Friday, April 12, 2013

Brokenness Pt. 2: Helping Those Who Are Broken

The story of Jesus speaking with the Samaritan woman at the well found in John 4 has always intrigued me. It's not necessarily the fact that He chose to speak to her, although a huge social line at the time was crossed when he did- a male Jew talking to a female Samaritan. Or the fact that Jesus knew her past, that she had five previous husband and was now living with a man who she was not married to. No, it's not these incredible and even shocking events that really grab my attention.

It's the way that Jesus loves her.

He bestows mercy where there could have been condemnation. He gives truth where there could have been more lies. He offers living water, He offers Himself, He offers eternal life.

And she believed! She chose to drink from the living water that only Jesus can bring.

And my favorite part of the story comes in verse 39- "Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony." Our testimonies can be SO powerful! This one broken, seemingly insignificant, Samaritan woman led many to Jesus.

So, how can we help people in their brokenness? 
We follow Jesus' example. We bestow mercy. We give truth. We offer living water. 

But often when we offer living water, we try to do it on our own power. We run around with buckets of water, rushing from one parched, dying person to the next, spilling our buckets along the way. And when we do this, we're only able to give each person a sip before we have to move onto the next thirsty person. But what if we led people to the well, rather than running around with a bunch of buckets trying to bring water to them? What if we brought them to the source of living water, to Jesus himself?

You see, they don't need Jesus if I fix them. And in all reality, whatever "fix" I can offer them will only be temporary- at best, a bandaid on a gaping wound. Jesus is the only one who can really heal the brokenness.

It's like the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly. When the butterfly is struggling to break free of its cocoon, it is building strength in its wings. If it were to have outside help, its wings would not be strong enough to fly and so the butterfly dies. So often when we see someone we love struggling to break free or to heal or to choose rightly, we want to help them. We want to split their cocoon for them! But in the end, that won't help, it will only hurt. We must entrust them to Jesus. We must point them to the source of living water. We must lead them to the well.

And when you are embarking on a journey with someone, leading them to the well, remember these two simple truths:
  1. I am qualified because of God.
  2. God uses me in spite of me.

Check out Pt. 1: Facing Our Brokenness here.


  1. This is another layer in my look at John 4 along with Isaiah 55. Come, all who are thirsty. Who is that? Everyone. Everyone thirsts. Jesus gives living water. I love this dramatic rendition of the Samaritan Woman. Thanks for sharing it. You always find such good stuff!


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