Jesus Enters Our Shame
Topic: Lent 2017 Passage: John 4:7–4:26
A Recap from the Sermon
Preaching Text: John 4:7-26
Jesus breaks societal norms when he, a Jewish male, speaks alone to a Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. This unnamed woman, it turns out, is a truth-seeker, but also living in the shame of broken relationships with men. Jesus prophetically reveals that she’s been married 5 times and is currently living in sin with a man to whom she is not married. We can speculate that these failed marriages were botched attempts at finding satisfaction, which apart from God is impossible. When we try to fulfill our desires apart from God’s way, it always leads to sin, which ends in shame. “Our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee” (St. Augustine). Thankfully, Jesus is not deterred by her sin or by ours, but ultimately overcomes our sin by his enduring the shame of crucifixion to give us new life.
Jesus enters our shame and offers us true satisfaction.
To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, a desire would not exist if there wasn’t something to satisfy it. A desire that can’t be satisfied in this world must point to another world, i.e. heaven. The fool thinks he just needs more and better stuff to be satisfied. The reasonable person lowers all expectation so as not to be disappointed. The Christian, however, recognizes that the desires we experience are to create a longing for God (chapter on “hope” in Mere Christianity). We can thus enjoy the blessings of God “with glad and generous hearts” (Acts 2:46), without making an idol out of them. The living water is the presence of the Holy Spirit welling up within those who know Christ. This Lent, have an honest discussion with God about your heart’s desires.