Saturday, March 22, 2014

FREE Gift!

John 4:1-14

They call me up and offer me a free gift.  You get those calls too, right? It used to be vacations or other prizes; lately it's cheaper natural gas prices, but no matter, it's all the same thing.

So I stop their presentation and say, "Are you selling something?"

"Oh, no," they rush on, "We are offering a FREE gift!"

"That's even worse! No thank you, goodbye." I quip and hang up before they can begin another sentence.  My daughters listen in the background when I do this and giggle.  "Oh mom!" But I have been burnt before by the "free" gift, which was never something I wanted or needed, plus was never really free.

Jesus' conversation begins with the opposite statement.  Here He asks for a service:

When a Samaritan woman came to the well to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.”

This is how it happened with me too, Jesus began the conversation with me asking for a service: a commitment to follow Him with whole-hearted devotion. As I continued the conversation, I realized that I received the better end of the the Samaritan woman did too...

The Samaritan woman said, “I am surprised that You ask me for a drink, since You are a Jewish man and I am a Samaritan woman.” (Jewish people are not friends, do not share things, have no dealings with Samaritans.)

Jesus said, “If you only knew the free gift of God and who it is that is asking you for water, you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

I love this: now, after He asked for the service and she does not run away, then He makes His offer. Although any other Jewish man would not have even looked at her because she was a woman and a Samaritan woman at that, Jesus does not need to play by those rules.  As the Son of God, He cannot be corrupted nor defiled by this woman. But the only thing she needs to do to receive the FREE gift is TO ASK.

But what is this really: Living water? Is this something else I don't want or need?  She's not sure either so she asks...

The woman said, “Sir, where will you get this living water? The well is very deep, and you have nothing to get water with, no bucket."

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again because physical water only temporarily satisfies thirst, but whoever drinks the water I give will never be thirsty because spiritual renewal/eternal life is forever.  But; indeed the water I give will become a spring of water gushing up inside that person, giving eternal life."

The FREE gift is not only free, it is also endless, bottomless, renewing.  It is spiritual life that gushes and overflows. 

These two pictures tell the whole story.  The well is the only water in a dry and dusty place. You need to work hard with the bucket to get only a portion of water you need. 

The spring of water is  available, even overflowing. There is no hard work involved.  Take all you need. There is plenty more.

That is just like the spiritual life that Jesus offers.  You don't have to buy it. You don't have to earn it.  You don't have to be good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, rich enough, the right color or have the right family back ground.  You just have to ask.

Jesus, this is the kind of love that I want to show to all I met, Your kind of unconditional passionate love. I don't want to judge their goodness, or their motives, nothing.  I just want to love them like You do.  It is hard, but then You remind me that I too have this spiritual life in me, like a spring of water gushing up inside.  Change my heart, give me the courage to be the woman You always planned for me to be.

No comments: