Divorce Care

She Was Rejected by the Church

Ladies, do you know your worth? The bold measures that Jesus took to ensure women knew their value was astonishing.  

Jesus met many women while on earth. When you read their accounts, you can see what Jesus truly thought of them. When you look at how He felt about them, you will learn what He feels for you.

We meet a desperate woman in the pages of scripture. We will call her Mara, for her life was miserable. Born a Samaritan, therefore, despised by Jews, this woman’s life knew sin, sadness, and seclusion.

Did she have anything to offer?

The day was long, and it was time for Mara to retrieve the water needed for the evening. Six in the afternoon, in the cooler part of the day, she reaches the well. Who does she see? A Jewish man sitting on the ledge.

By custom and for the sake of not being defiled by a Samaritan and a woman, a Jewish man was to back away from the well twenty feet or so. He was never to speak to her much less be near her. To do so was to be culturally unclean. But Jesus defied culture for the sake of this woman’s value. He spoke to her, “Give me a drink.”

Did Jesus ask her for a drink for the sake of simply starting a conversation? Indeed, this happened, but I believe he asked for water to signify her worth.  Jesus begins with her ability. The fact that he asked her for water indicated that he thought she had something to offer. Being human, he was thirsty, and she could meet that need.

Before Jesus even tells her that He is the gift of God who beholds the living water, He asks her to take a step.

Jesus begins to reveal himself to us by our first step forward.

The little we offer is a sign of our hunger. After all hungry people are easier to feed!

Mara had no idea who she was talking with because Jesus first came to her as a man.

By this point in life, she had lived a tough life. Five husbands and now living with a man who is not her husband, Mara had to feel hollow and insignificant. Failed attempts at relationships, could this woman ever feel cherished?

Jesus knew about her past as He revealed this knowledge of her pain and the life of emptiness she was living.

Jesus’s request, “Give me a drink” was an invitation. The door to her past, her present, and eventually her great need for a Savior opened.  As their conversation continued, Mara saw Jesus going from a mere Jewish man to a prophet, to the awaited Messiah; she discovered that He was the missing link in her hopeless life.

We don’t know if Mara gave Jesus a drink or not, as the scriptures don’t reveal this, but I would imagine that she did. The key is not whether she did or not; instead, it’s that Jesus asked for Mara to give of what she had, and he would use this simple gesture to introduce her to the way of agape love.

Jesus asks the same of you and me. “Give me…” (fill in the blank). What little do you have to offer? God can use it to lead you to the greater things of God!

Take the step!

I knew a divorced woman, neglected and hurt by her ex-husband, she escaped an emotionally abusive marriage. Unable to speak barely above a whisper, she and her two children looked for a church that would accept her, love her, and show her hope. Instead, she met judgment, ridicule, and rejection, for divorced women were not allowed to worship with believers!

Jesus still had his eye on her.

A co-worker of hers invited her to visit their family’s church.

The woman took a chance and visited. To her surprise, this body of believers defied the common and accepted culture, and like Jesus recognized she was a woman of worth.

She attended the church with her two small children. One Sunday the need for people to volunteer in their AWANA program was announced. Very gifted in art, she came forward; a little hesitant, her broken spirit courageously asked if she could help? The leaders of the AWANA program were elated! 

Week after week she taught the children, using her gift of arts and crafts. She learned about Jesus. The women in the church rallied around her, and they loved her.  Like Mara, she found Jesus as her Savior. She found a place of value at the feet of Christ. It was because of these ladies who respected this woman’s small gift, ignored the unloving church culture of that time that she was drawn into God’s family, along with her children.

Today, 50 some years later this woman is a gift to God’s kingdom, for she is a prayer warrior, giver, compassionate, and full of God’s truth and grace.

This precious woman is my mother.

My brother and I are grateful that someone looked at her and saw that what little she could give could be turned into a legacy of faithfulness to her God, her children, and those who surround her.

And Mara? She became the first woman preacher in the gospel! “She left her watering jar, went into town, and told the men, ‘Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could this be the Messiah? They left the town and made their way to Him. Now many Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of what the woman testified.” (You can read the whole account in John 4:1-42.)

Ladies, never forget that you are a treasure in God’s eyes. Jesus says so! It doesn’t matter where you have been or what you have to offer. Allow Him to take you, and what you can give, and show you the way to greater things!

 

 

 

 

 

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