Clarity to "the least of these"

On hearing this, Jesus said to then, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." - Mark 2:17

"The woman said, "I know that Messiah" (called Christ) "is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us." Jesus answered, "I who speak to you am he." - John 4:25-26

So, like me, the woman in John 4 made a complete train wreck of her life. Through a series of bad choices by her and, without a doubt, the men that she had married she had burned through five relationships and was now on her sixth. If there was ever someone who was talked about, ridiculed, objectified, and taken advantage of in the town where she lived I would imagine it was her. I am sure that she was avoided like the plague and that her life was deemed as unworthy of the smallest courtesy. Perhaps in self-preservation she found herself alone at the well. God knew everything about her. Absolutely everything and even more than she knew about herself. And, in spite of it direct opposition to her running away from him for decades God invited her deep into himself and spoke clarity, perhaps for the first time, into her life. Mercy. Grace. Mystery. All of it rolled into the simple phrase: "I who speak to you am he."

The divine physician had made the diagnosis and offered the cure. We know from the Scriptures that Jesus loved the sick and dying. He loved it when people approached him in humble faith. And such small faith that this woman had. She knew that Messiah was was coming but it did not cause her to live a life that was pleasing to God. And it was not as if Jesus did not care about her life of sin. He cared most deeply about it or he would have just taken the drink that he requested and sent her on her way. He gently, and clearly, confronted her in her sin and lovingly, and clearly, offered the revelation of himself.

He must have know that she needed to be shaken. He must have known that she needed a direct repudiation of her lifestyle and what she needed to do in response to this interaction with God himself. How amazing and humiliating at the same time this dependence on water that he wore and the conversation with someone that he, as a Jew, had no business having. Why would he drink from a Samaritan's cup? Why would he sweat and thirst? Why would he bow to the heat and sit in weariness? Why would he choose this woman among the many that he could have to proclaim to her, and now to the world, that he was the Savior we groan for?

Because he loved her. Because he loves me. This God I serve is love. And this is not a love that weakens him. In fact, it exalts him above all other gods who demand more than they give. These gods would never touch the sin-stained cup of a Samaritan adulteress. They leave me to rot in my sin. They leave me choking on the dust of life that I have tried to pulverize into the fallen earth. They mock my efforts to live a righteous life. Not this God. Oh my no - he has called me forth from the wet, dripping grave of rebellion and doubt and into a life I will never, ever deserve. With the woman I offer this invitation: "Come see a man who told me everything I ever did." Some see the God who cannot stop loving me no matter how hard I try to drive him away.


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