DayBreaks for 4/25/18: The Surprising Proclamation
John 4:25-26 (NIV) – The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.
The verses above are taken from the story of Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well in Samaria. It’s a fascinating story for a variety of reasons. Jesus, a man, initiating a conversation with a woman. It wasn’t supposed to happen that way – not in that age. Jesus, a Jew, speaking to a Samaritan. It wasn’t supposed to happen – Jews and Samaritans were supposed to hate one another. Jesus was a rabbi, a very holy man – and this woman was, well, less than virtuous. She had gone from one relationship to another, and was now living with a man to whom she wasn’t married. No self-respecting rabbi would strike up such a conversation.
But Jesus wasn’t into self-respect, he was into love and sharing that love with anyone who needed it – and certainly, it would appear that this woman had perhaps mistaken many things for love in the past.
The most amazing thing, however, about this story, was Jesus’ announcement that he was the Messiah. As far as we know, this is the very first time that Jesus identified himself this blatantly. He hadn’t made this kind of proclamation to even his disciples, so why this woman?
I believe he announced himself to this woman precisely because she was the kind of person who needed to know that the Messiah had come. This woman probably had lost most of her hope for her life. Her track record this far had not been stellar. With the first relationship, she probably had hoped that “my life is set and I’m on track for happiness.” But her heart had been broken. Then came a succession of more men – and with each one, more heartbreak had come and a bit of hope had died as each relationship died. Perhaps she wondered, deep in her heart, if there would be any hope for her at all.
And to this hurting, shame-filled, discouraged woman, the Messiah is revealed for the first time. It was for women (and men) just like this one that Jesus had come. And in revealing himself to her, hope and possibility were reborn.
Our sins burden us and crush us and destroy joy and hope. Stop by the well and drink the Living Water that the Messiah gives and you will never thirst again.
PRAYER: Lord, thank you for revealing yourself to sinners like us. Renew our hope and open our eyes to what it means that the Messiah has come! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.