Trinity Vineyard Sunday Morning

Stairway to Heaven

June 15, 2024 Trinity Vineyard Church Season 2 Episode 29
Stairway to Heaven
Trinity Vineyard Sunday Morning
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Trinity Vineyard Sunday Morning
Stairway to Heaven
Jun 15, 2024 Season 2 Episode 29
Trinity Vineyard Church

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Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?”
- John 5:4b-7

Let's get this straight... did Jesus have to go through Samaria? It was the shortest route, but it was not the only route. If Jesus 'has to', it is not a geographical imperative so much as missional necessity. Jesus had to go through Samaria because that is where the Samaritans were and that was where he would meet the Samaritan woman.

There's the first bit of scandal. For various reasons, and even though they shared a religious heritage, the Jews despised the Samaritans. They were seen as untouchable. Jesus readily crosses what at the time was thought to be an important barrier. But that's not the only code-breaking going on. Biblically, wells are places of betrothal. Wells are involved in the first meetings/betrothals of Rebekah and Isaac, Jacob and Rachel, and Moses and Zipporah. Oh, and one last thing. This is the area where Jacob's family had settled for a time. The story - which you can read in Genesis 34 - is one of deception, illicit sex, and a terrible massacre. At the centre of that story is Dinah, apparently unloved by her father, used or ignored by others. 

This, then, is a very strange place for Jesus to find himself in. What was he up to?There is in fact a discussion of the woman’s marital status and a confrontation of her dubious past and present. After all of the betrothals in the Old Testament, hospitality is offered and received. In Exodus 2, Zipporah goes back to her father and reports she had been saved by an Egyptian shepherd. Jethro, although a priest of Midian, eventually recognises God’s power and becomes a worshiper of Yahweh. The Samaritan woman leaves her water jar and goes back to the settlement. She has been saved by the Good Shepherd, and many believe because of her testimony. Just as Moses ends up staying in the house of Jethro, Jesus stays with the Samaritans for two days. So, it is and it isn’t a betrothal scene - but the marriages in the Old Testament always are a moment where God's plan continues to unfold. That is the core of what is happening here.

But if the woman is like Zipporah, she is also like Dinah - an unloved daughter of Jacob. And just like Jacob himself, she is grasping for connection and satisfaction. And just like Jacob, this grasping has gone wrong in so many ways. And just like Jacob at Bethel, the meeting with Jesus convinces he that God has been closer to her than she could have imagined.

In Jesus words to the woman - "bring me your husband" - I hear a word to us. Bring me your plans, your dreams, your grasping. Tell me, did they work? If we're honest enough to admit that they have not, then a new opportunity opens for us - the living water of new life, flowing without end.

Show Notes

Send us a Text Message.

Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?”
- John 5:4b-7

Let's get this straight... did Jesus have to go through Samaria? It was the shortest route, but it was not the only route. If Jesus 'has to', it is not a geographical imperative so much as missional necessity. Jesus had to go through Samaria because that is where the Samaritans were and that was where he would meet the Samaritan woman.

There's the first bit of scandal. For various reasons, and even though they shared a religious heritage, the Jews despised the Samaritans. They were seen as untouchable. Jesus readily crosses what at the time was thought to be an important barrier. But that's not the only code-breaking going on. Biblically, wells are places of betrothal. Wells are involved in the first meetings/betrothals of Rebekah and Isaac, Jacob and Rachel, and Moses and Zipporah. Oh, and one last thing. This is the area where Jacob's family had settled for a time. The story - which you can read in Genesis 34 - is one of deception, illicit sex, and a terrible massacre. At the centre of that story is Dinah, apparently unloved by her father, used or ignored by others. 

This, then, is a very strange place for Jesus to find himself in. What was he up to?There is in fact a discussion of the woman’s marital status and a confrontation of her dubious past and present. After all of the betrothals in the Old Testament, hospitality is offered and received. In Exodus 2, Zipporah goes back to her father and reports she had been saved by an Egyptian shepherd. Jethro, although a priest of Midian, eventually recognises God’s power and becomes a worshiper of Yahweh. The Samaritan woman leaves her water jar and goes back to the settlement. She has been saved by the Good Shepherd, and many believe because of her testimony. Just as Moses ends up staying in the house of Jethro, Jesus stays with the Samaritans for two days. So, it is and it isn’t a betrothal scene - but the marriages in the Old Testament always are a moment where God's plan continues to unfold. That is the core of what is happening here.

But if the woman is like Zipporah, she is also like Dinah - an unloved daughter of Jacob. And just like Jacob himself, she is grasping for connection and satisfaction. And just like Jacob, this grasping has gone wrong in so many ways. And just like Jacob at Bethel, the meeting with Jesus convinces he that God has been closer to her than she could have imagined.

In Jesus words to the woman - "bring me your husband" - I hear a word to us. Bring me your plans, your dreams, your grasping. Tell me, did they work? If we're honest enough to admit that they have not, then a new opportunity opens for us - the living water of new life, flowing without end.