She didn’t want to talk about husbands. Having 5 husbands was bad enough and now living in a “shack up” situation wasn’t an image builder either. But . . . Jesus masterfully exposed the truth as He unveils one woman’s life. Are you familiar with the story in John 4? This woman’s life was scandalous. Maybe not so much by today’s standards. Her life was “out there.” Let’s remember many people who “appear” to be people of character are sometimes hiding a secret.
By cultural standards, Jesus was scandalous too! What was He thinking? A Jewish man. Not just that, a Rabbi! Alone with a woman. A culturally despised Samaritan woman. An immoral Samaritan woman. Not to mention He claimed to be God and by all accounts is holy. Jesus, what were you doing? This can tarnish or possibly kill your rep. Jesus dialogue with this woman bounced a little below the surface as Jesus began to draw her in. She didn’t want to talk about husbands. Who could blame her. Maybe a circular conversation about religion in general would get her through this encounter?
Just as Jesus reveals to her that the awaited Messiah is here talking with her, the hungry crew of disciples comes back from shopping for the Big Macs and they are blown away seeing Jesus nose to nose with a Samaritan woman. Can you imagine them standing there with their noses in the air staring, mouths open? Their mouths were open in shock and disappointment but they didn’t say “Hey Boss, why are you talking to this woman and wrecking all of our street creds?”
If you read the gospel account, and I hope you will, this woman goes back to town to proclaim faith in the Messiah and many townspeople believed this new female evangelist. Jesus even stayed a few days in that supposed “God forsaken town” to add to the numbers of new believers. Was this woman changed? Wasn’t the process beautiful and how seamlessly it flowed with the right mixture of grace and truth . . and I might add, humor. And what are the disciples concerned with? Verse 31 indicates food was their immediate priority. Jesus’ food was to do the will of God. How like Him!
One of Jesus’ prime methods to change people is presenting the truth in a “presentable” fashion. One can be vulnerable in His presence. Are we conducting ourselves and weighing our words so that others can be comfortable and vulnerable with us? Oh, just to be with someone with whom we can open up and trust with our deepest fears and longings. To be a person that makes that possible. To be like Jesus more than I am.
We all have secrets we don’t want other people to know. Jesus understands what sin and the scandalous are all about. Yet, His focus is on the eternal and souls. He knows following closely to Him will make change possible and sin will decrease. Did you read the story? Did you notice Jesus didn’t order that woman to leave her current man? He didn’t blow her out of the water, embarrass her or drown her in her own guilt. His primary concern was not her past or her present living arrangements. These are the type of things we, as Christians, would clumsily camp out on. The major issue was that she was needed salvation.
Jesus knew that an encounter with Him, fellowship with Him and eventually the work of the Holy Spirit would clean up her life later on. What style. What a story. Think About It.