I have always loved to read stories to my children, especially stories from the Bible. Scripture is full of wonderful narratives! I am grateful that God chose to use stories in Scripture. Stories are easily remembered so that we can retell them to others and also to ourselves. Bible stories teach us about the Father and help us to understand His attributes and character.
My favorite story to tell (and to hear) is from the Gospel of John. The story of Jesus talking with a Samaritan woman overflows with the love and compassion of Christ for all people. As a woman, I find the care that Jesus showed for this woman to be so comforting! Women in that culture were not highly esteemed. Jesus, being a Jew, would have had reason to avoid anyone from Samaria, let alone a sinful woman. These facts did not stop our Savior from purposefully reaching out to her. In fact, Scripture notes that Jesus “had to go through Samaria.” Jesus was following the will and direction of His Heavenly Father. One of His purposes, at least, was to go there and encounter a woman who needed Christ so desperately.
As I read and ponder the events of this story, a couple of truths are evident:
- Jesus meets our greatest need: forgiveness and spiritual restoration with the Father. The woman was looking for Jesus to provide literal water so that she did not have to keep coming to the well. After she sees that Jesus is not just any ordinary Jewish man, she shifts the conversation to debate with Him over religious/political matters. However, Jesus continually responds in love to show her that her greatest need is spiritual and not physical or political. Not only does Jesus point out her need, He also seeks to meet it. He lovingly reveals that He is the promised Messiah of whom the woman speaks.
- Jesus meets us where we are. Jesus came to the woman, knowing she would be at the well. Jesus knew all about her many husbands, yet He graciously seeks her. Jesus is relational. He sought this woman in her sin so that she would ultimately worship Him! Amazing! He did not harshly accuse the woman, but He also did not excuse her sinful lifestyle. He called her to repentance while lovingly acknowledging her sin. Jesus overcame many social, political, and religious barriers to intersect in this woman’s life. Jesus is in the business of seeking sinners…He pursued this woman with great love. What a great story to know and to tell!
Tell me the story of a woman in sin
Seeking her worth and pleasure in men.
Tell me how she went down to the well
And soon she would have a great story to tell.
There she met Jesus, the Messiah with us.
Living Water He gave for her spiritual thirst.
Then she told all the people who knew of her sin
That Jesus had saved her and changed her within.
Tell me the story of Jesus the King
confronting her sin so healing He could bring.
Lovingly calling her to fall on His grace,
His love surpassing gender, religion, and race.
Jesus is THE STORY revealed in the Word.
We must tell His story until all have heard!