I my last blog post, I discussed the Bible narrative of The Woman at the Well from the Gospel of John. As I noted then, this narrative is rife with wisdom; I chose to focus on the fact that God’s grace is available to all of us regardless of our sin, gender, ethnicity, etc. In discussing this story in a bible study late last week, a very wise friend and mentor of mine reminded me of something else that goes hand in hand with God’s free gift of grace and that is the awareness of our sin and our repentance.
Certainly, the woman in the story was aware that what she was doing was socially taboo and was therefore ostracized, but she was not fully aware of the severity of her sins and their eternal consequences. She continued to look for meaning and satisfaction in the same places where she failed so many times before. What happened to the woman in her encounter with Jesus is that she was confronted with the hopelessness of her prior choices and in recognizing Jesus as the Messiah, she was humbled and she repented (literally meaning turned away from) of her sins; she saw them for what they were – offenses against God, she accepted Jesus as Lord, repented and was granted God’s grace (forgiveness of her sins) and the gift of eternal life. True, the Holy Spirit was at work here, so human effort is not really the point I’m focusing on, it’s more the fact that for salvation to happen, a change of heart must take place.
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