Sunday, April 1, 2007

Why did Jesus waste His time with a despised, immoral Samaritan woman?

Because Jesus doesn't consider anyone to be a waste of time. In fact, if there was a type of Election in which it was eternally decreed who would be created for the purpose of comprising an alleged, eternal flock of the Father, it would be the ones who did not make the cut, that Jesus would want to save the most, and who He would save first. That’s the Jesus of the Gospels who states: “What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” (Luke 15:4-7)

Footnote: While salvation is indeed to the Jew first, and then the Gentile (Romans 1:16), that’s also from the perspective that both camps are lost sheep in need of salvation, despite Israel’s election. In contrast, with an alleged, eternal flock of the Father type Election, none in that flock could genuinely be considered lost sheep.

8 comments:

selahV said...

Richard: I'm so glad I was found. I'm glad Jesus wasn't satisfied to let me wander around on my own in the world of sin and decadence till it was too late for me. I'm glad He brought this one and that one and the other one into my life and cultivated the soil within my heart so that when His Seed was sown, it took root and grew.

I pray I can be some significance along my way as I seek to obey Him, abandon myself to Him and worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. SelahV

www.examiningcalvinism.com said...

SelahV:

That reminds me of Luke 19:10 where Jesus states: "For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost." That is one of the most wonderful statements in Scripture, right next to the parable of the 99 and the 1.

The idea of some Calvinists that Jesus leaves us to our "Free Will" is bizarre. Jesus seeks, draws and knocks, while the Holy Spirit kicks, pricks, convicts, pierces and opens unregenerate hearts to receive Him, and to experience the well of "living water" that will flow within us, when we give our heart to Him.

As for how God uses us, when we become a Christian, the Holy Spirit gives each one of us a special gift. Just like the human body has many parts, so too does the Body of Christ have many parts, and "in Chirst," each one of us has been given a special gift for the edification of the Body of Christ. This is our Second Calling. Our First Calling is when God called us to eternal life. When you answer the call to live IN Christ, then you receive the call to live FOR Christ, which is the Christian Calling that each Christian receives that pertains to God's eternal plan for you "in Christ." In Christ, you were eternally foreknown (Romans 8:29), and in Him, you have an eternal purpose. (2Tim 1:9) One thing about this particular calling, is that it will find US, rather than us trying to find IT.

Going back to the Samaritans, they confessed that Jesus is the "Savior of the world." (John 4:42)

Now if that meant that Jesus is nothing more than just the Savior of the "world of the elect," then how can that be reconciled with the fact that the outcast Samaritans knew absolutely nothing of Election, since they were outcasts from the commonwealth of Israel? Therefore, when they used the word "world," they didn't mean it in the narrow sense that 5-Point Calvinists intend it. So when we read John 3:16 and find the word "world," view it in the same way that the Samaritans knew it, and you will discover that truly, God so loved the world.

Anonymous said...

you're implying that calvinists believe that Jesus was "wasting His time with the samaritan woman?" wow - sometimes you're at least dealing with the issues but this one was just a miserable waste of time.

for one, calvinists have no problem describing elect sheep as "lost" prior to conversion. (eph2:3 all of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.)

OTOH, calvinists do object to the notion that the "sheep" could have freely chosen to escape from Jesus, despite Jesus' best efforts. or turning the parable into a story about how Jesus is really running around chasing a bunch of goats, hoping that some of them will become sheep.

and again, you demonstrate your modern bias. the samaritans had the OT - they knew that the God claimed the jews as His chosen people (deut7:6), a kingdom of priests and a holy nation (exod19:6), His bride (ezek16) and His son (hos11:1). through Jesus, these titles were now applied across all nations (rom16:26; rev15:4) to those in His church.

this was an enormous change at the time and the samaritans were speaking out of this historical context - not the more expansive and egalitarian sense of the arminian - you are dishonest in claiming they must have meant every single person. (and moreso in claiming that Jesus is the Savior of every single person in the world, while many are clearly not saved. it is as ridiculous as claiming you worked as a relief worker after katrina and therefore calling yourself "the savior of new orleans" - only when the media discovers that you only pulled a single person from a flooded home, you point out that you made escape possible but only one managed to come to you.)

Anonymous said...

at least you correctly noted (if only by backhand) that election is not conditional on goodness or merit in the elect.

1 Timothy 1:15-16
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.


paul deserved the same spiritual blindness and hardening that the other pharisees received from God. the same is probably true of the samaritan woman. God gives some what they deserve and to others He shows mercy...and no one can challenge His right to choose.

www.examiningcalvinism.com said...

To Anonymous:

You wrote: you're implying that calvinists believe that Jesus was "wasting His time with the samaritan woman?" wow - sometimes you're at least dealing with the issues but this one was just a miserable waste of time.

My point relates to the Calvinist doctrine of Preterition, which is a legitimate issue. In terms of that doctrine, does God consider some people a waste of time? More to the point, does God “pass by” people, whom He sees in need, but remains casually indifferent to their need? To develop that point more fully, consider my writeup on Luke 10:30: http://www.examiningcalvinism.com/files/Gospels/Luke10_30.html

You Wrote: for one, calvinists have no problem describing elect sheep as "lost" prior to conversion. (eph2:3 all of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.)

Logically speaking, how can someone in an alleged, “eternal flock of the Father,” be, in any reasonable way, considered “lost”? Your next point concerning "sheep" and "goats" allows me to develop my question further:

You wrote: OTOH, calvinists do object to the notion that the "sheep" could have freely chosen to escape from Jesus, despite Jesus' best efforts. or turning the parable into a story about how Jesus is really running around chasing a bunch of goats, hoping that some of them will become sheep.

I’m interested in hearing whether you believe that YOU, at ANY point, were ever a “goat,” which gets right back to the question of whether you were ever truly “lost,” as the Bible defines it at John 3:18. Were you ever a goat? (Yes/No?)

You wrote: and again, you demonstrate your modern bias. the samaritans had the OT - they knew that the God claimed the jews as His chosen people (deut7:6), a kingdom of priests and a holy nation (exod19:6), His bride (ezek16) and His son (hos11:1). through Jesus, these titles were now applied across all nations (rom16:26; rev15:4) to those in His church.

Actaully, the Samaritans “reject” all of the OT, except for the Pentateuch. While they certainly knew of the claimed, Jewish National Election, are you claiming that they knew Calvinistic Election, and therefore made their statement at John 4:42 from that basis? (Yes/No?)

You wrote: “you are dishonest in claiming they must have meant every single person. (and moreso in claiming that Jesus is the Savior of every single person in the world, while many are clearly not saved.”

Jesus is indeed the "Savior of the world," conditioned upon you receiving Him as such, as per John 3:16 and 1st Timothy 4:10. I was going to give a Town Doctor analogy, but since I loathe extra-biblical analogies, I’ll stick with the context. In context, the Samaritans essentially remarked that Jesus wasn’t just the Jewish Messiah, but also the Samaritan Messiah, and which we also learn, the Gentile Messiah. He is the Savior of the whole world, and what is the world but the sum of its parts?, of so many units of so many people which is tantamount to the same thing as everyone. That, by the way, is a quote from Spurgeon. I’d be glad to provide the full quote upon request.

www.examiningcalvinism.com said...

A quick word about the Samaritans. I was listening to Adrian Rogers preach a sermon on the them, and he said that they 1) only accept the Pentateuch, 2) have fanciful interpretations and 3) conduct blood sacrifices. From the Gospels, we also know that they taught that Mt. Gerazim was the true place of worship. So you have to factor that into the context of their statement at John 4:42, in terms of what they really knew about election.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting that you mention the woman at the well, but you leave off the millions that have died and never heard the gospel of Jesus, they will die in their sins. I guess God was unable to get someone to them to preach the gospel to them. A better explanation to that is that they were not elect before the foundations of the world.

www.examiningcalvinism.com said...

Darrell,

First of all, you misquoted Eph 1:4 by lopping of "in Christ." We are Elect in the Son. Don't shoot the messanger. That's just what the Bible says.

Second, as for those millions of others, God looks to you and I and every other person who claims to be His follower:

Ezekiel 33:7-11: “Now, son of man, I am making you a watchman for the people of Israel. Therefore, listen to what I say and warn them for me. If I announce that some wicked people are sure to die and you fail to warn them about changing their ways, then they will die in their sins, but I will hold you responsible for their deaths. But if you warn them to repent and they don't repent, they will die in their sins, but you will not be held responsible. Son of man, give the people of Israel this message: You are saying, ‘Our sins are heavy upon us; we are wasting away! How can we survive?’ As surely as I live, says the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live. Turn! Turn from your wickedness, O people of Israel! Why should you die?” [TLB]