Rejection is horribly painful. If you have ever been left out, blackballed, or outcast, you know how much it hurt and the sadness it caused. Some people wrongly think that God has rejected them, shunned them, turned His back on them; but the truth is, God doesn't reject anyone. He wants a relationship with us and He has gone out of His way to make that possible through the love and grace we can experience in Jesus Christ. A great example of God's desire to restore the rejected and dejected is the story of Jesus' encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well. (Read John 4:1-30)
It is interesting that when Jesus left Judea to head north towards Galilee, John tells us "He had to go that way" (v. 4). Yet most Jews would go out of their way to avoid going through Samaria because of their distain for Samaritans. Why did Jesus have to go that way? Maybe Jesus had to go that way because there was someone there who desperately needed Him... someone who was looking for love, fulfillment, significance in all the wrong places. Do you know what I think? Jesus is willing to take whatever route He needs to take to get near to a person who needs Him... and that includes you and me! This woman really needed to experience Jesus and what He had to offer. The truth is, we all do!
While Jesus sat by that well to rest, the Samaritan woman comes by to draw water, so Jesus asks her for a drink. She is surprised Jesus even talks to her, then Jesus says... 10 ... "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water." (John 4:10). What did Jesus mean by "gift of God" and "living water"?
I'm told that this word "gift" in Greek, is used only here in this gospel, and it emphasizes the gift of God's grace through Jesus Christ. "Living water" or fresh, flowing, spring water revives and gives life! This woman, who had been married five times and was now living with a man who was not her husband, needed the gift of God's grace, like all of us; and that amazing gift of grace was available to her (and us) through Jesus Christ!
Here is a woman, who came to a well to draw water at midday when she thought no one would be there. She wanted to avoid being around other people because of the shame, judgement and rejection she had likely experienced. But today, she met a man, the Savior of the world, who didn't reject her, but who offered her grace, soul refreshment and life! He knew the failure and sin that burdened her, just like He knows the failure and sin that burdens you and me. He made clear to her that He was the Messiah, the One who had come to save her from the sin that plagued her. This is the only time Jesus speaks with such clarity about who He is prior to His trial ahead of His crucifixion.
How did this woman respond when Jesus told her who He was - when she experienced Jesus? She left her water jug behind and ran to tell everyone... 29 "Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did... (John 4:29)... and loved me anyway, loved me unconditionally, loved me despite my failures! All she ever wanted was real love, acceptance and appreciation. In Jesus, she found what she had been searching for... how about you? So what happened next? People came to see and experience Jesus in the same way she had. No doubt, they were stirred and inspired by her experience.
How can we apply this story in our lives?
Believe that Jesus embraces and transforms the rejected and dejected!
Open your eyes to people in your life who are rejected, dejected and in need of the gift of God, the amazing grace we can experience through Jesus Christ. .
Share with the lost the wonderful gift of grace and the refreshment of living water that only Christ offers!
If you want to dig into this incredible story and hear a lot more, click here to listen to The Jesus Experience - Part 2 - The Rejected.