CHAPTER 4: Part 2B: The Samaritan Woman – Confrontation
Short Meditations in John 4: 16. A Challenge
Jn 4:16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”
Because there is such close overlap verse from verse, we find ourselves repeating things, but repetition aids learning. We already, in the previous meditation, started considering the fact that each one of us has to face our need before we will come to God.
This woman has been hearing about living water and there has been some banter about it, but she hasn’t yet faced up to her actual need of this living water. Yes, it sounds interesting and maybe it would be good, but that isn’t enough. When we first start finding questions arising within us, we start hearing things about the Gospel and we get interested and think, yes, that could be for me, but we hadn’t yet come to the place of really recognising that we really NEED this salvation, we hadn’t yet faced up to our own desperate need of it.
Jesus knows this of this woman, as he knows everything about each of us. He knows the struggles she has had in life and he knows where she is in it all at the present moment. He just needs to get here to face that and also realise the he does know all about it. It is not only facing the need but realising that Jesus is Lord and we need to receive of him and surrender to him.
So we find Jesus making this very simple command or request of her – go and fetch your husband. Now she was obviously of the age that you would expect her to be married (as was so in that culture) but what would be the point of Jesus wanting to talk to her husband. She is the one in front of him, she is the one having dealings with him. Why ever would he want her to go back into Sychar and go and fetch her husband from whatever he was doing. No, it’s not such an obvious thing to ask. If we didn’t know what was coming, we might really be perplexed over why Jesus should make such a request. Familiarity, unfortunately, dulls us and we fail to think about these sort of things.
So here it is, a very simple, almost harmless request and yet it is going to be the thing that will open her up, that will get her confessing her past and present states and make her face herself, while at the same time helping her realise something vital about Jesus.
Jesus is often very gentle with us, more gentle than we are with one another, and so often he says things to us that come so quietly and gently that we hardly notice them, and yet as they settle in us they have the ability to explode the truth within us and we find ourselves thinking about issues in our lives we would not otherwise have thought about. He comes so gently so that we do not put up our defences and shy away from the truth. No, it just needs such a simple word sometimes to open up the truth!