John 4:4-30 Click on this link to read the passage. You may select your preferred version of the Bible after the link opens.
What a scandal! Jesus, the holy man everyone was talking about initiated a conversation with a promiscuous Samaritan woman. Didn’t Jesus know the three-strikes-you’re-out rule? Jews don’t socialize with Samaritans – strike one. Jews should snub promiscuous people – strike two. Jewish men don’t go out of their way to speak to women – strike three.
Jesus was not afraid to challenge the status quo. He continued to seek the lost. He was often seen eating and talking with sinners and tax collectors. How different from what happens in most churches today. Outsiders stay away because they fear rejection. Church members groom themselves to appear more saintly than they actually are, and hope no one will be the wiser.
But Jesus is our example, and we should take notice. Jesus went to where the Samaritan woman was – at a well getting water in the heat of the day when no one else was likely to be around. Jesus didn’t tell the woman to clean up her act and then show up in church if she wanted to be saved. Jesus opened the conversation by asking her for a drink of water (which she apparently never got around to getting for him). As the conversation moved along Jesus told her he had “living water” to offer. When she wanted to know more, Jesus told her to get her husband and come back.
The woman denied that she had a husband; perhaps she thought Jesus might be a good “catch.” Instead of rebuking her for her deception, Jesus told her she had answered correctly, and then revealed what he already knew about her five previous husbands and her live-in boyfriend.
Jesus hates sin, but he loves people. He reaches out to the unlovely and unlovable (by human standards) and offers them hope and eternal life. Are we willing to follow in his footsteps, or would we rather cushion our lives by only associating ourselves with people who are properly groomed to look like holy people?
Dear Heavenly Father, forgive us of our hypocrisy. Open our hearts to those who are hurting and falling apart inside. Help us to step outside our comfort zones to share your love with the unlovely. May our lives cause them to hunger and thirst to know you better and to seek your will for their lives.