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Why would she have had 5 husbands?

artist: Guiseppe Ramos

Jesus Talks With a Samaritan Woman

7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?”...

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.” Luke 4: 7,16-18 NIV

I have read this scripture and listened to teachings on it for years. Too many years. The lesson usually revolves around how Jesus came to forgive the sinful and reached out to women. All valid points.

However, last week, I watched a lesson from Kristi Mclelland . If you are not familiar with her, she is a Bible teacher and culturalist. A what? Someone who puts the Bible into context. While scripture is living and breathing, we can often gain a depth of insights when we know what was swirling around the scenarios we read about in scripture.

For instance?

For instance, consider the woman at the well. Let's focus on the point she had had five husbands. In the past, I assumed she had been a wanton woman, and the divorces were because of her behavior and she carried the shame because of what she had done.

Mclelland points out only men could divorce a woman and there really did not have to be a reason. So here stands this woman in the heat of the day, at a well, ostracized from other community and carrying shame.

Yet, not her shame. She carried the shame of the men she was married to over the years.

Yes, Jesus went to the well to deliver her from the burden of shame.

But I do not believe it was her shame. I think it was the shame of others. Their burden she carried.

It made me think. Do I carry shame that should belong to someone else? Is Christ calling me to leave it in the ditch and step onto the road with Him? Was someone else's sin dragging me down?

It was. I have enough of my own mistakes to leave at the cross. I do not need to carry someone else's.

So I left them. Right there.

My steps are lighter. My path is straighter. My faith is deeper.

What about you?

Are you carrying someone else's shame?

Leave it in the ditch. You were not made to carry it.


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