The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.
She didn’t lie, but maybe she did hope to cover up the truth. Maybe it was shame that prevented her from saying more to this Jewish stranger. What did she want to convey with her answer? What impression did she hope to give by saying she had no husband? Who did she want Jesus to think she was? Obviously something other than the whole truth. Obviously there was something about those things in her past she wanted to hide from Him. So then did her heart sink when Jesus says these things? When she realizes He knew her so intimately? Or was it hope that sprung up within her?
We may try to give an impression or look a certain way or pretend or lie to get acceptance from others, to make ourselves look better than we know ourselves to be. We may think, perhaps, that we can’t be honest, can’t be real, and still be loved. And maybe with other people that is so. Maybe we’ll never be good enough or we’ll get too tired of pretending and be unmasked as a fraud. But with Jesus, we’re transparent. He sees all and knows all, and He looks through those masks straight to our hearts. And He loves us as we are—when we don’t measure up or we’re not who we wish we were. He accepts the version of us that is under that surface, that messy, imperfect version we don’t want anyone to see.
The fact is, these things were part of this woman’s story. Whatever happened to her, whatever choices she made, whatever circumstances pushed her along, this was her truth. And Jesus exposed it all. He knew her whole story. He knew exactly who she was. He knew every part of her life. But He wants her anyway. He cares about her still. Even knowing these things, He wants to help her, to give her life and hope and a future.
We each have our own truth, our own story, no matter what version we present to other people. Maybe we even try to hide this truth from God, but He sees right through all of our facades down to our hearts. And the amazing thing is, He knows all these things about us and doesn’t reject us, but seeks us out. He doesn’t seek to punish us, but to give us a gift. He doesn’t sneer with hatred, but reaches out to us in love. So let us be honest and genuine, especially with God. Let us accept His love so freely given. And let us not allow any part of who we are to keep us from trusting Him as our Savior.