HOPE FOR DAMAGED DIVORCEES

So, what are we to understand about Jesus’ attitude toward the divorced, remarried and those guilty of adultery? His encounters with the guilty help us understand his attitude toward us. The Samaritan woman at the well is a great example of Jesus’ message to lawbreakers.

We find the Lord in a mutually vulnerable situation. He is a Jewish man alone in a conversation with a Samaritan woman. Cultural taboos would suggest that this was inappropriate on many levels. Still, Jesus is not bound by what the neighbors think. 

The love of God reaches far beyond the protective limitations of religious people. To the pure all things are pure. Jesus was not about to take advantage of this woman.

The ensuing conversation is loaded with new thought about God’s Kingdom. Jesus is offering her something that will satisfy her at the deepest level, like a drink that has a permanent quenching effect. The offer of God’s life is appealing, but who can be good enough to earn it? Could this woman be respectable enough to merit God’s blessing?


John 4:
 13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
 16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”
 17 “I have no husband,” she replied.
   Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
 19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet.



We see here a woman who had been betrayed and polluted by many. It’s not a question of whether she is the victim or the manipulator, but a recognition of the brokenness. Could it be that every new relationship came with a weak promise of lasting commitment and security? Men were not her answer.

Is the Law of God about adultery applicable to this woman? Indeed it is. The Law condemns her actions. But Jesus does not sound accusatory or judgmental here. Instead he invites her to bring his message of hope to the damaged remnants of relationship. Multiple failed marriages and adultery were not standing in God’s way of bringing lasting satisfaction to her. The impact of this woman’s life would be incredible.


John 4:
28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” 30 They came out of the town and made their way toward him.

39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41 And because of his words many more became believers.
 42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”



Having been known as the town slut, she now becomes God’s messenger of hope. God took the irreparable damage of her life and gave her a contagious satisfaction. The story never addresses what became of the man she was living with at the time, but we can know with certainty that her newfound belief in Jesus would have a rippling effect that would stay with her for life. The central issue was not how bad she had been, but how loved she would be. God would love her with an everlasting love that would purify her.

It made so much sense that many of her neighbors would want it, too. The question is not how many divorces or adulterous affairs have you had, but are you open to being loved by the King of Heaven. Love covers a multitude of sins and purifies the polluted.

Do you struggle with guilt and condemnation from past failures? Christ’s love and grace is ready to heal you.

Jesus offers great hope of satisfaction to the castaways of broken marriage. You will find the fidelity and contentment you long for. It will come in receiving God’s Kingdom into your life—in receiving the King of Heaven as your satisfaction.


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