In Need, Surrounded By Need, In A Place of Need & Having No One

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ as it was written and recorded by the apostle John. More specifically, today’s passage is found in chapters six and seven of this New Testament book. JESUS HEALING ON THE SABBATH! DURING THE TIME OF HE FEAST JESUS ENTERS INTO JERUSALEM AND GOES STRAIGHT FOR ONE OF THE MOST PROFOUND PLACES OF NEED WITHIN THE CITY! THE POOL CALLED BETHESDA! [Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches]. IN THESE LAY A GREAT MULTITUDE OF IMPOTENT FOLK, OF BLIND, HALT, WITHERED! WAITING FOR THE MOVING OF THE WATER! WAITING FOR SOMETHING THAT NEVER SEEMS TO COME! WAITING FOR SOMETHING THAT ALWAYS SEEMS TO ALLUDE YOU! SURROUNDED BY NEED IN A PLACE OF NEED! DURING A TIME OF CELEBRATION WE FIND JESUS GOING TO A PLACE OF NEED! HEALING DURING A TIME OF CELEBRATION! OFFENDING DURING A TIME OF CELEBRATION! HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WAITING FOR YOUR MIRACLE? IN NEED SURROUNDED BY NEED! “And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.” When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?” IN NEED AND HAVING NO ONE! IN NEED ANY WAITING FOR SOMEONE! WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU’RE IN NEED AND HAVE NO ONE? WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU’RE IN NEED AND YOU WATCH AS SOMEONE ELSE EXPERIENCES HEALING BEFORE YOU? WAITING IN LINE FOR HEALING! WHILE I AM COMING, ANOTHER STEPPETH DOWN BEFORE ME! [JESUS DIDN’T SPEAK TO THE PAST THIRTY-EIGHT YEARS! JESUS DIDN’T SPEAK TO HAVING NO MAN! JESUS DIDN’T SPEAK TO ANOTHER STEPPING DOWN BEFORE HIM! JESUS SIMPLY INSTRUCTED HIM TO “RISE, TAKE UP THY BED, AND WALK”] IMAGINE WHAT OTHERS IN THIS PORTICO THOUGHT WHEN THEY SAW THIS MAN BE MADE WHOLE, RISE UP FROM THE PLACE HE HAD LIED, TAKE UP HIS MAT, AND LEAVE THAT PLACE! WHAT WOULD OTHERS THINK WHEN THEY WERE LEFT IN THAT PLACE WAITING FOR THEIR OWN HEALING AND MIRACLE AND THIS MAN EXPERIENCED HEALING WITHOUT NEEDING TO ENTER THE WATERS!

            MY FATHER WORKETH HITHERTO, AND I WORK! THE SON CAN DO NOTHING OF HIMSELF, BUT WHAT HE SEETH THE FATHER DO! FOR THINGS SOEVER HE DOETH, THESE ALSO DOETH THE SON LIKEWISE! FOR THE FATHER LOVETH THE SON, AND SHEWETH HIM ALL THINGS THAT HIMSELF DOETH! HE WILL SHEW HIM GREATER WORKS THAN THESE, THAT YE MAY MARVEL! [JESUS TRANSITIONS THE CONVERSATION TO AN HOUR COMING WHEN ALL THOSE WHO ARE IN GRAVES SHALL HEAR THE VOICE OF THE SON, AND SHALL COME FORTH]. SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES; FOR IN THEM YE THINK YE HAVE ETERNAL LIFE: AND THEY ARE THEY WHICH TESTIFY OF ME!

            AND A GREAT MULTITUDE FOLLOWED HIM, BECAUSE THEY SAW HIS MIRACLES WHICH HE DID ON THEM THAT WERE DISEASED! JUST WENT UP INTO A MOUNTAIN, AND THERE HE SAT WITH HIS DISCIPLES! WHEN JESUS THEN LIFTED UP HIS EYES, AND SAW A GREAT COMPANY COME UNTO HIM, HE SAITH UNTO PHILIP, WHENCE SHALL WE BUY BREAD, THAT THESE MAY EAT! [FOR HE HIMSELF KNEW WHAT HE WOULD DO] There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?” MAKE THE MEN SIT DOWN! NOW THERE WAS MUCH GRASS IN THE PLACE! SO THE MEN SAT DOWN, IN NUMBER ABOUT FIVE THOUSAND! [AND JESUS TOOK THE LOAVES; AND WHEN HE HAD GIVEN THANKS, HE DISTRIBUTED TO THE DISCIPLES, AND THE DISCIPLES TO THEM THAT WERE SET DOWN; AND LIKEWISE OF THE FISHES AS MUCH AS THEY WOULD! [WHEN THEY WERE FILLED, HE SAID UNTO THE DISCIPLES, GATHER UP THE FRAGMENTS THAT REMAIN, THAT NOTHING BE LOST] DON’T LOSE THE MIRACLE! DON’T WASTE THE MIRACLE! THE MIRACLE THE GOES BEYOND THE FILLING! WHERE DID THESE BASKETS GO? WHO TOOK THESE BASKETS HOME WITH THEM? AND FILLED TWELVE BASKETS WITH THE FRAGMENTS OF THE FIVE BARLET LOAVES, WHICH REMAINED OVER AND ABOVE UNTO THEM THAT HAD EATEN! [VERILY, VERILY, I SAY UNTO YOU, YE SEEK ME, NOT BECAUSE HE SAW THE MIRACLES, BUT BECAUSE YE DID EAT OF THE LAOVES, AND WERE FILLED! LABOUR NOT FOR THE MEAT WHICH PERISHETH, BUT FOR THAT MEAT WHICH ENDURETH UNTO EVERLASTING LIFE!

            FED AND FILLED YET TURNING AWAY AND DEPARTING! FED AND FILLED YET LEAVING OFFENDED! FED AND FILLED YET HAVING AN ISSUE WITH THE WORDS OF JESUS!

            THE HEALING OF BETHESDA AND THE OFFENSE OF THE SABBATH! THE FEEDING OF FIVE THOUSAND AND THE OFFENSE OF BREAD! When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find two distinct events taking place within the public life and ministry of Jesus the Christ—events which would directly impact His image, His reputation, and His ministry among the Jews. If and as you read the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ as it was written by the apostle John you will encounter and come face to face with the fact that Jesus’ ministry—regardless of whether it was His words or His actions—greatly offended the Jewish people. With this being said, it’s important for us to recognize and understand the gospel narrative written by the apostle John allows us a powerful glimpse into the public ministry of Jesus in the midst of Judaea, as it would be in Judaea and Jerusalem Jesus would experience some of His greatest opposition and persecution. In all reality, I am absolutely and completely convinced that we cannot and must not neglect the words which are found in the fifth chapter of the New Testament gospel written by the apostle John, for it is the events found in the fifth chapter which directly impact and are linked to that which we find in the seventh chapter. What’s more, is I would dare say that you cannot read the words found in the seventh chapter of this gospel narrative without and apart from also reading and considering the words found in the fifth chapter, for the words written and recorded in the fifth chapter are the catalyst and the foundation for what is found in this chapter. Not only this, but what I find to be truly astonishing and remarkable is that what we find and read in the seventh chapter can and must also be understood in terms of the words we find in the fourth chapter as well, for it is in the fourth chapter of this gospel we find the encounter of Jesus passing through Samaria—and not only passing through Samaria, but also sitting down on a well in a city called Sychar, Jesus speaking with and entertaining conversation with a Samaritan woman, as well as Jesus dwelling and abiding within the city of Sychar among the Samaritans for two days. What would begin with Jesus needing to pass through Samaria would actually result in and transition to His dwelling and abiding there for two full days with the people of Samaria.

            Before I delve into the words which are found in the fifth chapter I feel it is first necessary to look ahead to what we find in the seventh chapter, as well as look back to what we find in the fourth chapter. There is not a doubt in my mind that the words we find in the seventh chapter are not only intrinsically linked to the words located in the fifth chapter, but also the words we find in the fourth chapter. As you read the words found in the seventh chapter you will not only find Jesus speaking to the Jews in Jerusalem concerning His healing of a man on the Sabbath day, but you will also find Jesus standing up on the last and great day of the Jewish feast which was taking place at that time and extending an offer unto all those who were willing. If and as you begin reading with the thirty-seventh verse of the seventh chapter you will find Jesus standing up in the midst of the people on the last and great day of the feast, and crying out in the hearing of the people with something very specific to say. In all reality, it is absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize and pay close attention to the words which are found in these verses, for it must needs cause us to look back to that which is found in the fourth chapter of this gospel narrative. What’s more, is that it’s actually quite interesting to read the words which are found in the seventh chapter of this gospel narrative, for while Jesus would stand up in the midst of the people and issue a great invitation to all those who were thirsty, He would essentially extend that offer and invitation in a city of Samaria first. It’s incredibly interesting to think about and consider that before Jesus would ever stand up in the midst of the city of Jerusalem and cry out in the hearing of all those who were thirsty, He would first speak personally and intimately in a city of Samaria to a woman who would come unto Jacob’s well to draw water. With this in mind I invite you to consider the words which are found in the seventh chapter of this gospel narrative, as well as the words which are found in the Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah:

            “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet. Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee? Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Beth-lehem, where David was? So there was a division among the people because of Him. And some of them would have taken Him; but no man laid hands on Him” (John 7:37-44).

            “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; Come ye, buy, and eat; Yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? And your labour for that which satisfieth not? Hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me: Hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David” (Isaiah 55:1-3).

            It’s worth reading and considering these words, for in the seventh chapter of the gospel written by the apostle John we find Jesus standing up on the last day, that great day of the feast, and crying out with a loud voice in the hearing of all those who were present, saying, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.” What’s more, is that not only would Jesus stand up and cry out inviting all those who were thirsty to come unto Him and drink, but Jesus would also emphatically declare that all those who believed on Him would—as the Scriptures spoke—have out of their belly flow rivers of living water. The apostle John would add additionally commentary to this illustration and picture of rivers of living water flowing out of all those who came unto Jesus, as the apostle John would declare that these words were spoken of the Holy Spirit which those who believed would receive. Moreover, the apostle John would go on to explain that although this promise was made unto all those who were thirsty it would not actually be fulfilled in its truest and ultimate sense because Jesus had not yet been glorified. Jesus did indeed stand up on the last and great day of the feast and invite all those who were thirsty to come unto him and drink, and Jesus would indeed declare unto them that out of their belly would flow rivers of living water, however, the ultimate fulfillment of that promise would not actually come until after Jesus returned and ascended unto the right hand of the Father which was in heaven. It would be after Jesus ascended unto the right hand of His Father who was in heaven and was glorified with the same glory He had with the Father from eternity He would send the promise of the Father, which was the person of the Holy Spirit. It would be on the day of Pentecost when a sound from heaven would fill the upper room where the one-hundred and twenty who were all in one accord and praying, and it would be in the upper room on the day of Pentecost those one-hundred and twenty would begin speaking in tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance, for cloven tongues of fire would rest upon each and every one of them.

            What makes the invitation and offer that we find in the seventh chapter of the gospel narrative written by the apostle John so incredibly powerful and captivating is when you think about and consider the words found in the fourth chapter. It is in the fourth chapter where we find Jesus needing to pass through Samaria, and while He was passing through Samaria He would sit down on a well being weary from His journey and travels. It would be at the sixth hour of the day Jesus would arrive at the well and would essentially sit there waiting for this Samaritan woman to arrive with her water jar. There is not a doubt in my mind that Jesus deliberately and intentionally showed up in the city of Sychar and at this well for the sole purpose of waiting for this woman to arrive that He might there at the well speak unto this woman concerning physical thirst—and not only spiritual thirst. As I sit here today I find the encounter and narrative at the well in Samaria to be truly astonishing and remarkable, for although Jesus would stand up in the city of Jerusalem on the last and great day of the feast and give an invitation to all those who were thirsty to come unto Him and drink, He would first extend that invitation unto a woman at a well in Samaria. Pause for a moment and think about that, for although Jesus would indeed stand up in the midst of the city of Jerusalem and among the Jews who were present in the city for that feast and invite all those who were thirsty to come unto Him and drink, He would first extend that invitation to come unto Him and drink to a Samaritan woman at the well. Stop and think about how absolutely incredibly this reality and concept truly is, for we would like to think that Jesus would indeed offer this invitation to come unto Him and drink to the Jews first, and yet this simply isn’t the case. Scripture declares that Jesus needed to pass through Samaria, and that it was there in Samaria He would sit down on a well waiting for this Samaritan woman to show up. Oh there is not a doubt in my mind that this Samaritan woman would have come unto this specific well at this specific time of the day—the sixth hour—and this was something Jesus knew, understood and discerned from the Father and of the Spirit. There is not a doubt in my mind that Jesus deliberately and intentionally showed up at this particular well at this particular time during the day that He might wait for this woman to arrive with her water jar, for Jesus would offer unto this woman something she had neither expected, nor anticipated.

            The more I think about the invitation that was given and offered unto the Jewish people in the city of Jerusalem, and the more I think about the encounter which took place between the Samaritan woman and Jesus at the well the more I am brought face to face with the fact that before Jesus would ever offer unto the Jews the invitation to come unto Him and drink He would first offer it unto a Samaritan woman. What’s more, is that it is quite possible that Jesus would not only offer this invitation unto this Samaritan woman alone, but would offer it unto those in the city of Sychar—perhaps even all those who would come from neighboring cities, towns and villages when people heard that the Messiah had come and was present among them in their midst. It is truly something worth thinking about and considering when you stop and think about how Jesus would first offer this invitation to come unto Him and drink, and HE would first offer this invitation for living water unto a Samaritan woman at a well in Sychar. What’s more, is that not only would Jesus offer this woman at the well the invitation to come unto Him and drink, but Jesus would offer it unto those with whom the Jews had no dealings. Oh it is absolutely necessary that we recognize and understand this truly remarkable and astonishing reality, for it is something worth noting that Jesus would speak of living water—and not only speak of living water, but also offer this living water unto those with whom the Jews had no dealings. It is as you read the words which are found in the fourth chapter of the gospel narrative written by the apostle John you will find Jesus sitting down on a well and asking this woman to give Him to drink, and it would be as Jesus asked this woman to give Him to drink a dialogue would open up between the two of them—a dialogue that would first begin with her statement of how and why Jesus would ask her to give Him to drink since the Jews had no dealings with Samaritans.

            It is truly something worth thinking about and considering how Jesus would sit there by a well and ask this Samaritan woman to give Him to drink, and in the process of asking her to give Him to drink the very first thing that would come out of her mouth was how Jesus being a Jew would ask her to give Him to drink since Jews had no dealings with Samaritans. In all the years I have read and studied the Scripture, and in all the times I have read these chapters found within the gospel narrative written by the apostle John I have never seen this reality and truth. I have read the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh chapters of the gospel narrative written by the apostle John and I have never seen the reality that before Jesus would speak unto the Jews in Jerusalem and invite all those who were thirsty to come unto Him and drink He would first offer that living water at a well in Samaria. Now to the natural mind this would seem to make no sense, for Scripture writes and records how Jesus would take on Himself the seed of Abraham, and how Jesus would be born among the Jews in the earth during those days. To the natural mind it would make no sense that Jesus would show up in Samaria—in a place where Jews would have no dealings—and not only show up in Samaria, but actually take the time to sit down upon a well in a Samaritan town that He might speak to a woman who would come unto the well. To our natural mind it does not make any sense that Jesus would choose to sit down at a well in a Samaritan town waiting for a Samaritan woman to show up with her water jar which she would use to draw water out of the well and speak to her concerning living water. It is something truly astonishing and remarkable to think about and consider the fact that before Jesus would ever show up in the city of Jerusalem offering unto the Jewish people an invitation to come unto Him and drink if they were thirsty He would first offer that living water in Samaria and unto a Samaritan woman. Oh there is something truly captivating about the narrative of a Jesus who would show up in Samaria—and not only show up in Samaria without advanced notice and without announcement—and would sit down upon a well waiting for this Samaritan woman to show up that He might take and turn a conversation about physical and natural water into a conversation about spiritual water and spiritual thirst. Oh we must needs recognize and understand that it was here at the well in the Samaritan city of Sychar Jesus would speak unto this woman concerning spiritual thirst, and would offer unto her the living water which He spoke of in the seventh chapter unto the Jews in the city of Jerusalem on the last and great day of the feast. It is with this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the fourth chapter of this gospel narrative written by the apostle John concerning the interaction and encounter between Jesus and this Samaritan woman—and not only between Jesus and this Samaritan woman, but also with the men and people of that city after the woman would come unto them speaking of a man who told her everything she ever did:

            “Then cometh He to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with His journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour. There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. (For His disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) Then saith the woman of Samaria unto Him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? For the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of Him, and HE would have given thee living water. The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: For salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when He is come, He will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am He. And upon this came His disciples, and marvelled that He talked with the woman: yet no man said, What sleekest thou? Or, Why talkest thou with her? The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? Then they went out of the city and came unto Him” (John 4:1-30).

            “And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on Him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that I ever did. So when the Samaritans were come unto Him, they besought Him that He would tarry with them: and He abode there two days. And many more believed because of His own word; and said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard Him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world” (John 4:39-42).

            The words which we find in this particular passage is actually quite astounding and quite remarkable when you take the time to think about and consider them, for not only did Jesus show up in Samaria and sit down upon this well waiting for this Samaritan woman to show up, but the text also seems to indicate that even after this woman left the company and presence of Jesus, and as this woman left her waterpot at the well with Jesus, she would go unto the men of the city and emphatically declare and proclaim unto them how there was a man who had told her everything she ever did. This is actually quite interesting, for the only invitation Jesus gave unto the woman to go and call someone else was for her to go and call her husband—a statement which the woman responded by declaring that she had no husband. There was never a single time during this encounter and interaction Jesus would instruct the woman to go into the city and speak unto all those in the city concerning the One she had encountered at the well. Within this text you will not find a single instance where Jesus instructed the Samaritan woman to return unto the city of Sychar and to speak unto the men of the city concerning the encounter she had with that One who claimed and stated that He was the Messiah. This woman would leave her water jar behind, and this woman would leave the company and presence of Jesus that she might return unto the city of Sychar to announce and proclaim in the midst of the city that there was a man who had told her everything she had ever done. What makes this truly astonishing and remarkable when you take the time to think about and consider this is that even after this Samaritan woman left, and even after she left her water jar behind at the well Jesus would not depart from the well. If and as you read the text found in this passage of Scripture you will find that neither Jesus nor His disciples left the well, but chose to remain and tarry there at the well. Stop and think about this for a moment as Jesus and His disciples would choose to tarry in the place of thirst, and Jesus would tarry in the place of physical and natural water until the men of the city would come out from the midst of it and come unto Him.

            WHEN JESUS WAITS IN THE PLACE OF THIRST! WHEN JESUS WAITS IN THE PLACE OF WATER! The more I think about this the more I am absolutely and completely astonished with and by the fact that not only would Jesus sit down at this well in the city of Sychar at the sixth hour as if He were waiting for this Samaritan woman, but so also would Jesus remain, abide and tarry at the well waiting for the men of the city to come out of the city and come unto Him. The entire narrative of Jesus in Samaria is not only centered upon the Word made flesh dwelling among us in a place where Jews would have no dealings, but it would be a narrative about a Jesus who was willing to tarry in that place that He might extend an open invitation to all those who were present in the midst of the city. As you read this text you will find that Jesus would not only wait and tarry at the well waiting for this woman, but Jesus would also tarry and wait at the well for the men of the city to come out of the midst of it and come unto Him. There is not a doubt in my mind that when Jesus saw this woman depart from His presence, and when Jesus saw her leave the water pot behind, He knew that she was returning unto and into the city to announce and proclaim that the Messiah was indeed and was in fact sitting at a well outside the city. I find it absolutely astonishing and remarkable that Jesus would not depart from the well after the woman departed from His presence, and after this woman had left her water pot there at the well. There seems to be every indication when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture that Jesus would deliberately and intentionally choose to abide there in the midst of Samaria and at the well waiting for the men of the city to come out of the midst of it and come unto Him. There is not a doubt in my mind that Jesus knew and perceived that the men of the city would come forth from the midst of it, and would come unto Him having heard the word and report of the woman. What a truly remarkable and powerful thought and concept it is to think and consider how Jesus would choose to tarry at the well after having already waited at the well for this Samaritan woman to show up. Jesus would sit down upon the well waiting for this woman to arrive, and even after this woman would leave and depart Jesus would still tarry and remain at the well knowing full well that the men of the city would come out based on the word which this woman would speak unto them. Stop and think about how absolutely incredible that thought truly is, for it’s one thing for Jesus to pass through Samaria on His way to Galilee, but it’s something else altogether for Jesus to sit down at a well and interact with a Samaritan woman, and it’s another thing for Jesus to tarry at and remain there at the well while the woman returned to the city and spoke unto the men therein of a man who told her everything she ever did.

            As you read the narrative of Jesus at the well in Samaria you will not only find Him tarrying and waiting for the woman at the well as He sat down upon it at the sixth hour, but you will also find Jesus remaining, abiding and tarrying there at the well until the men of the city would come out unto Him. Scripture makes it very plain and perfectly clear that many of the Samaritans of that city believed on Jesus for the saying of the woman, which testified, saying, HE told me all that I ever did. What’s more, is that earlier on in the chapter you will not only find this woman returning unto the city and speaking unto those in the midst of it concerning a man who had told her everything she had ever done, but she also suggested unto them that this man who was sitting at the well might very well be the Messiah. What adds even more weight and truth to this is that during the conversation and dialogue between Jesus and the woman she would speak unto Him concerning the Messiah and how they knew the Messiah would come. Upon hearing this Jesus would emphatically declare and proclaim unto her that He who spoke unto her was He—that He was the Messiah. Please note that this was one of—if not the only instances in all four of the gospels when Jesus would deliberately and intentionally speak and proclaim Himself as the Messiah. Even after Simon also called Peter declared and proclaimed that He was the Christ, the Son of the living God Jesus charged the disciples not to declare unto anyone that He was the Christ, nor that He was the Son of the living God. What we find in Samaria, however, is something entirely and altogether different, for when this woman spoke unto Jesus concerning their knowing the Messiah would come, Jesus would respond and declare unto her that He who spoke unto her was indeed the Messiah. Pause and think about this for a moment, for not only do we find Jesus showing up in Samaria and speaking of and offering this living water, but also here in Samaria we find Jesus proclaiming in the hearing of this woman that He was the Messiah. THE PRESENCE OF THE MESSIAH AND THE OFFER OF LIVING WATER! It would be there in Samaria where we would not only find Jesus speaking unto this Samaritan woman that He was the Messiah, but we also find Jesus offering her to drink of the living water which only He would provide. How absolutely and incredibly powerful it is to think about and consider this reality, for within the text we find Jesus at the well in Samaria declaring unto this woman that He was indeed the Messiah—a proclamation and declaration He would never make publicly in Jewry.

            What we must needs realize and recognize from this text is when you think about and consider the fact that the Samaritans were aware of the Messiah, and that the Messiah would indeed come into the earth. The simple fact that this woman would speak of the Messiah and declare how they knew that the Messiah would come speaks to and suggests the awesome and powerful truth and reality that not only would this woman, but so also would the Samaritans themselves anticipate and expect the Messiah. How absolutely captivating and beautiful it is to think about and consider the fact that although the Jews would have no dealings with the Samaritans the Samaritans would indeed wait in expectation and anticipation for the Messiah. It would be there at the well in Samaria Jesus would offer unto this woman living water, and it would be there at the well in Samaria Jesus would declare and proclaim unto her that He who spoke unto her was truly and indeed the Messiah. When the woman returned unto the city—not only would she return based on Jesus speaking unto her concerning everything she ever did, but she also returned unto the city speaking unto them concerning this One at the well who might very well be the Messiah whom they had waited for, and the Messiah whom they had expected and anticipated. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this awesome and powerful truth, for not only does it speak to the Messianic expectation within and among the Samaritans, but it also speaks to how absolutely provocative it was for Jesus to enter into Samaria and offer unto a Samaritan woman the living water He would speak about on the last and great day of the feast in Jerusalem. What’s more, is that Jesus would show up in Samaria and would declare unto this woman that He was indeed the Messiah—a declaration which He would not make in Jewry among the Jewish people. Jesus would never make the declaration among the Jews that He was indeed the Messiah—this despite the fact that He would make references to God as being His Father. Nowhere in the gospels will you find Jesus speaking unto the Jewish people and declaring that He was indeed the Messiah, and yet it would be here in Samaria Jesus would declare unto this woman at the well that He was indeed the Messiah. This declaration concerning Jesus being the Messiah coupled together with His telling her everything she had done would thrust this woman back into the city there in Samaria and cause her to speak unto the men of the city that there was a man who could be the Messiah.

            I absolutely love the powerful truth and reality of Jesus tarrying and abiding at the well, for after this woman departed from the well Jesus could have chosen to depart from it and complete His journey unto Galilee. I find it truly fascinating to read how Jesus would sit down upon this well and wait for this woman to arrive, how Jesus would tarry at the well after the woman would depart from His presence, and how Jesus would tarry and abide in the midst of Samaria with the Samaritans, for it is a powerful theme that is found within the gospel narrative which was written by the apostle John. It would be in the gospel narrative of the apostle John we find various references to Jesus tarrying and abiding in certain and specific places, thus further  confirming this powerful truth of the Word made flesh and dwelling among us. Here at the well outside of Sychar in the midst of Samaria Jesus would tarry and wait as though He was expecting and anticipating something. Scripture reveals how the disciples dare not ask Jesus why He was speaking with this Samaritan woman, and the disciples dared not ask what this woman was seeking, and I am inclined to believe that the disciples would not question Jesus as to why He would continue sitting there upon the well—even after the woman departed. Oh I can’t help but wonder what it must have been like for the disciples to stand there with Jesus as the men of the city came out of the midst thereof and came unto Jesus. What was it like for the disciples to watch as the men of this city would depart from the midst of it and make their way to Jesus because of the word which the woman had spoken unto them? Scripture reveals how many of the Samaritans of that city believed on Jesus for the saying of the woman, which testified, saying, He told me all that I ever did. It would be the testimony of this woman that would cause the men of the city to come out of the city having believed on Him, and it would be based on this reality the Samaritans would beseech Him that He tarry with them. Scripture reveals how Jesus would abide there in the city of Sychar two days. Not only this, but the apostle John goes on to write and record how many more believed because of Jesus’ own word. Oh there were those who believed on Jesus because of the word and saying of this woman, but there were many more who would believe on Jesus because of His own word. This actually makes me wonder what Jesus spoke and what Jesus taught while among the Samaritans. We know that Jesus spoke unto the woman at the well concerning living water, concerning the worship the Father desires and delights in, and that He was the Messiah, and I can’t help but think about the fact that it’s possible Jesus would speak along the same lines there in the company of the Samaritans who would come unto Him to hear and listen to Him speak.

            I sit here today thinking about and considering this reality, for not only would Jesus show up in a place where Jews would have no dealings, but Jesus would offer living water unto this Samaritan woman before He would ever offend it unto the Jews. What’s more, is that it would be here in this place where Jews would have no dealings Jesus would make the declaration in the hearing of the woman that He was indeed the Messiah whom she had spoken of. It would be here in this place where the Jews would have no dealings that we find a powerful sense of expectation and anticipation surrounding the Messiah, for although the Jews had no dealings with the Messiah this woman makes it perfectly and abundantly clear that the Samaritans were waiting for and expecting the Messiah. The words which the Samaritan woman spoke unto Jesus wonderfully and powerfully display the tremendous truth that the Samaritans would indeed look for, would indeed expect, and would indeed anticipate the Messiah who was to come, and here at the well Jesus would speak unto this woman and declare unto her that He who spoke unto her was indeed the Messiah. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this concept for it would be here in this place outside of Jewry, and in this place Jews would have no dealings that Jesus would not only offer living water, but would also make the declaration unto the woman that He was truly and indeed the Messiah. It would be here in the midst of Samaria the declaration would be made that Jesus was the Messiah, and the offer of living water would be given unto this Samaritan woman. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this truly captivating reality, for it is entirely and altogether provocative when you think about the fact that Jesus would show up in Samaria—in this place outside of Jewry where Jews would have no dealings—and would not only offer living water, but would also make the declaration that He was indeed the Messiah. It would be here in Samaria Jesus would first offer the living water which we would later learn is a reference to the Holy Spirit, and it would be here in Samaria where Jesus would make the declaration that He who spoke unto this woman was indeed the Messiah. Oh how truly wonderful it is to think about and consider this awesome and powerful truth, for it would be in this city of Samaria Jesus would tarry and abide for two days as He would undoubtedly not only speak of and offer living water, but would also powerfully and wonderfully proclaim Himself as the Messiah they had been longing for and expecting.

            The more I read and consider the words which are found in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John the more I am absolutely captivated with and by the person and presence of Jesus the Christ—and not only the person and presence of Jesus the Christ, but also the awesome and powerful truth that the apostle John presents Him as the Word which became flesh and dwelt among us. You cannot read the gospel narrative written by John and not encounter and come face to face with the striking and beautiful truth that Jesus was truly and indeed the Word which became flesh and dwelt among us, and that Jesus chose to dwell and abide with us right where we are. If and as you read the words found in the fifth chapter you will find an event which took place during the public life and ministry of Jesus the Christ—one which would be referenced and spoken of again in the seventh chapter. As you read the words found in the fifth chapter you will again find Jesus in the city of Jerusalem at the time of one of the feasts of the Jews. It would be during this time of the feast we would find Jesus arriving and showing up in a place we wouldn’t expect Him to show up at. Upon reading the words found in the fifth chapter you will find that there was at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which was called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, and which had five porches. It would be in each of these porches there would lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, and withered—all those who would lie here in this place waiting for something very specific to take place. The apostle John wrote concerning all those who were present in this place how they were waiting for the waters of the pool to be stirred, for an would come down at a certain season into the pool, and would trouble the water. Whosoever among all those who were present there in these five porches stepped down into the pool first was made whole of whatsoever disease they had. The apostle John writes concerning this particular place that there was a certain man, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. There was within this place of great need a man who had an infirmity for thirty and eight years—a need which would be present within this man’s life at least eight years before Jesus would be born in the town of Bethlehem. There would be within one of these porches a man who had an infirmity for thirty and eight years, and who would lie there waiting and hoping for a chance and opportunity to receive healing and wholeness within his physical body. We know for a fact that this man was indeed waiting for a miracle and hoping that he would receive this miracle, for when Jesus spoke unto him concerning being made whole he would speak of how he had no man who would put him into the water when the water was troubled. Not only this, but this man would also declare that while he would be on his way to the waters of the pool another would step down before him.

            What makes the words found in this passage of Scripture so incredibly captivating is when you think about and consider the fact that it is undeniable that miracles did indeed and miracles did in fact take place here at this pool in the city of Jerusalem. The man’s testimony further confirms the reality that there were times and seasons when the waters would indeed be troubled by an angel from heaven, and how when he was making his way down to the waters there would be another who would step in front of and before him. It’s actually quite intriguing to read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture, for when Jesus would speak to this man—not only would he speak of and declare that he had no man who would lead—and perhaps even carry him down unto the waters of the pool when they were troubled. What’s more, is that this man would also go on to declare that as he would make his way down to the waters there would be another who would step down into the waters of the pool before him and would be healed. Pause for a moment and think about the fact that this man was in need and was in need in a place of need and yet would have no one who would bring him down to the waters. It is one thing to be in need, it’s one thing to be in need in a place of need where you’re surrounded by need, but it’s something else altogether to be in and have a need and not have anyone who can help you receive healing and wholeness within your physical body. It is something truly worth noting and pointing out that this man was in need—and was not only in need, but would have that need for thirty and eight years. Scripture is unclear whether or not this man had spent thirty and eight years lying in that place—only that this man had this need for thirty and eight years. Scripture makes it perfectly clear that this man had this infirmity for thirty and eight years, and how he lie in this place surrounded by others who themselves had needs within their own lives. It’s something worth noting and pointing out that this man had an infirmity within his physical body, and had a need within his life for thirty and eight years and was confined and bound to this particular place in need and surrounded by need. Pause for a moment and think about the fact that this man was in need surrounded by need in a place of need and having no one to bring him into that place of healing. IN NEED SURROUNDED BY NEED IN A PLACE OF NEED AND YET HAVING NO ONE!

            I am sitting here right now thinking about this pool which was in the Hebrew tongue called Bethesda, and I find myself being unable to move past the reality of being in need, surrounded by need, in a place of need, and yet having absolutely no one to help you enter into that place of healing and wholeness. This man had an infirmity for thirty and eight years, and this man would be found within this place of blind, halt and withered people—people who were undoubtedly left to rot until they passed from this life into the next. It’s quite interesting how the word “withered” was used in this text, for there is not a doubt in my mind that all those who were in this place called Bethesda—despite the fact that they were sons and daughters of Abraham—many of them were simply left to rot and wither. I would even dare say that there were very few of the Jews who would actually venture down into this pool called Bethesda and unto these who were impotent, blind, halt and withered. Even though those who were found in this place were indeed sons and daughters of Abraham like the rest of Jewry was there would be very few who would actually venture down into this place. What’s more, is that it would seem that the only ones who actually made it out of this place were those who entered into the waters after they had been troubled by the angel at a specific season. It would be in this place of need where very few would actually depart and leave, and I would dare say even fewer would actually venture into it. There is not a doubt in my mind that what we find here in this text is a powerful picture of a place which was completely and utterly filled with need—a place where although there was a tremendous amount of need there would be very few who actually made it out of that place. What’s more, is that those who were in that place might have felt that once they arrived in that place they would be confined and relegated to that place for the rest of their lives. Oh I can’t help but wonder how much hopelessness and despair was actually found present in this place as men and women who were present in the midst of this pool felt as though once they arrived in this place they would be there for the duration of their lives and basically and essentially be there to rot and wither away until they were no more.

            The more I think about and the more I consider that which is found in the fifth chapter the more I am absolutely astonished and amazed that not only would Jesus—the Word become flesh which would dwell among us—enter into this place of great need during a time of celebration, but so also would He choose to do it on the Sabbath day. There is within this text two incredibly powerful truths concerning Jesus, for not only do we find Jesus willing to go down and enter into this place which many within Jewry would otherwise avoid and shy away from, but Jesus would also do it on the sabbath day. In fact, it was the man himself who would experience healing according to the word of Jesus who would also experience the ire, the cynicism, the criticism, the judgment and the condemnation of the Jews as he would carry the mat he had lied upon—perhaps for thirty and eight years. It’s absolutely astonishing to think about and consider the fact that not only would Jesus deliberately and intentionally choose to journey down into this place of great and tremendous need which would have largely been avoided by many of the Jews, but Jesus would also choose to do it during a time of celebration. Undoubtedly there would be countless men and women who would journey unto Jerusalem at the time of this feast and celebration that they might observe the feast, and yet we find Jesus coming unto Jerusalem for more than simply this feast. We know that there was a feast of the Jews which would take place in the midst of the city of Jerusalem—one which countless Jews from throughout Judaea, Galilee, and the surrounding regions would journey unto the city to celebrate and observe. There would be countless Jews who would make their way unto the city of Jerusalem specifically and solely for this feast, and yet we find Jesus going up at the time of a feast—not necessarily for the feast alone, but that He might engage in ministry in a place of great and tremendous need. It’s truly something worth thinking about and considering when you read these words how not only would Jesus choose to go down into this place which those within Jewry would avoid—perhaps at all costs—but would also choose to go down into this place at a time of celebration. Not only this, but Jesus would also choose to go down into this place on the Sabbath day. ENTERING A PLACE OF NEED AT A TIME OF CELBRATION AND OBSERVANCE! There is within this text a powerful sense—not only of celebration concerning the feast itself, but also of observance, of tradition and obedience to the Law of Moses. Within this text we are brought face to face with the awesome and powerful truth that not only would Jesus enter into this place during and at a time of celebration, but so also would Jesus enter and bring into it healing on the Sabbath.

            Within this text we are brought face to face with two traditions found within the Law of Moses—namely, one of the Jewish feasts which Moses would command according to the word of the LORD spoken unto him at Sinai, as well as the Sabbath. In all reality, I find this to be a wonderful and powerful demonstration of that which the Word made flesh and which would dwell among us can and will do to bring healing and wholeness in the midst of needs which are present before and all around us. The text before us in the fifth chapter not only shows the Word which became flesh dwelling among us journeying down into a place of need at a time of celebration, but it also shows us the Word made flesh and dwelling among us journeying down into a place of need on the Sabbath. It would be Jesus the Christ who would go into that place which many Jews would otherwise avoid that He might bring healing and wholeness into the life of one who was in need in the place of need surrounded by need and yet having no one to help him in that place of need. IN NEED SURROUNDED BY NEED IN A PLACE OF NEED WITHOUT ANYONE TO HELP! Stop for a moment and ask yourself if you have ever found yourself in this place within your life—that place of being in need, that place of having a need, and that place of being surrounded by need in the place of need, and yet having absolutely no one to help you in that place. Have you ever found yourself in the place of need without having anyone to help you enter into that place of healing and wholeness? Have you ever found yourself in a place where while you are seeking to enter into that place where you might receive healing and wholeness there are others who seem to enter into that place before you? This man at the pool of Bethesda had an infirmity for thirty and eight years and was confined and bound to this place of hopelessness and despair. What’s more, is that as much as this place was a place of hopelessness and despair it was almost as if it was a place filled with hopelessness and despair and yet there were small glimpses of hope. This place was undoubtedly a place of hopelessness and despair, and yet even in that place of hopelessness and despair there were men and women who actually dared to hope, and those who dared to believe. Not only this, but I would also dare say that while this place was a place of hopelessness and despair it was also a place of disappointment and frustration—particularly and especially when you were attempting to make your way down into the waters after the angel had troubled them as you tried to receive your healing and miracle.

            Stop for a moment and think about that which is found in this passage of Scripture, for what you find in this passage of Scripture is a place filled with hopelessness and despair, and yet in the midst of that hopelessness and despair there was almost this all illusive and fleeting hope that was set before you. Those who were in this place knew that the waters would be troubled by an angel at a certain season, and I can’t help but wonder if that was a draw for countless men and women as they either made their way to this place, or as they would have others bring them to this place. I can’t help but wonder how many men and women spent day after day and night after night living in this place of hopelessness and despair as they would wait for the waters to be troubled. There is not a doubt in my mind that while this place was indeed a place of great hopelessness it was also a place of expectation as men and women knew that there was a certain season when the waters were troubled by an angel. Undoubtedly men and women knew that whoever entered into the waters first after the angel had come down and troubled them would be made whole of whatever disease was present within their physical bodies. Oh I can’t help but be captivated with and by this truth, for there were countless men and women who are not only in need, but are in a place of need surrounded by need and yet have absolutely no one to help them receive and experience wholeness and healing within their lives. Not only this, but I can’t help but see this pool which was called Bethesda as a powerful picture of many houses of worship and even many churches today which have those in the midst of it who are in need, and those who are in need are waiting for that time and that season when they can receive and experience healing, wholeness, deliverance, freedom, and the like within their lives, and yet they are left wanting, waiting, discouraged, and frustrated. As if the need itself wasn’t bad enough to deal with and handle these individuals are also left waiting for something they are sure might never even take place and happen within their lives. Pause for a moment and think about the awesome and incredible reality that there are men and women who are in a place of need and who are spending their days hoping and waiting for something they aren’t even sure is going to come. Not only are these men and women in need and unsure if what they are waiting for is ever going to come, but they also watch as others experience healing, wholeness, deliverance, and freedom within their lives. Oh what do you do when you yourself are in need and are surrounded by need while you’re waiting and hoping for your time to come, and yet that time never seems to arrive? [I know within my heart and am absolutely and completely convinced there are countless men and women who are in this very place right now].

            IF there is one thing I so absolutely love about this text it’s that not only was Jesus willing to go down into these porticos found within this pool, but so also was Jesus willing to do so at a time of celebration. Stop and think about how many people would have been in Jerusalem during and at this time, and how many men and women would have completely avoided this particular place within the city. Despite the fact that these individuals were indeed sons and daughters of Abraham their fellows Jews would make absolutely no effort to move among them bringing encouragement. It would be on this particular day, however, that not only would Jesus venture down into one of the porticos at the pool, but Jesus would also bring healing into the physical body and life of this man. SEASONS AND THE SABBATH! It’s interesting and worth noting that this passage speaks of a certain season when the angel would come down from heaven and would trouble the waters, and whoever among those within the porticos would step down into the waters first would be healed and made whole. It’s interesting and worth noting that there were countless men and women who were present within this place waiting for a specific season to come when the waters would be troubled, and yet this particular man would receive and experience healing and wholeness—not within the season of the troubled waters, but on the Sabbath day. Not only this, but this man would receive and experience healing on the Sabbath day at a time of celebration when the city of Jerusalem would have been filled with countless men and women who would have been present within the city for the feast. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this awesome and powerful truth, for there is something to be said about the Word made flesh who would dwell among us and who would dare venture into this place of tremendous need at a time of celebration—and not only at a time of celebration, but also on the Sabbath. Jesus was willing to venture down into this place of need during a time of celebration, and was willing to do so on the sabbath day that He might bring healing and wholeness into the life and body of this man who was indeed a son of Abraham. It’s truly something worth thinking about and considering when reading this text, for this man had undoubtedly spent a considerable amount of time waiting for a specific season and for something he wasn’t even sure would ever take place of come within his life. Here on this particular day, however, Jesus would come down into this place and would bring healing to this man on the Sabbath day when he was waiting for a certain and specific season. How truly astonishing it is to think about and consider the fact that this man was waiting for a certain and specific season to come and yet Jesus would show up on the Sabbath—on a day when many would not even expect Him to show up.

SHOWING UP IN CELEBRATION AND ON THE SABBATH! Jesus would show up at the pool called Bethesda on the Sabbath day in the middle of one of the feast of the Jews that He might bring healing and wholeness within the life of this man who had this infirmity for thirty and eight years. Oh how absolutely incredible this reality truly is when you take the time to think about it, for not only would Jesus show up at a time of celebration, but Jesus would also show up at a time of observance. What’s more, is Jesus would show up and bring healing at a time which many would not expect or even think He would, for Jesus would show up on a Sabbath day when most would not even be thinking about—much less expecting healing and wholeness. I find it truly captivating to consider this narrative for Jesus would show up on a Sabbath day when most would not even think to expect or receive a miracle. Furthermore—not only would Jesus show up on the sabbath day when most would not even think He would show up, but He would offer this man healing on the sabbath and instruct him to rise and take up his mat knowing what it would do within the hearts and minds of the Jews. Jesus would show up on the sabbath day here at the pool called Bethesda and bring healing to this man’s physical body, and would instruct him to take up his mat knowing how it would provoke the Jews in their thinking, in their tradition, in their rules, and the like. There is not a doubt in my mind that Jesus deliberately and intentionally brought healing to this man at a time of celebration on the Sabbath day to provoke the Jews in their hearts and minds as Jesus would seek to challenge the hearts and minds of all those which would be present in Jerusalem at this particular time. Oh that we would pay close and careful attention to this particular truth and reality, and that we would come face to face with the Word made flesh and dwelt among us who is not only willing to show up at a time of celebration on the Sabbath day, but is also willing to bring healing and wholeness within the hearts and lives of men and women who would otherwise be despised, rejected, marginalized, ignored, and vilified by society.

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