Love… “is a many splendid thing” the song goes, until… it isn’t. That’s the thing about love in our fallen world, there are no guarantees. Interpreted by our human standard, love can be a passing fancy, or lust. A “beloved” one is a mere self- indulgent muse for personal happiness. Yes, love of the world is all about individual happiness, for the most part. Very few know what sacrificial love is. It’s something we truly learn from God.
I think of the woman at the well. I can identify with her in many ways, perhaps you can too. As a little girl I had no examples of what love looked like. My dad lived 1200 miles away from me growing up and my mom married many times. The result, a lost kid longing to be loved with no clue of what real love, godly love, was. Like the woman of Samaria, I looked in all the wrong places. Fortunately for us both, Jesus reached out to us to teach us what real love was…
The scriptures say, “Now He had to go through Samaria.” John 4:4 While we don’t know exactly why Jesus “had” to go through Samaria, many contribute His itinerary as being the divine plan of God. Could it be that this one woman was the subject of God’s own heart? Jesus Himself traveled a long way to see her. If only she knew how far! She didn’t know Jesus left His throne in heaven to come to earth. Of this earthly walk however, we learn, “Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.” John 4:6 Talk about a love story! The God of the world and entire universe had set His heart upon knowing her. He walked a long way to meet her. He walked a long road to meet me too, the road to the cross…
When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans. ” John 4:7-9
Those of us with a checkered past, might be inclined to ask a similar question. How is it Lord God of heaven, that You would call a girl like me to Your kingdom? The fact of the matter is just that, Jesus calls people like us, sinners, to repentance. “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." Luke 5:32
After a conversation about the spiritual water Jesus was offering her, the word says, “He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.” “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband.” the fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.” John 4:16-18
Jesus confronts the woman with her sin. He doesn’t do it in a condemning way however. Know this, when God points out our sin it is in such pure love, never condemning, but rather a love that sees all our mistakes and still loves us! Jesus knew all our sin and still, He endured the cross for us!
After some more conversation, things take a spiritual turn and the woman finally says, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.” John 4:25-26 Jesus revealed Himself to the woman!
It is said that God comes in grace and truth. We can’t have one without the other. Truth without grace is condemnation and grace without truth is a lie.
God’s love, in grace and truth, is the take away from the woman at the well for me. She reminds me that the only source of pure love is found in Jesus Christ my Savior. He taught me that His sacrificial love was the love I was waiting for. He found me just as He found her. He is my Prince, my Knight in shining armor, the Love of my life!
If you don’t know Him, but want to, worry not, He will “find” you too. When He does, sit and take a long, cool drink of the living water He freely gives. Like me, and the woman at the well, your search for true love will come to an end in one sentence… “I am He.”