Today’s Reading: John 4
The average American is exposed to between four thousand and ten thousand commercial messages every day. But it’s truth that is a rarity. We have opinions but not truth.
One of my friends put it this way: “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not everyone is entitled to their own truth.”
Truth is universal. It isn’t limited to individuals, geography, or ethnicity.
We see this in today’s reading of John 4, in which Jesus has such an important one-on-one conversation with a Samaritan woman. In this conversation Jesus will tell the truth, the difficult truth, but the liberating truth. In fact, He will share two truths that will set this woman—and an entire city—free. For as He said in John 8:32 (TLB), “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” That means we need truth in order to have freedom.
And as He shared two truths with the Samaritan woman, He shares those same truths with us: (1) the truth about God; and (2) the truth about ourselves. It’s the second truth that we usually miss.
After this immoral woman met Jesus at a well and realized this is not just some Jew but this was the Messiah (truth about God), she went back to her city. Listen to her words: “The woman left her waterpot, and went into the city and said to the men, ‘Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done’” (John 4:28-29).
What a message. She did not say, “Come see the Messiah.” She did not even say, “Come see a man who told me all my good points and increased my self esteem.”
She said, “Come see a man who told me the truth about me. He told me my faults, my sins, and revealed to me my past.”
And Jesus did. He told her that she was immoral and living in immorality.
This Samaritan woman was saying, “Come see a man who has told me two truths—the truth about Himself and the truth about me.” We need truth to be free; we need to understand and embrace these two truths to experience freedom.
We live in a society that grossly overexaggerates ourselves, but Jesus doesn’t do that. Remember the truth about this woman:
He said, “Go call your husband and then come back.”
“I have no husband,” she said.
“That’s nicely put: ‘I have no husband.’ You’ve had five husbands, and the man you’re living with now isn’t even your husband. (John 4:16-18, MSG)
In Finding God, Larry Crabb wrote: “Feeling better has become more important to us than finding God.” You can’t feel better unless you find God, let’s be clear. Listen to the Samaritans’ response when they heard this woman’s raw words: “From that city many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, ‘He told me all the things that I have done” (John 4:39). She was telling the city, “Today I am free because of two truths: I met a man who told me all things (truth about God) and all things that I have done (truth about me).” In other words, she was saying, “And after He exposed my dark past, He still wanted me and loves me. This is not a normal man. He is different!”
When we come to Jesus, we will hear the truth about ourselves, but we will also hear the truth about Him. And despite the revelation of our real selves and our messed-up lives, we discover that He loves us and wants us. That’s two big truths.
Plato said, “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark. The real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” When you come to Jesus, you come to the light. Don’t be afraid. The true “you” will come to light, but so will the true God. And He is amazing.