John 4:7-26 NLT
7 Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” 8 He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food.
9 The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?”
10 Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”
11 “But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? 12 And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?”
13 Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. 14 But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”
15 “Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.”
16 “Go and get your husband,” Jesus told her.
17 “I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied.
Jesus said, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband— 18 for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!”
19 “Sir,” the woman said, “you must be a prophet. 20 So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim, where our ancestors worshipped?”
21 Jesus replied, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. 23 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. 24 For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”
25 The woman said, “I know the Messiah is coming—the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
26 Then Jesus told her, “I am the Messiah!”
I love this passage of Jesus meeting the Samaritan woman at the well. I recently read a fictional novel about the life of this woman. The Bible tells us very little about her. We know she had multiple husbands and the man she is living with when she meets Jesus, is not one of them. From that we can determine two things: this woman is a sinner, and she has likely had many struggles in her life.
Yet Jesus wants to save her.
Her initial shock comes simply when Jesus speaks to her, for He is a Jew and she is a Samaritan. Jews did not associate with Samaritans at that time. They regarded them as inferior and unholy.
Yet Jesus speaks to her.
Jesus treats her in an unexpected way. He does not shun her or shame her based on her sins or where she is from. He does not walk away in disgust when she approaches the well.
He engages her. He lets her know that He sees her, and He knows her.
This is a woman who had likely been shamed often throughout her life. We don’t know why she had five husbands, but we can imagine how she was viewed by not only outsiders, but her own people. She was probably used to being ignored, dishonoured, looked down on, and talked about.
Yet, here was Jesus, a Jew, talking to her as a human.
When He tells her who she is, she immediately believes Him. She does not question Him, but runs back to her people to tell them she has met the Messiah.
This passage of scripture reveals so many things about the love of Jesus and His acceptance and desire to save us all. Jesus did not come just for the righteous. He didn’t come just for those who lead holy, faith-centred lives.
He came for the sinners. He came for the broken, the outcasts, the weak, and the hurting. He came for us all. He came for you. All He asks in return is that we believe in Him and follow Him. And He asks us to share our faith with others.
In our broken, chaotic, painful world, it can be hard at times to follow Jesus. It can be hard to see above the suffering, the anger, and the evil. It can be hard to have faith.
How can we be more like the woman at the well? She instantly believed. She immediately shared her new faith with others, and because of her, Jesus remained in her town for 2 more days and many others became believers. (John 4:39-42)
In times of trial and struggle, we need to keep our eyes on Jesus. Let Him fill us with His peace and His love. May His light be evident in us no matter what is happening around us. May we believe like the woman at the well. May our joy and our faith cause us to tell everyone we meet about Him.
May we always remember His promise to us and the sacrifice He made. May we make disciples who make disciples in His name.