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Jesus and the three rejected women

Updated: Apr 23


   Rejection is one of most destructive weapons that the devil persistently uses against humanity. From the moment of conception to the point of death this demon attacks with destructive thoughts in each mind and with words and actions from people he influences.

   The devil knows that within each human being is the longing to be accepted, and his work is to get you to feel accepted through the avenues of different sins. Rejection works on you to get you to think that the only way people will accept you is if you join in with them in sin.

   The devil’s main objective is to keep you from the truth that God loves you and that He has written only good things in your book. God may not accept your sin, but He accepts you when you come to Him.

   People who have been attacked by the spirit of rejection have been severely wounded by the actions of this spirit through other people. And these wounds are kept alive by the companion spirits of shame and guilt. So the devil deceptively offers relief from these oppressing spirits through acts of sin, which only results in him being allowed to further work in that person’s life, enslaving them even more. 

   But, as Isaiah 61:1 states that Jesus was anointed to, “heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.”

   The gospels record three rejected women that Jesus, the Good Shepherd, dealt with in love and compassion in spite of their sin: the woman at the well in Samaria, the woman caught in adultery, and the woman who anointed His feet. Jesus didn’t require anything of them, for He saw their broken hearts and expressed His unconditional acceptance of them.


The woman at the well

   John 4:1-41. In this incident, God arranged for a divine appointment for this woman. Verse 4 states “But He needed to go through Samaria.” It was not the shortest route to Galilee from Judea, but Jesus had a divine appointment, arranged by God, written in both Jesus’ book and this woman’s book. This would be a time that Jesus would show the Father’s love for this wounded woman.

    She had endured much rejection, being married five times and it seems that each husband found a reason to reject and divorce her. In order to find acceptance, she was now living in a sinful relationship with another man, hoping that maybe he would be the one who would finally accept her.

   Jesus met her at her point of need. He showed her no rejection, even though she knew that He knew all about her. Engaging her in conversation was the first step which Jesus took to show her acceptance. Then revealing to her that He was the Messiah that all were looking for was the ultimate acceptance.

   Imagine her joy when she discovered that the long-awaited Messiah knew her, and was speaking to her, and accepting her as she was. The scribes and Pharisees, as well as all Israel, were looking for the One that found her and was speaking to her. She was not condemned in His presence, not rebuked, nor degraded as men had done to her, but was accepted.

   Her joy in meeting the Messiah drove her to go into the city and, despite the shame she knew she would probably encounter, to tell them the good news that the Messiah was there. As a result, Jesus was there in that village for two days ministering to the people, because of her testimony.

   Notice, in verse42, that even though she had led the people to Jesus there were still those who would not accept her. Although the men would not give her any credit in believing her words, it didn’t matter to her. They still didn’t accept her and probably never would, but the Messiah had! And He was the only one that mattered to her now. The pain of rejection was forever gone.

   As the apostle Paul would write in Romans 8:31b concerning all the adversity that he faced, “If God is for us, who can be against us?”


Woman caught in adultery

   John 8:1-11. In this incident a woman caught in adultery was brought before Jesus. You have to ask, “With the death penalty for adultery, why would she do it?” When you have been wounded by rejection, and further attacked by guilt and shame, you will do anything that the devil puts in your mind to escape this attack to gain perceived relief and acceptance, even if it is from a sinful act of adultery.

   Think about the betrayal here, betrayal being the ultimate expression of rejection. In the very act of adultery she was caught. Deceived and betrayed by the lover, the one for whom she had risked so much.

   The very one she thought she could trust and accept her because of what she was risking had now deceived her, used her, and then betrayed her.

   The devil had convinced her that her sin would open up the door for her being accepted, but the only door it opened up was more oppression of guilt, shame, and rejection, and in her case, the added trauma of having to face the judgment of certain death for her sin.

   The scribes and Pharisees were using her to try to get at Jesus. She was being used for their purposes, as evident by them not bringing the man involved in this adultery before Jesus as well.          

She was wounded again, as she had probably been times before by the rejection of other men. She didn’t deny her adultery. She was caught, so how could she? She had no defense and what could she say to Jesus, the Holy One, the Messiah, that would excuse her actions? 

   She deserved judgment and she knew that. I am sure that she felt like some unbelievers will experience who have to face God before the great White Throne judgment, having no response to their judgment pronounced upon them for not accepting Jesus as their Savior. 

   But Jesus did not condemn her. She was not rejected by the judge she faced. But the Great Shepherd showed His understanding of human weakness and showed her love and compassion. 

   He just accepted her as she was, in her sin, but not her sin. Like the shepherd who retrieves a wayward lamb. The lamb is accepted back into the fold, even though the shepherd didn’t approve of the lamb’s wayward action.

When Jesus challenged her accusers with "He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.", there was no one left to pass judgment upon her because none of them were sinless. The Holy Spirit had brought conviction upon each accuser for their own sins. 

With no accusers left, Jesus, the true Sinless Judge, dismissed her case. There was no judgment rendered as the “mercy of the court” was granted. Like a bird released from a snare, she was released from the plan of the devil to destroy her.

Jesus loved her enough to leave her with the instruction of “Go and sin no more.” indicating that God had planned a life for her far above where she was now living. John 3:17, “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”


The woman who anointed Jesus’ feet

   Luke 7:36-50. She was a sinner. The whole city knew about this sinner woman. Even the Pharisee who was hosting the meal for Jesus knew about her. It is also evident that Jesus knew about her also, as in verse 47 Jesus says that her sins were many.

   This was her last resort at being accepted by someone. Rejection had evidently led her to live a lifestyle in which she felt she had to give her body in sin to be accepted by men, probably in the hope that one of her lovers would accept her in marriage.

   This woman silently came in and stood behind Jesus. Her shame for her sinful life would not allow her to face Him. She wept out of remorse for her sinful life, and used her hair to wipe her tears that fell on His Feet. She even kissed His feet as a show of love and reverence to Him. 

Broken and wounded by the devil, the Holy Spirit evidently led her to do this act of love. She had no way to deal with her sin, for the most precious possession she had was her body and she had already given that up in sin. So the only thing of any value which she could offer Jesus as evidence of her repentance was her expensive alabaster flask of fragrant oil.

   Her love for Jesus and desire to live right was so strong that, in the face of possibly even more rejection, she was willing to do this act to show her contriteness for her sinful life. In response to Simon the Pharisee’s disdain for this woman, Jesus tells him that it was her response of love toward Him that was the reason for her actions. Everyone knew this woman’s life, but more importantly, Jesus saw into her heart, where the real issues of life are.

   Jesus does not reject this action of this woman full of sin, but lets her know that He has accepted her sacrifice and her remorse for her sinful life. At last, someone has accepted her. Jesus tells her that her sins are forgiven; that it was her faith that saved her. 

   Then, as a parting word of acceptance, Jesus blesses her by saying to her, “Go in peace.”

What did the angels proclaim at His birth? “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” Jesus gave her peace about God dealing with her sinful life. Her faith in Him to do this had allowed all her sinful life to be dealt with, and suddenly there was now no more rejection, no more guilt, and no more shame, but only peace as the burden of her sins was taken away (Matthew 5:4).

   John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

   Though this woman would probably always face rejection from the people, she would not have to be wounded by rejection any more, as Jesus had forgiven her of her sins. No greater show of love and acceptance from God can be had than that your sins are forgiven (Psalm 32:1).

Jesus knows our condition

   Hebrews 4:15, “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.”

   Because of His experience in becoming a man, Jesus knows what anyone suffering rejection is enduring. Isaiah 53:3, “He is despised and rejected by men. A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.”

   No doubt this description is how these three women also felt: no one to comfort them or to empathize with them; no one to show them mercy for their condition, but only to reject them.

But then there was Jesus!

  The love of Jesus, expressed in His acceptance of these women, made a profound difference in their lives, which no other man had ever done. They understood that God knew their condition and was more concerned about what He saw their hearts than what He saw in their sinful lives.


Oh, what a Savior!

   Oh, what amazing love Jesus showed these women, and the healing which it brought to them. Jesus revealed the Father’s heart of love and mercy to these women.

   Men saw these women as “damaged goods,” yet what the devil had done to them did not diminish their value in the eyes of Jesus. After all, because of His love for all of “damaged” mankind He was going to die for them, so why would He reject them?

   Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us.”

   I John 3:1, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!”

   These women all had divine appointments set by God where He would show His unconditional love to them. Rejection was thrown on them by the devil, not God, and they tried to deal with it with the devil’s answer of sin. 

  While God did not write their sinful life in their book, He knew where their sinful lives would take them. As testimony of His love for them, He planned a divine encounter with Jesus that would help them in their time of need. He wrote the answer to their need before they even knew that they needed it.

  So, if you are dealing with rejection, know that God has planned a life of righteousness and blessing for you. He has not forgotten you, nor rejected you, but has given you Jesus as the answer to the healing of your wounds through His acceptance.

   John 6:37, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out (reject).


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The Manual "Becoming an Overcomer" is the starting point and core focus for readers. I created these booklets as supplemental reading to increase your understanding of spiritual warfare.


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