A Well, A Woman, A Savior

As many of you may know, God has put it upon my heart to memorize the Gospel according to John and as I have been putting this book of the life of our Lord to memory, I will often times write about what I have learned. Today I will be talking about John chapter 4 the first 30 verses.

At the beginning of Chapter 4 we find Jesus and His disciples in the land of Judea, Jesus is preaching and His disciples are baptizing new converts. Jesus’ disciples were growing, in fact He was making more disciples than John and John praised God for this. The Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making more disciples than John and Jesus knew this. It was not time yet for a confrontation between Jesus and the Pharisees. So He left Judea and departed to Galilee. The scriptures tell us “But He needed to go through Samaria”. Now, no Jew ever went from Judea to Galilee through Samaria, in fact they avoided going through Samaria and had nothing to do with Samaritans all together. Most Jews had a route that took them around Samaria. Samaria was between Galilee and Judea. “But He needed to go through Samaria.” Now why did He need to go through Samaria? Jesus said, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10). There were people in Samaria, lost people! So as He and His disciple’s journeyed they came “to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar.” This was near the area recorded in Genesis that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. There was a well there that Jacob had dug and watered his family and livestock with. It was at this well that Jesus sat down to rest while His disciples went away into the city to buy food.

Now the text tells us that a Samaritan woman came to draw water and Jesus asked her for a drink. Can you imagine the shock that this must have been to this woman? This shows the absolute love of our Lord for all people no matter whom they are.

This shocked her for three reasons.

1. Jews did not go through Samaria and they had no dealings with Samaritans at all and would in no way drink from the same cup as a Samaritan. Yet Jesus asked for her to give Him a drink.

2. Jewish men in Jesus’ day did not talk with women in public, not even your wife; your mother was the only exception. Yet here He was talking to a woman out in broad day light.

3. Jewish Rabbis (teachers) did not talk with people that were considered to be sinners. As we will see later this woman was divorced 5 times and was now living with a man out of marriage and all the people in the area would have known that. Yet He talked with her where anyone could see.

So when she asked Him why He would ask her for a drink, He gives the answer only the Lord could give. “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” Now obviously she is thinking physical world and Jesus is speaking spiritually in talking about the baptism of the Holy Spirit, a new birth that gives everlasting life. Remember what He had said to Nicodemus? “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5) So the woman says to Him “Sir give me this water that I may not thirst nor come here to draw.” She is beginning to think spiritually but is still on the physical. Now most modern day Christians would have at this point told her, say this prayer and you will be saved. They would have offered her the good things of the gospel without giving her the knowledge of sin. Jesus didn’t do that, before telling her who He was He allowed her to see her sinful state before God and that she was in need of salvation. “Jesus said to her, ‘Go, call your husband, and come here.’” The woman then admits what the Lord already knew, she had no husband, she has had five husbands and was not married to the man she was currently living with. The Lord knew her sin and led her to admit that sin, using the law of God. This story and the story of the rich young ruler are in contrast. In both accounts our Lord uses the law to bring the knowledge of sin, in the case of the rich young ruler he denied he was a sinner, in the case of this woman she admits it and desires to be cleansed of her sin. How do I know this? She admitted she was not married and when Jesus exposed her sin fully she did not deny it, or make excuses, she wanted to do what most people think they are to do to make amends and get right with God, she wanted to go to church and wanted to know what church she should go to. She said, “Sir I perceive that you are a prophet.” She wanted to know if she should go and make sacrifice and worship on Mount Gerizim in Samaria or in Jerusalem. I absolutely love what Jesus told her, and this same thing should settle the debate with all religious people and all denominations. The answer is neither. The Church is not a place; the Church is and always has been a movement. Many, many men have tried to stop this movement and one of the ways they do this is confining it to a building. The church of Jesus Christ is all people that put their faith in Jesus Christ; the only begotten Son of God who shed His blood and died for our sins and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day.

“God is spirit and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” God is spirit, He is omniscient (He knows all things), and He is omnipresent (He is everywhere). Then He does something wonderful; He reveals to this sinful, Samaritan, woman who He is. This is the first person outside of His disciples that He tells that He is the Messiah (the Holy One of God). He doesn’t reveal this to some holy man, He reveals this to a woman that most in her day and time, and in our day and time as well would have considered her lower than a dog; but not our Lord, He truly is love. She had already said to Him that when the messiah comes “He will tell us all things.” So that is exactly what she runs into the city and tells all the men of the city. “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” So what did the men of the city do after she said this to them? “They went out of the city and came to Him.” That should be the response of every single person that comes to faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, to run out and tell everyone. Come, to Jesus.

“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven.” (Romans 4:7)
I hope God blesses you,
Mike Peek

Note: All quotations that are not indicated came directly from John 4:1-30 (NKJV)