Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11

Seeds of the Kingdom

Facing the Truth

by Denise Cross

Jesus said to her, “Go call your husband, and come here.”
John 4:16, NKJV

In John’s gospel, Chapter 4, we read a moving story about Jesus meeting a Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. It was midday. He was tired and weary. His disciples had gone into the city to purchase much-needed sustenance. So, Jesus was all alone, until this woman appeared at the well. It was not usual to find anyone out in the hottest time of day, but this woman came to draw up water. I wonder if she was rather put out, finding someone else there when she was confident that she would be alone. Unphased by her undoubtedly suspicious demeanour, Jesus started a conversation, asking her to give Him a drink of water.

It always seems a shame to me that words written on a page don’t convey the emotions behind them, or even the way in which they were delivered. I can’t help but feel that she would have spoken her reply in a dismissive, or even aggressive, tone. She made it clear she didn’t expect any Jew to care about her and certainly didn’t respond with civility.  In fact, I think we would have to say that her initial response to Jesus was very ‘prickly.’ She clearly wanted to reject Him, but Jesus was not easily put off and kept drawing her into conversation, eventually explaining how He could give her ‘living water’ which would quench her deepest thirst.

He recognised her deep need, and set about helping her to face the issues of her past with reality, revealing that He knew about the circumstances of the five husbands she had had, and how that had either caused her wounding through their rejection or abandonment, or how she had herself lived sinfully. Her past had drained her life, her joy, and her freedom, and Jesus knew about it all. But she needed to face the reality of her past and the inevitable consequences … shame, grief, rejection, self-pity, guilt for her sin, and the resulting defensive behaviours. Her life was not one of healthy relationships and abundance, but of fear and loneliness.

Jesus continued to discuss deep spiritual truths with her (probably no one else had taken her seriously enough to do that), and she told Him she knew that the Messiah was coming, and that ‘He will tell people all things’ (verse 25). I wonder, as she said those words, whether it crossed her mind that this man she called a prophet, had done just that, a few moments before. Amazingly He then proclaimed, in a way He very rarely did, that He was the Messiah. ‘I who speak to you am He.’

The wonderful result of her unexpected meeting with Jesus, (which I’m sure wasn’t unexpected to Him) was that His tender loving interaction with her ministered deep into her heart, restoring her dignity, her sense of value, and her hope for the future. This unnamed Samaritan woman became an amazingly effective evangelist. Many people in the city of Sychar believed in Jesus just because she spoke of Him, and demonstrated by her changed demeanour how He had restored her.

In order to receive healing and restoration she had to face the truth of her past. I’m sure it wasn’t easy having it all brought out into the light by this stranger, but it was so very worth the short-term discomfort for a long-term peace.

Fortunately, the disciples returned as Jesus and the woman finished their conversation and, hopefully, Jesus then got His drink of water, since the woman in her excitement and her newfound freedom had helpfully left her water pot behind for them to use.

Denise Cross is married to David Cross and they have three grown up children and eight grandchildren. Denise was previously a Maths teacher and now delights to teach the Lord’s wonderfully logical truth. Her passion is to stir the hearts of passive believers to appropriate all the benefits of abundant life that our Heavenly Father freely offers to each of His children. Her book Rescue from Rejection has been appreciated by many people, in bringing clear answers to this challenging and widespread issue.


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