For What It’s Worth…
Have one of those mornings, days, even weeks where you feel just empty? Do you ever feel completely lost and alone? Maybe you have asked yourself…
- What Am I Doing Here?
- Why Do I Or Should I Even Bother?
- What Is My Purpose? What Was I Made For?
I have to hand it to you….that has been me this week. Seeing the many talents, gifts, blessings, as well as relationships others have with one another I have pondered these very same things.
Looking back on these past few weeks I am reminded of a very important bible message that Adult Minister Garland taught throughout the course of Vacation Bible School a couple weeks ago.
Jesus With Zacchaeus & Jesus With The Samaritan Woman
Luke 19:1-10New International Version (NIV)
Zacchaeus the Tax Collector
19 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. 5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him,“Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. 7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” 8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
I remember reading as well as being told this story as a child. To this day, a bible song about this particular scriptural account of Jesus makes me smile. For all the teaching and the numerous times I grew up singing this song though, I missed the most important details of this encounter.
- Zacchaeus’ Reputation
- Zacchaeus was a tax collector
- Zacchaeus was not well liked
- Jesus’ influence
- Jesus had developed a reputation and a number of followers
- Jesus changed lives
Looking at these key points this story, this simple account becomes not so simple..but in fact transforms. It becomes truly profound. Jesus knew who Zacchaeus was, just as He knew who each of His disciples were when He called them. Regardless of their social standing and reputation, He called them and they came.
Why is this so important?
Because my dear brothers and sisters, Jesus knew their hearts. He knew that when He was to call upon curious Zacchaeus to leave the tree, that He would lead Zacchaeus to salvation. We see this in Zacchaeus’ willingness to repent as he pledges to atone for any cheating as well as debts to which he might be obligated. Isn’t that something?!
John 4:1-26New International Version (NIV)
Jesus Talks With a Samaritan Woman
Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John— 2 although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. 3 So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee. Now he had to go through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph.6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.[a]) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” 11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?” 13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again,14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” 16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.” 17 “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband.18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.” 19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.” 21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit And in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” 25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” 26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”
- The woman was a Samaritan while Jesus was a Jew
- The Samaritans were looked down upon by the Jewish people due to their acceptance of idol worship.
- Jews did not speak to Samaritans
- The conversation at the well
- Jesus knew the Samaritan woman’s heart. He knew of all the empty spaces and offered to fill them up with life giving water of salvation in Him.
Precious & Valued Beyond Measure
God knows you. Just as God knows me. He knows our every waking thought. He knows our feelings. God knows our deepest, darkest secrets. He knows us…inside and out.Yet….knowing all He does, He loves us.Just as He loved Zacchaeus and the Samaritan Woman at the well.
God loves us so much. That knowing us as He does, God forgives us and sent Jesus to die for us. You know what that makes us? Invaluable, precious, beloved, brothers and sisters you are priceless! God has plans for you. Just as he had plans for Zacchaeus and the Samaritan Woman. Just as He had plans for Moses, David, Peter, and Paul…He has plans for you!
Prayer For Today…
Dear Loving God,
Sometimes I have terrible thoughts that run through my head. Do you see me, dear Lord?
Do you see my struggle? You are mighty. You are strong and you love me. Set me free Lord!
Remove the bad thoughts that torment me. Cast the enemy out of my mind and my life.
Let no attack, deceit, or contamination affect me anymore. For I have been washed clean
by the blood of the Lamb. Your mighty spirit protects me always. All victory is yours alone.
Dear Loving Lord, clear my mind. Bring rest to my heart with the sweet caress of your
loving grace. In Jesus’ holy name…