After watching her dad walk out on their family, witnessing her grandfather have a stroke, and experiencing sexual abuse from a neighbor when she was 7, Melissa Taylor from Proverbs 31 Ministries did not expect to encounter Jesus when she turned on the television one not-so-random night.
Taylor talks with Nancy Sabato about how much like the woman at the well in John 4, Jesus sees past shame and guilt to offer people His living water of hope, forgiveness, and redemption no matter how far gone they feel.
Understanding the context surrounding John 4 is key to grasping the moment Jesus stopped to not just talk but listen to a woman who was thirsty for more than just well water.
During a time when Samaritans and Jews hated each other, this moment is marked by not only Jesus’ acceptance of her but also His knowledge and forgiveness of the very sins that caused her community to judge and condemn her.
After asking her for a drink and further drawing her into His kindness and mercy despite her mistakes, Jesus declares the following:
“But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14, ESV).
“We all need that living water,” Taylor said, who experienced her own living water moment when she turned on the television and started watching a religious program.
Just like Jesus didn’t come to the woman as an accuser but with compassion, Taylor felt Jesus pulling her to Himself through what was being said on the screen.
The television that night was Taylor’s “well” Jesus used to capture her attention. And although her life didn’t magically become perfect overnight, she shares how her faith continued to keep her sane.
Taylor’s story is proof God is not looking for perfect people, but for broken and repentant hearts ready to receive His unconditional love and grace.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673