Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” (John 4:39)
I will never forget one person I met with as a young pastor. This person was raised in an abusive home and had worn that abuse like a lead jacket ever since. It weighed the person down and wore him out. For the first few counseling sessions, he never made eye contact with me.
We all carry it because of sin we have committed and sins that have been committed against us.
Early in the Bible, before sin entered the world, we are told that people had “no shame.” But, as soon as sin entered the world, our first parents hid from God and each other because of shame.
How about you: What shame do you wear? What burdens do you bear?
Jesus sat down with a woman who was dominated by shame. Her race was the shameful Samaritans. Her religion was a shameful cult that practiced child sacrifice. Her relational life included five husbands and a boyfriend whom she was shacking up with. On top of it all, it is very likely that she was an abuse victim, which may have started this avalanche of pain in her life.
Jesus lifted her shame, and she became a new woman in an instant. When it comes to defining our identity, there are three options.
One: you are defined by what has been done to you.
Two: you are defined by what has been done by you.
Three: you are defined by what Jesus has done for you!
Jesus lifted this woman’s shame from her and onto Himself. He carried her shame to the cross where He took her place to remove her shame. Hebrews 12:2 invites you to start “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Too many Christians know that their sin is forgiven but still carry their shame. Like Lazarus who received new life but still walked around in his grave clothes, they need to have the shame they wear taken off and replaced with the righteousness of Jesus Christ!
How about you: what shame do you carry? Will you today in prayer hand that shame to Jesus and get your burden lifted as this woman did?