God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). Love is action. God first loved us. God loves us unconditionally and meets our deepest needs. If we are to be Christ-like, we have to learn to love like Jesus does. How does Jesus show His love for us?
Jesus’ love is Pro-Active. A long history of rifts and social prejudice separated the Jews and Samaritans, so much so that Jews going up to Galilee from Judea avoided passing through Samaria. Also, Jewish men would never even speak to a Samaritan woman. Jesus is different. He cares for the lost. Jesus took the initiative and broke the racial barrier. He went to Samaria and started a conversation with a Samaritan woman.
It so happened that the woman He spoke with ha a bad reputation. She had had 5 husbands, and the man she was living with now was not even married to her. Why did Jesus spend time with her? Because God’s love does not discriminate. Whatever you’ve done in your past — your background, race, color, riches — these do not matter to Him. God will always take the initiative to speak with us. He first loved us. That’s how we are saved.
Jesus’ love is Sensitive. Jesus’ approach to the woman was very different from the way He approached Nicodemus. Nicodemus was a religious teacher and He was direct with him. This woman’s background was very different, so He used a gentler approach.
The Bible tells us to love both friends and enemies. Jesus teaches us to grow in love — not to judge others! We need to be sensitive to others’ needs. Parents love their children. Husbands love their wives. Sometimes, though, they don’t feel it. This happens when we don’t speak in our loved ones’ individual love language. We have to learn to be sensitive. We need to grow in love. We have to show love in action just like Jesus.
Many times, people cannot see their own sinfulness. To help the Samaritan woman see her sinfulness and need for Christ, Jesus talked to her about water. He knew she was thirsty and that’s why she went to the well. Jesus was thirsty, too. For the people living in the Middle East people, water is symbolic of life. If the stream is polluted, people go to the water source to solve it. It is the same with our lives. The solution is at the root. Jesus knows this. We are the product of our past. That is why people behave the way they do. We have to be sensitive and understand people. We all experience pain. The truth is, God uses pain to change us. It is during points of crises in our lives when we most realize our need for God.
Jesus knew the Samaritan woman had problems. He broke social barriers. He initiated a conversation. He spoke to her gently. But He didn't stop there.
Jesus Speaks the truth in love. Jesus did not tell the Samaritan woman, “Your problem is that you are immoral. You have been stealing husbands, you adulteress!” Jesus chose to be gentle.
Jesus knows about that deep hunger in your heart the same way He knew about the Samaritan woman’s. She was longing for something, and when she couldn’t find it in her husband, she went for another. And another. And another. She was trying to fill her need with relationships. But only Jesus could meet her need.
We have a thirst deep inside us and we went to other things to fill that need. Money, career, food, relationships, position, power, fame, etc. These are idols in life. It’s like quenching our thirst with sea water. We only get thirstier and more miserable. Jeremiah 2:13 says, “For my people have done two evil things: They have abandoned me — the fountain of living water. And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all!” Nothing can take God’s place.
Jesus said, "If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water. Anyone who drinks water from this well will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life" (John 4:10, 13-14). The Samaritan woman wanted this water, and Jesus asked her to call her husband. The woman responded, “I have no husband.” Jesus replied, “You're right! You don't have a husband — for you have had five husbands, and you aren't even married to the man you're living with now. You certainly spoke the truth” (John 4:15-18)!
At this point, the woman tried to change the topic. The topic got too close to her heart and exposed her sinfulness. So she talked about religion. The Samaritans only had the Torah, the first five books of the Bible. They did not have the rest of it. Jesus told the woman the truth: God is spirit. If you want to change your life you have got to know who God is and come to Him in spirit and truth. If you want to come to God, be sincere from the heart and be honest. You were made for God, created for the Creator. Only He can satisfy you. Come to Him.
Jesus said, “I AM the Messiah.”
You cannot come to God unless you are willing to sincerely come to Him, honestly confess your idolatries, and acknowledge Him to be your Messiah. This is God’s promise: “There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). That’s exactly what the Samaritan woman experienced. She met the Savior. She ran off and began telling people about the amazing thing He has done for her.
If you have Christ, you will be just as excited to tell others about Him. You will P.A.S.S. on His love to others by being pro-active, sensitive, and by speaking the truth in love.
If you don’t have Christ yet, realize that He loves you. He loved you first, and He loves you unconditionally. It is no accident you are reading this Chronicle today. Jesus has been reaching out to you all your life. Will you respond to Him in Spirit and in truth? If you do, He will become for you a fountain of living water. He will satisfy your deep thirst. He will give you eternal life. Come to Jesus.