Regardless of what you know about Jesus presently, there is more to the story, more to the mystery.
With each new ray of insight into the nature and mission of the Savior comes unexpected blessings and breakthroughs for the believer.
This morning I observed this wonderful principle in the story of the woman at the well. She was a Samaritan and Jews usually had no dealings with them. Furthermore, she was a woman and men usually did not speak to them in the streets. But this woman was in for a radical life change as the identity of this Jesus was unfolded to her. We see the stages of this progression in the “titles” she used to address Jesus.
1. “How is it that You, being a Jew, as me for a drink?” Initially, she assumed that Jesus was just like the other Jewish men she had encountered. It only took a moment for her to see that He was different. Jesus responded to her by saying that if she had known who He truly was she would have asked Him for a drink and He would have given her living water!
2. “Sir, you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep, where then will you get that living water? You’re not greater than our father, Jacob, are You?…” His response to her, a show of kindness and generosity, made her think that this man was far more respectable than others she had encountered. Jesus responded, “Whoever drinks the water that I will give shall never thirst again…” Then He caught her off-guard, by revealing that He knew she had been married five times and was now living with a man out of wedlock.
3. “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.” There was no other real explanation for His uncanny insight into the decades of her failure and emptiness. He must be a holy man who speaks for God. She got nervous at this point and fell into the normal Jew versus Samaritan theological debates. Jesus quickly moved beyond the petty ethnic and religious contentions to the heart of the matter: God is Spirit and is seeking those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth.
4. “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called the Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.” It seems amazing to me that Jesus was able to draw upon the limited understanding she had of the promised Messiah…and to bring it forth by the way He patiently and mercifully dealt with the woman. “I who speak to you am He…”
This Samaritan woman immediately became a spontaneous evangelist and went back to her village and declared to all that she had met the Messiah and that they should come and meet Him for themselves. And they came. And they too believed.
Friend, where are you in the path of faith? What is your understanding of the person and mission of Jesus Christ? Do you see Him simply as a Jewish person in ancient history? Or perhaps a noteworthy and respectable person, worthy of honor? Perhaps you have come to believe that He was even more than that? Perhaps He spoke accurately concerning the things of God and was a prophet in His day? Or perhaps you’ve been blessed to see what the Samaritan woman saw: He is the Christ, the Savior of the world.
Perhaps you’re a dedicated Christian longing to help lead others to the Savior. We can all learn a lesson in dealing with people who have yet to meet the Lord: discern where they are and help them take the next step. Avoid religious arguments and distractions. Sometimes it will be necessary to help them see the sin in their lives that need forgiveness and the hurts that need healing.
There is so much more for all of us to see and perceive regarding the Savior. And with each new step comes greater peace, joy, and understanding of God’s will for our lives – both for today and for eternity.
I pray this year for you will be full of worshipful insight into the glories of Christ.