25 The woman *said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.” 26 Jesus *said to her, “I who speak to you am He.” 27 At this point His disciples came, and they were amazed that He had been speaking with a woman, yet no one said, “What do You seek?” or, “Why do You speak with her?” 28 So the woman left her waterpot, and went into the city and *said to the men, 29 “Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done; this is not the Christ, is it?” 30 They went out of the city, and were coming to Him.
Sometimes we wait for too long. Sometimes we hope for something so much and for so long that we become addicted to the hope and therefore cannot accept when it actually happens. In learning more and more about the arrival of the Messiah, I feel this is what happened to Christ. This is why He was crucified (not that He didn’t know it). But in the minds of men, they rejected His arrival because they got comfortable in the hope of His arrival that they could not accept the fact that He had arrived.
I think about a concept known as Stockholm Syndrome. Here is a brief description from an online source I found:
“People suffering from Stockholm syndrome come to identify with and even care for their captors in a desperate, usually unconscious act of self-preservation. It occurs in the most psychologically traumatic situations, often hostage situations or kidnappings, and its effects usually do not end when the crisis ends. In the most classic cases, victims continue to defend and care about their captors even after they escape captivity.”
How do we treat our sinful lives this way? We are told of and shown that we can have freedom from this, yet we refuse to accept it. I touched on this some time ago in The Cell is Open. When we become burden and heavy laden with our sins, our past, the things people have done to us, we at first look towards hope, a way out from underneath it all. Much like when a prisoner of war is captured, they have hope that either they can escape on their own or that someone will immediately come searching for them and rescue them. As days, weeks, and even years go by, however, that hope dwindles.
This woman has seemingly lost hope in someone who could save her. Jesus mentioned that the woman has had 5 husbands and is currently “with” someone who is not her husband. She’s given up on finding “the one.” How much have we given up on finding “the One” who can save us? How much have we lost hope amidst our hurts, hang-ups, and habits? We accept our current situations as our fate and therefore just become comfortable with it, regardless of how destructive it is.
What happens then, when someone tells us of the saving grace of Jesus? What happens when He Himself proves His existence to us? We reject it, we negate it, we say “I’m fine” and turn away. We reject our rescuer because we have become satisfied with living a mediocre life. Even those of us caught up in our religious practices reject the Truth when it is presented to us. We continue thinking we have to earn grace, that we have to earn our way into heaven, that we have to make ourselves worthy enough to be in the presence of God that when someone tells us otherwise, we push them away because we have lost hope in true salvation.
Have you embraced your captors? Are you turning away the One who has come to save you? Why are you embracing that which binds you? The chains can be broken, you can be set free, you can live the life that you were created for, a life of freedom, joy, and eternal happiness.