She came to the well because she had a physical need for water; she would leave with a deeper, spiritual need satisfied. It’s the physical needs, the ones we know, where Jesus first meets with many of us. They are obvious in third world countries. There we can see the cries for clean water, shoes, protection from oppressors, etc. The physical needs in our country are often disguised. But they exist. And if we want to follow Jesus’ example, this is where we meet those needing Him.
The end of the story…John 4:25-42:
She must have been a little perplexed with Jesus’ explanation of worship because she said, “I know that Messiah (called Christ) is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.” And just like that, Jesus revealed Himself as the One…the long awaited Messiah who would save and rescue. Jesus boldly used God’s name for Himself…“I am” (Exodus 3:14).
This first time to reveal His identity was to a woman considered the least and last by her community. He had not yet shared this knowledge with religious leaders. Nor to those considered righteous. Not even to the men who were following Him, His disciples.
I’m not sure if this story impacts men the same way it does me. Knowing how women were regarded in that day, my heart melts at the way Jesus dignified women. It gives me a glimpse of God’s original plan found in Genesis 1 and 2.
Just then the disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking to a woman. (See what I mean!)
Perfect timing. The interruption allowed her time to process and ponder Jesus’ profound revelation. And make a quick getaway. She abandoned her chore, returned to town and began evangelizing. It seems as though she was immediately transformed into a leader, leading her community to their Savior.
Leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?”
She didn’t waste time. She extended an invitation. She didn’t argue Jesus’ identity. She didn’t try to convince anyone. She simply asked a question. She asked if it was possible. Could He be? (There’s a lesson that will preach!)
And the people’s response to her testimony: They came out of the town and made their way toward him…Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony. “He told me everything I ever did.”
The seed of faith was planted.
So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. And because of his words many more became believers.
And the seed of faith blossomed. People were told of Jesus. They came. They saw for themselves. They decided to spend time with Him. They experienced Christ for themselves. They believed.
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.”
God’s mission extends beyond Israel…to Samaria and to the ends of the world. It extends beyond an individual…to those with whom she has relationships.
I have a friend who chastised me because she thought I talked too much about my faith. I asked why that offended her. Her answer was “Everyone’s faith is a personal matter.” And that’s true in part. One’s relationship with Jesus is extremely personal. However it’s meant to be shared. It’s lived out loud. It’s lived in community.
We don’t even know her name. Today we refer to her as “the woman at the well.” But I’m sure that, from the day she said “come and see,” her community considered her “our friend who introduced us to our beloved Savior.”
A woman with a past. A woman of immense value. A woman who made a difference.
The Savior who demolishes walls. Savior who knows all. Savior who saves. Savior who redeems. Savior who loves…us!
Thoughts to ponder:
When do I reach out to those in need?
When do put aside fear of rejection and invite others to spend time with Jesus?