Why I love the woman at the well

well in courtyard Mdina
Photo taken in the ancient city of M’dina Malta

Scripture Reading: John 4:7-30

On a hot mid-day in Samaria, Jesus sat by the well of Jacob and brought salvation to a woman and her village. The woman at the well could be any one of us. We try to carry on with our daily tasks, even when burdened with guilt, pain and shame. Presumably avoiding the town’s peak hours for drawing water, she had no idea who was waiting for her by the well that day. Just like our personal  encounter with Christ, this one did not happen by chance. Jesus initiated the conversation with “Give me a drink,” (John 4:7), and that was enough to bridge the social and cultural divide that existed between them. Her reply “how is it that you a Jew ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (v.9) revealed her skepticism. But as Jesus went on with the promise of living waters that would quench her thirst once and for all, she became interested and confessed her need. “Sir, give me this water...” (v.15). Then the unexpected came when Jesus said “Go, call your husband” (v.16). As the story unfolds we get a clearer picture of her past and current state of sin. She has had five husbands and is living with a man she is not married to (v.18).  While the bible does not specifically say how she reacted when Jesus brought up her adulterous relationship, we  know that it didn’t make her turn away and leave. Instead, we glean from her response “Sir, I see you are a prophet” (v.19) a growing perception  on her part that this stranger by the well is no ordinary person.  There’s something about him that makes her want to stay. She wants more conversation. She asks another question (v.20).  What follows is a loving and prophetic declaration – the hour is coming (v.23-24)  – when both Jews and Gentiles will worship the Father in spirit and in truth.  Embedded in Jesus’ discourse is a call to actively put her faith in him “Woman, believe me...” (v.21). Finally, he concludes with the glorious revelation that he is the Messiah (v.26) the one she had been waiting for (v.25). Now see what she does next. She leaves her water jar, runs to her village and tells everybody about Christ (v.28). All of a sudden, even something as essential as water is not so important, facing other people is no longer awkward, and she seems to be thrilled that a man she has never met before pointed out her sin. “Come see a man who told me everything I did. Could he be the Christ (v.29)?”   Such is the outcome when one comes to know the Lord Jesus -priorities change, relationships are healed, the bondage of sin is broken.  Joy in Jesus cannot be contained.  It’s an overflowing stream that blesses those around us.  Here’s the proof.”Many Samaritans from that town believed in him, because of the woman’s testimony” (v.39). Isn’t that beautiful? And this is why I will always love the woman at the well.

And all who thirst will thirst no more,
And all who search will find what their souls long for,
The world will try, but it can never fill,
So leave it all behind, and come to the well (from The Well by Casting Crowns)









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Christian wife, mom and mom-in-law. Physician. Professor. Serves in small groups discipleship. Travels for food, art, and history.

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