“If you knew…you would ask…”

Jesus answered, “If you knew the generosity of God and who I am, you would be asking me for a drink, and I would give you fresh, living water.”

11-12 The woman said, “Sir, you don’t even have a bucket to draw with, and this well is deep. So how are you going to get this ‘living water’? Are you a better man than our ancestor Jacob, who dug this well and drank from it, he and his sons and livestock, and passed it down to us?”

13-14 Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again and again. Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst—not ever. The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life.” John 4:10-14 The Message

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Butterfly on Flowers at Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC


Sometimes well-worn phrases get in the way of deeper and fuller understanding. Words trip off our tongues, or tunnel through our brains without connecting with the inner folds of deeper understanding. Such is the case in regard to this wonderful encounter between Jesus and the woman at the well. This is one of my favorite Bible stories, and I have always enjoyed mining the truths and implications that unfold in it. But yesterday when I read it in The Message version, these words caught my attention:

“If you knew the generosity of God and who I am, you would be asking me for a drink, and I would give you fresh, living water.”

That, somehow, was a new thought, and I realized the implications of Jesus’ statement were deep and worthy of exploring. “If you knew,… you would ask…” That makes me wonder how many times I take God’s generosity for granted, or better yet, how many times I ignore it altogether. For if I did know how generous he is, I would ask more boldly and more often.

Somehow we forget that God is generous. And that’s truly our bad all around. We lose out on his gifts. We sell him short of his true glory. We ignore opportunities to witness his grace and power. We go on about our way, stuck in our ruts, blind to his intervention, lost in our self-absorption.

But then comes Jesus and his comment, “If you knew…you would ask.” I’m wondering how many times he is right here beside me, ready to help, waiting to be asked. This encounter helps me to ponder that today. How about you?

Note: It’s been a crazy couple of days so, although I have kept up with the 21 Day Challenge to read a chapter of the Gospel of John each day, I did not post a blog devotion for yesterday, and have not done so yet for today. This remedies the former. Followers of this blog will see the fruits of my engagement with John 5 tomorrow. I usually don’t post on Saturdays or Sundays, but this will be an exception. Also, I will post on Sundays and will try to keep that up through the 21 Day Challenge. That will remain to be seen next week when I will be in Baton Rouge for a mission trip work project, helping flood victims. I hope you are engaging in this challenge – whether or not I am able to post each day!

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