Keeping my two grandsons recently, ages 4 and 2 1/2, has reminded me of the perpetual dilemma I faced with my own children. Who started the fight and how can I possibly know the whole truth?
You’ve been there too haven’t you?
I caught the older grandson in a lie once already. He’s clearly past the age of three when all of my six first demonstrated the ability to fabricate lies. I don’t fully trust his story, nor should I. But neither is the younger one all innocence.
Much like my grandsons when I walked around the corner and they knew they’d been caught, once there was a woman who came face to face with Jesus. She wasn’t expecting Him that day. Startled by His physical presence in her women-only space, she became uncomfortable when He spoke to her.
When Jesus began asking questions, this unnamed woman replied with questions of her own to deflect His focus. She asked, “Why?” Then, “How do you know?” Then she delivered a partial truth. Lastly, she changed the subject with flattery before she finally recognized the truth: this man was the Messiah.
Her self-protective strategies remind me of my two preschool grandsons who ask why a hundred times a day. They don’t ask because they desire truth but because they want their way; they want control.
Like the woman at the well, my grandsons told me only part of what happened between them. Then the older one finished with a sweet, melt-your-heart voice, “I’ll obey next time, Mimi.”
I recognize this woman’s still-like-a-child nervousness, her telling only partial truth, and her flattery, because it is still in me, too.
Jesus’ presence makes us uneasy because He is perfect and knows all truth. We cannot hide our sin from Him. But hearing the truth from Him does not condemn us. Instead, like this woman, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.”
But thankfully Jesus’ Spirit illumines my heart to see the truth. Like turning on a light in a dark room, so the Spirit of truth enlightens our understanding. Without His active work in our minds to “open our eyes” we would not see, which is why unbelievers scoff at any reading of the Bible.
Once the woman at the well saw by the Spirit’s illumination that Jesus knew all about her but loved her anyway she responded with great joy! It’s what we all long for: to be fully known and also fully loved.
This is the wonder of the Spirit of Jesus in us!
May you welcome His presence, ask Him to reveal truth to your heart, and give thanks with joy that you are fully known and fully loved!
And give thanks daily for His gentle never-ending presence within you.