Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Come and see

Angelika Kauffmann - Christus und die Samariterin am Brunnen
Can you remember a time when you were dead in your sin?  As one who has grown up emerged in the church and Christian faith I don't have an earth shattering testimony of my salvation.  I used to be reluctant to give my testimony because I thought others would think it boring.  I would hear tremendous stories of those who had been saved from horrible circumstances and rock-bottom places and I would step aside and think, "No one wants to hear about the pastor's kid who went to church in the womb, heard about Jesus every day and became a Christian at age 6."  Over time and through Christ continuing His sanctification process in my life I have become overwhelmingly grateful for my testimony.

I was reading about the Samaritan woman this morning.  I know that many people who are living without Christ are outwardly boastful about their self-sufficiency and lack of need for a Savior.  Then there are those who are so openly embarrassed by their sin they continue to run and hide in shame.  Both are running.  One runs through outward shame, the other because they don't want to be confronted with their sin.  The closer one gets to the Savior- to Holiness- the more we see our sin and unworthiness.  That's certainly not a place that anyone wants to find himself.   But what about the Samaritan woman's response to Jesus?

"Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did!"  John 4:29a
What?  Come?  Come and see?  Actually come back with me and meet this man?  I was thinking that if a total stranger looked at me and point blank told me how many husbands I'd had and that I was currently living out of wedlock that I would run alright...run away and hide.  I thought about her response for awhile and came to the conclusion that this must have been the most freeing moment of her life.  Not only did Jesus actually KNOW her sin, he was a Jewish man speaking to a Samaritan woman.  The whole scene is bazaar, but Jesus does not conform to society's rules.  So instead of running away, she ran to her people and wanted them to talk with Jesus, too.  Only someone who has experienced a relationship with Jesus would understand the freedom that comes from Christ knowing everything I have ever done.  The Bible tells me that I cannot hide from God.  

Psalm 138:8 says, "I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there." 

Jeremiah 23:23-25 says:

“Am I only a God nearby,
declares the Lord,
    “and not a God far away?
24 Who can hide in secret places
    so that I cannot see them?”
declares the Lord.
    “Do not I fill heaven and earth?”
declares the Lord.

There are days when I am so thankful that Jesus knows every single thought that goes through my mind.  Yes, I am ashamed by them at times, and the Holy Spirit immediately rebukes me.  I can confess these shameful things to my Savior who already knows everything I have ever done or will do.  He still loves me.  He is shaping me, growing me, molding me, and making me into something of use to Him.  My sins are no less grievous than those of this Samaritan woman.  Mine are as dark and worthy of death as the vilest offender's.  Jesus still wants to redeem me and make me into something beautiful.

Running away from God is what our sin and shame compels us to do.  When we see God and understand His holiness in the light of how much He loves us and want to redeem us through the blood of His son we are compelled to run to Him.  The realization of how much God loves us despite our sin should spill out of us in every part of our lives - seen and unseen.  When I am not walking closely with God, reading His Word, praying and seeking after Him I become complacent and lose my "amazement" and the Truth of who He is.  The Samaritan woman was amazed.  She was amazed and could not help but run and tell others.  And many believed.  

"Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, "He told me everything I ever did!"  When they came out to see him, they begged him to stay in their village."  John 4:39-40


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