Bible Reading Plan (Day 72)

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DAY SEVENTY-TWO — Exodus 25, John 4

Ex 25

God asks for contributions. But, mark this, HE DOES NOT FORCE THEM! The sacrifices and offerings are (for the most part) forced, but the giving to the building of the sanctuary is voluntary.

The tabernacle must be built to EXACT specifications.

The first article mentioned is the Ark of the Covenant. This is to be the one visual reminder the people are to have of God Himself. It is to be the connecting point between God and his people, HOWEVER… (we will get to that later.)

Next is the table for bread, made with wood and lots of gold.

After that, the lampstand made of gold.

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John 4

Remember the context that precedes this. Jesus had just been speaking to Nicodemus about salvation and the new birth. Before that (chapter 2) Jesus show us his low view of man. Man is depraved. Man must be born again… How does this work? The Spirit does it as the Spirit wills. Much like the wind it is a mystery. Now… With that in mind we come to the woman at the well.

Jews and Samaritans… well… hated each other. The disciples and apostles were no doubt grinding their teeth as they walked through. No doubt tired and hungry from the travel Jesus sends his disciples for food (as one can infer). He sits down by a well and rests. A woman comes up. Jesus shares the gospel with her.

Note Jesus starts in the natural world (May I have some water?) and moves to the spiritual world (If you knew the gift of God… spring of water welling up to eternal life.) Jesus is polite even as the woman walks, bluntly, right into his trap. Jesus, having the woman attuned now to the spiritual, brings her the Law. Specifically, the commandment against adultery. When Jesus reveals her short coming she tries to fight back, conscience wounded. She admits that Jesus is a prophet (step in the right direction) and then says, “Well… we don’t worship the way we should according to your people so… Guess it really doesn’t matter.” Jesus then lovingly rebukes her that the right way to worship… even “they” don’t get it. Besides the times, they are a changin’. Worship happens when it is done in spirit and in truth. The woman replies that when the Messiah finally comes, HE will straighten everything out. Jesus says, “That’s me.”

TIMING! The disciples return. They see Jesus talking to *gasp* a Samaritan woman! But none of them call him on it. As the disciples are standing there like a bunch of mouth-breathers, the woman leaves her jar and runs to start telling people to come and see the Messiah. The woman was born again.

Meanwhile, at the same time, the disciples wanted him to eat. Jesus claims to have food they don’t know about. Of course the disciples figure someone else must have dropped off a bit of bread or something to Jesus. Uh… no. The food is doing God’s will.

When it comes to evangelism, Jesus says that his disciples aren’t the ones who do/did the work. That work belonged to others. Specifically, the Trinity. God the Father elects, the Son’s salvific work upon the cross, and the Holy Spirit regenerating. The disciples just gotta preach.

Returning to the farm, back on the ranch, the Samaritans hear the testimony of the woman and then go to see Jesus. After seeing him themselves, they believe. Vicarious experiences do not save. It must happen through a personal encounter with Jesus the Christ who is not just savior of the Jews, but of the whole world.

After staying for two days, Jesus went to Galilee where he is welcomed. (But not in his own town…. of course.)

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Questions to Ponder:

* Here’s a fun thing to do. Draw out (to the best of your ability) the articles mentioned. Bonus points if you can do it to scale.

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