Taking the Typical to the Eternal
Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), he left Judea and departed again for Galilee. And he had to pass through Samaria. So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour. —John 4:1-6
Life is filled with the typical. We sleep. We wake. We eat. We drink. We come. We go. We talk. We listen. We breathe. “How was your day?” we ask each other, and the typical response given is “Fine.” “Fine” means it’s been another typical day.
Typical can be a wonderful thing. Yet Jesus did not live life in the typical; He was the absolute master at taking life to the eternal.
In John 4, for Jesus, it was a typical going-from-here-to-there day. It included the typical reality of becoming thirsty and the typical pursuit of quenching that thirst. Jesus asks a woman on her typical daily journey to the well to give Him a typical drink—water. So far this event sounds like another no-big-deal, typical life-event like the ones that you and I experience every day. But not for Jesus! For Jesus, the typical events of this typical day were transformed into an eternal opportunity.
The woman asks Jesus why He would be talking to her, a Samaritan woman. Jesus could have ignored her question by simply drinking the water, thanking her and going on His typical merry way. He could have responded with a highbrow dissertation on His views of male/female and/or race relations. He could have answered her question with a simple answer of, “I am talking to you because I am so thirsty.” Instead, Jesus takes the event into a discussion on the gift of God, the availability of Living Water and eternal life, the problem of sin, and the opportunity to believe and worship the Messiah. Now that is a lot of eternal talk happening around the typical water cooler!
Taking events and conversations to the eternal was what Jesus was all about. He would engage people’s thinking and conversation into another level—an eternal level. The “typical,” for Jesus, was seeing life through the lens of the eternal, and then engaging in conversation about it. What about you? Do you take the typical to the eternal? If you are not thinking about the eternal in your typical, you will not talk about the eternal in your typical.
Today is likely going to be a typical day with typical events and typical conversations, but you don’t have to leave it there in the typical. Instead, follow Christ’s example and take your typical today to the eternal. —Doug Helmer
· How much of my thought life is consumed with things of eternal value? How does this impact my ability to turn typical events into eternal events?
· What can I do to remind myself to look at every event in my life as an opportunity to share things of eternal value?
Prayer – Father in heaven, as I read through Your Word it is so apparent that You delighted in making ordinary, typical days into days people would never forget. Forgive me, Lord, for just going through my days as if my agenda is the only thing that matters. Help me to see that the people around me, especially those that don’t know You, are Your agenda, and it should me mine as well. Help me to see it that way. In Jesus’ name, Amen.