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Apol 104

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If people approach the Bible without considering the historical or cultural context then it is easy for one to misinterpret the true meaning of what is happening or to not truly appreciate the significance of what is taking place. I always thought the phrase “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you but only say the word and I shall be healed” before receiving communion was a quick or mini confession. It wasn’t until I read Matthew 8:8 “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed.” As I continued to read Matthew I realized that the express has nothing to do with confession but is about faith and believing!

In John 4:1-42 we read a story about Christ traveling from Judea to Galilee and while passing through Samaria meets a woman at a well. After speaking with the woman for a short time she becomes a believer and leaves the well to go into town and spread the word of the Lord. The story itself is amazing but when put into geographical and historical context the feat of turning a Samarian woman into a believer is immense. The normal route from Judea to Galilee would have taken days and Samaria was not a safe place for Jews but Jesus had a divine appointment with a woman from Samaria. Not only was it a risk to travel through Samaria it was also risky to speak to a woman alone in public, this was not considered culturally acceptable at the time. So for Jesus to happen upon a Samarian woman at a well during the middle of the day and t quench her “thirst”, make her a believer that he was Christ and for her to leave the well and go spread Christ’s message is of major significance. However most would never understand how major this is by just reading the Bible.

I think for people to put effort into studying the historical-cultural context they need to travel. Traveling is what has done it for me. I have had the opportunity to travel extensively and it is always amazing to see how happy people can be with what many would think is nothing. They have their family, a place to live, and God!…...

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