Thursday, August 25, 2022

Hiding In Our Shame

 Thursday, August 25, 2022

Jesus answered and said to her, Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.
John 4:13-14

Hiding In Our Shame

Most of us have heard the story of a woman who met Jesus at a well.  She was a “colorful” member of society and with her reputation she felt much shame, and perhaps even ridicule from others.  She had had five husbands and the man she was with at that time was not her husband. She has been pictured as a "woman of  ill repute" because it was pretty unheard of for a woman to be married that many times. But some scholars have suggested that that was not the case at all. It was common for a man to divorce his wife if she burned breakfast. They could divorce them for any reason. Since she had been married so many times, some think she must have been beautiful - worth it for a man to marry her even though she had been divorced so many times. Some think she may have been barren because that was also a common reason for men to divorce their wives - if they could not produce children for him.  

For whatever reason she had been divorced so many times, she was ridiculed and shamed. For this reason, she went to the well when no one else would be there – the hottest part of the day.  She never expected to meet a King, and she certainly didn’t expect Him to ask her for a drink and engage her in conversation, only to then offer her living water.

Jesus knew this woman would be there at that exact time, which is why He was there.  He was there for her – one of the lowest regarded women in the town. She had already had five husbands and was currently living with a man that was not her husband.  Why would the King of Kings go out of His way, risk His reputation, and meet her at this well during the hottest part of the day?

Meeting Jesus at the Well

Why did Jesus do this?  Why did He meet you and me at the well?  Because that is where Jesus changes lives.  Sometimes we go to the well to hide in the shame we feel, but Jesus wants to sit with us in that shame and make us feel loved and worthy and accepted. The well is where we go looking for something to save us, sustain us, fill us.  If Jesus is not at the well we go to, then we will not get the living water He gives that changes lives and satisfies for eternity.  If we go to a different well trying to find satisfaction, we will only find sand, again and again. 

He goes there to find us…

In our sin…

In our shame

He risks everything to get to us because He can bridge the gap between us and God.  He bridged the cultural and communication gap with this woman, and He didn’t care what the pious religionists of the day thought.  Her salvation, and the others that would be reached through her testimony were more important to Him. Are you willing to risk your reputation to see people’s lives changed? 

This woman and her lifestyle represent all of us. We are all sinners and until we know the freedom of salvation we live in guilt and shame, coming to the well in the hottest part of the day so no one sees us.  We are looking for the same thing she was looking for.  We are thirsty and going from one empty cistern to another, filling our souls with nothing, and dissatisfied we run even faster to the next empty cistern.
Like the woman in this story, when we finally drink from the right well, we will get the living water that will satisfy forever.  And we need to run with abandonment to others, offering them this living water that will never leave them thirsty again.  It is time to stop running from dry well to dry well, seeking something that is only found in Christ.  He is the living water that gives eternal satisfaction and life to all who drink.

For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.  Jeremiah 2:13

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