Reaching Sushi with chopsticks, a cancer friend said,
“ I accept cancer as a punishment because I had done lots of bad stuff when I was young.”
When tribulations happen, we sometimes think like her as punishments- at least to some extent.
According to the Bible, sufferings and death came into our world because we broke the relationship with God. Yet the cost of the Sin was paid by Jesus’ cross. Though as long as we live in this distorted world, which is in distance from God, tribulations continue, God forgave us.
The Gospel of John ch.4 tells an interesting story about God’s Grace. Samaritans was a race, who were born between Jew and a gentile, whom Jews despised. For Jews, exchanging words with them was a big taboo, and was utterly out of the question with women, who were the 2nd class in those days.
To such a woman, who came to a well to get some water, Jesus, who was a Jew, asked, “ I am thirsty. Please give me a drink.”
Between Jesus and a surprised Samaritan Woman, the conversation began and Jesus told her that he was the Messiah and wanted to give her “Living Water”, which meant forgiveness and the eternal life.
The woman had had five husbands and was living with a man out of marriage. Looking for love or maybe financial support, she was hopping from man to man. Her life was shameful, being far away from a good faithful model. Nevertheless, instead of condemning, despising, or even punishing, Jesus offered her salvation.
Being astonished with Jesus, who knew everything about her past, the woman rushed to go her hometown in great excitement and brought a stream of the people back to Jesus, and in the end they became believers of Jesus. The worthless sinful woman was equipped as an instrument by Jesus.
Yes. We are all sinners, who deserve for punishments, like the cancer friend told me. Yet God’s Grace is much bigger than the punishment. Cancer is not the punishment but an opportunity to get closer to God, who is reaching out to us, just like He did to the Samaritan woman.