Are There Any Gladiators Out There?

Are there any gladiators out there?

If on any given Thursday you tuned out the world and tuned into Scandal, then you know exactly what I am talking about.

For those of you who are not familiar with one of my all time favorite shows, here is the Reader’s Digest version of the series: A former White House Communications Director starts up her own agency to deal with crisis management in the nation’s Capitol.  She works with her team to conceal people’s secrets. If you are in trouble, Olivia Pope is the first call you make. She even wears a white hat. Her agency is comprised of “gladiators.”

Gladiators are people who jump into the messiest of situations, no matter the cost.  

Then there are people like Olivia’s love interest, Jake, who wanted to run away from all of the messiness enveloping them and stand in the light.

“I want us to stand in the sun together.” said Admiral Jake Ballard.

But standing in the light means that our mess is exposed and we are left vulnerable.  

Sometimes we feel like it is easier to conceal our mistakes rather than to allow others to see our flaws.  

Maybe we believe no one will stand in our messiness with us.  

We distance ourselves from others, hoping no one will notice the weight that we carry deep within.

I wonder if that is how the Samaritan woman felt.  She came to draw water from the well at a time of day when she would not have to interact with others or be judged.

She had no gladiators to call upon when she was in trouble.

Until Jesus came to the well.

Jesus was a gladiator who jumped into the messy lives of others, no matter the cost.

When the Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “ Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into town to buy food).  The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am Samaritan woman.  How can you ask me for a drink? (For Jews did not associate with Samaritans).  Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water .”  John 4: 7-10

Don’t miss what Jesus says here.  

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst again.  Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.”   He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.” “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband.  What you have said is quite true.” John 4: 13-18

He offers her the living water even knowing the messiness of her life.

That day at the well, He brought everything into the light and stood with her.  

Mess and all.

Friends, He knows our flaws, and jumps right into our messy lives.

He knew the cost would be His own life, and He gave it freely anyway.

Just like a gladiator.

I still have a soft spot for Thursday nights, but in my heart I know I need to follow His example and be a gladiator everyday.  

Stand in the messy places with those around you and love them as Christ would love them.

Are there any gladiators out there?


  • Michelle

    What an amazing revelation of this text. Scandal is one of my all time favorites and yes even though I know Jesus is by me no matter what, sometimes I hide in the shadows for fear of judgement..we all need some gladiators. Thanks for being one for me.