Accepting the Sinner But Not the Sin

The Samaritan woman who met Jesus at the well was surely not expecting any deep conversation, but she had the longest recorded theological dialogue with Him of any individual in the Gospels. And, what’s more, she discovered that He knew all about her somewhat imperfect personal life.

Why would He spend so much time with one of society’s undesirables? Even the disciples were amazed that He was talking in depth with this woman. It just wasn’t how religious leaders were supposed to behave. But Jesus hadn’t come to be religious, but to be a Saviour for everyone who was willing to listen to His teaching and acknowledge who He was. This Samaritan woman recognised that she was talking to the Jewish Messiah, and she literally dropped everything and returned to the city in order to tell everyone whom she had found.

In His discussion with her, Jesus didn’t gloss over her sinful lifestyle. He gave her opportunity to face the truth with Him about the men she had lived with. But what must have been extraordinary for her was that these facts didn’t affect His acceptance of her as a valued human being, worth spending time with, significant enough to hear deep Kingdom principles.

Today, we can forget just how radical Jesus was in His interaction with everyone. He wasn’t interested in promoting religious observance; His desire was to offer relationship. Just as it is today, some welcomed that relationship with open arms, and some found it far too threatening.

Prayer: Father, how amazing that You accept me and love me despite all the many imperfections of my life. Jesus demonstrated this so clearly, showing that He wanted relationship with all who were willing to come and face truth with Him. This is precious unconditional acceptance. Thank you. Amen.

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“You have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly.” The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet.”
John 4:18-19, NASB


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Today's Writer

David Cross David is part of the Executive Leadership of Ellel Ministries, with particular responsibility for the Ellel centres in Western Europe. He is married to Denise and they have three grown up children and eight grandchildren. David has been a civil engineer and ski-touring instructor in the Highlands of Scotland. He is passionate about the teaching and practice of the healing and deliverance ministry of Jesus and has written several books: Soul Ties, Trapped by Control, God’s Covering, The Dangers of Alternative Ways to Healing(co-authored with John Berry), an A to Z Guide to the Healing Ministry, and, most recently, What`s Wrong with Human Rights? You can follow a daily thought from David on Twitter: @dmcross62

David Cross

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