John 4:1-26, 39-42
This comes from the character profile of the woman at he well in the Celebrate Recovery Bible.
“When the Jewish man asked her for a drink, she was wary. Every experience in her life has excluded the possibility that she could trust a man. Her instinctive suspicion was intensified by the fact that she was a Samaritan, an unclean person in the eyes of most Jews. Her suspicions provoked an immediate question: “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (v. 9). Jesus’ reply included an offer of “living water” (v. 10). The suspicious woman had no idea what that might mean, but she knew that men lived to take, not to give. Still, her curiosity overcame her disgust: she did want to know how this strange man thought he could give her water when he had no jar or rope. So she engaged him in conversation, and his responses confused her even more.
The mysterious stranger claimed that he could give her water that would forever quench her thirst, water that would give her eternal life. That sounded too good to be true. She admitted to him that she was ready to end her exhausting trips to the well. But that response didn’t seem to satisfy the man. Impossibly, he revealed his knowledge of her secret shame (vv. 16-18). Her life so far had been bound up in giving men her body in the hope of satisfying her own thirst, her desperate need to be desired – no, to be loved. She had bounced from one destructive relationship to another, a pattern she seemed helpless to change.
This wounded woman was determined to conceal her hurts. Initially, she ignored the truth about her own life and tried to change the painful path this conversation was taking. Clearly the man was a prophet. So it should be easy enough to shift his focus from her onto the religious rift between Samaritans and Jews. But he wouldn’t enter into a debate, choosing instead to inform her simply that an hour was coming when truth would triumph and real worship would be a matter of spiritual condition and truth, not mountaintops or temples (vv. 21-24).
His simple words fired the embers of hope, hidden somewhere deep within and otherwise frozen and aloof heart. He was speaking of the Messiah who would solve all problems, end all conflicts, and answer all questions. Then he threw in the clincher, declaring that he was the Messiah, her Savior (v. 26).
Why did the Samaritan woman find it ard to understand the Master? So hard to focus on the reality of her own need? Sin and shame harden our hearts and prevent our perceptions. We become blind to reality and oblivious to the deliverance available to us in Jesus Christ.
Jesus cared enough for this woman to confront her with her sins and to fan into flame the embers of her hope in a coming Messiah. He was offering her real love, real life. Once she recognized the greatness of the gift, she felt compelled to share it with her fellow villagers (vv. 28-30).”
I find this story eerily familiar to my own. I too have given myself to fill my deepest desires – a desire for love. It’s odd in a sense to picture women 2000 years ago as having the same problems women have today. But it’s captivating to see the beauty in her conversation with Jesus. He knew all of her transgressions, and He loved her anyway.
I also struggled with what Jesus wanted from me when I first believed, because from my experience, men only wanted to take, not give. I didn’t understand what this “living water” was that I had heard about. I didn’t understand the joy and hope that I saw in others; but I was eager to know more and my curiosity overcame my disgust.
Jesus knew me and every sin I would ever commit in my life when He died on the cross, and He still chose to die for me. He knows me better than I know myself and He is always there for me to show love and compassion when I feel abandoned and judged by the rest of the world because of the things I’ve done.
The love of Jesus has kindled a hope in me that I didn’t even know was there. A hope that things will ne better. A hope that I was not meant for this world. A hope of unconditional love. How breathtaking!!
Because of the hope He’s places in me, I cant help but share ot with others. I don’t want to keep it to myself. I just pray that God will use me to help others to know Christ and draw closer to he Father. God never wastes a hurt; He’s going to use me and everything I’ve been through to make a difference.