Text – John 4:29: “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?”
When was the last time you wore a mask? Actually, we wear masks all the time. We pretend to be what we are not. We pretend to be happy, though really we are sad. We pretend we are tough, though we are hurting inside. We pretend we are confident, though really we are quaking in our shoes. We pretend that everything is OK, even we have done something we know is wrong.
Jesus often talks about people who seem to be one thing, but are really something else. In fact, some of his most biting criticism is reserved for people who kept themselves spotlessly clean on the outside but who were rotten as a corpse on the inside: ‘whitewashed tombs’, he calls them.
Several times in the Gospels, Jesus shows his insight into what people really are. He knows what people are thinking; he knows what they are feeling; he knows who is going to deny him; and he knows who is plotting to betray him.
The last two verses of ch2 – Jesus ‘knew all men…he knew what was in a man.’
So, when Jesus meets a woman wearing a mask, we know what to expect. She was wearing her ‘debator’s’ mask that day, wasn’t she?. Should could debate history, sociology, geography, theology till the sheep come home. But it was all a sham – an attempt to hide from the things that were really going on in her life.
But she couldn’t fool Jesus.
‘”Go, call your husband and come back.” “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband…”Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet.’
“Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?”
Jesus gently removed her mask, and made her face up to the person she really was. He did this not to condemn her, but to help her to see her need.
In what ways are you pretending that you are something, or someone, that you are not? In what ways are hiding from the person you really are? Jesus knows you, he knows all about you, He knows the worst about you, as well as the best, and still he offers you living water.
This living water that Jesus gives is the Holy Spirit. And the Spirit brings…Jesus himself. It was in order to impart this gift that our Saviour came. It was in order to impart this gift that his body was broken, and his blood shed.
Jesus asked a woman for a drink of water. He offered her something far more wonderful. I wonder if he ever got his drink? I wonder if she ever got hers? I wonder if you have got yours?