Jesus and the Woman at the Well
Many of us are familiar with the story of an unnamed woman in the book of John – the Samaritan woman at the well. In fact, the story of Jesus and the woman at the well is one of the most well loved in the entire Bible.
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Jesus and the Samaritan Woman
We read in John 4:7-14 (ESV):
“A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, ‘Give me a drink.’ (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, ‘How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?’ (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, “Give me a drink,” you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.’ The woman said to him, ‘Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’”
First, a quick history lesson. In Jesus’ time, men did not typically view women as their equals, and they definitely did not engage them in discussions of spiritual matters. To top it off, Jesus was born of Jewish descent, and this was a Samaritan women. Jews and Samaritans, had no dealings with one another. In fact, later in the passage, we read that it surprised the disciples to see their Master speaking with this women—though none of them would ask Him about it.
In these few moments, the Lord was turning prejudice and misconception on its ear. When it comes to believing in Jesus and walking in obedience to Him, Galatians 3:28 (ESV) tells us,
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
And though these words would not be penned until after the Lord’s death and resurrection, He knew them to be true.
He, a Jewish man, would gladly speak with this woman—a Samaritan.
And He wasn’t simply speaking about physical matters, like the nearby well and the water it contained. He was sharing spiritual truth about water that would satisfy the recipient’s thirst for all eternity.
This woman had been seeking satisfaction in relationships. When Jesus asked her to go and get her husband, He already knew she’d had five failed marriages and was in a relationship with a sixth man who wasn’t her husband.
The Samaritan woman obviously knew Jesus didn’t point this out to shame her, for she declared Him to be a prophet and went on to discuss the proper place to worship the Lord.
Verses 25 and 26 make the main message of this passage crystal clear. “The woman said to him, ‘I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I who speak to you am he.’”
And her immediate response? To return to her village and urge them to “come, see a man who told me all that I ever did.”
Stephanie is a freelance writer and a contributor to our Christian internet radio station, HopeStreamRadio. Read and hear more from Steph Nickel on the contributor’s page or at Steph Nickel’s Eclectic Interests.
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Images courtesy of:
Jesus and the Samaritan Woman – Stefan Erardi
Well – Efraimstochter