Do you know the people in the photo above? Jesus and the Samaritan Woman at the Well. John 4. The longest documented conversation Jesus had with anyone in the New Testament.
If you aren’t familiar with the Samaritan woman (or if you haven’t read John 4 in a while), I encourage you to pick up your Bible and get to know her.
I must be honest and admit that it wasn’t all that long ago that John 4 changed my life. The year was 2010, 13 years after my first formal Bible study, and the women at my church were going through Liz Curtis Higgs’ workbook for Bad Girls of the Bible.
Being able to relate to the plight of many of the bad girls, the study captured my heart. Such gals as Eve and Lot’s wife—both disobeyed God and suffered the consequences. The women who found hope and redemption, such as this unnamed woman at the well, and Rahab the prostitute.
Even though I related to their sin, I hadn’t fully accepted God’s forgiveness of my own. Just couldn’t quite shed the shame I continued to carry around. No, I hadn’t been married five times like the Samaritan woman. And I wasn’t there for the fall of mankind in Genesis 3 like poor Eve, but guilt-ridden skeletons remained in my closet.
I confessed to one of the Bible study leaders, now my treasured friend Teresa, how the guilt and shame often got the best of me. God’s forgiveness hadn’t seeped into my soul.
I didn’t feel like I belonged in a room full of such godly women. And surely they wouldn’t still welcome me if they knew what a former bad girl I was. Teresa told me, ever so sweetly, that I imagined my sin to be bigger and more powerful than my God.
No sin is bigger or more powerful than God!
The Lord used Teresa, along with the conversation in John 4, to help me discard the guilt and shame I had been wearing for much too long. The words from Isaiah 61:10 suddenly became personal:
He has clothed me with the garments of salvation;
He has covered me with the robe of righteousness.
Jesus pursued the Samaritan woman. Just as He pursued me. He met the woman on her turf. He met me on mine. He knew both of our life stories. And He loved us anyway!
When I thought back on Jesus’ passionate pursuit, I was awestruck! The miraculous orchestration of events that led me to Him so many years ago.
How could I minimize His power?
Shedding my filthy rags and donning God’s robe of righteousness was a life changer.
Once I finally came to gripes with how much bigger God was than my sin, I could be real and authentic with others. Like the Woman at the Well, I left my jar behind! Ready to walk away from guilt and shame, to share my story of redemption and salvation with others. Sharing the story of my Heavenly Father who loved me so much that He gave His only Son.
“Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” John 4:29
Come see! His Son. The Christ who pursued the Samaritan woman. Who passionately pursues each of us. So that we may drink His living water and never thirst again.
Freedom to walk away and leave our jar behind
Let go of the old life and embrace the new
Share our story of what God Almighty has done.
So others can see Him too!
Please allow me to give credit to the artist of “Jesus and the Samaritan Woman at the Well.” My brother-in-law paints as a hobby, and I asked him to create a portrait of John 4. The painting hangs in my family room, as a reminder of Jesus’ unfailing love and relentless, passionate pursuit!
A reminder that no sin is bigger or more powerful than God!