Devotion 79 – Tuesday of Epiphany 3

Opening Prayer

Lord, do not let me fall, but humble me and save me. Amen.

Text: John 4:15-26

The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.” Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.” The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”


The woman said to Jesus: “Sir, give me this water,” and He began to give it to her by saying to her: “Go, call your husband.” She must come to a knowledge of sin. He spoke with her of the water of everlasting life and awoke her longing for it. And He won her confidence, so her ears were open to His command now when it comes. For only the heart which truly knows its sin and humbles itself can receive grace. In a few words He sets her whole life before her eyes. It seems so striking to her that she is terrified and tries to evade it by asking about the true place of worship. Peter once said: “Lord, depart from me, for I am a sinful man!” And David says in Psalm 39: “Remove Your gaze from me, that I may regain strength, before I go away and am no more.” Such feelings now filled the woman’s heart. And when she asks Him if God should be worshipped on Mount Gerizim or in Jerusalem, it gets no better, for now she hears, – there is no doubt that she hears, what the Lord now says to her, – she hears about her heathen blindness and spiritless worship. She, the obscene Samaritan woman from Sychar, the city of liars, speaks about worshipping God who is Spirit, the Spirit of truth and holiness, the God of faithful Israel! But this word of the Lord is also an invitation and inspires some hope of light for the poor woman. And – O blessed Bible knowledge! – she knows that the Messiah is to bring salvation for both Jews and Gentiles. And now when He says: I who speak to you am He, she believes in Him, and the light of grace from His face shines in the night of her sin, so she confesses Him and leads others to faith. Surely her light is very weak, but it is true and living, and therefore she becomes a new creation. Do you think she lived in her wretchedness any longer?

Here we learn that through knowledge of sin is the only way to Christ. And again: when one acknowledges sin and heartily confesses: “It is true, I have done all these things”, then it is Jesus who is near, and then salvation is near.

Closing Prayer

Lord, bow our hearts to true and living knowledge of sin. Reveal Yourself to us as the Savior of lost sinners, and draw many souls to Yourself from the night of sin, so that we can walk together in the light before You. Amen.


O Jesus, see My misery:
God’s image out is blotted,
And with snow-white leprosy
Sin my soul has spotted.

Once heav’nly bright Thy own delight,
It was – a new creation;
Now, because of sin’s dread blight,
Under condemnation.

In death’s dark night, Devoid of light,
It sought to find its peasure;
All in vain, since it did slight
God, its greatest treasure.

No tongue can tell How low it fell
In sin’s dire degradation;
By forgetting heav’n and hell,
It sought consolation.

Thus it was found In darkness bound,
With all its powers shattered,
Led at will by Satan round,
And with filth bespattered.

O Christ, in Thee, Who cam’st to be
A ransom for us given,
Is our only sanctity
And our way to heaven.

Thy mercy be My only plea;
Thy light my soul enlighten,
That it God again may see,
And life’s pathway brighten.

Let morning rays Of Thy mild grace
Upon my heart be streaming,
And from death my soul thus raise
By Thy love redeeming.

O sinner’s friend, Whom thorns did lend
Death’s scornful coronation,
Grant me peace with God again,
And with it salvation.

Brorson: O Jesu, se min skam og ve L 213:1.2.7 tr. Lincoln Colcord and Ole Rölvaag in Giants in the Earth, Book II. IV. V, ©1927 Harper & Brothers, renewed 1955 by Jennie Marie Berdahl Rölvaag; reprinted from Giants in the Earth by O.E. Rölvaag by permission;
tune: O Traurigkeit (ELH 516); alternate hymn:Lord, to Thee I make confession ELH 450:1-2