All of us face adversity at various points in our lives. These adverse occasions take on various forms. They can be emotional, physical, economical, relational, etc. There are few people in history who have faced graver times of adversity than King David. In Psalm 4, we find David contending with his son Absalom, who has forced his father from the royal city, usurped his power, and sought to end his father’s life with the help of an army of soldiers. In the midst of his adversity, David’s response can serve as an example to us. Continue reading
Who rules the world? President Donald Trump? Chancellor Angela Merkel? Google? Jeff Bezos? The question is important, because how we answer it vastly impacts whether we have hope and to what degree of certainty we have that this hope will materialize. Continue reading
In the 1986 movie Short Circuit an experimental military robot struck by lightening develops self-awareness and escapes from his creators. He is constantly looking for more information and tells the young woman in whom he found sanctuary that he needs more input. His output is often determined by his input. When good goes in, good goes out. When garbage goes in, garbage goes out. Continue reading
When Jesus met the woman at the well, it seemed to be an accident. The gospel writer told us previously that it was necessary for Jesus to travel through Samaria (John 4:4). Since Samaria separated Judea and Galilee, it was necessary to pass through Samaria. Yet, it was also necessary for another reason.
We come to the end of the account of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well. Not only was it geographically necessary for Jesus to passthrough Samaria, it was also necessary for the salvation of a town. By all appearances, Jesus had no intention in spending time in Samaria. But, when the people incessantly ask him to stay, Jesus stays two days. As a result, many more Samaritans became believers in Jesus. (John 4:39-42)
Evangelism is rooted in neighbor love. Those who take authentic evangelism seriously do not see it as a chore or even a task; they see it as a way of living. Continue reading
The poster child of evangelism in John’s Gospel is not a Jew nor a man (in that male chauvinist society). Instead, it is a Samaritan woman, and one with a questionable past. With more zeal than any of the disciples – at least in John’s Gospel – she hastily goes out and tells her townspeople of the man she just met. Continue reading
What had started as a playful conversation all the sudden became quite serious. Jesus said to the Samaritan woman, “Go, call you husband and come back (John 4:16).” We can imagine her muttering and bumbling, “I have no husband (John 4:17).” While in her mind she may have reasoned her response to be true, yet in her heart she knew there was much more to her story. Her life had been a series of broken relationships. We can imagine the woman’s surprise when Jesus reveals his knowledge of her past, which sadly consists of five past husbands and a man she now lives with but is not her husband (John 4:18). Continue reading
There are many thirsts in life: thirsts for power, thirsts for relationship, thirsts for more material goods. Jesus conversation with the woman at the well started with a basic thirst – a thirst for a drink of water.
There she came. A woman. A Samaritan. She was alone. In first century Palestine, any non-aristocratic woman would have had to travel daily to retrieve water. Nearly all women traveled in groups. To travel alone was dangerous. There were thieves and other ill-intentioned people, not to mention wild animals. Yet, she came alone. (John 4:1-9) Continue reading
It is one of the most powerful declarations in all of Scripture: “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29).” This was the declaration of John the Baptist when he saw Jesus coming toward him.
In a culture where what has been called “resume virtues” directs the lives of many, we need more than ever to heed the Baptist’s words. Continue reading
When troubles and hardships come, our first reaction is often to panic. As the late Irish biblical scholar Alec Motyer said, “hardships breed a swarm of ‘Why.’” Why me? Why us? Why her? Why them? Why this way? Why this job? Why this relationship? Why does it hurt so much? Continue reading