I was an adulterer. I was an addict. I was an alcoholic who when I was feeling sick from too much booze thought nothing of purging so I could drink some more. I had an abortion. I lived in sin. I was engulfed in sin. I hated myself. I hated my life. I felt condemned. Unclean. Unworthy. Unloved.
She was at the well when he came. A Samaritan woman, an outcast among the Jews, and a shady woman among her own people. She had been married five times – perhaps losing her husband to famine or war, but this sixth man was not her husband. Jesus knew it and he questioned her. Jesus – who spoke to this woman breaking all customs and laws. First, it was unacceptable for a man to be speaking alone to an unmarried woman. A man didn’t even speak to his sister or mother in the streets. Second, she was an unclean and despised Samaritan woman, outcasts to the Jews. Last, he was a Rabbi, a teacher of the law – he had not business speaking to a woman of such loose moral character. He rocked the system. He threw down the false customs. He loved. Scandalous.
She was intrigued, and evasive at his questioning. He asked her for water and she marveled that a Jew would request a drink from a Samaritan. He asked about her husbands and she avoided a direct answer. The discourse continued with Jesus gently teaching her, as she questions him. He instructed her about worshiping in the spirit and in truth. Then Jesus proceeded to do something he hadn’t yet done – he revealed more about himself to his loose, despised, rejected, Samaritan woman than he had yet revealed to his own disciples. He tells her who he was. He offers her “living water” and later responds to her statement that the Messiah would someday come and reveal all things by simply telling her, “I that speaks to you is He.” (John 4:26)
She returns to the city so passionate about what she had learned and the Messiah whom she had just met that crowds follow her back to where Jesus was resting. She was changed. Set free. It was obvious.
She had been touched by love. The kind of love that no human can place into the soul of another. Divine love. Agape love from the God who is love.
I met Dave before I met Jesus. He was my first example of unconditional love and he loved well. But he was a dry well, with limitations and a bottom. He could only fill the void so much because my imperfect cracks kept leaking out.
Then Jesus spoke to me at the well. Me – a Samaritan, an addict, a drunkard, and a murderer. He threw down the customs of inequality and taught me I was of value. He drew out the shame, the drugs, the alcohol and the sin. I was touched by love.
We were all Samaritans. Jesus came to touch us.