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John chapter 4 does not simply record the conversation between the Samaritan woman and Jesus, but explains to us in detail how our heart can seek God. The Bible becomes extremely fun when we think of these things, and we can feel, “Ah, that’s why God worked in such a way!”
The Samaritan Woman Who Heard Words Outside Her Thoughts
John chapter 4 does not simply record the conversation between the Samaritan woman and Jesus, but explains to us in detail how our heart can seek God. The Bible becomes extremely fun when we think of these things, and we can feel, “Ah, that’s why God worked in such a way!” Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the well. Jesus started a conversation with her, saying, “Give me to drink,” and she asked, “How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria?” It seemed like an ordinary conversation but she had just heard something outside of her thoughts from Jesus. It was because Jews treated Samaritans as dogs. The Jews don’t even eat with the Samaritans. When Samaritans would appear when they are eating, they would pick up their plates and leave. But when a Jew asked a Samaritan woman for water, this was something completely outside her thoughts. Such things do not only appear in the conversation between the Samaritan woman and Jesus. When we converse with Jesus, we hear things we don’t understand; things outside of our thoughts from Jesus. For example, Jesus told Simon Peter, “Let down the net in the deep end and fish.” Peter could not understand these words. “No, there are no fish in the deep end. I know this very well because I grew up in Galilee…” Also, when wine ran out at the wedding at Cana of Galilee, Jesus told the servants to, “Draw out now and serve on to the governor of the feast,” after telling them to fill the water pots with water. These are incomprehensible words. It’s water; what will happen if they serve this? When Jesus met the man with the infirmity for 38 years, He said, “Rise, take up thy bed and walk.” What Jesus said, one by one, was not understandable.
Because We Are Used to the World That Is Opposite from God
The Bible deliberately expresses such things because there is something it wants to teach us. Our logic, our decisions, where do they come from? When we are born in this world, we start with no knowledge and accept the forms of the world. This makes up our current logic and decisions. The problem lies here. God told Adam, “You will surely die if you eat of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil.” Why do you die if you eat from the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil? If man did not have the knowledge of good and evil, man would simply follow God’s guidance and obey the Word of God, and there would be no problem. But man ate the knowledge of good and evil fruit and the wisdom to know good and evil entered us. While we have left God and lived with the standard of good and evil, Satan, whose intelligence is much higher than ours, led us into a world completely opposite from God’s. Man in this way remained in the world opposite from God for thousands of years and there education was formed, politics was formed, and culture was formed. All people were influenced under this and thus their hearts are made to flow completely different from God’s. Because people do not know this, they simply think that they can live spiritual life well if they try. They easily think, “I will do well if I keep the law and not commit sin.” But if you truly try to obey the Word of God, you will feel the reality that, “My heart is so different from the Word of God!” At first it seems that it will work, but you will be unable to obey the Word of God, not be able to submit, and will not be able to accept the words. That is what man is. When we raise plants, we can see that plants have no evil. Plants simply grow. They do not emit any evilness or deceitfulness, but that is not so with man. When you rear a child, the child is truly cute and lovely, but you can feel that there is evil in the child. There are hardened things, stubbornness, and hatred. When you bathe a child and tuck him in, the child seems like an angel, but the stubbornness inside, evilness, deceitfulness, filthiness; they are all there. There are evil things inside of us. People, for the most part, do not know this and try to do good and fall into believing that they can do well if they try to please God. But it does not work when they try to do so in reality. Our subjectivity is developed through what we see, hear, touch, experience, and learn. With this we discern everything. “This is good. This is bad. This is right. This is wrong.” But because the devil is more intelligent than us, Satan is a bit ahead of the development of your thoughts and leads your thoughts. Then the people cannot help but be led there. They are led in the opposite direction from God. Therefore, when one meets and speaks with Jesus, the words of Jesus seem at first to be good words, but actually those words do not fit the individual’s heart at all. When Jesus went to Jairus’ house, the people of the village gathered and were crying, but He said, “Weep not. This child is not dead but sleepeth.” It is so different from man’s thoughts. When people do not think through, it seems that their hearts fit God’s. But when you get to the core of your heart, you begin to feel that your thoughts are so different from God’s.
Nicodemus and the Samaritan Woman
When your heart is very different from the heart of God, you stand before two paths: either going away, turning your back on God and going forth with your ways or breaking your heart and returning to God. If so, who are those who turn to God, and who are those who exert their own stubbornness and move forward with their own thoughts? You must first know this to precisely know where you belong. John chapter 3 records the meeting between Nicodemus and Jesus precisely and John chapter 4 records the meeting of Jesus and the Samarian woman precisely. Nicodemus was a ruler of the Jews and the Samaritan woman was a riotous, low woman who had gone through five different husbands. However, the Samaritan woman accepted the words of Jesus and changed into a new life. Nicodemus, for a long time, spoke with Jesus, but we can see that he could not accept the words of Jesus at all. Nicodemus and the Samaritan woman were different. The Samaritan woman was one who had failed in life. Who would want to go through five husbands? “My last husband’s problem was that he drank too much. This man will be okay because he does not drink.” The Samaritan woman thought deeply and lived with the second husband, but could not live together with him any longer because other problems arose-third husband, fourth husband, fifth husband, sixth husband. What does the Samaritan woman come to think of as she goes through these different husbands? “What’s wrong with me? Why do I have to be a person to go through five husbands?” The Samaritan woman knew precisely that she had failed in life. Nicodemus was not so. He had a good position, lived an upright life, and was a successful person. Of course Nicodemus had deceitfulness in his heart and also had dirty things. There is no one who is not so. But since Nicodemus lived upright and good in his own way, the people around him commended him. As he was recognized by people around him, Nicodemus believed in himself. Naturally he thought his standards were right, and became a person who always ran forward with his own standard. The Samaritan woman’s path was wrong, and she could not believe in herself for she was dirty and filthy. She could not exert her own thoughts. People who think that they are right and successful do not listen to others’ words and exert their own opinions. But the Samaritan woman could not do that. The precise reason is recorded in John chapter 4. We, by nature, are crooked people, and occasionally we do something well. We are filthy, dirty people but at times we do do good. We give offering, pray tearfully…. People who think they have done so and who believe in their own heart do not break their heart and it is so difficult for them to unite their heart with Jesus. Nicodemus believed himself and could not understand the words that he had to be born again. “How can a person who is old be born again? Can he enter the womb the second time and come out?” These are offensive words. Nicodemus knows that the words of Jesus to be born again do not mean to enter the womb the second time. He makes a sarcastic remark and says something that makes no sense. He is saying that even the words of Jesus do not make sense. “He is a man from God. Why is He saying this? This makes no sense at all.” Because this was the heart Nicodemus had, he used such an expression.
Because He Discovered His True Image
There are many successful people in our church, and also many great and smart people. But there are many more who have failed. There are many who have sinned and many who were in pain from not being able to lead their family. Successful people believe themselves. People who have studied hard and have become doctors think that their spiritual life will also be well if they try hard. Smart people who thought of things others could not, think they can use their brains to live spiritual life well; they have such a heart in believing themselves. It is so difficult for such people to discover that they are evil and dirty. It is extremely difficult and tiresome for them to deny themselves. I was once very surprised when I had fellowship at our church with an elderly gentleman. When you meet someone for the first time, the person usually tries to show the good things about himself. I could not find such an image in the conversation with him. “I wonder what kind of a person he is.” He told me about his life after he received salvation. He had been the president of a company that was doing quite well. He thought, “What kind of a manager runs his company so poorly that he has to go to the bank to beg for loans so that he could pay his employees on time? The banks come begging me to spend their money!” He believed that he was smart and great. But one day, a difficulty came upon his company, and it was not something he could manage. Then for the first time he realized, “Ah, it was not that I did well that the company did well. I am completely powerless before this problem.” Ultimately, the company went bankrupt. The employees turned their backs on him, he lost his house, he lost his car, and finally even his wife abandoned him. Right then he, for the first time, discovered, “What a fool I was! I was truly foolish, evil, and arrogant!” As the Samaritan woman went through different husbands, she discovered herself. “What a terrible, dirty, and evil human being I am! But I had thought so greatly of myself!” If she had thought herself to be great, she would have exerted her own righteousness before the words of Jesus and despised His words. But because she thought of herself as wrong, the more she could not understand the words of Jesus, she had the heart to accept the words of Jesus. “How is it that you, who is a Jew, ask of me, a Samaritan, to drink?” She could not understand the words of Jesus, but with the heart, “His thoughts are different from mine. It will be helpful for me to listen to Him, and doors will be opened,” she continued to ask, not with a sarcastic attitude, but with all of her heart. “Lord, you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where will you get the water of life?” There were so many words of Jesus she could not understand, but she had the heart to accept them because the Samaritan woman saw herself as wrong. Therefore the words of Jesus began to, one by one, take place in her. She became freed from her thoughts and the life of being led by the words of Jesus was now upon her. We can see that ultimately she becomes changed and renewed.
The Blind Must Trust and Follow One Who Sees
This is how spiritual life is formed. It is not that you have to do well and labor to go to heaven. It is extremely important that all of your thoughts crumble down and that you discover you are absolutely nothing. Because we were all born from the seed of sin, we must deny ourselves. Jesus said, “Whosoever will follow me must deny himself….” Spiritual life is denying yourself. People who have denied themselves do not only accept what they understand, but also what they do not understand. When I would read the Bible, I could not understand Apostle Paul’s words, I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me. “It doesn’t seem like I’m dead. I have my characteristics; I have what I want and what I enjoy. I have my perceptions. How can I say that I’m dead? I don’t understand these words.” One day while I was praying, God worked in my heart. “Believing because you understand is believing in your judgment and understanding. What would happen to a blind man if he judged for himself? The blind must trust and follow the one that sees.” The Lord taught this to me. If a blind man were to walk through checking for himself, he could only fall into a ditch. But if he trusts and follows one that sees, he can walk fine, even in darkness. I knew that I was like this blind man. If so, I had to go where Jesus led me. “Ah, if the Lord says that I am dead, then I am!” I was able to accept the Word. I do not know. But if Jesus says that I am dead, then I am dead. I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me. “Ah, that’s right! Christ lives in me. If so, I should not live according to my thoughts. Because I am dead, I will be ruined if I live following my thoughts.” I received the grace of God to throw away my thoughts and accept the Word of God. From then on, God began to work amazingly inside of me. Loving folks, accepting the words of God because you understand them is not faith. Even you can accept thugs’ words in that manner. True faith is accepting even though you do not understand. When you cannot trust yourself, you can believe in Jesus. It is asking and accepting like the Samaritan woman did when she could not understand the words of Jesus.
The People God Wants
When I believed my thoughts everything I did was a failure, everything lacked and was wrong. But when I believed and followed Jesus, my life began to change. God began to work in my life. God does not want you to become good, great, smart, and wonderful people. He wants you to discover the evil inside of you, know that you are filthy and dirty, deny yourself, and accept the words of God whether you understand them or not. Read the Bible closely. Who were destroyed at the time of Noah’s flood? Was it the evil, wicked, and the dirty? Was it the good? No. Those who threw their thoughts away and accepted the Word of God lived. The people who were destroyed were those who threw the Word of God away and followed their own thoughts. Who will God judge when it is the time of the judgment? God judges those who throw away the Word of God and follow their own thoughts. Who does He bless? He blesses those who throw their thoughts away and accept the Word of God. The Samaritan woman went through five different husbands and people pointed fingers at her, calling her dirty. But through this difficulty she denied herself and believed Jesus. She accepted the words of Jesus. Therefore her life changed. If you, too, like the Samaritan woman, deny yourself and accept the Word of the Lord, the Word of God will be upon you and you will be changed to live a new life.