More alike than we might think

The Bible is not like human writing. There is a continuous flow of context in the Bible. Sometimes humans separate chapters as completely different occurrences, but fail to see there is a unified context flowing throughout the chapters and sometimes even an entire book.

An example of this can be found in John chapters three and four. It is easy to think that Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus in John chapter three and with the Samaritan woman in chapter four are two unrelated occurrences, but they are very much alike. Let’s compare the two.

Jesus introduced Nicodemus to the new birth by using a figure of speech. The Lord told Nicodemus, “Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3 NASB). Jesus introduced himself to the Samaritan woman by using the figure of “living water” (John 4:10).

Following Jesus’ initial statement to Nicodemus, the Pharisee questioned the Lord (John 3:4). In response to Jesus’ initial statement to the Samaritan woman, she questioned Jesus (John 4:11).

Jesus then explained to both what he meant (John 3:5; John 4:13, 21-24).

Nicodemus has more questions for the Master (John 3:9). The Samaritan woman said, “Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty nor come all the way here to draw” (John 4:15 NASB). But her statement reveals she did not understand the spiritual lesson Jesus was trying to teach her.

So, Jesus continues to explain to both (John 3:10-12; 4:21-24).

At the conclusion of both conversations, Jesus identifies himself as the Son of God (John 3:13-21; 4:25-26). Some people think Jesus never admitted this to anyone, but he did.

This similarity in these conversations is no accident. Jesus could have come to earth announcing his deity with angels at his command and with an overt demonstration of his power. Instead, he had conversations with people showing them the truth so that they could understand it themselves. This way, the individual is free to make up his/her own mind and the freedom of choice is preserved.

For us, this ability to choose to believe in Jesus is also preserved. And, we are presented a message that has been wonderfully inspired by God. We are not forced to believe that Jesus is the Christ. We simply decide for ourselves based on the evidence.

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