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"Lent is a time of going very deeply into ourselves…What is it that stands between us and God? Between us and our brothers and sisters? Between us and life, the life of the Spirit? Whatever it is, let us relentlessly tear it out, without a moment’s hesitation."
Welcome to Lent Reflections 2022!
Today is Ash Wednesday, and as we head into this Lenten season, we have a wonderful team of writers who are going to be bringing some thoughts on "the questions of Jesus." We've been praying, preparing and considering the questions that Jesus asked as He walked on this earth, and we'll be writing about that in the coming weeks.
Scripture: John 4: 1-10
Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John— although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.
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?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
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.
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.”
As we read through the gospels, we find that Jesus asked many, many questions. He asked questions for many reasons: to draw people out, to get them to name and speak out loud what they really think and feel, to bring out the truth.
Who do you say that I am?
What were you discussing on the road?
What do you want me to do for you?
Sometimes rhetorical: who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Implied: No one!
In John 4, it says that Jesus HAD to go through Samaria, and upon entering Samaria, we see the very humanity of Jesus. He was tired and thirsty. He was needy. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus asked her if she would give him a drink. She was shocked and surprised that a Jewish man would say anything at all to her, much less express a need.
Will you give me a drink? As I think about this, I find myself wondering what Jesus might ask me. He wouldn't be asking because He has a need, but because He wants to draw attention to something in my life.
Will you give me ....? Will you give me your very body, with all of its current limitations as an act or worship? Will you give me your child? Will you give me your fear? Will you give me your sex life? Will you give me yourself?
As we spend these next weeks considering the questions that Jesus asked, and wonder how we ourselves might answer those questions, let us allow God all access to our hearts and minds. Are we willing to let Jesus shake up our lives so that we focus on Him?
"Our aim during Lent is something like a wilderness experience. We want to shake up our lives significantly enough that when we reach for our usual comforts and grasp a fistful of air, we’re forced to cling to Christ—his body, his blood. We want to see just how upside down our world really is as our “important things” prove to be perishable goods, as the light shines on our “righteousness” and exposes the layers of “self” beneath the surface, and as our “busy” lives are shown to simply lack wisdom." Matt Smethurst
God, help us to open our hearts to questions You might ask us as we live these coming days. Teach us, speak to us, encourage us as we seek to be imitators of Jesus. Don't just inform us ... transform us by Your word, and the power of Your Spirit.
In Jesus name,