Every good love story has a beginning. We’ve all seen the pattern portrayed in books and movies: boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, boy pursues girl in courtship, boy marries girl, boy and girl live happily ever after.
Of course, there are many other steps involved, usually including a few twists and turns along the way to keep everything interesting, but the basic pattern remains the same. This pattern is so prevalent in literature and film because it is same pattern that many of us have lived out in our own lives. And we see this pattern begin in the lives of Jacob and Rachel in today’s Scripture passage.
Please read Genesis 29:1-12.
This journey that Jacob has just endured would have taken him two to three weeks to complete. Along the way, he probably stopped at several wells and had discussions with several shepherds. But now, he realizes that he had made it to his destination, and his uncle Laban is in good health. Of course, he hasn’t really come all this way just to meet his uncle Laban. His father and mother sent him here so that he could “take as your wife from there one of the daughters of Laban your mother’s brother” (28:2). And, wouldn’t you know it, before he even meets Laban, he meets one of his daughters—one candidate to be his future wife!
Most interpreters believe that Jacob's words to the shepherds in verses 7-8 are an attempt to get them to feed their sheep and leave so that he can be alone with Rachel when she gets to the well. But his plans are spoiled by their customs! Still, when she gets to the well, Jacob takes advantage of the opportunity to flex his muscles and show off for his potential future bride by moving the great stone all by himself (something that the shepherds would typically have done together).
He then gives her a big old kiss! It would seem that boy has met girl, and now boy and girl will live happily ever after. However, don’t jump ahead in the story. When Jacob kisses Rachel it is not the kind of kiss that a boy pursues in a dating relationship. This was the typical way of greeting a relative in that time. After all, Laban kisses Jacob just a couple of verses later. That certainly wouldn’t be the kind of kiss that a boy pursues in a dating relationship!
So we end today’s passage at the beginning of the story: boy meets girl. The possibilities at this point are endless. We all know how the story typically goes, but, at this point, we don’t know if it will follow the typical pattern. Now that Jacob has met Rachel, will they end up getting married and living happily ever after? Of course, you can just read ahead in the Bible, or remember your Sunday School lessons from when you were a kid to learn what happens next. But don’t do that.
Just live in the moment and enjoy the possibilities. Boy meets girl. Think of the places this can go.
Of course, this story is about more than just a relationship between two people. It’s a grand metaphor for Christ and His bride, the church.
Jesus has travelled a long distance to meet us: the Almighty God of this Universe became a baby in the womb, was born a man, endured over three decades on this earth as a humble carpenter surrounded by sinful men, was betrayed, arrested, beaten, tortured, and crucified on the cross for our sins. Jesus not only descended to this earth in His incarnation, but travelled down to the very depths of our sin in His Crucifixion. He who knew no sin became sin for us. That’s quite a long journey.
Jesus did all of this for us. He is preparing for Himself a beautiful bride without blemish or spot. He is using His Holy Spirit to help us become more and more holy. He is constantly showing His strength by conquering not just the consequences of sin, but the power of sin in our daily lives. He has done and He is doing a marvelous work in us. And the best is yet to come!
Boy Meets Girl.
Jesus Meets Us.
And we can only imagine the possibilities of how good it will get…
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