Nouns not adjectives

I try to read my Bible.  I don’t always do it as regularly as I should, but I try.  When I read scripture devotionally, I try to let the Holy Spirit guide my thoughts to reveal something for me.  Sometimes it is just the theme of the passage.  Sometimes it is a word or phrase.  Sometimes it is how something was said.  I then try to journal about them for two main reasons.  One, it helps me mediate more on what God is saying and lets me move to pratical application of scripture.  Secondly, one day I will preach on these texts, and these could be a springboard for future sermons.  I thought that I would share with you a little about what God taught me today in His Word.

John 4 is the story of the Women at the Well.  I will try to sum it up quickly.  Jesus and his disciples go into Samaria where Jesus stopped at the watering well, while his disciples went into town to buy food.  He asked a local woman for a drink of water (a big cultural no-no talking first talking to a Samaritan and then a women double no-no)  Anyway, Jesus starts talking about living water (she is confused) and then Jesus starts talking to her about her personal, shameful life (5 ex-husbands and current live-in boyfriend).  Jesus explains a little bit about salvation and then she says that the Messiah will explain everything, and Jesus says that I am he. 

About that time the disciples come back wondering (inwardly) why Jesus is talking to the Samaritan woman.  The Samaritan woman probably feeling unwelcomed left and told her village about the Messiah she meet.  The disciples prepare to give Jesus lunch, he starts talking about another sort of food that they know nothing about (the disciples are confused).  Jesus then talks about the time for the harvest is now.  That the fields are ripe, look around at the Samaritan fields they are ripe for harvest.  So, they stay 2 more days and many Samaritans believe.

That is the quick version.  When I read this story, I zoomed in on verse 27 of The Message“Just then his disciples came back.  They were shocked.  They couldn’t believe he was talking with that kind of a woman.  No one said what they were all thinking, but their faces showed it.”  I started thinking that I’ve been like that.  I’ve been in situations around people where I may not have said what are you doing here, but my face and my heart have shown it. 

Why do we do that?  Why are we inconsistent in how we treat one another?  We treat some people so well and others so poorly.  I think it is because too often we are adjective people.  Try it yourself. Walk into a place and look around and hear your assessments of others.  “poor man,” “foreign woman,” “strange boy,” “mean parents.” That was the disciples biggest problem with the Samaritan woman.  They couldn’t get past the adjective-Samaritan.  They knew nothing about her except that she was a Samaritan, so that is how they treated her.  Jesus insteads calls them (and therefore us) to be noun people.  Instead of seeing the Samaritan woman, we should see Woman.  Instead of a poor man, we should see Man.  Instead of an annoying child, we should see Child-of-God.  Following Christ is about seeing people as nouns instead of the many adjectives that we can put before them. 

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1 Comment

Filed under Thoughts on Life with God

One response to “Nouns not adjectives

  1. Nice thoughts.

    In a class in seminary one time we had a pre-class discussion as to how this conversation would sound in a movie if Jesus was played by Jack Nicholson.

    Blasphemy abounded.

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