John 8:32 “You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free”
If the truth sets us free that must mean when we are wrapped up in untruth, we are bound.
But what about when facing the truth is so unbelievably painful it’s easier to look away or minimize it. What then?
John 4:4 AMP It was necessary for Him to go through Samaria.
John 4 brings us to Samaria. Scripture states it was necessary for Jesus to go through there, but geographically speaking, He didn’t. He chose to. There hidden by the heat of the day a woman was at the well, gathering water for her day. You see she chose to go out at that time also. The intense heat of midday meant she could go out “under the radar” to avoid having to face others; but really, as scripture reveals to avoid facing her pain. Jesus meets her there; in her hiding, in her running, in her minimizing, THAT is place Jesus met her.
John 4:7-9 Presently, when a woman of Samaria came along to draw water, Jesus said to her, Give Me a drink—For His disciples had gone off into the town to buy food—
9 The Samaritan woman said to Him, How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan [and a] woman, for a drink?—For the Jews have nothing to do with the Samaritans—
Hot and tired he asks her for water. She is almost offended by his questioning. Does Jesus not know she’s a woman and a Samaritan woman at that? I mean this is culturally wrong on so many levels. Jewish people and Samaritans were enemies. It was like Batman teaming up with the Joker (can you tell I am mother to five boys?)
What she doesn’t know is He’s not really there for water, He’s not there to condemn her or take something away. He’s not like the people she’s used to facing. He’s there to fill her with living water, the kind that heals. I imagine she’s learned to self protect. I bet she’s learned to say things in a way that keep her safe. She’s learned to discern the temperature of the people around her and respond accordingly. Is this man a safe place to open up? I believe that’s why we see her dance a little around Jesus’ questioning, even minimizing her reality. It’s not that she intends to lie to Jesus, she’s learned what it takes to protect.
Jesus answered her, If you had only known and had recognized God’s gift and Who this is that is saying to you, Give Me a drink, you would have asked Him [instead] and He would have given you living water.
11 She said to Him, Sir, You have nothing to draw with [no drawing bucket] and the well is deep; how then can You provide living water? [Where do You get Your living water?]
12 Are You greater than and superior to our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well and who used to drink from it himself, and his sons and his cattle also?
13 Jesus answered her, All who drink of this water will be thirsty again.
14 But whoever takes a drink of the water that I will give him shall never, no never, be thirsty any more. But the water that I will give him shall become a spring of water welling up (flowing, bubbling) [continually] within him unto (into, for) eternal life.
She responds to Jesus matter of factly, I can even sense the wall of protection her responses have. Walls that hide shame, walls that conceal pain, walls that hide disappointment.
Jesus knows her heart. He sees her dancing, her protecting. So driven by the urgency in His heart for her, He gets to business and draws the truth out of her leaking internal well of hurt.
““Go and get your husband,” Jesus told her. “I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied. Jesus said, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband— for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!” “Sir,” the woman said, “you must be a prophet.”
John 4:16-19 NLT
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.” There’s something about making the same wrong decision twice that creates shame. She’s made this mistake many times. You feel like a fool. Didn’t I know better? How did I get here again? Especially if we invested a lot into hopefully stopping the behavior the first time. You see, whatever we don’t find healing for as we leave a season, we repeat in the next season. That’s why cycles of behavior we can not stop on our own. It requires healing of those wounds so we stop trying to bandage them in our own strength. With out healing we find ourselves turning to the same vices to escape the hardships of life, in the same cycle of abusive destructive relationships, or making the wrong choices with our finances; the list goes on.
You see, healing requires us to face the truth
Go and get your husband,” Jesus told her.
Jesus was asking her to face the truth of her choices. Sometimes my reluctance to face the truth of my choices is because it hurts so deeply. Literally saying the words out loud hurts. My heart and mind start to forget that Jesus forgives my wrong choices when I repent. I start to feel condemned. Recently as I wrestled with this exact thing Jesus sent a sweet sister to remind me, “don’t be afraid to own your choices, they are just a part of your story. Even wrong ones.” Owning our choices gives us power to make new choices.
“I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied.
Here she responds by dancing around the question. I sense this was second nature to her. She was used to having to dance to avoid pain. Have you ever danced around questions to avoid fessing up to truth? I am so guilty of this. Not so much dancing, but I’m a minimizer. I tend to minimize my pain, minimize my hurts, minimize my needs. Not with an intent to be dishonest but sometimes it’s easier to tell people what they want to hear or minimize the truth to be less burdensome on those around me. I’ve struggled with that my whole life. Pushing down how I feel to be less of a hassle to others. Minimizing. But when I minimize I actually turn what I’m saying into a half truth. And a half truth, is a whole lie.
“You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.”
By minimizing how I feel, what I need, my pain; I’m actually setting myself up to be trapped. Trapped by my silence.
Jesus said, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband— for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now.
And here we are, this is where the healing begins. Jesus pierces her heart with the truth and gravity of her situation. Not to hurt her but because until she faces truth, she can’t find the healing she desperately needs. I almost wonder if Jesus was a little tired of arguing with her by this time. It was hot, He was hungry maybe even bordering on hangry. It almost seems harsh in tone how He responded to her. But He made her look truth right in the eyes; and not just in her mind, it was spoken out loud. For me sometimes getting those words of truth out can be difficult when there’s so much pain attached. It hurts so darn much.
But He’s showing me silence is a trap for evil to flourish in the darkness of secrecy.
This woman was filled with hurt and shame that kept her isolated. It kept her hidden. But as soon as her truth was brought out into the light, as painful as that must have been for her to face the weight of those decisions, bringing it to the light brought freedom. It brought her purpose. Most importantly it brought healing to a place in her heart that kept her her hidden, trapped in a cycle of pain and full of shame.
John 4:24 God is a Spirit (a spiritual Being) and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth (reality).
Jesus isn’t afraid of your reality. He knows it. He knew when He called you to Him what you were facing, even before you did. As her eyes and ears opened to the healing that was taking place, Jesus explains to her that worshipping Him requires spirit and truth. I feel the Amplified version wraps this up perfectly, describing truth as reality. The reality was she was in an unhealthy cycle of relationships. The reality was that was she was hurting and needed help. The reality was she needed healing. Jesus had a good plan for her life, but until she faced reality, she would remain trapped and bound by the chains of lies.
John 4:39 NLT “Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, “He told me everything I ever did!””
The same cycle of mistakes that created so much pain and shame in her life when placed before Jesus birthed a ministry of hope and change for so many others.
What about you today? Maybe the Spirit is revealing to you an area where you minimize the reality of your choices, to avoid the pain associated with facing truth. I pray today that you would be filled with courage to dig deeper. To reach out for help where necessary and fill you with the boldness you need to speak truth out loud and allow it to be exposed to light.
Ephesians 5:11 Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them.
Prayer Starter: Lord God, I praise you and thank you for Jesus. I thank you that He meets us in our most painful circumstances. I pray the spirit would fill these words you’ve given me and open eyes and ears Lord and that would give my sister’s boldness and courage to Speak out Lord. To speak the truth out loud without fear of how others will respond.
In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!