Encouragement and Discipline

John 4:15-18 WEB

The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I don’t get thirsty, neither come all the way here to draw.” [16] Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” [17] The woman answered, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You said well, ‘I have no husband,’ [18] for you have had five husbands; and he whom you now have is not your husband. This you have said truly.”


The Lord had just told the woman at the well he could give her living water so she would never thirst again (John 4:14). Now, as soon as she asks for this living water, Jesus changes the subject. Jesus knows before she can receive living water, she needs to repent of her sin (1 Corinthians 4:14). The Lord will not ask the Father to give her what she cannot contain (John 14:10). Now, at this point in her exchange with the Lord, her life is filthy with blatant sin. Yet she loves God and has declared her beliefs boldly to the Lord. I can imagine that Jesus felt a great love for this sinner. So, he goes directly to the problem as it was revealed to him by the Father. He asks her about her sin (Matthew 11:27).

Jesus opens the door for her to repent and be healed (Mark 2:17). He does not bless the woman at the well in her sin, neither does he bless modern-day seekers if they stubbornly refuse to repent. Even so, the Lord will help you grow. He will reward your good choices and ignore your wrong choices for a little while. The covering of grace is enormous in the beginning. However, in time, he begins to both reward good behavior and bring discipline for wrong behavior (Hebrews 12:7).

At some point, the grace to remain in sin evaporates and each of us must make a mature decision to be obedient to the Lord. Jesus’ desire for us is to repent and be blessed. If we do not repent, he will let our hearts grow cold and indifferent (John 12:40, Acts 28:7).  Just like the Samaritan woman at the well, we all have sinned (Romans 3:23). The question is when Christ reveals to us our wrong behaviors and attitudes, will we stubbornly continue sinning or will we repent?


Lord Jesus, thank you for both encouragement and discipline. Please forgive me for stubbornly refusing to repent of sin. I trust you Jesus and I believe your grace is sufficient to see me through to obedience. I choose to repent now. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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