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From Heaven With Love

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    The Dark Secrets of Her Past

    Jesus now abruptly turned the conversation. Before this soul could receive the gift He longed to bestow, she must be brought to recognize her sin and her Saviour. Jesus said to her, “Go, call thy husband, and come hither.” She answered, “I have no husband.” But the Saviour continued, “Thou hast well said, I have no husband: for thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.”HLv 118.2

    The listener trembled. A mysterious hand was turning the pages of her life history. Who was He that could read the secrets of her life? There came to her thoughts of eternity, of the future judgment, when all that is now hidden shall be revealed.HLv 118.3

    She tried to evade all mention of a subject so unwelcome. “Sir, I perceive that Thou art a prophet.” Then, hoping to silence conviction, she turned to points of religious controversy.HLv 118.4

    Patiently Jesus watched for the opportunity of again bringing the truth home to her heart. “Our fathers worshiped on this mountain,” she said, “and Ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” Just in sight was Mount Gerizim, a subject of contention between Jews and Samaritans. For many generations the latter people were intermingled with idolaters, whose religion gradually contaminated their own.HLv 118.5

    When the temple at Jerusalem was rebuilt in the days of Ezra, the Samaritans wished to join the Jews in its erection. This was refused, and bitter animosity sprang up between the two peoples. The Samaritans built a rival temple on Mount Gerizim. But their temple was destroyed by enemies, and they seemed to be under a curse; yet they would not acknowledge the temple at Jerusalem as the house of God, nor admit that the religion of the Jews was superior.HLv 118.6

    In answer to the woman, Jesus said, “Believe Me, the hour cometh when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.” Now Jesus sought to break down the prejudice of this Samaritan against the Jews. Great truths of redemption had been committed to the Jews, and from among them the Messiah was to appear.HLv 119.1

    Jesus desired to lift the thoughts of His hearer above controversy. “The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”HLv 119.2

    Not by seeking a holy mountain or a sacred temple are men brought into communion with heaven. In order to serve God aright, we must be born of the divine Spirit. This will purify the heart and renew the mind, giving us a willing obedience to all His requirements. This is true worship. It is the fruit of the working of the Holy Spirit. Wherever a soul reaches out after God, there the Spirit's working is manifest, and God will reveal Himself to that soul.HLv 119.3

    As the woman talked with Jesus, she was impressed with His words. As the past of her life had been spread out before her, she realized her soul thirst, which the waters of the well of Sychar could never satisfy. Nothing had hitherto so awakened her to a higher need. Jesus read the secrets of her life; yet she felt that He was her friend, pitying and loving her. While the purity of His presence condemned her sin, He had spoken no word of denunciation, but had told her of His grace that could renew the soul. The question arose in her mind, Might not this be the long-looked-for Messiah? She said to Him, “I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when He is come, He will tell us all things.” Jesus answered, “I that speak unto thee am He.”HLv 119.4

    As the woman heard these words, faith sprang up in her heart. She accepted the wonderful announcement from the lips of the divine Teacher.HLv 120.1

    This woman was in an appreciative state of mind. She was interested in the Scriptures, and the Holy Spirit had been preparing her to receive more light. Light on Old Testament prophecies was already flashing into her mind. The water of life which Christ gives to every thirsty soul had begun to spring up in her heart.HLv 120.2

    The plain statement made by Christ to this woman could not have been made to the self-righteous Jews. That which had been withheld from them, and which the disciples were afterward enjoined to keep secret, was revealed to her. Jesus saw that she would make use of her knowledge in bringing others to share His grace.HLv 120.3

    When the disciples returned from their errand, they were surprised to find their Master speaking with the woman. He had not taken the refreshing draught He desired, and He did not stop to eat the food His disciples had brought. When the woman had gone, the disciples entreated Him to eat. They saw Him silent, His face beaming with light, and they feared to interrupt, but they thought it their duty to remind Him of His physical necessities. Jesus recognized their loving interest and said, “I have meat to eat that ye know not of.”HLv 120.4

    The disciples wondered who could have brought Him food. He explained, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to accomplish His work.” RSV. To minister to a soul hungering and thirsting for truth was more comforting and refreshing to Him than eating or drinking.HLv 120.5

    Our Redeemer hungers for the sympathy and love of those whom He has purchased with His blood. As the mother watches for the smile of recognition from her little child, which tells of the dawning of intelligence, so does Christ watch for the expression of grateful love, which shows that spiritual life is begun in the soul.HLv 120.6

    The woman had been filled with joy as she listened to Christ's words. Leaving her waterpot, she returned to the city to carry the message to others. She forgot her errand to the well, she forgot the Saviour's thirst, which she had purposed to supply. With heart overflowing with gladness, she hastened to impart to others the light she had received.HLv 121.1

    “Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did,” she said to the men of the city. “Is not this the Christ?” There was a new expression on her face, a change in her whole appearance. “They went out of the city, and came unto Him.”HLv 121.2

    As Jesus still sat at the well side, He looked over the fields of grain spread out before Him, their tender green touched by the golden sunlight. Pointing His disciples to the scene, He employed it as a symbol: “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.” As He spoke, He looked on the groups coming to the well. Here was a harvest ready for the reaper.HLv 121.3

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