We start off this week in Chapter 4. This is where we find the story of Jesus speaking to the Samaritan woman. This conversation that Jesus had with this woman, shows how compassionate Jesus is even towards the lowest of low. This woman had been married five times (while it may not seem like that big of deal today, it was inconceivable and un-Godly then), and she was mostly likely hated or shunned by the rest of the village. Why else would she be retrieving water from the well during the high sun? Also many may not understand this, but during this time, Jews and Samaritans would not and did not associate with one another. So, this also represents how Jesus doesn’t care where you come from or what you have done, but as long as you believe in Him and accepted the bread of eternal life. Even Jesus’ own disciples were quick to question why Jesus would associate with such people. They considered themselves above this woman, but in God’s eyes, we are all equal sinners, no one is better than the next. Verse 35 paints a great illustration for Christians to live by. It says, “Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest?’ I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” Jesus is saying that we Christians are the workers and the rest of the world is our harvest, we just have to go work the fields to reap the reward. Something that we all should ponder and try to live by.
Later, in Chapter 5 Jesus came across a blind man at the bathing pool in Jerusalem. Jesus asked the man if he wanted to be healed, and then the man described to Jesus how helpless he was. It may seem strange that Jesus asked the man, when he obviously would want to be healed, but in doing so, Jesus humbled the man before Him. Think of it from this angle, we are the blind and helpless, and we must humble ourselves before the Lord. Arrogance and self-pride will get us nowhere, but be humble and trusting in the Lord is the only true option. Another interesting point that Jesus tells his disciples is that we may study the scripture as much as we want, but we must truly trust and believe in Him to receive the true everlasting life.
One of my favorite Gospel stories comes from Chapter 6. It is where Jesus takes a boy’s measly three loaves of bread and two small fish to feed 5,000 people. While, the disciples were frantically trying to find a way to feed all these people, this one boy brings everything he had for an offering to Jesus. Representing how even the smallest of contributions to Jesus can go a long ways with the work of the Lord at hand. If we give Him everything we have, He will take that and multiple it.
Lastly, Jesus spoke to his disciples and told them that He was the Bread of Life. This confused many of them, and even made several of them leave Jesus. For what they did not understand at the time, was that Jesus was alluding to the fact the when you believe in him and will never hunger or thirst, unlike if you eat a piece of bread, which you will soon become hungry again.
His teachings may be hard to follow or even understand at times. Even so, ask yourself, where else would you find the ultimate truth? Or, who else can guarantee me eternal life? The answer is simple: nowhere and no one can do what God can do for us.