Occasionally I will be dwelling on a verse or passage, ruminating on the message, (or to be honest, wandering off into some undisciplined daydreaming), and the Lord will bless me with a truth that is so obvious, so fresh and such a blessing that I just want to share it with you.
Such is the following passage, for as I was on my way to work this morning, this passage below opened up a bit to me. The truth is a well known doctrine, one that is so well known that is seems to be, I don’t know how to express it without being a complete loser, but that seems so much as “ho hum”, that is so “whatever”.
Let’s read the passage and then I hope I can explain myself.
Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.”
John 4:39-42 ESV
Many who have known of the Lord’s mercies mentally would give assent to this teaching, that is that Jesus is the Savior of the world, but with various exceptions that I have no intention of entering into. What I would like to consider is the context this statement was made in.
Jesus is in Samaria, where the religious elite, dag nab it, even the average Jew would not consider venturing into. No self respecting Jew would cross Samaria to get to the other side of the area, nor would they help a looser Samaritan, or even visit the depicable people for any reason. The Samaritan dirt was exceptionally dirty! The Samaritans were considered spiritual apostates of the worst kind, those who mixed idolatry with Moses. Horrible people in the eyes of the spiritually superior. Just horrible
Jesus ventured into this dark territory risking the shame of it all, associating with those who were not worthy.
Jesus ventured into this area and had the audacity to speak to a Samaritan, and not only to speak to a Samaritan, but a Samaritan woman, and adulterous Samaritan woman. The passage tells the story of Jesus confronting the woman with His identity, and with her sin (which is a result of understanding who He is!) And although He is the only One who has authority to judge and condemn, He freely speaks with her, is inviting to her and challenges her in her decisions. Some of the statements He provides to this dirty rotten sinner are absolutely mind blowing.
He tells her He is the Christ (John 4:26). The disciples were not given this direct of truth yet. This is the first time Jesus reveals His deity in the Gospels so clearly.
Eventually, the woman succumbs to the truth, believes who she is talking to, and runs off to the villagers she has lived with. Or should I say she has existed with, since I understand she was not a pillar of the community, but likely considered a bit of an outcast, a used up woman of little worth.
And she told the men. A woman speaking the gospel to men. (Remind you of any other time women carried good news to men?)
Such is the story I was listening to prior to the passage above. The Samaritan men believe this woman (small miracle!), and venture out to the well to see this spectacle.
Upon hearing the Messiah for themselves, many believed, and begged Him to remain in dirty ol’ Samaria. He stayed. He actually stayed with these dirty folk. And these dirty Samaritans spoke to the woman, saying…
we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world
Note that these unlearned, unschooled, spiritually dumb, deaf and dead sinners broke forth with a statement that many of the apostles would not catch for years to come. Those dirty Samaritans didn’t claim He was the Savior of the Jews, or King of the Jews.
No no no.
He is the Savior of the World.
The WORLD, my friends. In the Greek, it is the term kosmos, and includes the following meanings in the New Testament.
- an apt and harmonious arrangement or constitution, order, government
- ornament, decoration, adornment, i.e. the arrangement of the stars, ‘the heavenly hosts’, as the ornament of the heavens. 1 Pet. 3:3
- the world, the universe
- the circle of the earth, the earth
- the inhabitants of the earth, men, the human family
- the ungodly multitude; the whole mass of men alienated from God, and therefore hostile to the cause of Christ
- world affairs, the aggregate of things earthly
- the whole circle of earthly goods, endowments riches, advantages, pleasures, etc, which although hollow and frail and fleeting, stir desire, seduce from God and are obstacles to the cause of Christ
- any aggregate or general collection of particulars of any sort
- the Gentiles as contrasted to the Jews (Rom. 11:12 etc)
Now I don’t want to make this into a word study, other than for the sake of making my point. Notice that this term is spoken of in reference to the inhabitants of the earth (5), the ungodly multitude (6), even to the gentiles as contrasted with the Jews(8).
As I wander through the Word, I trip over areas that reveal the lifting up of the humble, and the tearing down of the proud. I think this is a prime example of this principal.
Those of the pure religion rubbed shoulders with the Holy One, listened to Him as a young man in the temple, watched His life blossom and exhibit wisdom they could not refute. Blinded by their religious superiority, they eventually condemned the Righteous One to death.
No so with those who had nothing to loose. Those who were outcasts, servants, the poor, sinners of the worst kind. These were drawn to Him, many sought Him out, and many were given revelations many of us in the modern church just accept without any wonder or amazement.
This is a sad commentary of where I am in my walk with Him.
Humble yourselves before the Lord. Do not let theology blind you to the God of all creation. Do not let religious faithfulness create a pride that plugs the ears.
God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble
I wanna be a bit more like these dirty Samaritans, for they understood Him to be the Savior of the World!
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Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.