As narrated by Mary Magdalene:
Our eyes have known no rest since the night he was taken from us. Sombre,sick and drained we've been,unable to taste good food,staring into the day wondering if he'd return on the third day as he said.
Reminiscing on his life and times, I beg to remember how we served tables,supplied bread for the journey, sewed quilt,polished sandals and hemmed robes for long journeys we embarked on with the Master. We volunteered to serve him sacrificing family time and giving our all for the master's use.
I remember how in one word, he cast out evil spirits from us delivering us from all our troubles. He taught us to pray in His will,revealing deep truths about His kingdom. We enjoyed reclining at His feet, going on long road crusades,meeting in homes to share fellowship, breaking bread, and all what not.
He taught us love in a manner we never knew-including loving our enemies-;he simplified the gospel and "unclogged" our hearts of old traditions and legalism. It's with him we learned that we are no longer captive but FREE indeed.
I am Mary Magdalene, the one whom he cast out seven demons from and my friends Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod's business manager, Susanna and many others decided to minister to him from our own resources ensuring he had a daily supply of food,etc.
I chuckle as I share one of out of the many life changing incidents which make me love and miss Him more. One day,our friend and master honoured an invitation of a Pharisee living with leprosy. While eating,a certain immoral and "bad-reputed" woman came in and walked straight to the master. Many indignant people who knew her lifestyle murmured,snarled at her and looked down at her in utter disgust. But this rather thick skinned woman,obviously unperturbed by the sneers and disgruntled looks, fell at the master's feet while we looked on.
Silence filled the room as she began caressing,kissing and pouring her tears on his feet. In her right hand was a beautiful perfume and with her left hand, she let down her hair breaking the jar containing a sweet smelling perfume on his feet. She extravagantly poured it upon his feet intermittently caressing,tenderly kissing,massaging and wiping his feet with her hair.
She wiped the dust from his feet, unashamed of carrying the master's dust upon her most treasured thing; she soothed and soiled his feet at every moment with her tears longing for his approval over man's. She may have presumed that being around Jesus at such a time could guarantee her salvation hence taking undue advantage,lavishing on him her best gift of love. She preferred to stay at His feet until she won a pat from him.
My heart pumped afraid the master might hush her away for soiling his heel with her tears and greasing his body with some expensive"worldly"perfume and permanently grabbing his legs like she was up to some seductive moves. Rather,the Master watched her intently uttering not a word,but the over-ambitious holier-than-thou Pharisee called him a self acclaimed prophet who entertains devious sinners like this unrepentant immoral, social outcast, notorious, brash,crude(need I reel out more adjectives)...woman. I giggled at his use of adjectives,fixing my gaze upon her every move. I could not judge her since a fortnight ago,our master healed me of several diseases no physician could cure.
Afterwards,the master told a story to the "sanctimonious" Pharisee called Simon. He spoke on a certain lender who had two debtors owing five hundred and fifty denarii respectively but had no means to pay. He waived the debt and let them go then he asked him;
"Now which of them will love him more? Simon answered, The one, for whom he forgave and cancelled more. And the master said to him, You have decided correctly."
Then turning to the woman, He said to him, Do you see this woman? When I came into your house, you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave Me no kiss, but she from the moment I came in has not ceased to kiss My feet tenderly. You did not anoint My head with cheap, ordinary oil, but she has anointed My feet with costly, rare perfume. This day, her sins, many as they are, are forgiven her,because she has loved much. But he who is forgiven little loves little. And He said to her, Your sins are forgiven young lady. Your faith has saved you; go in peace and be free from all the distress that are experienced as a result of sin."
He forgave her while others grumbled at his authority to forgive sins. He forgave with no ceremonial rites or unnecessary paraphernalia. One word granted the once notorious sinner a place with the Master. He became her Master and friend by one act of genuine undiluted show of brokenness and love for a Master she never knew but only heard of.
Still caught up in those thoughts, I started my trip to the tomb with spices we (Salome, Mary the mother of James and others)had prepared for his body. He-the Master- had promised that on the third day being today,he'd rise again and I curiously want to be the first to touch him.
At wee hours of the morning, dark clouds yet to unveil the dawn, I approached the tomb and found the stone rolled away from the door. Startled I was wondering who would roll off such a big stone knowing that none of the disciples had come here - apparently devastated by his sudden death and perhaps remorseful by their betrayal,snuggled up in one room unable to look anyone(especially we the women who stood by till we got to the foot of Golgotha where he was crucified) in the face. With my heart racing like an oversped car, I tip toed into the tomb and peered in seeing " no dead body",I dashed back to alert the disciples.
It was a mixed feeling of despair and fear while narrating to them how the Master's body had been stolen. Peter and John joined me to the tomb again to confirm my story. We found his linen but the burial napkin used to wrap his head was also missing. At that point John believed the scripture which said; "He must rise again".Then they left me there sobbing and waiting to find my personal friend, Lord and master.
As I looked into the tomb again,I saw two angels sitting at the head and foot of his burial place. And they said to me,"Woman, why are you sobbing? I replied choked with tears, "Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him."
As I turned away from them,I was greeted by a man supposing he was the gardener, he asked the same question as the two angels wondering who I was looking for. But this time I confronted him saying; "Sir, if you carried Him away from here, tell me where you have put Him and I will take Him away."
I did not recognise who stood before me, though this "gardener" looked radiant and translated from the man I knew and lived with. Then he called my name, Mary! Recognising his voice, I screamed with joy; "Rabboni"(meaning Master or Teacher) and ran to embrace him. But he said;"Do not cling to Me for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go to your brethren and tell them, I am ascending to My Father and YOUR FATHER, and to My God and YOUR GOD."
With endless ever increasing joy,I skipped like a deer eager to break the news to the disciples that I had seen the Lord and how he said these things to me.
Jesus revealed himself first to a once sin-ridden and demonic woman like me, gave me the WORD and the greatest news of all time for all to share for many generations to come. He ascended and gave us all a place with Him- as co-heirs with the Father. He ascended,giving us authority over all things; he ascended handing us the higher life and giving us leeway to the Father. He ascended by the power of His name.
(References: Luke 7,8 and John 20)
Apr 24, 2011
Apr 18, 2011
She was different from Rahab. She was even different from the adulterous woman in that she had had five husbands and she was done having husbands. All she had was a lover, I mean you know how sometimes a husband can be a drag, responsibility and all that. But you know if all you had was a lover, it would be pleasure all the way and no commitments, you could terminate the relationship (If you could call it that) anytime you wanted. But obviously Jesus was not in agreement, He wasn't a judge either, He never even so much as asked the woman to get rid of the lover and become religious, nope, He simply gave her 'Living water' His word.
Jesus was on a journey this day and he stopped by a well and obviously God had spoken to him this time to speak to a woman he shouldn't be speaking to. You know Jesus was Jew right! He should have been observing Jewish tradition, following the status quo but there, he was no rule keeper, love was his guide! Okay he stopped to speak to this woman and instead of preaching at her, he's asking for a drink of water (Verse 4 says 'And he must needs go through Samaria') what does that mean? (NIV says 'Now he had to go through Samaria') implying that there were other routes but apparently God was guiding Him. The Samaritan woman, thinking Jesus did not understand what should be done informed him that 'we don't mix like oil and water...' I mean your people and mine don't have anything to do with one another, society does not allow this.
Jesus ignores her and goes to the crux of the matter, he tells her that if she knew who was asking her for water, she would ask him and he would give her 'living water'
Hold up a minute! Who on earth asks you for something and while you are making excuses on why you can't receive it, he interrupts you and practically begs you to ask him for living water that he would have given you... (God is a good God, imagine a man going about looking for how to do good, he's saying, ask me and I will give it to you, just in case you are scared of asking for what I want to give you. "If you know who is speaking with you now, you would ask me and I would have given you"). I am so glad that God is good!
Notice he talks in the past tense and this woman is so divinely positioned that Jesus would meet her at the well and give her what the whole world needs.
What amazes me so much is that God would direct Jesus' journey so that he meets with a woman by a well to give her living water?
(I declare that I am divinely positioned to receive God's goodness for me and all my family and for my friends too)
This woman is stuck on the physical because honestly, i probably would have thought that way too. I would be thinking, i have the pitcher, you are just a tired man (verse 1-4 says somewhere that Jesus was tired. Tired and still wanting to do the Masters Will) with no pitcher to fetch me water so where do you think you are going to get water from? With what will you get the water?
Jesus who knew what he was talking about then promises her that his water is different from the water everyone else brings that the water he gives '...will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life' (John 4:14NIV). The woman takes a leap of faith and then says give me this water so I don't have to keep coming here to draw water.
What Jesus should have done now is bring out his magic pitcher or whatever it was he was going to use to fetch water (assuming we were dealing with the physical) Right? Wrong!
Jesus now goes on and asks her to go and call her husband and come back.
I would probably have been angry cause you have been enticing me with this special thing that would quench my thirst forever and now that i want it, you are asking for my husband but she doesn't, she tell him instead she said that she has no husband and it is true but she probably wanted to say she was unmarried, you know all the half truths we tell all the time.
Jesus then goes on and tells her pointblank that she has had 5 husbands and that the current beau is a lover. She simply acknowledges that Jesus very well might be a prophet. She then tells him the squabbles the Jews have with the Samaritans about the location of worship. Jesus then tells her that soon we would be worshiping in spirit and in truth seeing that God is a spirit. The woman then tells Jesus that she has heard about 'a messiah' and that when he comes he would explain everything to us.
Jesus then said simply '...I who speak to you am He' (John 4:26)
(Is it not amazing that he didn't say, woman, you have had five husbands and a lover and i have come to jugde you and soon hailstones will be falling on your head, he simply says he is the messiah and tells her how we ought to worship God and that is the solution apparently because the next thing we know, she is an evangelist, telling everyone in her town about this Jesus)
His disciples return immediately and then the woman does a strange thing, she leaves her water jar and goes into the town telling people that they should come see a man who told her everything she ever did that could this be the Christ?
It is funny that a whole town would flock out on one woman's word to come and see Jesus. The bible records that many of the Samaritans believed in him because of the woman's story. All he told her was 'i am he...' and i bet she did believe, you don't go calling people on hearsay, she believed but left it open for the others to believe.
I wonder why she would believe and the pharisees would not, why would a Samaritan town believe because honestly, i know Jesus gave them no physical water to drink, what he did give them was his words.
It then records that when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them and he stayed two days, not for food or because he was good looking but because of his words.
Is the word of God a quencher of the thirst inside you. Scriptures say 'out of our bellies shall flow rivers of living water...'
I sometimes wonder, where does the river of living water flow through? Our anus, or our mouths (I mean we have only that many exits from our body).
I am glad to announce to you that it is our mouth, whether it is tongue (speaking in tongues) or just speaking, our mouth ought to be blessing and we (i) really ought to abstain from back biting, gossiping or just running people down. It is so not cool!
Jesus words caused a woman to go to a town telling about him and the people begged him to stay with them because of his words again. What do people remember about you, about your words, not when you are on a stage or in the presence of admirers but from the people closest to you?
God has given us eternal life in his son, we have the ability to worship him in spirit and in truth, we have the comforter living in us 24/7. I put it to you that we are a breathing, walking, doing good Jesus on this earth, we give out eternal life, eternal verities just by our speech that is why our speech ought to be disciplined and our thoughts too...
The Samaritan woman is my inspiration for the week, she believed a simple 'i am he', i want to believe Jesus every moment and to live with this relationship we have really, knowing that he is not just a Jesus in some book but a person who is wholly concerned about me and the way i live my life and just loves me crazily. He justs wants to do good!
Jesus is my role model, i want to talk like he talks and act like he acts, everyday because i am living and producing the same living water he was producing.
I never want a farce, a fake life, a life that is not genuine, i won't stand for it! I am glad for living water that is in me! I give out life, i am a life-giving spirit
Jesus is just awesome!
(c) Tisha Smith
(c) Tisha Smith