Reflections: Sunday the Third Week of Lent

March 12,  2023

Today’s Reading:  John 4:5-26

Daily Lectionary: Gen 27:30-45, 28:10-22, Mark 9:1-13

John 4:10: “Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.””

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. This lady’s a sinner.  She has to work herself up every time she goes out in public.  She hears what she is whenever she goes out.  She’s not Jewish enough. Not married enough. She would rather not go out to that well anymore.  How can I not come back here anymore?  She actually confesses it.  Give me the water so I don’t have to get more.  I don’t want to have to come here anymore.  I don’t want to be what they stare at.  I don’t want to be what they talk about. I don’t want to be the object lesson to nice little boys and girls anymore.  

Jesus asked for water and never got any.  He asked after her husband and never got an answer either.  Jesus asks after everything she needs and never gets it.  She can’t give it.  Sin is still sin.  It breaks stuff.  Salvation did come from the temple of the Jews, but Jesus is there to do more than correct her about her church-going habits and get her married.  He’s there to give.  He doesn’t wait until she feels appropriately sorry.  Her biting answers toward Jesus say plenty about how she really saw herself.  He just starts promising living water to bitter sinners.  He’s so blunt that the rest of us get uncomfortable too.  There’s no condition. It’s here. It’s free. We’d like to imagine it’s because Jesus isn’t being as polite as we imagine, but really it’s deeper.  The whole conversation points out a truth we’d rather not see.  

Nobody’s saved by measuring their shortcomings, whether they be the sins acceptable by the public or not.  We’re saved by Jesus, the rock.  We’re saved by the living water that comes from His pierced side.  He shows up. He dies. He saves.  And it’s for you too.  There are no conditions. It’s free. 

For the sins you hide away, for the statistics you’ve become on purpose or on accident, for your guilt, for you, peace. Jesus died for you. Your sins are forgiven. You are baptized. You have the living water promised. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy, be gracious to all who have gone astray from Your ways and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast to the unchangeable truth of Your Word; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

– Pastor Harrison Goodman is Content Executive for Higher Things.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Patrick Sturdivant, Development and Marketing Executive at Higher Things.

Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.