I wrote and recorded the following devotional for HopeStreamRadio. I also plan to include it in If You Love Me, an eBook I hope to publish this year.
This is one of my favourite stories in the gospel of John.
Let’s read from John 4:7-14: “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.” (ESV).
To give you a more complete picture of just what was going on here, I wanted very much to read the first 42 verses of chapter 4. However, I will leave that to you.
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, as it says in the passage above, had no dealings with one another. (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.)
Sometimes Jesus did things in a very public way. At others, it began quietly, one-on-one, as is the case here.
Prejudice and Misconception Addressed
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 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” (ESV).
And though these words would not be penned until after the Lord’s death and resurrection, He knew them to be true.
Yes, 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 relationshps. 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.
Realization and Response
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. (Jews and Samaritans had different views on this as well.)
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.”
May we drink deeply of the Living Water, trusting that it will be “a spring of water welling up to eternal life,” as God’s Word promises. And may we do all we can to share it with others.
May we learn from Jesus’ example and be willing and eager to speak truth to whomever He brings across our path.
I am sharing this portion of my work in progress as part of Ruth Snyder’s blog hop. Check it out here: ruthlsnyder.com