“He told me everything I ever did!” John 4:39
The title of this blog post comes from a talk by Kris Vallotton from Bethel Church. You can download it here. If you have iTunes on your PC, you can download it for free from the store. I highly recommend it!
I decided to have a listen to it because I thought it was a really bold title and I was just plain old curious to hear what he had to say. And, to be honest, I wanted to know what a Christian man had to say about this issue. Particularly in light of all the criticism leveled against the Church regarding its stance on women in leadership and our role in marriage and society. He really challenged my own ideas about the way I see women- our limitations, our purpose in Christ Jesus. Both men and women should have a listen.
It was International Women’s Day yesterday and people on Facebook and Twitter were posting their thoughts on it. I wonder what Jesus’s thoughts might be. If he looked at the state of women today what would He say? How would He feel?
There are a number of stories in the Bible about Jesus’s encounters with women. One of them is a story in John 4 that some editions title: “Jesus talks with a Samaritan Woman.” It is worth noting, firstly, that it is quite odd that Jesus was associating with a Samaritan, let alone a woman! It just was not done by a respectable Jew, especially not someone people thought of as a religious leader, a rabbi. Samaritans believed in the same God as the Jews but they were on the fringes, they did not have quite the same status as them. So any person in that day who would have heard about Jesus talking to that Samaritan woman would react with some surprise, even shock. Maybe even disgust. What was he thinking??
That story always wrecks me. Destroys me. Speaks straight to my heart. Here’s why:
He INitiated. The story says that He asked her for water, he spoke to her first, he reached out. He didn’t wait for her to come and find Him, He took the first step. That is what God is always like. Reaching out, loving us first.
He INvited her in. spite. of her multiple husbands and open wrongdoing. Jesus makes a odd statement along the lines of: If you knew who I was you would ask me for water and you would never thirst again. She doesn’t immediately realize it, but He’s actually talking about the deeper “thirst” that she has been trying to quench through relationships with men.
Jesus came to show us what God is like. Within the true stories related in the Bible, is your own story, with a few differences. Jesus loves women, reaches out to women, not to take advantage of them, but to restore. What a man! What an incredibly amazing God!
Have a little read of John 4 . You never know you might find yourself in it.