living water// He will meet you where you are
last week we read John 4:1-6 and learned the process by which Jesus met the Samaritan woman. knowing full well that Jews and Samaritans did not get along, Jesus made His way to Jacob’s well in Sychar to sit and rest. based on what we know of Jesus, it is safe to assume that He not only rested but waited for a certain woman to arrive so He could speak to her
He crossed a border to meet with her
when He violated both of their “comfort zones”
and waited by that well
today i hope to convey the powerful truth that
Jesus will not only cross a border to meet us,
but will meet us right where we are, no matter where that may be.
continuing through John 4 we read that a woman arrived at the well around that day, and as she and Jesus conversed, we learn that she was married five times and was not married to the man she was currently “with.” she was clearly living in sin and shame.
now i've heard this story a few times, and this has always been the height of the sermon: Jesus met the sinful Samaritan woman and revealed Himself to her.
though this is a very critical lesson, i want to put Jesus' revelation on hold for just a moment and first dive in to the time at which they met.
the Bible says that it was around noon when Jesus sat and rested, and around then when the woman arrived at the well. some scholars will disregard the note of the time, but many hold it up as a great piece of evidence pointing towards the creativity and devotion of our Lord.
- noon would have been the height of the sun and so, the most hot and uncomfortable part of the day.
- this particular well was about a half mile from the nearest village in Sychar, so this woman was walking quite a ways in the heat for her water.
- she was alone, which was uncommon as well. women were supposed to be escorted by a man if they were out of their homes.
so what does this have to do with the way Jesus meets us?
well.. think about how He could have met her. knowing all He knew, and being capable of all He is, He could have met her half-way up the road, or even knocked on her door, saved them both the heat and spoken with her (and her partner) in the shade of her home. instead, He chose to sit and wait as she took each step toward that well.
He let her do life amidst her shame.
He let her walk and ponder.
He let her reach the well under her normal circumstances
...but He would refuse to let her leave with them, this time.
she was in hiding and this was the moment He would meet her there.
we are just like this woman when it comes to our own sin.
when we know we are living out a shameful lifestyle we will do our best to hide it. if we are really careful and creative, we can live a whole separate life from our sin and never let anyone know what we are bound to and suffering under. Praise God for not only desiring to save us from our sin, but for meeting us right where we are and not expecting us to be perfect before accepting His love and mercy.
next week I will go into detail about their exchange, but i wanted to skip ahead for today in order to illuminate the desire Jesus often has for us to reach a low-point before we really see Him so clearly.
many people accuse Christians of being weak and using faith as a crutch.
i battled with this myself. but this moment in the Samaritan woman’s life changed my views on the strength of Christians when i realized that God will not impose on us when life is good, but rather, He will make us choose when we are at rock bottom.
as crazy as it seems, we humans do often choose to stay stuck instead of choose to try better. it’s comfortable in our own little routine, no matter how destructive. now, when it gets really bad we may work to turn things around, but until then we float along and ride out our decisions as long as we can. choosing God, however, means we reconsider our life before the catastrophes and we choose to believe He has something better for us.
choosing God before we hit the bottom of the pit
means that we recognize something needs to change and we begin to take action.
but how do we choose unless He corners us at just the right moment?
in this one woman’s life we have already learned that He will step across a border and meet us where we are. He has already conquered the sin we are in and yet, He will often sit in it and wait for us to crawl back to it in secret before He holds our faces in His hands and tells us it could be the last time, this time.