As the conversation unfolds Jesus challenges her lifestyle with her many husbands and men. He actually challenges it by just simply stating it; the condemnation in her own heart does the rest. And even though she tries to change the subject, it is clear that is not all that is changing! She is so changed by meeting Jesus that she is able to go and bring her friends, telling them she has found the Messiah. No shame now, she has changed. And even though that change has had no time to show itself in her lifestyle, we are left with the impression that it will. Jesus, not her collection of men, is the centre of her life now. Jesus is in, they are out.
I think this lady was helped by knowing “Jesus accepted her just as she was”, because once she met Jesus she no longer wanted to stay as she was. That is the key; because Jesus loves us so much he does not want us to stay as we are. We are sinners, unacceptable to God, damaging others and ourselves. We may not have known it before meeting Jesus – but we know it once we have met him! The slogan “Jesus accepts us just as we are” is a comfort because it becomes door to our salvation. We can praise Jesus that he came and rescued us, while we were still sinners, “just as we are”.
Is This Acceptance a Comfort to All?
But is the slogan a comfort to everyone? What about the person who does not want to change, not bring themselves into line with God’s ways, even once they have met Jesus? To such a person “Jesus accepts me just as I am” becomes the slogan of their self-justification. “This is the way I am – I do not need to change.”
Consider the rich young ruler, Jesus said: “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when he (the rich young ruler) heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich. (Luke 18:22). Did Jesus accept him just as he was? Or did He want something to change?
Consider the Pharisees, Jesus said: Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Mat 23:25. Did Jesus accept them just as they were? Or did He want something to change?
Consider yourself, does Jesus accept you just as you are? Or does He want something to change?
He offers you living water, just as you are now. If you drink you will never be “just as you are now” again, you will be changed into his likeness; in your standing with God, in your heart, in your attitudes, in your lifestyle.
“Jesus accepts us just as we are.” Is this a slogan you use to hang on to your sins, or a slogan that encourages you to lose them?
Come to Jesus – just as you are. Drink of his living water and you will become just as he meant you to be.