I am the Messiah. ~ Jesus to the Samaritan woman
You’ve wanted to take off your mask. You’ve wanted to stop pretending. You’ve wondered what God would do if you opened your cobweb covered door of secret sin. ~ Max Lucado
Welcome to week two of the Six Hours One Friday Online Bible Study with Max Lucado! As we journey to the cross and prepare for Holy Week, we’re going to be studying three specific encounters Jesus had with people before He entered Jerusalem for His final week on earth. These were everyday people, yet each person’s story is significant and will open our eyes to these anchor points, as we discover that our lives are not futile, fatal, or final because of Jesus
From Laurie McClure, OBS Leader
This week we’re zeroing in on this biblical anchor point — My life is not futile. We’re cracking open one of my favorite stories in the Bible… the one where Jesus talks with a Samaritan woman. I love this lady. Bereft of love and the life she’d hoped for, she’s the poster girl for all of us who’ve failed and been failed or abandoned. She’s left out of a left-out community. She’s shunned by the shunned. Rejected by the rejected because of her poor choices and shameful life circumstances. She doesn’t matter to anyone. More on that in a minute.
First, let’s back up for a little bit of detail about the Samaritans. They were a mixed race of people who had come from intermarriages between Hebrews and Assyrians (a big no-no in that day and culture). To make matters even worse, other pagan peoples also mixed in creating a race of people who didn’t fit in with any group anywhere. So, they made their own. They also crafted their own religion by mashing together the worship of Jehovah and a bunch of other pagan ideas. These people were reviled and looked down upon. Rejected. And shut out from the Hebrew community of faith. Less than worthless.
But this lady wasn’t worthless to Jesus. He saw her heart, knew her sins and losses, and had compassion on her. He saw that she longed for God so He had come to that place just for her. In the heat of the day when no one else would be at the well she had come to collect water so she didn’t have to face the rejection of her community once again.
Yet her heart ached for… something. She had no idea that it was the Son of Man. “I am the Messiah” He revealed to her. Their conversation changed her life! And, beyond that is, I think, one of the coolest little facts in all of Scripture… This woman — a woman! A Samaritan! Shacking up with some guy who wouldn’t put a ring on it and with five failed marriages in her rear-view mirror. She became the first gentile to evangelize! Jesus had chosen her!
Heaven is for the forgotten, the abandoned, the disenfranchised, the poor, the enslaved, the addicted, the abused… Heaven is for you and for me.
Your life is not futile.
You matter to Jesus.
He loves you.