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Not Sought, But Found.

Not Sought, But Found.

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BY THE Rev. T. W. hooper, D.D.

BY THE Rev. T. W. hooper, D.D.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Mar 06, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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BY THE Rev. T. W. hooper, D.D.
IN striking contrast with the case of Nicodemusthere is another story, which we all love to readover and over again. It is the incident of the wo-man at Jacob's well. The Lord himself was weary-hungry and thirsty, but he was never too tired to" speak a word in season to one that was weary .'^But this interview has always seemed to be oneof the most touching scenes in our Lord's earthlylife. It was such a wondrous display of human sym-pathy and divine condescension and compassion thatwe can never cease to wonder. Why he should haveselected such a person as this, and such an occasionas this, to let out the great secret of his divine mis-sion has always seemed a mystery.Nicodemus was a ruler of the Jews and a learnedstudent of the Old Testament, and it seemed rightand proper that he should have unfolded to him themysteries of the "new birth." Zaccheus, thoughsmall of stature, was a rich publican and also a"son of Abraham." Peter and James and John86NOT SOUGHT, BUT FOUND. 87were designed of him to be his future apostles.But here was a woman of bad character, of deep-rooted national prejudices, and showing no specialgrasp of mind. She appears long enough to callforth this wonderful discourse, and then, like Lot'swife, vanishes as suddenly as she had appeared, andwe hear no more about her.She was evidently one of the common class, andyet, under all her obtuseness of mind and nationalprejudice, she had not been devoid of all religiousinstruction. There was, to her mind, a hope, com-mon in those days, that the Messiah would come.She had been taught by the traditions of her peopleto look upon Mt. Gerizim as a holy mountain, andto expect the Messiah to come there, and not toJerusalem. She was ready to discuss religiousmatters even with a stranger, and that strangerevidently a Jew. Gradually and most adroitly thisstranger led her on from one point to another untilhe threw a sudden flash of light upon her sinfuldomestic life, and thus convinced her that he knewall about her past story of sorrow and of sin.
No wonder that she tried to turn the conversa-tion, and to elude the keen scrutiny of those search-ing eyes which could read through and through herheart and character. It was not impertinence and88 A WORD TO THE WEARY,not unkindness on his part ; but, like a skillful sur-geon, he would probe deeper and deeper until thepoor sinner herself should understand the natureof her malady. He intended to cure, but he couldnot do this until he went to the very seat of thedisease.She had first perceived that he was a prophet.But by and by, to her wondering mind, he hadsaid, " I am the Messiah.^' Just then the disciplescame, and while they " marveled that he talked withthe woman, yet no man said. What seekest thou ?or. Why talkest thou with her ?" They thought itstrange, for men did not usually speak with a womanin public, but " the woman left her water-pot andwent her way into the city, and saith to the men,Come, see a man which told me all things that everI did : is not this the Christ?"This was an exaggeration, a wild statement, butit was natural in her state of mind. What he didtell her showed that he knew all that ever she did,and with a quick flash of memory, like that whicha man has when drowning, she did have broughtback to her the salient points in a godless, sinfullife. The whole course of her past life, with all itssorrows and all its sins, was made to stand out invivid colors, and her heart sank within her, as sheNOT SOUGHT, BUT FOUND. 89thought that here was a stranger who knew all abouther." The word of God is quick and powerful, andsharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even tothe dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of thethoughts and intents of the heart." Our Lordknew just what he was striking at and the wordthat was needed. It was not a random shot, buta centre shot at short range, and the cry came forthshowing that the heart was struck. " All her sinswere set in order before her," and hastily leavingher water-pot, just as the fishermen left their nets,she hurried away to Sychar to tell the people the
good news that the Messiah had come. "Come,see a man which told me all things that ever Idid."If she had stopped at this the men might havethought that there was some wandering juggler orsoothsayer or fortune-teller out there at the well.They might have thought that John the Baptisthad suddenly appeared, or that God had raised upanother prophet and sent him to Samaria, as hehad sent prophets in the olden time.But she did not stop at that. " Is not this theChrist?" she asked. He had told her so, and had90 A WORD TO THE WEARY.confirmed it by telling her "all that ever she did."But the news seemed too good to be true ; and, be-sides, he was not a Samaritan. Evidently he wasa Jew, and claimed that salvation was of the Jews.Still there was a strange power in the man ù a won-drous insight into character, a marvelous fascina-tion about the way in which he had talked to her.All that she could say was, "Come and see foryourselves. Is not this the Christ?"What a wondrous change had been wrought bythese words to one who was weary ! She had goneout to the well to draw water. She was a sinner,but the burden of her sin was as light to her as herempty water-pot. It did not concern her in the least.She was ready for a talk even with a stranger, andthat stranger a Jew. To bandy a few words of im-pertinence would serve to while away a few idlemoments. She did not know the man, nor did shecare to know him or to know what he was doingthere.It could have been but a short conversation, forwhile they were talking the discijiles came, back with the bread they had bought. But what achange had come over the whole heart and life of that poor woman ! Saul went out to look after hisfather's asses, and was anointed a king. But thisNOT SOUGHT, BUT FOUND. 91woman went out for a water-pot of water, and cameback without the water-pot, but with a well of livingwater springing up in her own heart unto life ever-lasting.And, not content to keep the secret to herself,

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