The woman set a clay jar on her shoulder and headed out the city gate. A group of twelve Jews brushed against her as they entered the city.
A single man sat near the well with his head down and eyes closed. His clothes gave him away as a Jew. She turned her back to him as she prepared to accomplish her task.
“Will you please give me a drink?”
The weight of the jar nearly toppled her as she spun in her tracks. “But, you’re a Jew and I’m a Samaritan woman. How dare you ask me for a drink?”
Jesus stood. “If you knew who I was you would have asked me and I would give you living water.”
She set the jar next to the well. “But, you don’t have anything to draw water with. Where would you get this ‘living water’? Are you greater than Jacob, the man who dug this well to sustain his family and herds?”
Jesus motioned toward the well. “Anyone who drinks this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks the water I give will never be thirsty. In fact, the well inside him will always satisfy his longings.”
The woman stepped toward Jesus. “Sir, I want that water so I don’t have to keep coming here for dry water.”
Jesus looked deeply into her eyes. “Go get your husband and I’ll explain it to you both.”
She stepped back and looked down. “I. Don’t. Have a husband.”
Jesus bent down and searched for her eyes. “I know. After five husbands you’ve given up on marriage and are simply living with a man now.”
Her head snapped up and she quickly found Jesus’ loving eyes. “Sir, you are obviously a man of God, a prophet, indeed. I have a burning question. You Jews worship God in Jerusalem while we worship on our own mountain. Which of us is right?”
Jesus shook His head. “The place isn’t what’s important. From now on God must be worshiped on the spiritual level because God is spirit. True worshipers will worship in spirit and truth.”
She stepped toward Jesus. “I know the Messiah is coming. He’ll explain everything to everybody.”
Jesus nodded once. “I am He.”
She paused before she turned and pushed through the twelve men carrying food. As she entered the city gate she yelled. “Everybody, listen to me. The Messiah’s at our well!”
One of her ex-husbands looked at her. “You’ve totally lost it now. Why would the Messiah come to Samaria? He’s a Jew.”
She looked at him, then the others who were gathering. “He knows all about my divorces and what I’m doing now, and I never mentioned anything to Him about it. Come, He’s offering living water so we won’t thirst again.”
She ran to the city gate and turned around. Her inviting hand gesture brought some of the women her way, then, some of the men shrugged and followed along.
“Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:6
Nobody lived out this verse like this un-named Samaritan woman. Something inside her longed to be accepted, especially after five failed marriages. This unexpected divine appointment quickly turned her into Jesus’ first evangelist even though she had three solid strikes against her.
1. She was a Samaritan. Racial hatred is nothing new to America. It’s goes way back. The people who lived in Samaria were descendants of the remnant left when most of the Jews were taken to Babylon many generations prior to this time. The remaining Jews intermarried with Gentiles living nearby.
When the pure bred Jews returned home after seventy years they looked down on these half-breeds. That sentiment carried all the way to Jesus’ time.
2. She was a woman. It was highly frowned upon for a man and woman to converse in public, especially one-on-one. The rebel came out in Jesus big time when He started this conversation to quench this person’s thirst. Gender differences were no barrier to the One who came to give His life a ransom for ALL.
3. She had a sullied reputation. There’s a reason she came out to the well in the heat of the day alone. The other women came out in the cool of the morning and evening. She was coping with her life choices by avoiding the judgmental attitudes of her peers.
Even though Jesus knew she’d been divorced several times and was living out-of-wedlock He still sought her out and offered her His living water of hope. And He makes the same offer to you, now. No matter what you’ve done in the past.
The scope of this post is to give the point of view from the woman’s side of the account that’s given in John 4:1-42. A close look at the passage reveals how Jesus lived out this concept of an inner well of living water.
After the disciples returned from their food run they can’t get Jesus to eat the food set before Him. Jesus was just too wound up to think about eating earthly food when the spiritual bounty was about to come to Him.
I imagine Jesus staring at the city gate as His followers were settling in around Him. He knew that woman wouldn’t keep His presence and offer to herself.
Sure enough, before long the whole town was gathered around as Jesus gave His offer of forgiveness and hope to all who would listen. They talked Him into staying on for two more days to hear more of what He had to say.
So, now that you know what makes Jesus excited what are you going to do about it? You can continue to keep it to yourself while those around you flounder through life lost and hopeless, or, you can share His hope. Jesus’ gift isn’t meant to be hoarded, you know.
Make Jesus happy today by spreading the good news of His sacrifice He made for ALL.
I’ll see you later. Wade