Scandalous, Jesus, simply scandalous!
To get the most from this article, you would benefit greatly by taking just a few minutes and read chapter 4 of John’s gospel before you continue. Here’s the deal: You read John 4 and I’ll keep my comments short, ok?
You probably noticed some interesting teaching points in the chapter, but did you notice what wasn’t there? Give up? Jesus never once told that Samaritan woman to leave the man she was living with. Scandalous perhaps, but think a minute about what Jesus’ primary concern was in conversing with the woman. It wasn’t her living arrangements. It was to change her heart.
Jesus didn’t rebuke her for her immoral life. (Though in our approach we might have been tempted to) She was an unsaved Samaritan. Unsaved people live like that - - then and now. Jesus didn’t say “Clean up your act, and then you’re qualified to believe.” He said I am the Messiah, your Messiah, your Rescuer. I’ll tell you about your life and the things you have done. I bring living water for you to drink so that you might thirst no more.
Isn’t it remarkable that in the process of coming to know Messiah, in one’s coming to know Jesus, that he is able to clean up a life . . . later on? Only then is there the power to do so – not until they know Jesus. Jesus gives us a good example to follow. We need not read people a long list of spiritual do’s and don’ts on the way to their salvation. The Lord can do that. Sure, we can help. Our best effort is to present them to the Savior and press the importance of their relationship to Jesus. We are called to fish, not clean the fishbowl.
Don’t you imagine after this encounter with Jesus this woman became increasingly uncomfortable with her lifestyle? Who can enjoy walking with a holy God and, at the same time, continue to enjoy living with a person outside of wedlock (or you fill in the blank)? Before a person can be expected to walk as Christ did, Christ must come and live within to give the needed power. Sometimes we fall into the trap of expecting too much too soon. In other words, our expectations run ahead of the work of the Spirit.
Look at what was accomplished in the 2 days Jesus scandalously remained with the Samaritans. “And from that city many of the Samaritans believed in him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all the things that I have done.” (Jn. 4:39) What Jesus did was considered scandalous in a Jewish home, but Jesus had on his heart the eternal souls of the Samaritans. “And many more believed because of His word; and they were saying to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world.” (John 4:42)
Jesus, help us to make your heart and your methods our own, exercising compassion while expressing eternal truth. Think About It.