19. Understanding

Short Meditations in John 4:  19. Understanding

Jn 4:19   Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet.

God’s intention was that Israel should reveal Him to the rest of the world. Today it is that the Church would reveal Him to the rest of the world. That revelation should be by expressing the character of God – His love and His goodness – and by flowing in His revelation and His power so that the world realises why we are like we are. We see a glimmer of this same working here now with Jesus. Jesus has just spoken what we would now call a word of knowledge. He has spoken about her life, about things that he, a passing Jew, should not have been able to know – but he did! It is quite clear! There can  be little doubt about this: she is in the presence of a prophet.

Oh that the world today would have the same experience with the church. Jesus taught, “Let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Mt 5:16) Good deeds here should not be limited purely to actions but also to words of blessing that come from the throne room of heaven. Just as in this case above, they will reveal the Father to the listeners.

In a variety of ways today, God wants the world to realise who we are and so who He is. Jesus prayed, “May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” (Jn 17:21) Jesus wanted the world to see that we are one with the godhead and thus believe. A few verses on he prayed, “May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (Jn 17:23) Our unity in the Spirit again should make the world sit up and wonder.

In all of these ways the desire of the Lord to be revealed in the world is shown. Jesus unashamedly did and said things so that those with open hearts would see, hear, and understands and turn to God.

Of course it does need faith to see and to believe. The reality was that there were many who witnessed all that Jesus said and did and yet whose hearts were not turned towards God and who therefore did not respond positively to the wonder of the things happening before their eyes. The Pharisees were one group, for example, who generally did not respond positively to Jesus. It tended to be religious people who reacted badly to him, while the ‘sinners’ were often the ones most open to him.

Thus we should not miss in passing here, the fact that this woman is open to Jesus and may well fit the group we just referred to as the ‘sinners’ of society. She, like they, knew what she was like, knew the struggles she had with life, and found hope in Jesus somehow, and was thus open to him more than many others.

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