We know not her name. We do, however, know her reputation.
She was a woman cast aside by every woman in the town of Sychar, as reported in John 4. After a string of five failed marriages, she had resorted to shacking up with some nameless, faceless, graceless man whom she served like a wife, though he did not have the courtesy to propose that she be his bride.
She was also a woman whom God had come to earth to meet at a lonely well in the heat of the noon sun. And Jesus revealed her sin, putting His finger on the dirtiest and most scarred portion of her soul that smelled like death and hell and sin. And He cleaned it, healed it, forgave it, and replaced it with grace and the Holy Spirit. As Jesus’ disciples returned from their lunch run, they noticed He had been speaking alone with a woman who may have been sizing Him up as husband number six. Thankfully, they practiced the artful and rare ministry of silence and trusted that Jesus knew what He was doing.
Born again, the woman decided to begin her life over. Hastily, she left her pail at the well where Jesus sat and sprinted back to town, telling anyone who would listen that she had been a sick and wicked woman governed by her fears, loneliness, desires, and sins. But, Jesus had changed her and spoken life into the depths of her dead soul.
She was like anyone anywhere who is considered beyond hope, beyond grace, and beyond love. But, Jesus came to her to speak the truth, give loving grace, forgive her sins, and make her a new woman with a new life because you never can tell who God loves, and you can never guess who will love Him back.
Immediately, she was in town doing the work of an evangelist pointing others to Jesus for salvation and life.
We are told that many heretical outcast cult members came to believe in Jesus and correctly saw Him as Savior for all nations of the earth because of this woman’s testimony. They then invited Jesus to remain with them, and He did for two days to teach them and see many more believe.
In a joyous twist, God’s sovereign grace used the widely known and well-known sin of this woman as a platform to reveal the bottomless well of God’s grace from which she had drawn and to invite others to also draw. It just goes to show that your mess is your message. Whatever your story, you are not defined by what has been done to you or done by you, but only by what Jesus has done for you through His death and resurrection. Experiencing this, the sinful woman has her sin forgiven, burden lifted, and shame removed, which is what God wants for you too.
Is there anything in your past that sharing in an appropriate way with others would help them understand Christianity and consider Christ?