Last post from the gospel of John we talked about how Jesus loved both the Samaritan woman living on the margin, and the Jewish man leading the mainstream. And we talked about how we need to love people in the same way Jesus did: all people, from all walks. Jesus loved them all.
We left off with Jesus asking the woman at the well for a drink of water. And when he does, she asks him why he, a Jewish man, would ask her, a woman of Samaria, for a drink.
And this is how he answers:
“If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”
Then the woman says, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water?”
And Jesus says, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Then the woman says, “Sir, give me this water, so I won’t be thirsty and have to trudge all the way down here to draw from the well.”
Jesus says, “Go call your husband.”
She says, “I have no husband.”
Jesus says, “You’re right to say, ‘I have no husband’; because you’ve had five husbands, and the guy you’re living with now isn’t your husband. So you’ve spoken the truth.”
If You Only Knew…
Near the beginning of their conversation, Jesus said to the Samaritan woman: If you only knew who you’re talking with, you would approach things differently.
If you only knew…
But in that moment, she didn’t know. And before that moment she didn’t know either. She didn’t recognize Jesus for who he was (and is), so she invested in other things, temporal things. She had five husbands, and was living with a sixth man who was not her husband. So it would seem she invested a good part of her life pursuing romance. Of course people still do that today. Others invest in making money. Others in watching television. Others invest themselves in social media. Others play games, or sports.
Sex, romance, money, TV, social media, and games are all gifts from God Himself. But Jesus points something out to the Samaritan woman at the well, and to us too. He says to her, and to us: If you recognize who I am, ask me for the gift of living water, ask me for the gift of living bread, ask me for the gift that lasts forever.
Sure God expects you to sometimes pursue that which is not God. When Jesus speaks of how God provides for the ravens and the lilies, we recognize that the ravens and the lilies have their part: the ravens forage for their food; the lilies photosynthesize. But what’s your primary investment? Jesus would ask. Where’s your treasure? Because where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Bowen)
Jesus says to the woman at the well, and to us: “Ask me for the treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.”
Once again Jesus is trying to free us. Because any treasure other than God Himself can be stolen from us. And what happens when the most important part of our life is disrupted? What happens when she leaves you, if that relationship is prioritized above your relationship with God? Or what happens when you’re laid off, if career is of more importance than God in your life? When those things take a position of primacy, we feel the crushing weight of dissapointment dropping down upon us when they’re lost. We’re depressed and we’re devastated. We’re undone by these events if that’s where we invest ourselves, primarily. There’s only one investment that’s indestructible. Only one investment that can’t be taken from us. Only one investment provides certain peace of mind, because it can’t be taken away:
Anything else will leave you thirsty.
So more than any one else, more than anything else, invest in Him.
Because where your treasure is, where you invest yourself, there your heart will be.
References and Resources:
Matt Bowen’s teaching, Without Worry, Luke 12:22-34, 1/24/2016, 11 AM
Image via Shellie Gonzalez – Creative Commons