One of my favorite stories in the New Testament as well as the entire Bible is when Jesus encountered the Samaritan woman at the well. Look at the story from John 4.1-43.
4 Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John— 2 although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. 3 So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.
4 Now he had to go through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.
7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
10 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.”
11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”
13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
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.”
19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”
27 Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?”
28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” 30 They came out of the town and made their way toward him.
31 Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.”
32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”
33 Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?”
34 “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. 35 Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36 Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. 37 Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. 38 I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.”
39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41 And because of his words many more became believers.
42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.” 43 After the two days he left for Galilee.
(Scripture Translation English Standard Version)
Just so that you will understand what is really happening here, Jews hated and despised Samaritans. Many were half-breed, part Jewish and part Samaritan. Jews hated to go into Samaria and they would make the effort not to enter the region, but go around to cross the Jordan twice as opposed to going through Samaria and cross the Jordan River once.
Samaritan’s and Jews had a real contempt for each other. Samaritan religion mingled reverence for Israel’s God and pagan practices of non-Israelite people who had resettled in the northern territory due to resettlement from their Assyrian captors. (See 2 Kings 17.24-41.)
Jesus intentionally went into Samaria and rested at Jabob’s Well. It was the sixth hour, which was noon and very hot. A Samaritan woman came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” Now you must understand that Jews did not typically speak to women, much less a Samaritan woman. Jesus was there and had an intentional conversation with this woman. The reason why was that he wanted to offer her life everlasting through His salvation. Notice in verse 8, all His disciples had gone into town to purchase food for them. His being there was an intentional act, in order for the woman to see the true Messiah, the Christ. If His disciples had been there, possibly the encounter may not have ever occurred. It was a divine appointment of the Son of God, to save her from her uncleanliness and sinful nature.
In verse nine, the woman acknowledges that Jews do not associate with Samaritans, much less a woman. Then in verse ten, Jesus answers her and states that if she truly knew who He was, then He would have given her living water. The woman most likely misunderstood Him when he said that he would give her “living water.” She may have thought that He was referring to rivers and streams. But in the Biblical sense, in the Old Testament, “Living Water” is figuratively a reference to “Divine Activity.”
In verse 13, Jesus states that all who drink the “Living Water” will never thirst again. What He means by this is that He is the “Living Water.” It is only through the belief in Jesus Christ, that people will have a heart change and will live an everlasting life with God after they die.
Jesus continues to have a conversation with this woman. Jesus told her to go get her husband, but the woman says that she does not have a husband. It is then that Jesus acknowledges this and states that she has had five husbands and the one that she is with now is not her husband. Then she thinks he is a prophet.
This woman has had five husbands. According to R.C. Sproul, “This is an indication and symptomatic of a heart thirst that well water cannot quench.” Only through Jesus Christ can his “living water” quench her thirst.
Can you imagine that she starts to run to her town and tell them all that he has told of her life? Many believed her and many wanted to see the Messiah for themselves. Now imagine hundreds of Samaritans running across the field to see the Christ, the Messiah, the Savior of the world. I can see them running towards him with excitement and hearts filled with joy and amazement! When they got there, they spoke with him and wanted him to stay with them. Jesus ended up staying two days, teaching them and they believed.
Just as Jesus loved and ministered to the Samaritans, he wants to love and minster to you. Jesus is quoted saying, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14.6). John 3.16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only son, that who so ever believes in him, shall not perish, but have eternal life.” It is only through Jesus Christ that one can come to God. Unfortunately, many believe that there are many ways to God, but they are sadly mistaken. All other religions have never had a savior, a son of God, that came into the world to save it and not condemn it. Jesus is the only Son of God, who died a horrible death, to redeem us from our sins. No other religions had a Savior who died for them. That is why there is only one way to the Father.
Won’t you surrender your life to Jesus Christ and pray for Him to forgive you of your sins? It is easy. Just pray like this:
“Dear Jesus, I am a sinner. I am lost without hope. Please forgive me of my sins and wrongs. I believe that you are the Son of God and that you came into the world to save me (Your Name) of my sins. Please come into my heart. I promise to live for you all the days of my life. Thank you, Jesus, for forgiving me. In Jesus Name, Amen.”
By praying and asking Jesus to come into your life and forgiving you of your sin, then He has. Reach out to me and let me know if you prayed that prayer. I pray that God will bless you and that you will live for Jesus in all that you do.
Joseph T. Lee, Copyright © March 2, 2018. The Lantern & Shield Times LLC. All Rights Reserved.