Reading Time: 4 Minutes
A question that falls too short
John 4.15 – The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.”
As we continue the story of God’s love for this woman, we see the woman asking Jesus for something that is all too common in our dealings with God. We think we know what we need and if God would only give it to us, we’d be happy.
However, God knows what we need. Let’s remember, Jesus’ actions are the perfect representation of God.
Jesus really asks tough questions.
John 4.16-18 – Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come back.”
17 The woman answered him, “I have no husband.”
Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true!”
Jesus knows what we need. There are many explanations why the woman had five husbands and several moral evaluations of her character. We actually don’t know why she had five husbands.
What we do know is that Jesus used this line of questioning to help the woman think deeper than just an easy way to get water.
Many of my friends have worked a Fourth Step in their Alcoholics Anonymous program. It is here that the person takes inventory of their lives. What if we all spent time with a prayerful inventory of our lives? What if we asked Jesus to confront us, so that he could reveal more of his love to us?
Attempts to dodge the question
John 4.19-20 – The woman said to him, “Sir, I see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem.”
I see the woman’s words as an attempt to dodge Jesus’ penetrating question about her relationships. Possibly, I see it this way, because I often turn difficult questions into other less problematic topics. What about you?
Jesus shows this woman the love we all long for.
John 4.21-26 – Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us.”
26 Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one who is speaking to you.”
This woman seemed to be among the many broken people whom Jesus restored. Besides Jesus’ first followers whom we met in chapter one, this is the first person to learn that Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus revealed himself as Messiah and gave her one of the most profound lessons on worship in history.
This episode from Jesus’ life is truly a picture of how God’s love works. He loves us more than we can ever imagine. Our failures and problems do not keep him from us. God doesn’t count us out. Rather, he comes to us in love to reveal to us his character in a personal relationship.
Dear God, we are overwhelmed with thoughts of your loving nature. We praise you that you include people whom the world excludes and lift up those whom the world puts down. May we always live in an atmosphere of your love and grace.
If you haven’t taken inventory of your life, I encourage you to pray a prayer I learned years ago from the revivalist, Charles Finney. Pray first: “Lord, show me myself.” Pray second: “Lord, show me yourself.”