Jesus: Approachable AND Approaching
She had baggage. There was no avoiding that. She’d been married five times and was now living with a man to whom she was not married. That’s odd in our times. We can only imagine how deviant it must have seemed to people 2,000 years ago. We don’t know why she’d had five different husbands. Maybe they all died. Maybe they all left her. Maybe she left some of them, and some of them left her and one of them died. We don’t know, but there are several combinations, and they all lead to the same outcome. She’d had her heart broken more than once.
It’s important to remember that once upon a time she was a little girl. She had dreams. She had hopes. She thought about what it would be like to get married, what she would wear that day, who would be invited, what the party would be like, how long it would last. She may have played that scenario out in her mind as the day drew closer and closer.
I doubt very seriously that she ever stopped to think that it might not last forever.
The end of a marriage is like a death in the family. Nothing prepares a person for it. And, to some extent, it doesn’t matter whose fault it is; when a marriage ends, more than one heart breaks. Maybe it was her fault — maybe it wasn’t — maybe it wasn’t anyone’s fault — maybe it just happened. Regardless, when it ended, she must have been devastated.
Now, can you imagine what she must have thought and felt when someone — after what was considered a proper amount of time had passed — asked her to do it again?
“I know your first marriage didn’t end up the way you had hoped, but would you marry me?”
Maybe she jumped at it and said, “Sure!” Or maybe she thought she wasn’t ready. Maybe she felt the icy grip of fear leap into her throat. Maybe every fiber of her being screamed out how there was no way in the world she would ever put herself in a position to go through that nightmarish hell again.
But somehow she managed to wrestle down the fear, put her past behind her and get on with her life. So she said, “Yes.”
And how long was it before her worst possible case scenario began to play out in front of her very eyes?
It happened again. And again. And again. And again.
Five times she gave her heart away. Five times she’d had it broken. When Jesus finds her, she’s only willing to go halfway — she lives with a guy, but they’re not married.
Angry? Bitter? Frustrated? Probably.
Thirsty? No doubt.
Now you know why the Bible says, “Jesus had to go through Samaria” (John 4:4, emphasis added).
See, Jesus wasn’t content to just be approachable. I mean, sure, he was probably glad to know that people felt like they could just walk up to him and ask him whatever was on their minds, whatever they wanted to know but were confused about God, about life here on earth, about what happens after life here on earth.
But Jesus didn’t just sit back and say, “Well, I’m here. They know where I am. If they want to talk, they can come to me.”
Jesus wasn’t just approachable. Jesus approached.