The Chosen (part 2)

Examples of Creative License

16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.” 17 “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.” John 4:16-18

When I read this story in the Bible, I always come away with the knowledge that Jesus just pointed out sin in this woman's life. She was currently living with a man who is not her husband. I never came away with a feeling that living like this was okay. The Chosen tones all this down and adds to the narrative that this poor woman was a victim of abuse in her relationships. It seems to make excuses for sin, and Jesus and even appears to excuse it. It adds entire sentences that are not in scripture where Jesus describes the abusive men and how one of them smelled like oranges. You come away with a whole different perspective, and one that is certainly not directed toward this woman's need for repentance and cleansing from sin.

According to John MacArthur's Study Bible Commentary:

4:16 call your husband-- Since the woman failed to understand the nature of the living water He offered (v. 15), Jesus abruptly turned the dialogue to focus sharply on her real spiritual need for conversion and cleansing from sin. His intimate knowledge of her morally depraved life not only indicated His supernatural ability, but also focused on her spiritual condition.

4:18 not your husband. She was living conjugally with a man who Jesus said was not her husband. By such an explicit statement, our Lord rejected the notion that when two people live together it constitutes marriage. Biblically, marriage is always restricted to a public, formal, official, and recognized covenant. John 4:16-18

According to the Believer's Bible Commentary:

4:16 There is an abrupt change in the conversation here. She had just asked for the water, and the Lord Jesus told her to go and call her husband. Why? Before this woman could be saved, she must acknowledge herself a sinner. She must come to Christ in true repentance, confessing her guilt and shame. The Lord Jesus knew all about the sinful life she had lived, and He was going to lead her, step by step, to see it for herself.

Only those who know themselves to be lost can be saved. All men are lost, but not all are willing to admit it. In seeking to win people for Christ, we must never avoid the sin question. They must be brought face to face with the fact that they are dead in trespasses and sins, need a Savior, cannot save themselves, that Jesus is the Savior they need, and, He will save them if they repent of their sin and trust in Him.

4:17 At first the woman tried to withhold the truth without telling a lie. She said, “I have no husband.” Perhaps in a strictly legal sense, her statement was true. But it was designed to hide the hideous fact that she was then living in sin with a man who was not her husband:

She chats about religion, discusses theology, uses a little irony, pretends to be shocked—anything to keep Christ from seeing the fugitive soul in full flight from itself. The Lord Jesus, as God, knew all about this. And so He said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband.’ ” Although she might be able to fool her fellow men, she was not able to fool this Man. He knew all about her.

4:18 The Lord never used His complete knowledge of all things to needlessly expose or shame a person. But He did use it, as here, in order to deliver a person from the bondage of sin. How startled she must have been when He recited her past history! She had had five husbands, and the man with whom she was now living was not her husband. There is some difference of opinion about this verse. Some teach that the woman’s five previous husbands had either died or deserted her, and that there was nothing sinful in her relationships with them. Whether or not this is so, it is clear from the latter part of this verse that this woman was an adulteress. “The one whom you now have is not your husband.” This is the important point. The woman was a sinner, and until she was willing to acknowledge this, the Lord could not bless her with living water. John 4:16-18

I challenge you to compare the story in the Bible with what you see on the screen. I challenge you to do this with everything you see and read. If it's different than what you read in scripture then stay away! We should not think we know better than God!

He also tells the woman at the well that someday everything will be about just the heart. There is an implication we should follow our heart. He said the same to Nicodemus in another scene. He asks Nicodemus "What does your heart tell you?" implying that Nicodemus should follow his heart. I don’t think Jesus would say this? Scripture tells us that without Christ, our hearts are evil!

19 For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. Matthew 15:19

The clip I watched about Nicodemus is so different than the Bible that I did not even recognize it. At one point Jesus tells Nicodemus to follow him. Nicodemus says he can't. Jesus then tells him he understands that he has a position in the Sanhedrin, and that he has a family, and that he is getting advanced in years, and He understands all this. Hold it. None of that is in scripture. Different Jesus here and different perspective. Jesus tells us in the Bible that: 8 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it. Matthew 10:38-39