Jesus Wants Inclusion

Written by Sheila Hughes
My sins bring shame upon me
An outcast from others I must be,
I hide from the truth each day
I die from what gossipers say.

I live only in a way to get by
Due to my situation, I often cry,
What can satisfy my thirst/hunger?
Tell me, for I’m not getting younger.

Am I doomed to live this way?
No change I see for all seems gray,
As a woman, can I ever be loved
Can my abuse end, and being shoved?

I’ve been kicked out of my home
Left on the dirty streets to roam,
Being a divorced woman is cruel
In Bible times, the man will rule.

Can someone please welcome me in,
And remove from me my past sin?
Jesus, the Christ is the One who can
Sent by the Father, He’s a different man.
One thing that was the same in the Jewish-Samaritan culture was that the husband had all the power in a marriage. If the husband wanted to get rid of his wife, he could. Maybe he was tired of her and wanted another, he could say she was unclean, unfit, or didn’t fulfill her wifely duties. He then would initiate a divorce. The wife could not stand up for herself and refute his testimony. Divorce to the woman was a public shaming to her. Being kicked out of the house she was left with no means of protection from starving and public ridicule. Not many men would want to marry a divorced woman.

The woman at the well was quite an outcast. (John 4) She had been divorced five times. No one wanted anything to do with her. No wonder she came to draw water in the heat of the day, to avoid all the gossip and finger-pointing from those women not divorced. Jesus knew all she was suffering inside and outside. He even told her he knew she was living with a man right now, unmarried. The fact that Jesus even talked to her was unimaginable, especially being a Samaritan too, and asking her for a drink of water. The more they talked, the more Jesus told her that he could give her the kind of water that she wouldn’t get thirsty again if she drank it.

That appealed to her, she wouldn’t have to make the daily trip back to the well and risk more shaming from others. Jesus convinced her that the Father seeks for us to worship Him in spirit and truth rather than on a particular mountaintop, since Samaritans and Jews didn’t worship in the same place. Salvation would come from the Jews, since Jesus was a Jew, and he admitted to her that He was the Messiah, called Christ, who was to come. She was amazed he knew everything about her and called him a prophet. Jesus let her know he was more than a prophet. She ran to town and told everyone about him, and many Samaritans came to see him, hear and believe him, because of her testimony.

What a turnaround for this outcast woman. She brought many others to Jesus and as a result Jesus brought them into his kingdom. For once in her life, she felt important and unashamed. And it came about because Jesus, a Jew, chose to welcome her, an outcast, into God’s kingdom. Jesus broke the cultural norm of that time. His water, spiritual food, and truth, satisfies us down deep inside. Suddenly, the hated Samaritans believed he was the Savior of the world.

We all are outcasts in sin. Jesus welcomes us into his kingdom if we only believe in Him. He wants us to spread the good news of himself to others as well. Jesus wants to include all in His kingdom through his saving grace. Share his truth with others.

Sheila Wells Hughes, May 21, 2022, # 1,090

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