This week our sermon series focuses on the story of the Woman at the Well found in the Gospel of John. This is an incredible story in the Bible because it breaks nearly all of the social morays of the times. Jesus should not have talked to a woman, much less a Samaritan woman, and a woman who had been divorced six times. Even today being divorced six times would put you on the edges of polite society.
Jesus crosses barriers that no other prophet, preacher, or proselyte would cross. Think of the person in the world whom you would not talk to for money, and that is the woman at the well. There is literally no person that a 1st century Jew would talk to less than the woman at the well. So that reminds me that to Jesus, this woman was fully known, all humans were fully known to Jesus.
Many of us live our lives in a way that prevents us from being fully known to our fellow human beings. Very few, if any of us, have people in our lives that we allow ourselves to be fully revealed to. There is too much risk, too much vulnerability being shown to those people to whom we would reveal ourselves.
But there is an interesting fact that God knows us completely and loves us despite those places in our lives that we think are unlovable. The woman at the well was drawing water in the middle of the day, during the hottest, most miserable time of day to avoid the stares and whispers of her village. But, and this is a big but, Jesus loved her exactly where she was, unlovable-ness and sin included.
It is amazing to me that God, THE God who created the world would worry about knowing me fully. Think about yourself for a second, we all have that place inside of us that we feel no one could ever redeem or love, right? I know I do. But God does not hold that against us, if we ask for forgiveness that sin is no longer in our history with God.
When I think about the phrase “to be fully known” it fills me with apprehension because that means I have to fess up to all the mess in my world. God already knows all of these places, He is all-knowing after all, but He is calling us to live lives that are known to others. It is the toughest thing in the world for us to be real, we live so much of our lives trying to avoid the deep and troublesome things in the world and our lives. But God is calling us to live lives that are available and real to others. How can you and I do that this week?