strategy: he points to himself but does it using a description which in itself will raise questions in the woman.

We often talk about not asking closed question that require a simple yes or no answer, but instead use open questions with people, questions that require an explanation or expansion in the answer to open up conversation.  Yes, he wants this woman to come back on what he says, he wants her to talk because the more she does the more he will have to respond to, and when he does he will be able to reveal to her just who he is.

At the end of the day, Jesus doesn’t come to us to provide answers for us; he comes to reveal himself to us. The all-important thing is that we get to know him, we encounter him, we come to know him. All else follows. So much for the ‘mechanics’ of this verse but what is he actually saying?

If she knew the gift of God?  God has got something to give her freely and without cost?  What can that be? The gift is living water? What can that be? We perhaps take so much for granted if we have been Christians some time and heard much teaching, but for this lady these must have been confusing words, or at least words that raise questions.  Jesus wants us to question because in so doing we will reveal where we are with him.

We should never be afraid of questions, because God isn’t – because He knows everything. When we question Him we will eventually come to that revelation, but be warned, it may not be by Him giving lots of answers. It will probably be more Him asking further questions of us, and when He does we will realise that we are dealing with an infinitely greater mind than ours.

If you knew who was asking for a drink?  So who are you?  That is a good starting question, but he may not give us a direct answer. There was something better for me to ask? What do you mean, what was that? More questions paving the way towards the truth.

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