She had five different husbands and now she was living with a man who wasn’t her husband. A stranger knew all these intimate details of her life. She hadn’t a clue, at first, who he was but he knew who she was and everything about her. It should have been shock-horror on her part because he knew all this scandalous information about her life. Even in our twenty-first century world these marital details would be fodder for the paparazzi and make sensationalistic headlines. But in the ancient Mediterranean world having this kind of marriage history would have been even more outrageous. It should have been shock-horror on his part, and perhaps even disgust. This man, after all, was the Son of God – living a holy and upright life.
But evidently, from the story in the Gospel of John 4:4-30, the details of this Samaritan woman’s complicated life are bypassed by Jesus. He was more interested in looking at what was going on in the depths of her heart than the external circumstances of her life. He could see that she was searching for spiritual meaning in her life. This is what he was ultimately interested in, because he knew he could satisfy that search and that he was the object for which she was searching.
She was blown away by the fact that he knew everything about her, but she was more astonished that she had met the one who could fulfill the longings of her heart.
The Bible presents God as knowing all about us. Psalm 139 says: “O Lord… you know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord.” It also presents us with a God who can satisfy our deep yearnings.
Maybe the details of our lives have shock-horror value but God sees the longings of our heart and our search to know the Truth.