Living with and for Jesus makes a major change in our lives, it changes the random to purposed and
coincidence to planned. As we read the gospels we see many interactions in
Jesus’ life that seem as if they don’t fit or don’t make sense or can simply be
shrugged off as unimportant, but then we see the outcome of those interactions
and realize that God had beautifully ordered those steps for incredible eternal
purposes.

 

We find one such interaction in the story of the woman at the well in John 4. Jesus and His
disciples were traveling from Judea to Galilee and the journey took them through
Samaria. They came to a point in the journey in which Jesus was tired and they
were all hungry and so Jesus sat down by a well and the disciples went into the
local city to buy bread. As Jesus sat alone by the well a Samaritan woman came
to fill her water pot. As she drew water from the well Jesus asked her to give
him a drink. At first glance, none of this seems even worth recording, what is
the benefit of knowing the details of this trip or Jesus’ request for water?
The first clue that this is important comes in the woman’s response to Jesus’
request, “How is it that you, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan
woman?”John explains further that Jews had no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus’
question surprised the woman not because she didn’t expect Him to be thirsty
but because she didn’t expect Him to find her worthy of any interaction. In a
simple request for water Jesus had done something incredibly significant, He
had changed a woman’s expectations and He had disregarded centuries of
prejudice by restoring the order of human equality.

 

Prejudice and division are affronts to our Creator. When He made man and woman He looked upon us and
called us good. Sin has ravaged us, it has changed our hearts, our minds, the
garden we were created to inhabit and the unity we were created to enjoy both
with God and with each other; but sin has not changed the reality that the
Creator called man good when He made us. “We all have sinned and come short of
the glory of God”, but sin has not changed the purpose we were created for, “to
enjoy God and to bring Him glory.” Separations because of race, gender, class,
culture or any other worldly difference reduce humanity from the one part of
creation made in God’s image to our own creation that we have the power to
judge, divide and disown.

 

Jesus had a conversation with a Samaritan woman, He asked her to serve Him a drink, we overlook the
relevance of this interaction, but it was scandalous; just as it was when He
touched the leper, healed on the Sabbath, allowed a “sinful” woman to anoint
His feet and an unclean woman to touch the hem of His garment. When we think of
scandal we envision things done in secret that finally come out, but Jesus
created scandals by doing things in the open that turned the order and ideas of
the day upside down. What Jesus was doing though was simple; He was restoring
the order of His Father. The diseased were never meant to be hidden in shame,
the Sabbath was never meant to keep men from doing what God had created them to
do, sinners were not meant to be separated from God by their guilt and those
created in the image of God were never meant to be separated by bigotry. Jesus
restored the order of heaven by disrupting the order of earth.

 

I believe that it is time for the Body of Christ to walk in the example of Jesus and begin disrupting the
order of earth by restoring the order of heaven. How do we do this? The simple
answer is to be led by the Holy Spirit, but what does that look like? It looks
like Jesus, it is not allowing the comfort of the world to distract us from the
truth of His Word, not allowing the rejection of man to keep us from walking in
the fullness of God and now allowing our own affection for our culture to get
in the way of God’s leading to set our affections on things above. The truth is
that many of us have gotten used to living with things upside down, but we
cannot measure our steps by what we have become used to, we must choose to have
our steps ordered by the restorative, redeeming power of God.

 

What appeared to be a random rest stop on a journey to Galilee was actually an ordered plan of God to
bring salvation to the Samaritans. By the time Jesus and the disciples left
Sychar, many from the city had come to believe that Jesus was “the Christ, the
Savior of the world.” I will write about this more soon, but for today, the
first step to the salvation of a city was Jesus’ willingness to disrupt the
world’s order and restore the order of heaven by tearing down the walls of
prejudice. What if our most random interactions were God’s planned moments of
restoration? What if the person that made you the most uncomfortable was the
one that would bring God the most glory? What if changing your life would
change the world? I don’t know any of the details of your life right now, but I
know this, when that woman made her daily trip to get water she had no idea
that she would be treated well by a Jewish man, meet the Messiah or become the
catalyst for the salvation of her city, but Jesus was fully aware. Today, if we
will allow the Holy Spirit within us to restore His order in and through our
lives, we just might see the beginning of a harvest of salvation!

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