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Saturday, May 14, 2016
Resting and Waiting - Our Daily Bread Ministries daily devotional 14 May Saturday
My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” John 4:34
It was high noon. Jesus, foot-weary from His long journey, was resting beside Jacob’s well. His disciples had gone into the city of Sychar to buy bread. A woman came out of the city to draw water . . . and found her Messiah. The account tells us that she quickly went into the city and invited others to come hear “a man who told me everything I ever did” (John 4:29).
The disciples came back bringing bread. When they urged Jesus to eat, He said to them, “My food . . . is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work” (v. 34).
Now I ask you: What work had Jesus been doing? He’d been resting and waiting by the well.
I find great encouragement in this story for I am living with physical limitations. This passage tells me that I do not have to scurry about—worrying myself about doing the will of my Father and getting His work done. In this season of life, I can rest and wait for Him to bring His work to me.
Similarly, your tiny apartment, your work cubicle, your prison cell, or your hospital bed can become a “Jacob’s well,” a place to rest and to wait for your Father to bring His work to you. I wonder who He’ll bring to you today?
Lord, our circumstances can often threaten to overwhelm us. Today, help us to see You in all of life. We are learning to trust You as You do Your work.
If you want a field of service, look around you.
The tense relationship between ancient Jews and Samaritans found its seeds in their shared history. When the children of Israel came to the land of promise they were twelve tribes—an extended family that had been transformed into a nation. After a period of time in which they were led by judges and prophets, the days of the kings began. First Saul and then David were crowned as monarchs of God’s chosen people. It was a people to be taken seriously as they rallied around their common faith, community-based worship, and human king. This national sense of unity became amplified under the rule of Solomon—the wisest man of his generation who turned Jerusalem into one of the world’s great showpiece cities, all centered on the temple in Jerusalem.
Following Solomon’s death (about 930 bc), however, the unity that had flowed from his leadership fragmented. The kingdom split into north and south, Israel and Judah. Solomon’s son Rehoboam was rejected by ten of the twelve tribes, being accepted only by Judah and Benjamin. Jeroboam, who was not part of the royal line, became king of the northern tribes (Israel) while Rehoboam ruled the southern kingdom of Judah from Jerusalem. This rupture set the stage for the Jewish-Samaritan problem of Jesus’s day. How?
In about 730 bc, the northern kingdom of Israel was conquered by Assyria with much of its population being led away into captivity. The remaining Jewish population was merged with the Assyrians, and the resulting intermarrying created the ethnically mixed Samaritans (the capital of the northern kingdom was Samaria). Seven centuries later, the animosity of the division and the resulting intermarrying of the northern Jews continued to create friction between the Jews and the Samaritans—which makes Jesus’s conversation with a Samaritan woman and His use of a Samaritan as the hero of one of His most beloved parables so dramatic.
Jesus met the Samaritan woman while he was waiting. Are you prepared for the service that God might bring you while you are resting and waiting? If God asks you to serve someone with whom you are estranged, how will you respond?