Thursday, May 19, 2016
The truth about "The woman at the well."
I heard a sermon at a church I was visiting, on the "woman at the well", it is a wonderful story, and it is wonderful because it demonstrates the love of God and how He advocates for us. Now in this sermon the pastor described the woman at the well as, "the town hussy, she was a slut."
Now this is not how Jesus saw her, and the reason that Jesus captured her heart is for that very reason; Jesus is our advocate, he does not see humanity in vulgar terms as these! The heart of God is a refuge, who, as King David described in Psalm 142:3, "When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, you knew my path." Jesus tells us he knows or path, knows how many hairs we have on our head to illustrate that he alone knows our past, every step we have taken and each sorrow, neglect, oppression, and injustice we have suffered.
He knew this woman’s deepest needs: he saw past the symptoms of five failed marriages, and who knows how many more failed relationships? He understands the impact that this life of difficulties can have on us; how neglect or abuse tears the soul with a rent that can only be healed by His loving balm of hope and understanding.
He saw, it may be, that this woman grew up in desperate poverty, with a father that was addicted to wine. Jesus could recount each time that her father came home drunk, raging with violence against her mother. Jesus knew that the only time her father showed affection to this woman was when his vile affections drew him to her room at night where twisted acts of oppression shaped this woman's childhood and robbed her, not only of her innocence, but of her understanding of true relationship. She entered adult relationships, it may be, seeking love and rescue, to find the very love she had been denied: only to find that the twisted affections she learned in childhood, permeated every adult relationship, and one after another they ended in failure.
Jesus, "looked at all the acts of oppression which were being done under the sun; and behold, he saw the tears of the oppressed and that they had no one to comfort them; Ec.4:1 But she found in Him, a comfort, an advocate, one who offered her a cordial that would not only fill her soul, but equip her to gain the very love she desperately sought.
"Many people are suffering, crushed by the weight of their troubles." Ps. 9:9 And Jesus saw her suffering heart, He cast no shame, showed no division, applied no label: but offered her the "Gift of God," and spoke to her of a future where she was included as a "true worshipper." Her honesty in revealing the truth to Jesus ushered in an instant hope that she could not contain, and she spread the news that this must be the Messiah, because he knew the secrets of her heart.
The blood of Jesus removes every sin, not only the sins we have committed, but the sins others have committed against us.
All have sinned but some have been grievously sinned against through adverse childhood experiences of neglect, verbal, physical and sexual abuse. Yes, these are sinners too, often the worst of sinners, but they must first be ministered to for those sins which were perpetrated on them, before they will repent for their own sins. In many cases differentiating between the two is the first and greatest hurdle to recovery, repentance and faith.
He calls us to love as He loves, but in order to do that we must see as He sees. We cannot define people by their behaviors - Hussy, slut, addict or drunk, but we must have 'eyes to see.'