Scar Tissue

One of my favorite scripture passages is the fourth chapter of John, where Jesus meets the Samaritan woman at the well. They are alone, it’s high noon and the sun is probably blazing. Why is this woman getting water now? Typically, getting water back then was like the modern day equivalent of hanging around the water cooler - a social highlight of the day. It was typically done early in the morning when it was cool. It turns out this woman is ostracized by her own people because she has been married five times and is now openly living with a man who is not her husband. Evidently, she wants to get water in the middle of the day when no one is there so she won’t be seen or have to talk to anyone. She is an outsider with considerable scar tissue. She is broke and ashamed. She knows she is a sinner and Jesus provides incredible grace. She learns that she has worth and that her life matters.

Contrast this with the previous chapter where Nicodemus – a proud Pharisee, a Jewish leader (a real insider) comes to meet Jesus at night. He needed Jesus to show him that he is a sinner in order for him to understand grace. Nicodemus walked away in disbelief.

The woman at the well (doesn’t she even have a name?), learns about Jesus, recognizes that he is the Messiah, comes to believe in him and then quickly becomes a witness for him.

You don’t have to scratch too deep to find that we are all broken in some way. We are all sinners and in desperate need of Jesus’ forgiveness and grace. What a comfort to know that no sin is too great to be washed clean by his blood and that Jesus can heal our brokenness.

Brad Gauen

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