Relationship Makes the Difference
In John chapter 4 we have the story of Jesus encountering the Samaritan woman at the well. A conversation takes place and we see Jesus informing her that she comes from a people who really don’t know who they worship. He then tells her everything she has done, so she was understanding something supernatural was taking place. He had power and in my opinion the goal wasn’t to humiliate her, it just isn’t the nature of Jesus. I believe he wanted her to know he knew her fully and in fact her past and current sin should’ve made the shame greater. But, he wanted her to know the Messiah saw her as valuable. He wanted her to experience relationship, not religion.
Relationship causes the wrong we do to be changed from a desire within not to hurt the one we love, while religion brings shame and consequence as motivating factors. Jesus came to challenge the religious system of the day that broke the backs of people who felt stuck and hopeless. He confronted sin openly, he commanded people to repent but he did it from the standpoint of love.
They didn’t feel rules they felt connection to the heart of God, and it was a change that took place from the heart, not the head. When Jesus spoke to this rejected woman at the well, He let her know He knew her life, but she left full of hope spreading the gospel. She encountered a Savior that made the vilest sinner feel loved, the most rejected received a visit that was out of the way. Why? All so they could be invited into relationship.
Jesus isn’t asking us to do things to honor him to check them off a list or be seen in a certain light. He’s giving us instruction that leads to life and fullness because he loves us. His instruction comes from a father’s heart who has relationship with his children. When we get a hold of that, the temptation to sin must be weighed against the pain we cause Jesus when we disobey. Is what we want to do more important than grieving the heart of the father? Friends that IS a different perspective, it’s relationship.
Pastor Natalie Snider