Bible Reading Day 133
Day 133 – John 4:1-30
Yesterday I mixed up Judea and Galilee – I said Jesus was baptizing in the Galilean countryside, when I meant the Judean countryside. He had been in Jerusalem and was then baptising in the countryside of Judea, outside Jerusalem. Here is a map. Today we read that He decided to return to Galilee (hence my confusion when writing yesterday) because the Pharisees were aware of His rising popularity. It was not yet time for a showdown with the Pharisees, so Jesus moves away from their power-base into the region where He grew up.
The trip to Galilee from that area runs through Samaria – the land of the rebels, the place where the unfaithful nation of Israel set up its capital when there was division between the eleven unfaithful tribes and the faithful tribe of Judah. For comparison, we can imagine the tension between the south and the north soon after the Civil War. Technically they were at peace, but practically they were enemies.
Into this animosity comes Jesus, and in His conversation with the woman at the well He reveals Himself as the Messiah. She was a woman, with a checkered history, who was clearly rejected by those around her – she was forced to come at the hottest part of the day to draw water because the regular times were not safe for her.
In one short conversation Jesus demonstrates that He has come to seek out those who are lost, whatever their cultural background; He also shows that He knows all our faults and sins, yet does not condemn us. He has no regard for cultural or religious traditions when they erect barriers to knowing God.
As you read today, see which parts of Jesus’ conversation strike you most; in what ways does that revelation to an outcast long ago apply to your life?
Have a great day!
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