Archive for April 28th, 2009

John 3:22 – 4:54


As I began reading this text, I remembered it contained the story of the woman at the well.  I remembered the words Jesus spoke to her about the water that He gives and that those who drink it will never thirst again.  Months ago those words moved me deeply.  But this time there was nothing.  I read it several times, thinking I just wasn’t concentrating enough; still, nothing. 


Out of all I read, the only thing that stood out was 4:3.  The Pharisees noticed that Jesus’ disciples were baptizing more people than John.  ‘When the Lord learned of this, he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.’


One thing I’ve noticed about how God works, is that when He is trying to show you something, He layers it to confirm and drive home the point.  Most of us would have gotten puffed up over the numbers.  Jesus fled from it.


Well it didn’t have the umph that the story of the woman at the well had, but I couldn’t deny that it was the part that God was trying to show me, so I kept reading.  For several days I read it.  Sometimes when the obvious does not stir us, He wants us to dig deeper.  There is something there. 


The next verse that seemed to stand out was 4:31.  When the disciples returned and found Jesus talking to the woman at the well, they urged Him to eat something.  I wondered if this took place during His 40 day fast.  The more I looked at it, the more it appeared to me that it did. 


John 3:22 ‘After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them and baptized.’


Mt. 4:1 ‘Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.’


I guess from the way Matthew puts it, I’ve always thought Jesus went out into the desert by Himself for 40 days.  But if this is the same event, John puts it differently.  I mentioned earlier that when God is trying to show me something, He has a way of layering different ways to confirm and drive home the point.  I think in our tempting, satan does the same.


We read in Matthew where satan tried to get Jesus to settle for fame; here in John, He is also tempted by fame.  When He learns of it, He left the area.  We read in Matthew where satan tried to get Him to eat by turning stones into bread.  In John we see the similar temptation coming through His disciples when they tried to get Him to eat something.


Matthew emphasizes the head to head with satan; John the routine everyday life stuff – not only the blatant, but also the subtle, and all simply to distract our focus.


The water that Jesus gives may be the icing, but I believe here, the Lord has shown me the ingredients for that icing.





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