All things about Jesus impress me. But, one thing stands out – the way He interacts with sinners.
He stops to rest by a well in Samaria. (John 4) A woman comes to draw water. Jesus asks if she would give him a drink. She thinks, “Huh, a Jew asking me for a drink.” On the importance ladder, Jews lived several rungs above the Samaritans.
Jesus engaged her in conversation. “If you knew who I was you’d ask me for a drink.” That made her curious. What drink could this man offer her? Jesus tells her of living water, the water that feeds the spirit and soul, the drink of eternal life. Now she’s excited. “So, give me this water,” she says.
“Go and get your husband and then come back,” Jesus tells her.
She balks. Then Jesus reveals He knows all about her five husbands and the man she presently lives with. “You must be a prophet,” she says. That statement allowed Jesus to introduce Himself as not another prophet but the Son of God.
She left her pots and headed back to the village to tell her friends about Jesus, her need of drinking water forgotten.
Jesus could’ve chided the woman for her mixed up theology and her morals but He didn’t. The point wasn’t her religion or her morals; the point was the Savior of the world wanted a personal encounter with her.
Jesus handles sinners with care. He handled me with care when I lost my way. He didn’t deal with the petty stuff, the stuff that made me most ashamed. He dealt with my need of a Savior who loved me unconditionally.
Jesus isn’t in the condemning business. He’s in the restoration business. I add my voice to the Samaritan woman’s invitation to “Come, see a man who knew all about the things I did, who knows me inside and out.”