John 16-21

John 16-21

John 21 includes an intense private conversation between the Lord and Peter that the apostle John was allowed to overhear. Even though Peter was still very tender from his devastating failure during the events leading up to the crucifixion, when he denied knowing Christ, Jesus welcomed him back.

But it was a welcome accompanied by truth. Jesus had work for him to do. He refused to sugarcoat the reality of the life to which Peter had returned. Jesus basically let him know, “This is going to be hard, Peter. If you’re going to follow Me, the way won’t be easy. Feeding My sheep is going to take everything you’ve got.”

When Jesus said, “Where you do not want to go,” we know what He meant because of John’s side note: “(This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.)” Jesus could see what Peter would face in the future and He knew His disciple would endure.

Church history records that in about AD 65 Peter was executed in Rome under orders from Nero. By the end of his life Peter had been on the road for several decades proclaiming the gospel. He had penned a couple of New Testament letters and probably been Mark’s main source for the second gospel. Peter had a great life of serving God, but he had a tough finish.

Following Christ is not easy. Our Lord never hid that fact. But following Him is best. We’re not sugarcoating anything here. The Christian life is not always smooth going, but it is exactly what we were designed to do and be. It’s the real life. It’s the best life you can possibly have: giving your life to Jesus Christ, living for Him, obeying His Word, having fellowship with His people, and serving in His kingdom.

You don’t know what lies ahead for you. Jesus does. He won’t tell you beforehand, except to assure you that whatever happens, He will be with you every step of the way. He has made that promise (Matthew 28:20) and He will keep it.

John 1-15

John 1-15

In John 4, Jesus interacts with a woman at the well. She came to the well at midday, not out of choice but out of necessity, for the other women would not tolerate her presence in the cool of the morning. The well was usually deserted during the hot hours, but on this day a man was sitting there. Then she noticed that the man was a Jew, and Jews hardly ever ventured so far into Samaria. But then, most surprising of all, for the Jews have no dealings with Samaritans, the man turned to her and asked for a drink. She was flabbergasted, and rather than fulfilling the request she paused to ask why this man was violating so many social customs.

“Jesus answered and said to her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, “Give Me a drink,” you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.’ ” Thus, the woman at the well came face to face with Jesus and He began teaching her how to find eternal satisfaction.

Just as Nathanael had doubts about Philip’s claim that Jesus was the Messiah, this woman was skeptical about Jesus’ ability to supply living water. “ ‘Where then do You get that living water?’ ” she asked. Jesus didn’t answer, but began to describe the wonderful qualities of His living water in comparison to the water in the well. The living water, He said, would satisfy forever. That got her attention, for she was a hedonist, a seeker after pleasure, spending her life in search of something to satisfy her. And so she asked Him to give her a drink.

“Jesus said to her, ‘Go, call your husband.’ ” She had to admit she had no husband, to which Jesus replied that she had had five husbands and now had an illicit relationship. That raised Him, in her estimation, to the status of a prophet, and she brought up the topic of worship. Jesus then spoke to her about true worship, and when He was finished she ventured to mention her theory that Jesus might be more, that He might be the Messiah the Samaritans, too, were looking for. And Jesus, in a rare self-disclosure, said, “ ‘I … am He.’ ”

We’re never told whether the woman accepted Jesus’ claim. She went back to town and asked the men whether Jesus could be the Christ. Many of the people did believe on Him. But the woman had been the first of that town to see and hear Jesus. He offered Himself to her as living water that would satisfy always. Did she drink?