Do you long to be loved because you are known, and not because someone only wants something from you?
Before my first husband passed, one of the last things he said to me was, “I wish we had more time to get to know one another.” We’d been married just over twenty-five years, but to me his words meant the world. We had both loved one another but often spent more time assuming what we knew than sitting down and becoming known.
Jesus looks deeper than what others see
Too many in the religious world assume we know someone by their surroundings, their actions, or the way they think and respond. For too long I judged the same. I’m grateful Jesus doesn’t. Jesus sees all that’s happened that led you to where you are today. In that, he knows why you think the way you do, and the turmoil that causes you to cry out to really be known and loved, way down deep. Without the judgement.
He remembers all the times you thought love finally arrived only to experience it was just another cheap shot by someone who only wanted your body.
Jesus isn’t like all the others
There’s a story in the Bible about a woman whom Jesus insisted on meeting, although he knew his fellow Jews, and even his own disciples would frown. She wasn’t even someone her own people wanted to associate with. She felt alone, unknown, and unloved.
The Bible states that Jesus went out of his way to meet this unnamed woman. He knew she’d be at the well, alone, battling the heat. He also knew why she chose this unusual time of day. He waited by the well until after his disciples left to get some lunch as he wanted to speak with her alone. He knew his disciples were discovering who he was and why he came, but also knew they had so far to go. They wouldn’t understand, and so he sat alone, waiting for her to arrive.
She sauntered toward the well wrapped up in her own thoughts. Suddenly she noticed the man sitting quietly and so cautiously walked toward the well, approaching as though she were a dear awaiting a trap. She’d never seen this man before, and she could tell by his dress and demeanor that he was a Jew. Jews hated Samaritans, and she didn’t even consider herself an upstanding Samaritan. Yet she had to draw from the well for her day’s needs, so she guessed she’d have to deal with whatever this man dished out.
Jesus already knows and loves you
She expected curses and hate-filled words, for even a Jewish man would understand why she was there so late in the day. Yet, his first remarks were kindly asking her for a drink. She instantly shot back, “Why would a Jew ask a Samaritan for anything? We all have no questions about what you Jews think of us Samaritans. Nor do we have better to say about Jews.”
Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”
“But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?”
Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”
“Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.”
Jesus then responded in a way that totally caught the woman off-guard.
“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!”
Jesus isn’t offering you a new religion but a relationship
Stunned, the woman replied that Jesus must be a prophet, because he knew things no stranger would know. Suddenly she realized that if he was truly a Jewish prophet, he would be able to answer her long-held questions about why there was such a divide between the Jews and Samaritans. Jesus knew her questions were valid, but chose not to debate with her. His purpose for meeting her wasn’t to hound her to accept the Jewish religion, or to debate whether her religious beliefs were right or wrong. Rather, he wanted to offer her a new way of life not based on certain religious dogma, but upon a relationship with the God who made her and knew her all along.
[Jesus answered] “…God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”
The woman said, “I know the Messiah is coming—the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
Then Jesus told her, “I am the Messiah!” [The one whom God promised would come for the purpose of setting captives free.]
The woman was so excited that she left her water jar behind and ran back to the village to tell her fellow Samaritans,
“Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?”
I too have experienced being loved and known by Jesus
I too, like this woman have met Jesus, the one who knows everything I am and loves me anyway. And like this woman, I have also experienced his power to uncover my shame and free me from it’s hold by his lavish love. I can without question tell you that Jesus longs to visit you where you are. He’s willing to meet you in your
- Rejection, and offer you a place in his forever family
- Loneliness, and fill you with a belonging you have never experienced
- Questions, and offer you a life you may not yet understand, but a good life beyond your current comprehension
- Anger, and grant you healing
- prison cell – whether physical, emotional, or spiritual, and extend to you his key to freedom, without the hangover, the aftermath, or the numbing
He’s not put off by your surroundings, your (fill in the blank), or your past. He’s madly in love with you and offers you a place of standing in his kingdom of light, right now, if you will give him your allegiance. It’s as simple as asking him to give you the power to turn from your current state and make you new. At that very instant, you will become a member of his kingdom, for he turns no one away. Ever.
May I pray for you? Dear Lord, I may not know this one who’s reading, but you do. You know everything about them, and you love them extravagantly. May they in this moment experience your love and power to free them from from their dark place into your amazing light. You are so good and kind, and I ask they would feel your presence right now. Draw them to yourself, as you have a million time drawn me in my pain. I also ask, that if they choose to give their allegiance to you, that you would lead them to others who’ve experienced your gifts to teach them. Thank you. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Here is a song I recently discovered that may bless you today:
Please feel free to contact me as well.
All the quotes above are from John 4:1-28 (NLT)