Jesus knew…

I’m sitting in Starbucks right now listening to two of my new favorite songs: Dance with Me and Obsession, relaxing the legs after three LONG days of work.  But an interesting idea came up and I think it’s time to break the blog hiatus.   One of my favorite theological-conversation-friends and I were talking about how to confront people in the church in leadership positions with behavior that’s not acceptable.  Or at least, the few glimpses we get of that behavior SEEM unacceptable.   My buddy brought up the great point that I need to be unassuming in my conversation with this person, because as of right now, I really have no idea where she’s coming from.  But I disagreed with him when he said that that’s the example that Jesus set for us.

Now we both quickly agreed on the fact that Jesus didn’t have to assume- He is God and He knows.  But I would say that the example Jesus gives to us who do not know is in fact the lack of condemnation that He had even when dealing with people clearly living in sin.

Look at the woman at the well (John 4):

Jesus knows from the beginning that this woman is living sin, and has been for a while, but He’s chosen her to be the one who carries the message of His “living water” to the Samaritans of her town.  He is not concerned for the damage His image will bear by talking to her, He’s not concerned with shaming her, or with using her as an example of the type of person we should avoid.  He’s concerned with her restoration.  From the very first words He speaks to her, He is preparing her to hear His message and be changed by it.

There is a bigger picture here- that the Samaritans in that area responded to Jesus with belief and an attitude of worship.  But I find myself enamored by the individual interaction here.  The care that Jesus takes in revealing Himself as the Messiah to a woman, a Samaritan (despised by the Jews), and a woman living with a man who is not her husband after divorcing many others.  Without getting preachy, this woman would be held in high esteem in our own culture today, much less in that day.

Why are we so intent upon condemning the behavior we see in the others around us?  We are so smugly satisfied and yet disgusted at the same time when we see a brother or a sister fall into sin.  We are quick to point out their fault and distance ourselves, and we are slow to forget.  Galatians 6:1 says that if any our brothers and sisters fall into sin, we should restore them gently.

How much pride must be rotting my soul for me to feel smugly satisfied seeing a brother or sister fall instead of feeling my heart break for the damage they are wreaking in their own life?  Which is why I’m drawn to the woman who finds Jesus at the well.

What an eternal honor to be one of the few in human history to have an audible conversation face to face with the Savior of the world and then to be used by Him to bring others into the Kingdom!   Jesus certainly knew the impact this woman could have on those in her community if her life was changed, but He also certainly believed that the heart inside her was worth saving in the first place.  And He gave her an invitation to her to worship Him.

Think about this!  If He gave her an invitation to worship (this is implied through their conversation about true worship, His revelation to her about His identity, and the many Samaritans who believed by her testimony), then we are to believe that He sought out the worship of a sinner, He brought her to belief, and then used her to change the world around her.

There is a lot more to talk about on this topic, but I think this is enough for now.  At least, it’s all my mind and heart can soak up right now.  Please, I would love to hear your thoughts on this.  Have a great night!

 

 

3 Responses to “Jesus knew…”

  1. rippedpower Says:

    Many would venture to say there is no hope for this woman. She was dealt a bad hand at birth (gender, race, etc.) and she had only managed to compound her perdition. Thank God for Jesus Christ and the gift of salvation that he brings to whoever believes! This is a story of hope for every “hard case” for sure.

    Ezekiel 18:21-22 (New International Version)

    21 “But if a wicked man turns away from all the sins he has committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, he will surely live; he will not die. None of the offenses he has committed will be remembered against him. Because of the righteous things he has done, he will live.

  2. You just gave me a song idea! Thanks for writing this 🙂

  3. Hi Dan,

    I had some time and found your blog so I thought i’d leave a comment.

    what came to me was that there are three different areas in dealing with sin/unacceptable behavior in the church.

    1.believers in leadership
    2.believers in the church
    3.Unbelievers

    when dealing with believers in leadership my understanding is that they be confronted directly but of course in love. it depends on what the sin is. for example, if a leader at my church deletes me off of fb without cause and I ask why and they won’t respond, then all I can do is forgive and pray for them….that’s not one I have to take to a pastor haha lol 🙂

    when dealing with believers in the church we should pray (well we should pray in all of them haha) and it also depends what the sin is and what God is leading us to do or not do cuz sometimes He just wants us to pray for them or see something in ourselves.

    With unbelievers Jesus set a good example with the samaritan woman and I agree with you that we need to seek to restore believers as well. I really liked your perspective on that. 🙂

    Proverbs 27: 5-6
    “Better is open rebuke than love that is concealed. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy”

    1 cor. 5:9-13
    This is a great scripture showing us how to respond to those calling themselves believers but are not living it and how to also respond to unbelievers…

    Awesome blog…God’s gonna use you in a big way!
    Lisa 🙂

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