“This man is a prophet. He told me everything I’d ever done.”
The woman at the well in this weekend’s Gospel runs off and tells the whole town that she’s met the Messiah, and the people listened to her. She didn’t listen that well when Jesus told her about the Living Water that he offered. She almost skipped past that part. What she did hear was when he told her the ugly truth about herself.
“You have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband.”
The Son of God stood in front of her and told her who He was, and she wasn’t awestruck. Then he told her the state of her own soul, the things she hoped were hidden from view, and she believed.
It would be easy to scoff at the blindness of a woman who missed Truth incarnate when He stood before her, but it is rare to find the person who doesn’t search for truth in the same way that she did. “Tell me the truth about myself,” we ask. “Tell me that you see the reality of me, the beauty and the ugliness, and that you still love me anyway.” And when He did, she called him a prophet.
It wasn’t the truth of the power of God that she sought, or to know about the deliverance that the Messiah brought. She heard these things, but it was when Jesus saw her that she was moved. It was when He called her by name that she answered, and her heart and mind were opened. When Jesus showed her that she wasn’t unseen by the God of the Universe, but was known that she went out and brought other people to Christ.
Image Credit: Nicolas Colombel [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons