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Sing! O barren woman

Published at: 27/03

Also available in fr

Image by Eric Nopanen on Unsplash

Woman at the well

John 4: 9-15

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.” “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?” Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

A model for evangelism

  • Jesus asks for water
  • She asks why he would speak with her
  • Jesus tells her about living water
  • She thinks he is talking about natural water
  • She asks for the living water
  • Jesus asks her to fetch her husband
  • She realises Jesus is a prophet
  • Embarassed. she tries to change subject
  • Jesus reveals himself as Messiah
  • She leaves her pot and rushes to tell everyone about Jesus

A model of divine appointment and growing relationship

  • Jesus starts of as a stranger, Jew and enemy
  • Sir, respect
  • PROPHET
  • MESSIAH
  • Saviour of the world

The woman has been ill spoken of as if she lived in contemporary western society.

  • Not a widow else Bible could have said so – a widow was respected and the Law of Moses had provision for widows
  • Not divorced because of sickness, Jesus could have healed her

It was possible she had children else Bible could have described as sterile – see Sarah, Hannah But divorced because all children were girls

  • COMMON REASON FOR DIVORCE WAS FAILURE TO PRODUCE A SON
  • HER DAILY SCHEDULE WAS ABOUT AVOIDING SHAME
  • WAS THIS WOMAN CHILDLESS,  WITHOUT A SON?
  • OUTCAST FOR SOMETHING SHE COULD NOT CONTROL?

Was she an outcast, rejected for not producing a son?

She wondered if Jews were as harsh as Samaritans with the Law so asked about worshipping in Jerusalem or Shiloh Jesus spoke of an all embracing family not bound by rules that separated

A woman of shame - a social failure

Isaiah 54 New Living Translation

“Sing, O childless woman, you who have never given birth! Break into loud and joyful song, O Jerusalem, you who have never been in labor. For the desolate woman now has more children than the woman who lives with her husband,” says the Lord. “Enlarge your house; build an addition. Spread out your home, and spare no expense! For you will soon be bursting at the seams. Your descendants will occupy other nations and resettle the ruined cities.

“Fear not; you will no longer live in shame. Don’t be afraid; there is no more disgrace for you. You will no longer remember the shame of your youth and the sorrows of widowhood. For your Creator will be your husband; the Lord of Heaven’s Armies is his name! He is your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, the God of all the earth. For the Lord has called you back from your grief— as though you were a young wife abandoned by her husband,” says your God.

SING! O CHILDLESS WOMAN

  • Verse 4  YOU WILL NO LONGER LIVE IN SHAME
  • Verse 2  YOU WILL HAVE MORE CHILDREN THAN OTHER WOMEN
  • THIS WOMEN BECAME THE MOTHER TO MANY CHILDREN IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD
  • ORTHODOX TRADITION SAYS NERO EXECUTED HER BECAUSE SHE EVANGELISED AND WON SO MANY PEOPLE TO JESUS

Jesus understood her shame

Isaiah 53 The Message

Who would have thought God’s saving power would look like this? The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling, a scrubby plant in a parched field. There was nothing attractive about him, nothing to cause us to take a second look. He was looked down on and passed over, a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand.One look at him and people turned away. We looked down on him, thought he was scum. But the fact is, it was our pains he carried— our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us. We thought he brought it on himself, that God was punishing him for his own failures. But it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins! He took the punishment, and that made us whole. Through his bruises we get healed. We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost. We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way. And God has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong, on him, on him. He was beaten, he was tortured, but he didn’t say a word. Like a lamb taken to be slaughtered and like a sheep being sheared, he took it all in silence. Justice miscarried, and he was led off— and did anyone really know what was happening?

Jesus was rejected, a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief, depised.

Isaiah 53: 10

Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; He has put him to grief. If he made himself as an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, he shall prolong his days, and the good pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.

VERSE 10 JESUS TOOK ALL OUR SHAME SO THAT HE MIGHT HAVE MANY CHILDREN, HEIRS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

In the Old Testament we read about Lot, Noah, David, Samson including all their faults and sins. Men that you might expect God to be ashamed to call his own. In the New Testament these men as described as righteous men of faith.

Hebrews 11: 32 Modern English Version (MEV)

And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith subdued kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in fighting, and turned the armies of foreign enemies to flight.

How is it that God could not remember their sins?

Jesus took our shame at Calvary

The difference between the Old and New Testaments is Calvary. Jesus went to the Cross and took our shame and sin upon himself. If we lay our life on Jesus at the Cross we give our sin and shame to him to carry. This sets us free from its power, shame and punishment.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Modern English Version puts it like this

Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things have passed away. Look, all things have become new.

ROMANS 8: 1-4 (MEV)

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and concerning sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Hebrews 8:12

For I will be merciful to their iniquities, And their sins will I remember no more.

God no longer remembers the failings of those who come in faith to him through Jesus.

Shame is wiped out, erased, gone, no longer remembered