I love this passage in Luke 15:2, "And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, 'This man receives sinners and eats with them.'" The Pharisees and scribes were accusing Jesus of mingling with sinners, but isn't it the truth? And it's it lovely! He not only receives them, He seeks them out! I for one am so thankful!
In Luke 7:34 He is called a friend of tax collectors and sinners. And yes, we too can call Him friend. He comes seeking us offering mercy and grace, two things we so desperately need!
"Jesus has an infinite supply of grace, and He heaps it upon undeserving sinners like us." —Chris Anderson, The God Who Satisfies
Mercy and grace are two of the most important factors of salvation. Certainly, we can say that without them salvation would be impossible. Sometimes the two seem to intertwine. So what is mercy, and what is grace?
Mercy is compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one's power to punish or harm.
Grace is the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.
"No soul is too small for His mercy. No sin is too great for His grace." -Chris Anderson, The God Who Satisfies
Comparison between Nicodemus and the Samaritan woman:
But still Jesus treats these two exactly the same. They both need Him equally even though they are both so very different. Jesus looks past gender, race, religion and social standing, and what does He see? He sees two, needy sinners, one just as lost as the other.
One thing I find fascinating about the story of the Samaritan woman, or as we often refer to her—the woman at the well, is that Jacob had that well dug over 2000 years earlier! God knew when Jacob had that well dug that someday there would be an encounter between a Samaritan woman, who was so very needy, and a Savior who knew and could meet every one of her needs.
Two of my favorite prints over at our little Etsy shop are these Zacchaeus and Samaritan woman prints. They compliment each other nicely, and share a similar message. God knows! Long before your need, He knows. What a comforting thought!
"Till men and women are brought to feel their sinfulness and need, no real good is ever done to their souls. Till a sinner sees himself as God sees him, he will continue carless, trifling, and unmoved. By all means we must labour to convince the unconverted man of sin, to prick his conscious, to open his eyes, to show him himself. To this end we must expound the length and breadth of God's holy law. To this end we must denounce every practice contrary to that law, however fashionable and customary. This is the only way to do good. Never does a soul value the Gospel medicine until it feels its disease. Never does a man see any beauty in Christ as a Saviour, until he discovers that he is himself a lost and ruined sinner." —J. C. Ryle
"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
If you are as fascinated by the story of the Samaritan woman as I am—this woman at the well seeking mercy and grace, this woman being sought by Mercy and Grace, grab a copy of The God Who Satisfies today.
How does the story of the Samaritan woman speak to you?
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