Recognize Both the Gift and the Teacher

Lent 3 Tuesday

John 4:9-10

“The Samaritan woman said to him: “How is it that you ask me for a drink, since you are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman?” (For the Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans.) Jesus answered and said to her: “If you knew the gift of God and who it is who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would ask him, and he would give you living water.”

These verses are written about those who do not recognize this gift, thinking that a man speaks there, although not just an angel is your teacher; your dear God is who creates your body and soul. This does not mean that we should despise and throw away the gifts that God distributes according to his measure, given more to one, less to the other, since the gifts are manifold. But there is only one God who works through these very gifts. We must not despise the treasure in
favor of the person. This is what our Lord God wants to say not only to the young Samaritan lady, but also to us all. And Christ wants to say: “This is not about your giving him a drink.” He wants to give us living water. But how bad are things when Christ goes about on earth begging, even among those who are his, screaming: “Give bread for the love of God!” Thereby he wants to entice us to gladly give to those who hold the preaching office. But although Christ cries and asks: “Give bread for the love of God,” people do not listen to him, because they think the one crying and asking is only a poor pastor…Now, when you recognize that it is Christ who cries and that it is his Word, then you will gladly say to him: “It
is already yours; we gladly want to give it all back to you. Dear Lord, give the true bread and drink to us who are truly hungry.” Christ wants to say: “This is why I beg and say: “Give bread for the love of God,” so that you would recognize who it is who is speaking to the woman.” If he asked her, she would ask him in return; and he would give to her the water that gives eternal life so that she would never die. This is also how Christ wants to deal with us. But first we must recognize the gift and the teacher–then we would not only give everything, but also say: “Dear Lord, give me of the eternal water; otherwise I would perish in eternal thirst and hunger.” “This is why,” says Christ, “I say to you: Give bread for the love of God–for I want to give you the eternal bread.”

St. Louis ed., 7:2146-2147.

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