Short Meditations in John 4: 25. The Messiah
Jn 4:25,26 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.”
The woman shows us a startling and surprising knowledge. Perhaps this is indicative of the spiritual feelings that the Samaritans wanted to retain, linked with their history, or is it simply that she knows what the Jews believe? She speaks about the Messiah. She knows the Jews at least believe he is yet to come sometime in the future. This Messiah when he comes will give us all the answers, she sidesteps. In other words, well this is all a bit complicated isn’t it, so we’ll probably have to wait until this Messiah figure arrives and can sort it all out for us.
She’s been down the path with living water, but Jesus backed her into a corner about her failed relationships. That got too close to home so she sidestepped by talking about the differences the Jews and Samaritans had when it came to worship. Jesus followed that one up by talk of a closer relationship with God possible by the Spirit, and she appears to feign ignorance and says, we’ll have to leave that to when the Messiah comes.
The trap snaps shut: “That’s me!” says Jesus.
Have you ever noticed how people sometimes squirm avoiding the truth. We try and do this with God, jumping one way or another but He relentlessly follows us down each blind alley. We’re like street jumpers – have you ever seen then, jumping walls, jumping roof tops, and railings and goodness knows what else – but in our case it is to escape the truth, and the truth is we are in need and we need Jesus. It doesn’t matter what the situation, it is always the same. We think we can cope with the struggles of life (five husbands and you’re not in a proper relationship with your present man) and so we hedge the issues, declaring we’re all right and we can make it through, but deep down we know that that isn’t the truth and we desperately need help in life, if only there was someone we could trust.
“I’m the Messiah,” says Jesus, “the anointed one sent by God to make it possible for you to come back to the Father, receive His forgiveness, be brought into close relationship with Him, and then have your life straightened out.”
That’s what this story in John 4 is all about, about a “street-jumping” woman who jumps all over the place to avoid the issue, but is eventually cornered and is faced by one who declares he is the long awaited one, the one waited for by Jew and Gentile alike, the one who can bring her peace and security that has been missing for so long, the one who can show her real love.