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Upsetting the Apple Cart

Daily Reading: John 4

Scripture Focus: Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4.13-14)

Devotional Thought: Jesus relished upsetting the apple cart - especially man-made rules meant to produce righteousness. That is why the religious leaders hated him. Jesus was upsetting all of their man-made rules. His actions at the well of Samaria really upset some apples!

For Jesus to stop and talk to a woman, especially a Samaritan woman, would have been unheard of and a serious social faux pas. The disciples, when they returned and saw him speaking to her, “marveled that he was talking with a woman,” (v. 27), but at least they had the sense to refrain from questioning him. And not only was Jesus speaking to a woman, the woman he was speaking to was an adulteress and a five-time divorcee. The disciples were most likely concerned that Jesus was making a bad reputation for himself. But, Jesus knew exactly what he was doing.

Over and over Jesus upset man-made rules. Sinners from every walk of life who had committed the most heinous sins, were welcomed to eat with him. He mingled with tax collectors. He called rough-around-the-edges fishermen to be his closest followers, and then lowered himself to be a servant to them by washing their feet. He healed Jew and Gentile alike. He “violated” the Sabbath to feed his hungry disciples. For what reason did he do these things? Because he knows our need. “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance,” (Luke 5:31-32). Just like the Samaritan woman at the well, we come to Jesus stained with sin and desperate for the living water that only he can provide.


Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for meeting us where we are. We are broken, sinful, and incapable of righteousness in our own strength and efforts. Thank you for sending your Son to enter into our brokenness, to love us, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 33.16-22

16 The king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength. 17 The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue.

18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, 19 that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine.

20 Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. 21 For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. 22 Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.

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