Can you imagine the last 30 days of your life playing up on a video screen in church next Sunday, revealing your every thought, word, deed, and desire? If you are anything like me, that is a possibility you would rather not consider! Yet we all know there is Someone who is watching that movie of our lives as it unfolds moment by moment. Indeed, He is the director of the production!
Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah? (John 4:29)
Can you imagine what that stunned Samaritan women must have been thinking when Jesus confronted her with the inside story of her life?
[Jesus] told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”
“I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her,
“You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
“Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet.” (John 4:16-20)
We can easily deduce one thing when we see how she recounted her encounter with the Living God: “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did.” This Samaritan woman was touched by the transforming power of the grace of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
What a remarkable picture of God’s disrupting grace when it shows up in our lives! Here the woman came to Jacob’s well for some drinking water and instead left with the living water that slakes the driest and deepest thirst known to man.
Jesus exposed everything about her sinful past, yet we do not find in her response a hint of despair or suicidal thoughts. She was, for the very first time, completely known, and yet completely secure in that uncomfortable thought. Far from any thoughts of crawling into a hole and dying, she ran to tell her circle of influence about her encounter with the Redeemer. How remarkable to find compassion oozing out of this account rather than condemnation . . . acceptance rather than accusation . . . redemption rather than rejection. This is why we need to center our lives on the truths of the Gospel. The Samaritan woman was set free from being a prisoner of her painful past. Jesus broke the chains of her sinful choices and led her into a new direction of what she could be, instead of what she had been. And Jesus does the same for us each day.
Jesus knows every thankless thought, every wicked word, each disgraceful deed and depraved desire. And yet, despite knowing who we really are, He pursues us with a love that is unconditional and a forgiveness that is unending. Because Jesus is the Messiah, we can rest in the truth of being fully known and yet fully accepted. That is why the story of this Samaritan woman is such a comfort for us today. She went to the well to draw some water at “the sixth hour” (noon), a time when she could be reasonably assured she would not run into anyone looking for water. What she never expected was the divine appointment Jesus had set with her and His accurate disclosure of her dreadful past.
To be sure, every closet has some skeletons hanging in it. But in the closet where Jesus enters, those skeletons turn to dust and are blown away by the winds of the Gospel. Being completely known without being suicidal is only possible when we find our meaning, significance, and purpose in the One who knows us completely, yet forgives us completely and loves us eternally in spite of what He knows about us!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!