Thursday, March 7, 2019

How Jesus Changes Us

Life is full of change.  Some people like change and some people resist it with every part of their being.  If we want Jesus to change our lives, we have to be willing to change. If we let Him, He makes marvelous and lasting changes in our hearts and lives. 
Once as Jesus was traveling from Judea to Galilee, He chose to go through Samaria.  Most Jews did not choose this route even though it was shorter. Jews did not like Samaritans, so they went to great lengths to avoid Samaria altogether, but not Jesus.  He stopped outside Sychar at Jacob’s Well to rest. As he was there, a Samaritan woman came to draw water.  Jesus asked the woman for a drink.  The woman was shocked that Jesus was speaking to her.  He was a Jew and Jews did not associate with Samaritans.  What she didn’t know, was that Jesus was a teacher, a Rabbi, which was also against the rules for a Rabbi to converse with a woman publicly.  It was considered indecent.  Also, this woman had a reputation.  That is why she was at the well at a time when the other women of the village would have already been there and gone.  She was likely considered an outcast and could have no relationship with the village women -- their scorn and condemnation had stung her enough times to know she did not belong where they were.
But now she met Jesus.  He proceeded to tell her everything about her life, all the husbands she had already had and that the man she was living with right now was not her husband.  And then he told her where she could find living water that would satisfy forever. She would never thirst again.  Jesus, and Jesus alone could quench her thirst forever…and He was Jesus, the Messiah -The woman said, I know that Messiah (called Christ) is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us. Then Jesus declared, I, the one speaking to you—I am he.  John 4:25-26
For one time in her life, this woman with a tangled, tinged and tired history, found someone who could care enough to reach out to her, to respect her, to love her with an unconditional love. This woman immediately returned to the village and sought out others who needed this message of hope, understanding and acceptance.  They would listen to her because they knew they could trust her.  People who have been in difficult situations are many times best at helping people who are presently there in ways the rest of us can’t. 
Jesus risked His reputation to bring change into this woman’s heart.  She was so ready and willing.  She had nothing left to cling to.  She had no reputation, no traditions or social customs because she didn’t belong anywhere, and no family.  He was willing to take a risk to changer her and He gave His life to change you and me. What are you claiming as a reason to resist the change He is trying to make in you today? Nothing we try to hang onto or keep the same is worth resisting the forgiveness, grace and freedom He is offering.  

Scripture to Claim: Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, He told me everything I ever did. So, when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. And because of his words many more became believers.  John 4:39-41

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