I’m so excited that soon my newest book, co-written with my husband, Larry, will be published. It’s entitled God’s Intriguing Questions: 100 Devotions Revealing God’s Nature and Our Motives.
God asks many questions in the Bible—Old and New Testaments. Why? His questions serve the purpose of revealing who he is and the motives of the person he is addressing. Our devotionals make biblical stories come alive and provide both inspirational and practical ideas, along with biblical depth. Two discussion questions are included with each devotion, along with a short prayer. This book is perfect for both individuals and couples.
Here’s a sample that we hope will whet your appetite for our new book baby. The excerpt is the devotion about the Samaritan Woman.
Give me a drink.
Although the ESV does not denote this as a question, many commentators believe it is.
As we study the Bible, we must remember Scripture was written without any delineation of chapters or verses. John writes on a continuous scroll so there is a sense of every word is a part of a greater whole. We come to the famous story of Jesus’s encounter with the Samaritan woman remembering the context. Previously, John writes, “and [Jesus] needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man” (2:25).
Then John, led by the Holy Spirit, thinks something like, “I’m going to write down the encounters Jesus had with different kinds of people. And each story will show how he knew the heart of every person. He valued every person, and he went to great lengths to reach each one as the Father directed.” Jesus encounters many more people than the Gospel stories indicate but God leads John to include a few.
One example is the knowledgeable, law-keeping, and respected Nicodemus who recognizes his need. Then John includes the opposite, the Samaritan woman, an immoral woman who lives a life of shame and resists feeling needy. Nicodemus comes voluntarily to Jesus and in contrast Jesus seeks out the immoral woman. Jews hate Samaritans for forsaking true worship of Jehovah and for marrying non-Jews. They hate them so much they never step foot in Samaria.
Yet Jesus “had to pass through Samaria” (4:4). Though weary from his journey he goes out of his way to create this pre-ordained appointment with a needy woman. Jesus asks for water not out of need. He can instantly fill the well so high it overflows. But he knows the best way to approach this woman. Jesus shows his value of her by asking for help. She could help or say no. He is empowering her, a person who has had zero power in her life.
The ensuing conversation is a fascinating study of Jesus’s ability to help her see the condition of her heart. What an encouraging Son of God. (Click to tweet)
From then on, the woman asks most of the questions and Jesus wisely responds in ways that continue the conversation until Jesus offers the golden opportunity. “The woman said to him, ‘I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I who speak to you am he’” (4:25-26).
She leaves her water pot, runs to tell the villagers who hate her saying, “He told me all that I ever did” (4:29). What freedom from shame. She is rehearsing her sin because she knows she is set free and is valuable to the Messiah. As a result, a whole town believes in Jesus, the “Savior of the world” (4:42).
What a contrast of characters, a learned ruler/Pharisee and an uninformed woman. Jesus knows “what was in the heart of men” and their great need. And with love and joy he responds to their known and unknown hearts’ cries.
Who do you know who you think is the least likely to be wooed to salvation in Jesus?
Is there someone who you never thought would become a Christian, but Jesus’s invitation created their changed heart?