Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Woman At the Well

John 4
Jesus Goes to Galilee
1Therefore when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John
2(although Jesus Himself was not baptizing, but His disciples were),
3He left Judea and went away again into Galilee.
4And He had to pass through Samaria.
5So He came to a city of Samaria called Sychar, near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph;
6and Jacob's well was there. So Jesus, being wearied from His journey, was sitting thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
The Woman of Samaria
7There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give Me a drink."
8For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.
9Therefore the Samaritan woman said to Him, "How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?" (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.)
10Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water."
11She said to Him, "Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water?
12"You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?"
13Jesus answered and said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again;
14but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life."
15The woman said to Him, "Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty nor come all the way here to draw."
16He said to her, "Go, call your husband and come here."
17The woman answered and said, "I have no husband." Jesus said to her, "You have correctly said, 'I have no husband';
18for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly."
19The woman said to Him, "Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.
20"Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship."
21Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.
22"You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.
23"But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.
24"God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."
25The woman said to Him, "I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us."
26Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am He."
27At this point His disciples came, and they were amazed that He had been speaking with a woman, yet no one said, "What do You seek?" or, "Why do You speak with her?"
28So the woman left her waterpot, and went into the city and said to the men,
29"Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done; this is not the Christ, is it?"
30They went out of the city, and were coming to Him.
31Meanwhile the disciples were urging Him, saying, "Rabbi, eat."
32But He said to them, "I have food to eat that you do not know about."
33So the disciples were saying to one another, "No one brought Him anything to eat, did he?"
34Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.
35"Do you not say, 'There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest.
36"Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal; so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.
37"For in this case the saying is true, 'One sows and another reaps.'
38"I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored and you have entered into their labor."
The Samaritans
39From that city many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, "He told me all the things that I have done."
40So when the Samaritans came to Jesus, they were asking Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days.
41Many more believed because of His word;
42and they were saying to the woman, "It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world."
43After the two days He went forth from there into Galilee.
44For Jesus Himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country.

Did you read through this story?

Did you notice that Jesus stayed with them for two days, and taught them everything they needed to know about eternal salvation, and how to live as the new first Christians?

Did Jesus ever get some water from Jacob's well?

When the disciples come out of the city with some food, Jesus refuses it. And speaks of food they do not know about. (did you notice that the disciples did not do much "witnessing" while buying food. They don't even come back with some curious.) The woman abandons her water pot and runs into the city and brings out those curious, yet they believe and tell her point blank they they don't believe just because of her, but from hearing it themselves: Jesus is the Saviour of the WORLD.


The Samaritans are living on borrowed land. Jacob gave this land to Joseph, and in the future, all this land will belong to Israel again.

But, Jesus stopped there to rescue, love, and save some people who believed. A fallen women---failure at five marriages. Shacking up with another guy. And Jesus reveals to them all that He is the Messiah. He is the Promised One.

What did this city think when they heard the rumors later about Jesus dying on the cross? This story comes early in Jesus' ministry. What happens to this city after the Resurrection? Is it mentioned in Acts?

Do Peter or Paul ever come there again?

And like the Road to Emaus story, no one records what Jesus actually said for those two days. The title of this post could be: The Lost Messages, Jesus Saves a Town.

Jesus speaks of Living Water. And springing up into eteranal life. Worshipping God in spirit and truth. no longer do we need to travel to Jerusalem nor Samaria. God sets aside Israel for a while. But, His promises are still there to restore, and center future history upon them.

Jesus is weary here. Did you see that? Jesus took on human form to come and talk to us about water, our needs, our fallen state, our bad choices, our failures, and here Jesus was His own Herald. They had heard a Messiah was coming. And He came to declare He was Here.

Two days.

What did he tell them for two days? The disciples were sitting around, so they heard it, too. It did not suprise them, nor is it recorded that they challenged Jesus on anything He said.

What happened to that woman? We are not given her name. What happened to that town? Did the next generation also hear about those special two days when the Messiah came to visit? When the Savior of the World chose their little village, their city, and instead of Passing Over, He stopped and shared. Even though they were fallen, dirty, and the known enemy of the Jews. Jesus saw their hearts---their positive little blips of belief. They worshipped the Savior of the World. with only two days instruction.

Jesus does this again---saves, rescues someone, and when they ask to tag along, says, no---go tell. Just share what has happened to you. That is enough. That is sufficient.

Jesus was also Creator. He created our bodies to need water every three days or we die. Jesus was Creator, but then took on human form and dwelt among us for 33 years. He knew hunger, and thirst, and weariness. On the cross He says, "I thirst" and they stick nasty vinegar wine on a dirty sponge and shove it in His face.

And other verses come to mind---when Jesus said that whenever you give someone water to drink, you do it to Me. Whenever you give someone clothing, food, shelter---when they have need, you do it to Me.

We can't give Jesus water. He is no longer thirsty, weary, hungry or dirty. (And Jesus took care of dirty feet at the last supper, too--another story about serving others, and water) But, He has left us with a job. A Mission. Meet the needs of those around us. Engage them where they are and tell them that Jesus came to save them from their sins and has the eternal gift of eternal life. Jesus left us here, and has a Plan, and is coming back someday. He will set all things right, and make everyone get along. And He will remove the bad guys. Judgement Day is coming.

Will we learn her name in heaven, this woman at the well?

And the townspeople who declared that Jesus is the Savior of the World...will we hear them tell this story? Will we see again the amazement in their faces? That Thou My God would die for me? Amazing Grace. That saved a wretch like me. I once was blind, but now I see.

Jesus taught them how to worship in two days. I'd like to attend that seminary. Wouldn't you?

I have been learning about Jesus since I was ten years old, but now in my fifties, it is always fresh and new, and I have more questions, and see more in a story when I hear it preached. And I think we are meant to read and re-read God's Word because it is Alive and Powerful. God's Word shapes us and cures us. God's Word tells us about God. Reveals God. Reveals what He thinks, feels, says. God's Way is Truth, sanity, order, best.

Am I worshipping the Father in spirit and in truth?

Am I keeping the message simple and letting my neighbors see my life and do their hear the Gospel, the Good News from my lips?

Am I alert to the needs of those God puts in my path?

1 comment:

Mrs. JP said...

Good post. I love that about God's Word too - it never ever gets old. There's always something to learn from a story I've read many times. And Jesus being weary is another reason to celebrate Christmas because he left perfect heaven to come to live and identify with weary sinful us. Thanks for the reminder.