Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. 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.
The woman that Jesus meets at the well had some things working against her, in a way. She was a Samaritan woman. She had this past of multiple marriages. She had this life that left her longing for more. And here, she may have tried to gloss over the whole truth a little bit, but nothing is hid from Jesus. And He makes that offer to give her living water knowing exactly who He is talking to. He does so knowing everything about her—all she’s done, all she’s thought, all she’s felt, and all she’s wanted.
Jesus comes to this woman not despising her because of her past or the choices she has made or the circumstances she has faced. He does not disregard her experiences, because our past shapes us in a lot of ways. But He is not limited by anything that has happened to us or anything we’ve done, because He can make us new. That is true grace, the grace that Jesus so freely offers to each of us personally, knowing exactly who we are, secrets and all, sins and all, struggles and all, shame and all, sorrows and all.
The truth is that whatever has filled our lives before can be poured out at Jesus’ feet, and He will fill us with something new. He will give to us His living water if we will believe on Him. And the truth is that all of those things from her past that this woman tried to hide came together to lead her to this place at this exact time to find Jesus there waiting for her. And maybe in our lives, too, it is those things we try to hide about ourselves that are the exact things that lead us to Jesus. Somehow He works those things together so we end up at the right place at the right time so He can introduce Himself to us.
Jesus doesn’t use this woman’s past against her. He doesn’t talk with her in front of the disciples. He doesn’t try to embarrass her or ridicule her. But He tells her all that she ever did because that would lead her to believe on Him. John says that he wrote his gospel so that his readers would believe on Jesus as the Son of God and be saved. And so he includes different stories about people and their encounters with Jesus and what it was that caused them to believe. So may we be encouraged by this woman’s story that Jesus knows all about us, every single detail of our lives, but that’s okay, because He’s still willing to offer us a drink from His well that never runs dry and to give us new life.