WASHINGTON, August 5, 2013 — God is a ghost. Jesus occasionally sent his twelve disciples to pick up food and other supplies. In one instance, He did so in the area of Samaria, a long way away from his home territory of Galilee, as He went to the traditional town well to get a drink.
Samaria was an area to be shunned because of the mixture between the Israelites and some other races in the area. Correct religious types avoided Samaria like a plague. It was at least odd that Jesus and his disciples were there. In fact, it was an act of grace that brought Jesus to Samaria. Religious types didn’t go there.
It was an act of grace that might have even put Jesus’s messianic position on the line. Should He go to this mixed race, religiously rejected area? What would the religious rulers say? What was drawing Jesus to this town? Why not go to one of the hundreds of other towns nearer to Jerusalem or back home in Galilee?
He sent the twelve out for supplies and then went into a traditionally off-limits area and did an off-limits thing as recorded in the first part of John’s gospel, chapter four. He did something very unusual there. He struck up a conversation with a strange and out of place woman. He started by asking her for a drink. Her water pots would have been considered unclean by any rabbi. Touching them would have been anathema. Drinking from them would make you a first class sinner according to some. Even the irreligious of the day knew that. Even the Samaritan woman knew that.
It was the middle of the day, a time when all the heat and all the dust were at their worst. People and animals alike sought out shade and huddled in that shade to rest. Everyone did so. Everyone. Everyone except one woman. One woman and Jesus were out and about.
Oddly enough, when all the women of the town drew up water early in the morning or late in the day, this particular woman was there at the well drawing her water in the heat of the day. One thing about it, she was probably there avoiding something or someone. The Bible doesn’t say, “She was avoiding someone,” but she was there when she was sure there would not be a crowd.
John 4:23-24 says in red letters, in the words of Jesus, “God is a spirit and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” How does one approach a God who is a spirit, the same thing as a ghost? He has designated in Psalm 22, verse 7 that He “sits enthroned in our praise.” He inhabits praise. The Ghost goes where there is an atmosphere where He feels welcomed. He goes where the focus is on Him and where He can bring the most attention to the Father and the Son. He also goes where there is the least resistance.
The red letters also say regarding the Spirit of God in a metaphor, “The wind blows where it lists (John 3:8).” Wind blows into channels or paths of least resistance. In the Old Testament, the Hebrew ruach is used for both physical wind and the Spirit of God and other spirits. God’s wind blows where oppositional forces or contrary forces have been moved out of the way or are absent.
Pressure has a great deal to do with the weather or one could say that weather has a lot to do with pressure. When pressure decreases in one area, the wind blows in. As temperature changes and the barometer changes, the wind blows in. So does the Ghost feel free to blow in your direction? Here’s hoping!
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