A little child grows up unnoticed in a dysfunctional home, into an outwardly ‘good’ but inwardly ‘soiled’ and sinful woman. Despite the new life in Christ as a teen, she struggles for years in specific areas where it seems victory will never be found. Into the midst of several backslidden times, and occasionally in the midst of sinful acts she hears the gentle voice of a man. The things He says breaks her heart over and over again as she learns more about him: ‘I love you. You are mine. Be with me. I love you. Return to me. Come to me. I love you.’ The man is Jesus, and I am that woman.
|part of painting by Annibale Carracci|
The woman questions Jesus right from the start about her womanhood and being a Samaritan (v.9). In the midst of all her faults Jesus brings words of life (v. 10), life available to her (v. 14). After He exposes her sin (v. 18) the woman no longer sees Him just as a Jew, but as a prophet (v. 19). Then Jesus proceeds to tell her that external forms (sacrifices) of worship in external places are soon to be past, but God wants those who worship with their whole hearts in truth (v. 21-24). After Jesus declares Himself, the woman believes in Jesus as Messiah/ Christ (v. 29).
So we see that Jesus spoke words of life into this woman’s heart, in the depth of her sin and shame. Jesus didn’t turn away because she was a woman, a Samaritan and a sinner, but He boldly spoke the words of life. By doing this, He not only rescued her, but the town came out to hear Him and who knows how many were saved. One woman He saved back then and 2000 years later using His words of life, He saved another… me.
For every time You didn’t turn away from me for my sin
For every time You didn’t leave me because of my unfaithfulness to You
For every time You spoke words of life into my heart
I am forever grateful! Thank You Lord.
*There was a rabbinical precept: “Let no one talk with a woman in the street, no, not with his own wife” (Lightfoot, Hor, Hebr. iii. 287).
Speaking to a woman publicly was especially beneath a rabbi’s dignity and his disciples considered Jesus a rabbi (v. 31 master = rabbi).