Ponder and Pray: John 3-4

Ponder: John 3 and 4 are full of details about God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit that you might have highlighted within the text or listed in a journal.

  • Which ones did you record today?
  • Did you see any characteristics of Jesus for the first time?
  • Because He is ________, I know that I am ______________.

In chapter 3, we read about Nicodemus arriving under the cover of darkness to question Jesus, and from this chapter flows well-known and beautiful words from Jesus about His rescue of sinful humanity through simple belief in Him. If you’re left wondering what happened to this Pharisee named Nicodemus who seems to disappear into the darkness, you’ll be glad to know we’ll meet him again in John 7 and 19.

In chapter 4, we meet a Samaritan woman. She was an outcast in her community, married five times and living with a sixth man possibly because she was barren and a shame to a culture that valued women for their ability to bear children. Jesus accepts her just as she is and offers her living water, a hope that will wash over all the rejection, hurt, and sin characterizing her story to this point. 

  • What wounds do I need to take to Jesus? Will I trust Him with my story?

The Samaritan woman became an unlikely missionary to her people. She declared, “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” (4:29). She didn’t hide in her shame but openly acknowledged that this man at the well knew everything she had already done and yet accepted her. She no longer needed to be defined by her past, but she could allow her past story to intertwine with the story of the Living Water to bring glory to God.

  • Am I testifying of Jesus’ work in my life? Or am I silently sitting in the shame or simplicity of my story afraid that sharing it will cause others to look at me differently — or even bore them?
  • Will I be an unlikely missionary and step out in faith that God will give me the words and the courage to share how He has changed — and continues to change — my life?

Pray: Jesus, You met a host of interesting people in Your days on earth, and You loved them as they were. You loved Nicodemus with his questions and fear to be seen with You. You left Judea to give John room to continue in ministry for You and to allow you to meet the outcast Samaritan woman at the well. You loved them well, and You love me well. Forgive me for the times when I think You don’t care, when I cower in my sin and allow shame to define me. Thank You, God, for giving Your only Son to die for me that I might live eternally quenched by You. Holy Spirit, nudge me forward in my days to share my story — Your story in me — with those around me. I love You, Lord.