Week of May 28

Encountering Jesus

Open Your Eyes

Day 1: Read John 4:1-10 and reflect on the scene that unfolds as Jesus talks with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. Jesus opens the conversation with a request for a drink of water. She responds with her own question on why he, a Jewish rabbi, is acknowledging her existence as she is part of the mixed race of Samaria. She knew their conversation was taboo. In the eyes of most Jews, including the disciples at this point, she was not worthy of Jesus’ time. But Jesus took the time to talk to this woman despite being from the other side of the tracks. Is there an “other” category in your thought life? Could it include people of another city, race, political party, or neighborhood. Or possibly even a certain church they attend or university they root for (think KU/MU). Reflect on who is in your “others” list. How did they get there? Does one issue or personal affiliation define someone in your eyes? How would that match up with Jesus’ perception of them?

 

Day 2: The normal time for women to get water was either early morning or late afternoon when it was cooler. The Samaritan woman was there at noon, possibly because her immoral lifestyle had ostracized her from other women in her community. But Jesus saw her through God’s eyes, not through the eyes of man. God’s love is for everyone. Read 1 Corinthians 13 and think about how these words call us to love those we meet. Does God ask us to keep score of their sins? To put our needs before theirs? Pray for God to show you how to love the “other” person in your life. Write down their name. Then keep track of how He challenges you with new opportunities to follow Him.

 

Day 3: The Samaritan woman was going about her daily chores, minding her own business, when this stranger asked her for a drink and then steered the conversation into spiritual matters. She wasn’t seeking to know God. In fact, her guilt over her current live-in boyfriend and her five failed marriages most likely caused her to keep her distance from God. Jesus was seeking a someone who wasn’t even seeking Him. What opportunities exist for you to seek out someone this week that you have possibly ignored in the past? A co-worker. A parent on your kid’s ball team. A neighbor. A stranger. Step out of your comfort zone and share the love exhibited in 1 Corinthian 13 with them. Pray to the Holy Spirit for the wisdom to steer the conversation to spiritual matters so they can come to know the Savior. 

 

Day 4: Reflect on the words “spiritually thirsty.” No liquid can forever satisfy our physical thirst (not even Gatorade!), but Jesus will quench the spiritual thirst of all who repent, obey His lordship, and drink of Him (John 4:13–14). The Samaritan woman was satisfied when grace found her, and she became a witness to the fact that Jesus really is the Savior of her soul and of the world (John 4:39–42). Write down a list of several people you know who have encountered the living water of Jesus Christ. Reflect on how the experience has changed them. Add your personal story as well. Based on the transformation you have witnessed take time to worship God’s for his salvation and transformation.

 

Day 5: Read John 4:31-28. The disciples arrive back at the well with food and are confused on why Jesus refuses to eat. His answer, “I have food to eat that you do not know about” (John 4:32) is counter to their perceived mission which is to have lunch and continue their travels north. Imagine their surprise as villagers begin streaming in to meet Jesus after hearing the Samaritan woman share her story. Jesus proceeds to teach the disciples their need to develop a harvest mindset. How often do we focus on the natural when we should have been awake to what God was doing spiritually around us? This mindset puts the will of God and His work above everything else. Take a moment to slow down and reflect in silence. Open yourself to God’s mindset today. Make a point to talk with a friend about how God may want you to engage and love someone in your life whether this person is seeking God or not.

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