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— “When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John,(Though Jesus himself baptized not,but his disciples,) He left Judaea,and departed again into Galilee.And he must needs go through Samaria.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.” John 4:1-10

Does ethnic background or race make a difference when it comes to Jesus? Certainly not! When Jesus returned to Galilee from Judea, He could have taken the route used by most Jews in His day, bypassing Samaria on the east side of the Jordan River; but Jesus passed through Samaria and came to the place of Jacob’s well, just outside of Sychar, at mid-day. Jesus sent His disciples into town to buy food; but He, being tired from the journey, sat and rested at the well.

While there, a Samaritan woman came out to the well to draw water; and Jesus asked her for a drink. Not only was it surprising that a Jewish Rabbi would speak to a woman, but she was a Samaritan and the Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans.

(The Samaritans came to live in the land, once belonging to the northern tribes of Israel, under the Assyrians. When the Assyrian armies conquered Israel, they carried the people away and dispersed them in other lands and brought people of other lands and religious beliefs into the land of Israel to remove the possibility of nationalism and a revolt. The Samaritans accepted only a portion of the Old Testament Scriptures and changed part of that to establish worship there in Samaria rather than at Jerusalem. As a result of their mixed heritage and compromised religious beliefs, they were rejected by the Jews and regarded as unwanted aliens in the land promised to Israel.)

The woman of Samaria was surprised that Jesus, a Jew, would speak to her and ask her for a drink. She asked, “How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria?”

Jesus’ answer cut to the heart of the matter: “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.” If this woman knew of the gift that God desired to give to her and who it was sitting there at the well, she would have asked for and He would give to her living waters — waters which would quench her spiritual thirst and spring up into life everlasting (cf. v.14).

Should race, heritage or ethnic background keep anyone from Jesus? Certainly not! Jesus is not only the Messiah of the Jews. He is not just the Savior of those with a Christian background and heritage. Jesus is God the Son in human flesh. He came into this world to redeem all people and give them eternal life!

“God so loved the world” — all people in the world — “that He gave His only begotten Son….” (John 3:16). “He is the propitiation” — the atoning sacrifice — “for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2).

Jesus came into this world for everybody! When He suffered and died upon the cross, it was to pay the just penalty for the sins of all people! He has commanded that His followers “go … into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature….” (Mark 16:15).

Don’t let race, heritage, or ethnic background keep you from Jesus. He is the only-begotten Son of God, and He came into this world to go to the cross for you and pay for your sins that He might bring you to God and give you life everlasting with Him in heaven! If you only knew the gift of God and who it is calling you to come to Him through the preaching of God’s Word, you would ask of Him and He would give to you living waters to satisfy your soul!

Dearest Jesus,Son of God and my Savior,wash away my sins in Your shed blood and grant me Your Holy Spirit that I might continue to trust in You unto life everlasting.Amen.

[Scripture taken from the King James Version of the Bible]

News, Pages 4 on 12/16/2009

Print Headline: WEEKLY DEVOTION If You knew the Gift of God ....

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