Saturday, April 20, 2019

Jesus Is Risen, who forgives us! Celebrate, and we also forgive others.

Jesus is risen!  He is risen, indeed!

“Why do you look for the living among the dead?  He is not here; he has risen!   (Luke 24:5b-6a)

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome got together with other women and the disciples while thinking about Jesus.   They were very sad because Jesus, whom they believed as their Messiah, was crucified on cross.  They could not believe what had actually happened.   They truly believed in Jesus, and He would liberate the Jews from the Roman occupation, and established a new Jewish kingdom on earth.   Jesus did many miracles, healed the sick, and raised the dead.   And many people followed Him.   His message was always encouraging, caring and comforting.  Thus, they tasted Heaven on earth while hearing Jesus and His merciful message with full of love.  And Jesus loved His disciples till the end – dying on cross being crucified and experiencing the extreme agony in excruciating pains from His hands and feet nailed on the cross (The Roman solider exactly knew how to give the maximum pains when nailing a person on cross by driving a nail on the very center of the never systems on the hand).  Jesus was also steadily suffocating as He could no longer support His own body weight.   Jesus was slowly dying on the cross in extreme pains.  Even so, Jesus never stopped loving His disciples, who fled and betrayed.   In fact, the first word in His mouth on the cross was

"Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do."   (Luke 23:34)

Jesus forgave those who betrayed, shouted for Him to be crucified, sentenced to death, mocked, spit on, whipped, tortured, nailed, and hang Him on cross.  While Jesus was on the cross, all but John was at the scene of the cross, along with several women including the mother of Jesus and Mary Magdalene.  

Jesus was crucified with two other criminals and His cross was in the middle of the two crosses.   One of the criminals mocked Jesus although he was also on cross and condemned to his own death.   On the other hand, the other criminal turned to Jesus, and asked, “Jesus, remember me when you come in your kingdom,” which was an amazing faith in Jesus.   Jesus was also on the cross, bleeding and dying.  Who would confess such a faith before the Jesus crucified and dying on the cross?    For example, Thomas, one of Jesus’ disciples, could not believe the resurrected Jesus.   Only after he touched the risen Lord in glory, he could believe Jesus.   The criminal did not see the risen Lord in glory, but he saw the miserably crucified Jesus dying on the cross.  However, he could see through the true Jesus on the cross, and found the truth about the Jesus: the Son of God and Savior.  Before dying, the criminal put all of his faith on Jesus, and he cried out for Jesus’ mercy.    At the last moment the criminal obtained mercy.  Upon this faithful confession, Jesus blessed the criminal:

”Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."  (Luke 23:43)

The criminal received the Paradise through Jesus’ mercy.   On earth, he was a criminal condemned and executed on the cross.  This is the mercy and the love of Jesus.  Whoever comes to Jesus, humbly asks His forgiveness and mercy, will receive His mercy.    Before Jesus, there is no sin that cannot be forgiven, if we humbly present our sins with our contrite heart to Jesus. 

Jesus was also merciful to His mother.   On the cross, He comforted His mother, Mary while  He was in unbearable pain and agony.  He loved His mother till the end.   He pointed to John, the only disciple at the scene of His cross, and told to Mary,

"Woman, this is your son."  Then he said to the disciple: "This is your mother.   (John 19:26-27)

Jesus was the perfect man and God.  As a perfect and sinless human, He was truly in His agony.  In fact, His physical pain was only a part of His pain.   The true pain came from the crushing condemnation caused by the sins of the entire humanity.  He was being separated from His Father to become the one and only one perfect sacrificial lamb in order to carry all of the sins of the entire humanity including me and you.   There is no way for us to fathom the enormous weight of the entire sins crushing on Jesus at that time.  That pain, that agony, and that terrible separation from the Father are certainly too heavy to carry for any human beings ever born, living now, and to be born in future.   We are feeble before our sins.  We cannot bear the weight of one single self’s sins.   Additionally,  Jesus took the unfathomably enormous crushing weight of the entire sins with His love.  The Father, God, could not see His own son’s suffering and death on the cross.   At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock.  Then at three o’clock Jesus called out with a loud voice:

"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"   (Matthew 27:46)

Jesus was rapidly approaching to His death.   He was getting thirsty due to His heavy bleeding on the cross.  It was not all.   Jesus was being separated from the love of God.  His spirit was in great thirst for love of His Father.  Father God had to left Jesus alone during this dreadful hour.  Why?  Only Jesus. Yes, Jesus alone had to go through the eternal separation from God to fulfill the mission – saving all humanity through His sacrifice on the cross.   Jesus was a fully human, and was dying.  Out of His thirst for God’s love, he barely uttered:

"I thirst."   (John 19:28)

Upon hearing, the soldiers offered wine on a sprig of hyssop to Jesus without knowing Jesus’ true internal spiritual thirst out of His loneness under the crushing power of sins and the  separation from Father God and His love.   Jesus, as a perfect human, truly experienced our weakness, loneness and our pain.  One single person cannot bear the consequence of one’s own sin (this is the reason why we need Savior.), but Jesus took the weight of the sins of all humanity.   Can we imagine the magnitude of the size and weight of what Jesus experienced?   Because of this brave and sacrificial act, we are saved.   Jesus accomplished His mission on earth by being a perfect sacrificial lamb and sacrificed.  Then Jesus said,

“It is finished.”   (John 19:30p)

Yes, the ultimate salvation plan had been just completed, and the power of death and Satan was utterly destroyed before Jesus.    Jesus became the Savior for all those who believe Jesus as one’s own savior.   Jesus was no sin at all, but He was crucified for our sins and transgressions.    This is the power of the cross.   Through the cross, we have received the eternal life having victory over sins and death forever.   Finally, Jesus cried out in a loud voice,

"Father, into your hands I commend my spirit."  (Luke 23:46b)

It was the moment that we all received the final victor over death and sins forever!   Give thanks to God and His Son Jesus Christ.   Of course, we now fully know this fact and truth, but at that time, the people did not understand the fact and did not know this truth.   Although it was the victorious moment, but they were in sorrow and confusion over the death of Jesus, because they only believed as their Messiah on earth. 

Some of the women still loved Jesus.   Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, those women bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body.    They were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”   The tomb was sealed with a large stone by the people who worried and feared about Jesus.  Although they killed Jesus, they remembered what was told by Jesus, “I would die and live again after three days.”  As a result, the tomb was completely sealed and secured by soldiers.   They clearly knew this, but as they arrived, they looked up and saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled aside.

When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a white robe sitting on the right side. The women were shocked, but the angel said,

“Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body.  Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died.”   (Mark 16:6-7)

Yes, Jesus was risen!   He was risen indeed.   All of the women at the tomb were astonished because they could not believe what was told by Jesus that He would die but live again.  But they started remembering Jesus’ word.   Upon hearing the women’s story, some of the disciples ran to the tomb, and found the tomb was empty.    In confusion, they gather in one place and closed the door in fear.

On the evening of the same day, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said,

“Peace be with you!” (John 20:19b)

Jesus found His disciples in confusion and fear.  The first sentence was “Peace be with you.”   What a comforting message of Jesus, which was exactly the most wanted message.

After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.   Again Jesus said,

 “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”  (John 20:21b)

Jesus comforted them again.  Jesus did not reckon what was the wrong doing of the disciples.  Instead, He commissioned His disciples for His future ministry, which would come after His departure.   What was the first mission then?   Please note that at the cross, what Jesus did first.   Jesus forgave those who sinned against Him including those who were crucifying Him.   Forgiving enemies and those harming us, as human beings, is impossible.   But it is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit in the love of Jesus Christ.  Sure, then, Jesus poured the Holy Spirit on them, saying,

“Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” (John 20:22b-23)

Jesus gave the Holy Spirit in them along with His first mission – forgiveness.  Why did Jesus choose forgiveness as His first mission for His disciples?    This is the first step to resolve all conflicts between humans on earth.   Yes, God acted first for us by forgiving us on the cross.   Then what should we do?   Of course, forgiving others.  We all know the Lord’s prayer, which was taught by Jesus during His early ministry.   Please recite the Lord Prayer, if able, and listen carefully each word by word.   How many things that we should do in the prayer?    In fat, there is only one thing that we should do – forgiving others:  

“Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.”    (Matthew 6:12)

It is clear forgiving others is the precondition for us to get His forgiveness.    In other words, if we do not forgive others, we should not expect God’s forgiveness on us.   We all also know that truly forgiving others unconditionally is beyond our human ability.   Indeed, our true and unconditional forgiveness is the final frontier where no man has gone before.   However, in Jesus and through Jesus, it is possible.  Please let not forget -- forgiving others is the first step toward fulfilling Go’s will on earth.     After all, the cross is the proof and assurance of God’s forgiveness on us.    Jesus is risen!  Yes, He is risen indeed.    As Jesus forgives us, we should forgive others.

  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.   (Ephesians 4:32)

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Lift up your heads, O gates! Our King, Jesus, may come in.

Greetings in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.    

Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.  (Psalm 24:7)

Has there been a king ever who humbled himself before his own people, and serving his own people rather than ruling over?   In my knowledge, there was none except one, whose name was Jesus Christ.  He was truly the king, but he did not rule over His own people.   He always loved and served His people.   Jesus said to His disciples:

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13)

He revealed His mission on earth again to His disciples, and He loved His disciple till the end.  This is the love of Jesus Christ.   All of us, His children, are equally loved by Jesus because He is love.  

As the Scripture foretold, Jesus headed to Jerusalem to complete His ultimate mission on earth to save us by offering up His own body as the once-for-all sacrifice for all of us so that we have eternal life through Him.

On the way to Jerusalem for His final destination on earth, Jesus reached the town of Jericho.  Jericho was situated on the floor of the Jordan Valley, It (meaning, the ‘city of palm trees’) is a lush oasis surrounded by desert, watered by a spring that never runs dry.  Consequently, it has lush vegetation in an otherwise dry and arid area.  Most importantly, Jericho was the first city that the Israelites had to go through in order to get into the Promised Land.    As soon as they cross the Jordon River from east, the Israelites confronted with this strong and completely fortified city.  Rather than being in fear or fighting with their own strength, through faith, Joshua and his fellow Israelites came to God, received His command, and exactly followed the command.   The command was not an easy one to follow because it did not make sense to any right-minded human beings.   But in faith, they circled the wall of Jericho seven days as commanded.  Please imagine what actually happened:  There was the strong enemy waiting for the Israelites inside the fortified city protected by the strong wall, and the ex-slaves from Egypt were circling the wall once a day while blowing horns and being led by priests.   How absurd it was!  However, they faithfully followed the God’s command.  On the seventh day, they circled seven times, and they shouted together as commanded in faith.  Then the strong wall of Jericho suddenly fell down before shout of the Israelites, i.e., before the power of God.  The Israelites rushed into the city, and conquered.  It was a huge victory in faith for the Israelites.  Although it was huge, the victory was of this world.  On the other hand, Jesus Christ entered Jericho with His disciples for the victory of eternity by defeating the Satan once for all, which liberated all of His people from the bondage of all sins.   His entry to Jericho was the prelude of this final victory over the Satan, our enemy.

Jesus was on way to Jerusalem as prophesized, but Jesus had never forgotten of loving those who were suffering and in needs, as He always did.   As Jesus and His disciples were entering in Jericho, a large crowd followed him. A blind beggar named Bartimaeus (son of Timaeus) was sitting beside the road.  When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus of Nazareth was nearby, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

 “Be quiet!” many of the people yelled at him.

This was a typical response of the people around Jesus.   How much contrast can we see between Jesus and the people around Him?    Jesus loves those who were in need like Bartimaeus, who was blind and a beggar, but the people yelled at him.   The beggar’s life was miserable, but  nobody cared for him.  They treated Bartimaeus as a nuisance, which just hindered their desired to listen to Jesus’ message and see His face.   The poor blind beggar Bartimaeus was kept from approaching Jesus to receive His mercy and love.     

But Bartimaeus only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

The blind beggar Bartimaeus did not deterred by the crowd who discouraged him.   What can we learn from Bartimaeus?   Don’t be discouraged, fix eyes on Jesus, and continue approaching to Jesus.   Also we need to expect that sometimes we would get a rejection from the people around us as the blind beggar Bartimaeus did experience. 

When Jesus heard him, he stopped and said, “Tell him to come here.”

Yes, Jesus never ignores even such a small voice of the poor blind beggar who were being treated harshly by the people around him.    That’s why we are continue being encouraged, having hope with assurance in Jesus.   Like Bartimaeus,  just shout to Him and don’t look at others around us.   Fix eyes on Jesus, because mercies flow from Jesus.  Jesus, who dearly loves us, surely answers even the tiniest voice in our heart, which was vocalized through our mouth in prayer to Jesus.

So they called the blind man. “Cheer up,” they said. “Come on, he’s calling you!”

This is how people usually respond.   As soon as Jesus paid attention to Bartimaeus, the people around  Bartimaeus suddenly changed.   They all became the friends of Bartimaeus.    Yes, the world is not trustworthy.   Except Jesus, nobody is faithful.  Jesus loved His disciples (and us) to the end.   Remember that His disciples fled when Jesus was captured, and Peter, who used to say that I would die with Jesus, disowned Jesus three times.  Then Jesus looked at Peter directly as Peter was disowning Jesus with his own mouth silently.   Jesus heart was filled with compassionating on Peter’s weakness in spirit and faith.   Later, the resurrected Jesus found Peter, and He never blamed Peter nor asked why.  He just showed His love to Peter while mending Peter’s guilty heart in shame before Jesus.

Bartimaeus threw aside his coat, jumped up, and came to Jesus.

“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked. (Mark 10:50)

“My Rabbi,” the blind man said, “I want to see!”

And Jesus said to him, “Go, for your faith has healed you.”  (Mark 10:52a)

Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus down the road.   This is the reason why the crowd was always with Jesus.   But Jesus was a humble king and full of love and mercy.

After healing the blind man, Jesus left Jericho, and went on toward Jerusalem, walking ahead of his disciples. As he came to the towns of Bethphage (meaning ‘place with young figs) and Bethany on the Mount of Olives, where Mary, Martha and Lazarus lived.   (Jesus revived Lazarus from death before.)    Then Jesus sent two disciples ahead. “Go into that village over there,” he told them. “As you enter it, you will see a young donkey tied there that no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here.  If anyone asks, ‘Why are you untying that colt?’ just say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”

Jesus always prepares ahead of His people before asking for His people to His will.   This is true to not just for the disciples, but all of us.   This is our faith and also assurance. 

So they went and found the colt, just as Jesus had said.  And sure enough, as they were untying it, the owners asked them, “Why are you untying that colt?” 

And the disciples simply replied, “The Lord needs it.

They said what Jesus had told them to say, and they were permitted to take it. Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their garments over it, and he sat on it.   Jesus was the King of kings, and the Lord of all lords on earth, but he was humbly sat on the colt.    At the time of Jesus, all kings rode on horses, to show off their power and majesty, but Jesus was totally opposite.   He humbly rode on a colt to share his meekness and care for His people.

The above took place to fulfill the prophesy foretold by Prophet Zachariah (Zac 9:9) that said,

“Tell the people of Jerusalem,
‘Look, your King is coming to you.
He is humble, riding on a donkey—
riding on a donkey’s colt.’”  (Matthew 21:5)

Many in the crowd spread their garments on the road ahead of him, and others spread leafy branches they had cut in the fields. Jesus was in the center of the procession, and the people all around him were shouting,

“Hosanna! ”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!” (Mark 11:9b-10)

0he entire city of Jerusalem was in an uproar as he entered. “Who is this?” they asked.

And the crowds replied, “It’s Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

His disciples were in joy as they entered in Jerusalem with Jesus.  All around them shouted and praised Jesus.   They felt that finally their days came.   From now on, Jesus would rule, and they would occupy good positions with Jesus.   Yes, His disciples didn’t understand at the time that this was a fulfillment of prophecy, not for the glory to come to Jesus and them on earth.  But after Jesus entered into his glory, they remembered what had happened and realized that these things had been written about Him.

However, some of the Pharisees among the crowd said, “Teacher, rebuke your followers for saying things like that!”

They were jealous and also in fear of Jesus.  They were the teachers respected by the people in Jerusalem.   They heard praises given to Jesus, which came from the same mouths of the same people.  Most importantly, they did not believe Jesus as the Messiah, although they had waited the Messiah for long time.  

He replied, “If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!”  (Luke 19:40)

Jesus responded with the magnitude of the joy of Heaven and earth about the fulfillment of all prophesies foretold before Him – His death and resurrections for all believers according to God’s salvation plan.  

As Jesus came closer to the Jerusalem Temple, he began weeping, and lamented,

“Before long your enemies will build ramparts against your walls and encircle you and close in on you from every side. They will crush you into the ground, and your children with you. Your enemies will not leave a single stone in place, because you did not recognize it when God visited you.”  (Luke 1943-44)

Jesus foresaw the destruction of the Jerusalem and the Temple, and He wept.   Then as he entered the Temple and began to drive out the people selling animals for sacrifices.

He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves.” (Luke 19:46)

Jesus cleaned up the Temple to prepare for the ultimate offering of Himself for all.  This very act directly challenged the teachers of religious law, and the other leaders of the people, and they began planning how to kill Jesus as prophesized.   The humble King, Jesus, entered in Jerusalem, He cleaned the Temple, and He was ready for being sacrificed like a lamb before cross.  All prophecies about the Savior was about to be fulfilled.    Without knowing this, the people in Jerusalem were in joy.    Jesus wept, and His sorrow was not just for the physical destruction of the Temple to come but for the people in Jerusalem who did not know what was really happening and the Pharisees who were plotting to kill Jesus without knowing the truth.  Soon Jesus would be offered as a random for all people to purchase freedom from the bondage of all sins.
Today is Palm Sunday, which is the day that we all raise high our hands with Palm branches.  Our humble King and Savior entered in Jerusalem on a colt.   Today we open our hearts to receive Jesus as our King.   Some would be disturbed by our King, Jesus like the Pharisees who then plotted to kill Jesus.  But today we, His children, truly rejoice in Him, because our salvation came through the humble King, Jesus.    No other kings are like Jesus.   All kings before Jesus demanded, but Jesus, the truly King, gave -- lovingly gave out Himself for us.   Today, we praises His name.   We praise Jesus with all our hearts and minds and all our strength, because He was truly worthy of our praises.   Amen!

 Let everything that breathes sing praises to the LORD!
Praise the LORD!   (Psalm 150:6)

Sunday, April 7, 2019

In Christ, The Old Life Is Gone, A New Life Has Begun!

Greetings in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.    

"Come now, let's settle this," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.  (Isaiah 1:18)

Jesus knew the Pharisees had heard that he was baptizing and making more disciples than John (though Jesus himself didn’t baptize them—his disciples did). So Jesus took His disciples and left Judea and returned to Galilee.

At that time, the Jewish people dd not travel through Samaria, which was in between Galilee and Judea.   The reason was Samaritans were not pure Jews, but they were mixed with Gentiles.  They were unclean according to the Law.  Thus, Jews did not want to associated with Samaritans not be defiled by Samaritans.   In order to avoid this issue, the Jews rather went around the region of Samaria to get to Galilee from Judea.   Jews had a good intention of keeping them clean according to the Law, but this made them to treat their fellow Samaritans very poorly.   In some sense, for the eye of Jews, Samaritans even worse than Gentiles because Samaritans used to Jews, but they defiled themselves by mixing them with Gentiles like traitors, who betrayed their own people.   As a result, the Jews at that time hated Samaritans.

Jesus clearly knew the above fact.  Despite of this terrible relationship issue between Samaritans and Jews, He took His disciples and traveled through Samaria.  Initially, the disciples were not fond of going through Samaria.  They talked about among themselves – “Why we have to go through Samara, which is not good, and even unlawful?”   But Jesus seemed having no concern at all.   They soon became calm and followed Jesus.  They was also extremely careful not to be defiled by Samaritans.

When Jesus and His disciples were going through Samaria on the way to Galilee, they came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.  The famous Jacob’s well was there.  Even so, Jews hardly visited the well due to the reason that the well was in Samaria.

Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime.  His disciples had gone into the village to buy some food.   He was alone at the well.  Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her,

 “Please give me a drink.”  (John 4:7b)

The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans as talked about above.   She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?”

Samaritans never liked Jews either because Jews treated Samaritans very poorly.   Thus, it was plainly expected that no Jew would ask a Samaritan woman anything, because Jews had to separate themselves from Samaritans to keep them clean.   Yes, it was sad, but it was a cold reality at that time.   Both Jews and Samaritans were trapped in their own boxes of haterism and resentment.    Does this sound familiar to us?   Even today, there are many conflicts between person to person, family to family, people to people or nation to nation, while being trapped in their own boxes of hatrerism and resentment, while upholding their own positions for their own reason regarding to traditions, history and just small emotional conflict prior.     This undermines both persons, both families, or even both nations.    The fruit of this conflict is void of peace and harmony, but haterism and resentment.   Goodness, mercy and love never grow on a soil of broken relationship.   Jesus, the source of mercy and love, was fully aware of this deeply rooted issues, and He came to Sychar to meet  the Samaritan woman full of resentment.   From the onset, Jesus gave out His love first.

Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.” (John 4:10)

Jesus touched the very source of her resentment against Jews and her life pain hidden from the plain view.   He offered “living water”, which would renew her by watering her bone-dry inner heart.  However, she still had not understood what Jesus really offered.

“But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water?  And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?”

The Samaritan woman looked around.   Jesus was empty-handed.   He had nothing to draw water from the well.   The well was also deep.   To her, it was a nonsense  – giving her water without a rope or a bucket.   Additionally, the well was dug by Jacob, one of the most famous ancestors to both Samaritans and Jews.  She thought in her heart, “By the way, we are also the descendent of Jacob.   You and I have the same ancestor, Jacob.   Then who are you?   You are a Jew, and a descendent of Jacob.   You cannot be greater than Jacob, who is your proud ancestor.    By the way, this very well was dug by Jacob and given to us.   We have been drawing water from the well many generations.” 

Then she asked, “Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob?”  

Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” (John 4:13-14)

Jesus opened up the Gospel of saving Word of eternal life, and made her never thirty again. However, the Samaritan woman could not understand the meaning of what was told by Jesus.   She thought about the water from the Jacob’s well, but Jesus talked about the living water from the above, which would make her satisfied forever having an eternal life.  

“Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.”

Still she thought that Jesus was talking about the water from the well.   In fact, the Samaritan woman did not want to come to the well.   She was avoiding other Samaritan women.  This was the reason why she came to the well noontime, which was the least popular time among the other Samaritan women to come to the well for water.   For her, it would be ideal if she could get water without coming to this well.   She did not want to hear anymore gossips about her bad reputation from Samaritan women.

Jesus knew her heart pain.  Taking about her heart pain was the last thing that she wanted at the well.  She had room at all in her heart to hear yet another criticism.   Then Jesus surgically opened up her wound in her heart.

Go and get your husband,” Jesus told her.  (John 4:16)

She was really shocked because Jesus asked about her husband.  In fact, because of this very reason, she avoided other Samaritan women.   She hid her problems before Jesus. 

 “I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied.

Hiding seems the best way to avoid heart pains in our lives.   She did same.  She always hid her heart pain.   Surely, if Jesus were a mere human, it would have worked.    There would be no more discussion about her husband because she said she had no husband.   However, hiding does not solve our heart pain, which will continue going deeper into our hearts to even a bigger pain.    Jesus exactly knew this.  Jesus could not let her continue living her life in deception and denial.  

Jesus said, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband— for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!” (John 4:17b-18)

Jesus did embrace her answer first rather than reputing it.  Then Jesus quickly revealed the truth to her: her complete secrete was exposed to the strange Jewish man at the well.    Jesus was not a mere mortal, and He was God, who knew everything in her heart.    Jesus opened up her heart, and told the truth in her heart.  She had five husbands before, and for her, the current man living with her was not a real husband either.   She was just living with another man.   Her secret was completely exposed.  The woman had no more place before Jesus.  She felt the extra-ordinary power of Jesus, and thought that Jesus must have been a prophet. Thus, he could see through her heart.   Then she realized that it was the time not to run away, but to confess her sins, and ask forgiveness from God.   She asked Jesus what to do.

Sir,” the woman said, “you must be a prophet. So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim, where our ancestors worshiped?”

She was seeking.    She was searching for the way to go to God.   However, her knowledge was limited.  As she learned since young, she thought that he had to physically go to God and give sacrifice for forgiveness of her sins.  Jesus corrected her by telling the Good News, the Saving Truth!

Jesus replied, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem.  You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews.  But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way.  For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”  (John 4:21-24)

Jesus carefully explained the Truth to her.   God, Our Father, did not reside in any physical place, neither the mountain where the ancestors worshiped nor the Jerusalem temple.  Instead, God was looking for a person who approached to Him with contrite spirit and authentic heart (i.e. repenting heart and mind without hiding but revealing all sins before God).   God of mercy and love would hear the Samarian woman despite of all sins of her past and at the present.    Jesus opened her heart, and she began to see the light.    She had been in darkness for many years while living in her past with five husband and one man now.   In fact, none of them was her real husband.  The pressure of her sins was so heavy that she was hiding and avoiding other Samaritan women.   She often got up in the middle of night.    Jesus, then, gave His saving message.  Her heart was filled with light and hope.  She really wanted to be whole again.  She directly asked about the Messiah so that she can meet the Messiah who would liberate from her sins.   

The woman said, “I know the Messiah is coming—the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

She was fully ready and really wanted to meet the Messiah.   There was no hiding.  Instead, she desired to have God’s mercy and forgiveness and His love. 

Then Jesus told her, “I AM the Messiah!” (John 4:26)

Jesus plainly answered.  He was the Messiah.  She finally met the Messiah, who would forgive her sins, and freed from the bondage of her sins.   This truth did not come easy.  It took quite a long conversation between the woman and Jesus.  Jesus had never given up on her.   Jesus patiently guarded her till she got the saving truth.

Jesus loved one Samaritan Woman, who had sinned for many years.   Due to the sins, she had to avoid other Samaritan women.  She had to hide her sins, which was always a heavy burden in her heart and  the load was only getting to heavier day by day.  In fact, she got to the point where she could not bear the weight of her sins anymore.   Why did Jesus travel through Samaria?  Because Jesus loved the Samarian woman.   Jesus came to Sychar to meet, forgive, save her, and give her eternal life. 

The amazing truth is that the same Jesus loves us.   He comes into our lives, and talks about our heart pains inflicted by our own sins, especially hidden sins.  What do we have to do then?  Like the Samaritan woman, we should not hide our sins anymore before Jesus, but confess every sin in our heart, and receive His mercy and forgiveness.   Jesus is love.   Please remember that His love is bigger than any sins that we had and might have in future also.   Come to Jesus, who is merciful and full of compassion and love.   Then we will find a new life in Him.

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!  (2 Corinthians 5:17)