01 Oct More Than Gold, Sweeter Than Honey – Oct 12
by Ferdinand Haratua
We find the story about Jesus’ encounter with a Samaritan woman in John chapter four. When Jesus asked the Samaritan woman for water to drink, she responded rather harshly saying, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” However, after Jesus revealed who he is, the woman could not wait to tell others about Jesus. The Bible tells us that, she is so excited that she leaves her water jar and immediately goes into town and tells people about Jesus.
The Samaritan woman does not keep to herself what she has heard about Jesus, neither she sleeps on it for a few days before she tells others about Jesus. No, she immediately tells others with excitement. In fact, she does not stop there; she also invites people to come to meet Jesus for themselves (v. 29).
Today, we rarely see this kind of excitement anymore. As believers, somehow many of us have grown to be so comfortable with our Christianity that we have ignored Jesus’ commission to tell the world about the gospel. We have become so “tolerant” and sensitive, we think that if we tell others about Jesus we would be offending them.
John Calvin writes that the action of the Samaritan woman in fact is the very nature of faith, that when we have become partakers of eternal life, we wish to bring others to share it with us. After all the message of the gospel is good news, which is why sometimes the gospel is also referred to as the Good News.
If we truly believe that the gospel is good news, then should we not be excited to tell the world about it? Or maybe deep down in our hearts, we don’t really believe that the gospel is good news. Now lets go back to the story.
While the Samaritan woman has just been saved, the disciples are marveled (or disturbed) at the fact that Jesus was talking to this woman. The word “marveled” here could either mean that the disciples were disgusted because she is a woman of Samaria, or they believe Jesus is now polluted for He had a conversation with the Samaritan woman. The Bible tells us that the disciples say nothing to Jesus about the matter; instead, thinking that He must be hungry they urge Jesus to eat.
“The kingdom of God must always take priority over any comforts of the physical body. “
Jesus’ response to the disciples is both very interesting and important for us. Jesus says to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” Then, Jesus goes on to tell them (and us) that His food is to do the will of God who sent Him, and to accomplish God’s work.
Yes, there is no doubt that Jesus was tired and hungry, yet He shows us that the kingdom of God must take priority over any comforts of the physical body. Jesus is also showing us that there is nothing more joyful and delightful for Him than to do the will of the Father. King David echoes this truth when he writes that the Word of God is to be desired more than gold and sweeter than honey (Psalms 19:10).