B u s i n e s s
T h e K i n g ’ s
LESSON COMMENTARY Golden Text Illustrations B y A lan S. P earce Children’s Dimsion B y H elen G ailey In Holy Places B y H erbert H. T ay
Outline and Exposition B y B. B. S utcliffe
Blackboard Outlines B y B essie B. B urch
was. She had followed the traditions of her people, but her need had never been met. It is bad to be in need, but it is worse to be in ignorance that the need ex ists. Third, the answer revealed the possibil ity of her need being met. The Lord never holds out before any one a prospect o f good without the possibility o f the realiza tion o f that prospect. Fourth, the answer revealed the method by which God’s gift could be received. “ Thou wouldst have asked of him,” and it would have been given. The asking would speak of the desire to possess. To give the woman added assurance, Jesus said, “And he would have given, thee living water.” This is the assurance for every one who hears the voice of our Lord. He says, “Ask and thou shalt receive.” His promise is behind every awakening desire which leads to the asking. In order to live with people o f other races, our Lord never brought Himself down to them so that He might absorb what was good in them, while they ab sorbed what was good in Him. He ever taught that if any would have the good that was in Him, they must rise to His level. Hence, there is nothing any one can do in order to live with Him, but to accept what He so freely offers, and thus be brought to His level. Jesus could not drop to the woman’s level, but He could and did open a way for her to ascend to His. Thus they could have fellowship. There is no possible method by which people of one race may dwell in harmony with those of other races as long as they continue in the “flesh.” Both must be brought to common ground upon which each will value the other as he values himself. And for this, there is no other method than for both to be regenerated by the Spirit of God, being made one in Christ. All other attempts to find common ground upon which diverse races may dwell together in harmony are doomed to failure because of the very na ture o f humanity, which is selfish. II. P eter and C ornelius (A cts 10:30-35). 1. The desire o f Cornelius (30-32). Cornelius was a Gentile, a very religious man. His religion took time and effort; it was not a mere passing emotion or a pious wish, but he set himself by prayer and fast ing to come into fellowship with God. But with all he had and did he was still an unsaved man; he must send for Peter, who, he was told, “shall-tell thee words whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved” (Acts 11:14). 2. The obedience o f Cornelius (33). First, his obedience was immediate. There was no procrastination, but he sent at once to Joppa, as he had been instructed to do. This prompt obedience revealed the depth of his desire to find salvation. Second, his obedience was unashamed. He did not send secretly, but calling his servants, he gave them command to go and
DECEMBER 4, 1932 LIVING W ITH PEOPLE OF OTHER RACES 1 Ki. 8:41-43; L k . 10:25-37; J ohn 4:5-10.; A cts 10:9-19, 28-35; 17:22-28 Lesson Text: John 4:5-10; Acts 10:30- 35.
The Lord’s providence rules over all, and it was this that brought the woman to the well at that moment, while the same provi dence took the disciples into the town to procure food. Thus the meeting between Jesus and the woman was to be uninter rupted until the work God intended to be done was accomplished. The woman’s visit to the well, the tired Man sitting there, the disciples away to the town—all were work ing on behalf o f this woman’s soul. Even so today, all things conspire, by the over ruling providence of God, to bring sinful people to the presence of the Saviour just at the right time and right place. 2. The amazement o f the woman (9). There was enough to awaken her sur prise in the fact that this Man, whom she knew to be a Jew, should address her. The “Jews have no dealings with the Samari tans.” Added to this, there was the fact that these two were strangers and of oppo site sex, and, on her part, there was strong racial as well as religious prejudice. All of this made it difficult for the Lord to gain her attention sufficiently to give her that which she needed above all else. There were also other difficulties in the way. Her deep ignorance o f spiritual things, as well as the hardening effect of her sin, were real ob stacles in the way of her possessing that water of life which He was there to give. 3. The surprising answer o f the Lord .( 10 ). This answer, first, revealed the woman’s ignorance and legalism. She knew neither the gift of God nor the One who was speaking to her. In her religion there was nothing but a continual doing in order to get something from God—no hint that God was ready to give something for nothing, a free gift. Thus it is with the legalist today; he is constantly urged to do, in order that God may reward the doing with what it is supposed to earn. But the legalist, never certain that God will pay him, holds, per haps unconsciously, the thought that God is a God o f partiality and unfairness. The woman demonstrated such legality in the way she spoke to the Lord. Second, the answer r e v e a l e d the woman’s deep need. She evidently had never known what the water of life really BLACKBOARD LESSON
Golden Text: “ Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons” (Acts 10: 34). The Woman at the Well I N every land , there are certain tasks which, by common consent, are re garded as women’s work; so, in the Holy Land, the mothers and daughters have taken over the work o f drawing water from the wells. Isaac’s bride was engaged in this service when we first
heard about her, and now, in our lesson to day, our Lord deals with a Sama r i t a n woma n wh o dr ew water for Him from Jacob’s well. Even to day, the women con tinue this work, think ing of it as their right- f u 1 du t y . A s o n e
stands in the gathering dusk beside some village well, he can see scores of dark-clad women and girls, each bearing her water- pot, come to the well, draw water, and re turn to the village with the filled vessel up on her head. Our party had traveled all day on horse back, and about sunset had come to a well just outside a village near the Vale of Elah. A woman was there drawing water. We asked her if we might borrow her leather bucket and rope to draw water, for the well was deep. She refused to let us draw the water, but with the help of another girl who came up about that time, drew water sufficient to satisfy nine horses and eight men. So strongly was the tradition o f her people fixed upon her, that she would have felt disgraced to stand idly by while we men drew the water. The gift o f water is always given cheer fully. At one time, we met some women who had just drawn water from a cistern on the Mount o f Olives. We asked for a drink, and they immediately poured out the contents of their vessels in order that they might draw fresh water for us. Outline and Exposition I. J esus and the W oman of S amaria ( J ohn 4:5-l-0). 1. The providence for the woman (5-8). Our Lord “must needs pass through Sa maria” on His way from Judaea to Gali lee. Whether the “must needs” refers to the geographical or the spiritual necessity may be a question, but His passing that way at just that time was certainly providential. On the human side, the meeting between the woman and the Lord was accidental; but on God’s side, it was providential.
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