Ashamed to Honored

Scripture: John 4:1-42

Topics: Ambassador, Harm, Jesus, Shame

Study Guide

Jesus meets an ashamed, hiding woman at Jacob’s well and turns her biggest source of shame into the means he uses to bring her freedom and bring honor to his name. The fear, hiding, brokenness, and shame that consumed her becomes the stage from which she is able to draw people into God’s Kingdom and share her freedom in Christ. And Jesus does the very same thing in us today.
Application
  1. What does Jesus’ response in this story tell us about what church should be like? What are some characteristics of a local church body that exemplifies this level of freedom? What is your church understanding or history, and how is it different from that?

  2. We often tie our identity to having it all together. What can we draw from John 4 that tells us otherwise? When have you brought something into the light with people that actually brought you freedom, even though it might have been difficult at first?

  3. What is something in your story that you are shameful about that you would feel comfortable sharing? Now think of something you would be uncomfortable sharing, like the woman the well may have felt. Why is that? Who knows that thing? If no one does, who will you tell?

  4. What would change about your life if you viewed what Jesus brings you as a stream of living, rushing water vs. a stagnant well?

Key Points
  • Jesus is a stream of living water for our souls—generously flowing and bringing never-ceasing life and abundance.

  • Jesus is about bringing shame into the light and transforming it into freedom.

  • The church is not like a museum where people gather to separate themselves from brokenness but a hospital for the hurting—we ARE the gathering place.

  • Shame loses its power when our brokenness is brought into the light.

  • When your life transforms like the Samaritan woman, you become a trophy of God’s grace—honored and on display for others to see. But to be this trophy, you have to be willing to share your story of brokenness with others.

  • Fear, hiding, and shame is turned to freedom, honesty, and proclaiming in Christ’s name.

  • Shame tells you to feel defective, worthless, useless, and not good enough. You start creating a negative narrative about yourself and embark on a journey to live that narrative out. It is a powerful beast when you think you can “manage” it without bringing it into the light with a trusted person.

  • Some of us might be living with shame over harm done to us, like sexual abuse. If sexual abuse has been or is currently part of your story, we want to care for you and walk alongside you. Please click here to contact us.

  • Jesus’ life is covered in shame. He comes from a shameful family, a town on the “outside”, his friends are known as the worst in society, he is wrongly accused over and over, and then he is tortured in front of crowds and hangs naked on a cross. His entire life is covered in shame. How is that possible? Because it’s not his. It’s yours. It’s ours. He takes it for us so that we can walk in the freedom to be known and exposed for all we are.

  • The thing that devours us—Jesus devours it.

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Other Scripture References