“[The Samaritan woman] said to the people, ‘Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?’”
~John 4:28b-29 (NRSV).
The Samaritans weren’t in the same league as the Jews, yet Jesus elevates the lowest of them—a woman, one that had been divorced multiple times—to discourse in his presence.
Her testimony was important in the context of the purpose of Jesus’ trip to
God is friend—most of all—to the outcast. The privileged among us perhaps do not want to recognise that fact, but the Bible is littered with examples and statements showing God Almighty siding with the weak, the despised; the lowly and soon-to-be repentant sinner.
‘You Know Me, You Are the Messiah and Still You Accept Me?’
Marvellous it is to think that this woman could begin to comprehend the matchless grace resplendent in and through Jesus... that he knew her whole sordid story, and even though he was to become the Messiah, he did not denigrate or shun her, but spoke candidly with her.
There is perhaps good reason why John selected this story to tell. It shows just how much compassion and courage Jesus had, as well as his approach to all humankind—everyone is equal in Jesus’ eyes. None are better than others.
Deliberate perhaps was Jesus in singling out such a lowly person in that contemporary society. He was making a point and these points continue to resound for us. God is raising up the lowest first.
Who would be Jesus’ targets for this type of talk today?
Without proffering an opinion we can think of the many that are at the bottom of society’s pecking order. In God’s eyes they’re equal. The so-called ‘blessed’ are no better than the lowest of these. This is something for us to remember. We’re not blessed more than others; and certainly not less than others.
For us who’ve had (or got) sordid lives or pasts this is a fantastic fact to anchor to. Compared with God’s holy standard, everyone’s got a sordid past. The Lord is indiscriminate.
Jesus never changes (Hebrews 13:8).
He knows the whole story—our past, present and future—and still we’re not condemned one iota.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.