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The Scriptorium

The Lord Knows

Of course He knows. He knows everything.

The Gospel of John: John 4.16-26

Read and meditate on John 4.17, 18.
Simple denial never has worked before the Lord Who knows what is in every person (Jn. 2.25).

                                               17She answered, “Oh,
I have no husband.” Jesus said, “Now you
have answered well by saying that you do
not have a husband; this is true, as you
have said, 18for you have had five husbands, true
it is, and he is not your husband whom
you now have.”

- John 4.17, 18

1.  The woman’s response was true, but disingenuous. Explain. Is it characteristic of sinful people – like us – to respond to the Word of God like this? Why? Complete this prayer: Lord Jesus, You know what’s in me, who I am, how I think, what I desire. So let me…

2.  Jesus is gracious but firm in His response to the woman’s evasiveness. How can you see that He was gracious? Let my speech always be seasoned with grace, Lord, so that…

3.  He is gracious, but He is also firm. He knows this woman, and everything about her (cf. v. 29). Do you suppose this remark by Jesus may have increased the woman’s discomfort? Explain. Lord, we don’t want people to feel discomfort about You, but…

4.   Jesus simply forced this woman to face up to her sinful way of life. He didn’t back down, didn’t apologize, and didn’t hesitate to bring the weight of God’s Word to bear against her. What risk was He running by doing this? You know best, Lord, how to proclaim the Good News. Let me learn from You how…

5.  It is possible to be gracious in sharing the Good News and firm about the matter of sin at the same time. The Spirit alone can bring conviction of sin (Jn. 16.8), but we have a role in His doing this. How would you explain that role? Bring together into one prayer the prayers you wrote from questions 1-4.

“The Savior was not ignorant that she had no lawful husband, and his inquiry about her husband was not the plea of one who needed hidden things revealed.… He had full knowledge of her circumstances and helpfully affirms her comment that she has no husband, although she had had so many.” Cyril of Alexandria (375-444 AD)

No one can receive the gift of God, or know the living water that brings everlasting life, unless he first faces up to and repents of his sin. The Good News of forgiveness and eternal life only makes sense against the backdrop of the bad news of sin, judgment, and death. How can you incorporate this into your witness for Christ, at the same time making sure to let your words be seasoned with grace (Col. 4.6)?

Closing Prayer
You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.
Gird Your sword upon Your thigh, O Mighty One,
With Your glory and Your majesty.
And in Your majesty ride prosperously because of truth, humility, and righteousness;
And Your right hand shall teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp in the heart of the King's enemies;
The peoples fall under You.

Psalm 45.2-5

Psalm 45.2-4 (Manoah: When All Your Mercies, O My God)
You of all men are the fairest, Lord, and Your lips are flush with grace;
Thus God has blessed You evermore before His holy face.

Your sword gird on Your thigh, O Lord, in splendid majesty;
Ride out, resplendent in Your Word to glorious victory.

T. M. Moore

Visit The Ailbe Seminary, where our course, One in Twelve: Introduction to Christian Worldview, can show you how Jesus is central to all aspects of life in the world – and beyond! Our course is free, and you can study at your own pace, watching videos and using the free materials provided.

We are happy to offer each week’s Scriptorium studies in a free weekly PDF, suitable for personal or group use. You can download all the studies in our series on the Gospel of John by clicking here. Please prayerfully consider sharing with The Fellowship of Ailbe through your giving. You can contribute to The Fellowship by clicking the Contribute button at the website or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series IV a and b: John, edited by Joel C. Elowsky, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006. Verse translation of John by T. M. Moore.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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