How well do you know Jesus? We all like to think we know Jesus pretty well. I’ve had close to fifty years of wonderful, sweet communion with Jesus. I’ve devoted over forty years of my life to studying and teaching His Word. I’m talking about going back to the original languages and learning as much as I can about Jewish culture, institutions, and beliefs. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a Know-It-All. And you can ask my kids: I’m not inerrant or infallible. But still, knowing what I know, I’d like to think I know Jesus pretty good. To my pleasant surprise, however, I don’t know Jesus as good as I think I do. To this day, He still shows me more about Himself. Here, let me give you some snippets of the Jesus I never knew.


Placing myself in the apostle Andrew’s sandals, Hi guys. My name is Andrew and I’m a follower of Jesus. I met Jesus a few short days ago and, from the time I met Him, I’ve been hooked on Him. He’s the Messiah, there’s no doubt about that. There’s something about Him that reaches out to me—to all people really—and beckons me to Himself. It’s His heart. The Guy really loves people. He has a heart for people. Not just for certain kinds of likeable folks like myself. But all people. Even those I really don’t care to hang around with.

I remember the first time I learned how really big Jesus’ heart was. Me and my brother Peter had been traipsing all over Judea and Galilee with Jesus. Our two buddies, James and John, was also with us. We was in Jerusalem to attend Passover, but now that the holiday was over, we headed back to Galilee where we’re from. As always, we let Jesus call all the shots. He decided to take the direct route thru Samaria, so we got up bright and early the next morning and we hit the dirt towards Sychar. It was a good five hour walk and, by the time we got there, we was plump wore out. We didn’t have anything to eat, so we left Jesus at Jacob’s well where we caught our breath, then we decided to head into town to buy some grub (John 4).

When we come back we was all blown away by what we seen. There was Jesus at the well, sitting, and talking to a Samaritan chick. Seemed to us like they were carrying on pretty good and we just couldn’t understand why Jesus would give the Sammy time of day. We’re Jews. We don’t talk to Sammies—not like that. We don’t carry no conversations with them. They’re half-breeds and we don’t like them. We don’t want nothing to do with them. Call me prejudiced if you will, but we’s God’s people. We’s the chosen race. And we don’t take a liking to these half-breed Jews.

Later, we found out that the woman was a no-good wench. Jesus told us so. She’d been married five times and, at the moment, she was shacking up with a stud she wasn’t even married to. What a loser! We got even madder at the Master for talking with the whore. Why would He even want to be caught alone with her? It definitely didn’t look good. And, meaning no disrespect, it had all the makings of an appearance of evil. Made no sense to us at all! They’s some folks we don’t hang out with, or talk to, just cuz they’s bad folks. They ain’t no good.

When the wench seen us, she got right up and ran back into the city. We were kinda riled up with the Lord, but we wasn’t about to say anything to Him about it. We just got out the vittles and offered Him some, but the Guy wouldn’t have any of it. Had He eaten already? Hey, did the Sammy give Him some of her grub?

Jesus must have known what we was thinking. He said, My grub is to do My Father’s will. Look at the fields, guys. It’s harvest time (John 4:34-38). None of us knew what He meant. Everything He said just went over our heads. We just sat there and ate, acting like we knew what He was saying.

When we was done, we looked yonder and, I mean to tell you, a whole mess of Sammies was coming towards us. I thought we was done for. They must have been madder dan a skunk that Jesus was friendly with one of their own. Now they was coming to get us. Well, we ain’t no fools. We beat it out of there. Jesus wasn’t coming along. He wanted to stay there. So we left Him and wondered if we’d ever see Him again.

Wouldn’t you know it, we seen the Guy about four days after that and He told us what happened. Turned out, the Sammies wasn’t coming to get us after all. They was coming to hear more about Jesus. Long story short, that whole town became believers! These Sammies actually believed what we believed—that Jesus really was the Messiah!

For a moment there at the well, I really thought that Jesus had lost it. He’d gone out of His mind. He was carrying on like none of us ever would. When it was all said and done, Jesus got results that none of us ever got. He got the whole town saved—all because He was man enough to talk to someone we would never be caught dead talking to. He hung out with folks that we thought was no good and beyond redemption. That day at the well, He tore down the wall that kept us Jews and the Sammies separated and alienated. He taught us to get past our fears, our hatred, our prejudices, and love the unlovely. Touch the untouchable. Speak to the unspeakable. Save what we always thought was the unsavable. That day at the well I seen the heart of God loving all those I thought was unlovable. The whores. The druggies. The drunkards. The homos. The convicts. The Black men. The haoles. The Muslim. And every other lost soul. These are who Jesus loves. These are who He died for. These are our mission field. And the walls that kept us from them have now crumbled because of what Jesus done at the well and the cross. This was the Jesus I’d never seen. But, thank God Almighty, now I see.

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