John writes in the 4th chapter that an unpopular woman met Jesus while seeking to fill a basic need. It might appear that the two met by coincidence, but Christ was on a mission which was part of the work He came to do. Jesus left Judea and headed for Galilee. Verse 4 tells us that His mission led Him through Samaria. About midday Jesus and His followers approached the village of Sychar and it proved to be the right time and right place for history to be made. Having become weary, Jesus sat down by the well to rest while the disciples went into the city to look for food.
JESUS GOES BEYOND HUMAN BARRIERS:
Many Jews would have avoided traveling through this town because of their dislike for the Samartians. Christ saw beyond their cultural differences and sought to demonstrate that God’s love knows no boundaries. In the midst of a hostile environment a Samartian woman found the answer to her problems waiting at the well. As she went about her activities she was unaware that Christ meets us in our everyday experiences.
NOT JUST AN ORDINARY DAY:
What may have begun as an ordinary day turned out to be a day of deliverance for a whole community. The simple task of getting water led a group of people to the reality of a new way of life. John 4:7 says, “There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water and Jesus asked her for a drink.” She was astonished that He would even approach her. A Jewish man talking to a Samaritan woman was an uncommon sight. Jesus proved that He was not restricted to man-made barriers. This was the beginning of a new day and a new life for this community.
Jesus had a gift to share with the woman. He told her that if she only knew who He was and what He had to offer, she would ask Him for a drink instead. The water He offered her was living water, unlike any she ever drank before. The dialogue between the two led the woman to ask many questions and the questions gave Jesus the opportunity to reveal Himself.
JESUS’ MISSION MEETS WITH RESISTANCE:
In John 4:11, the woman asked Jesus how He could He give her living water if He didn’t have a rope or a bucket? She wondered, “Where would He get this water, did He have any idea how deep the well is?” She sensed this was no ordinary man so she asked, “Are you greater than the man who gave us this well? Jacob himself and his family drank from this water. Are you greater than he?”
Jesus welcomed her questions. John 4:13, says, Jesus answered the woman and said, “This water will only quench your thirst for a while. The water I offer you will satisfy your thirst forever. In fact you will have a well of living water within you to refresh you continuously.” The woman let go of her resistance and said, “Please sir, give me some of that water so I will never again be thirsty. Besides I wont have to make the daily trips to the well anymore.”
The woman’s response to Christ was much like some of ours. We are interested in having our circumstances changed, but Christ desires to change our hearts. Jesus uncovered the woman’s weakness by letting her know He knew about her personal life. She wanted to change the subject but Christ was not about to leave this woman in the same condition He found her. What He uncovers He replaces. One does not have a face to face encounter with Jesus and remain the same.
After Jesus confronted the woman about her husband, she said unto Him, “You must be a prophet. How else could you know these things?” Jesus saw beyond her past He knew what she could become. Changing hearts was Jesus’ mission and He wouldn’t stop until it was accomplished.
A LIFE RADICALLY CHANGED:
The woman preferred to discuss the right place to worship rather than failed marriages. Jesus reminded the woman where to worship is not as important as who to worship. He led her to know that worship is to be genuine and spiritual. The woman responded by saying, “When the Messiah comes, He will explain everything to us.”
Jesus answered and said, “I am the Messiah.” the woman left her water pot. Her thirst had been quenched and she had been refreshed by the living water. When Christ fills the void we leave behind those things in our past. The woman went back to the village different than when she came. She was excited, she felt good, she was alive, she was changed! The change was so radical that she brought her community out to meet Jesus. “Come and see this man who told me all I‘ve ever done,” she said.
The Samaritan woman immediately shared her experience with others. Despite her reputation, many accepted her invitation and came out to meet Jesus. They came, they saw and they heard the Messiah and the town was never the same again.
I am a retired early childhood educator. Currently Working part time in a senior training program. Writes Sunday School Quarterlies for a Christian publisher, for the kindergarten class. Teaches Bible study and other Christian education activities. Writes poetry as a hobby and enjoy traveling.