“Perhaps this is the moment for which you have been created.”–Esther 4:14
Several months ago I was given an opportunity to share a sermon about the woman at the well (the Samaritan woman). Since I am writing and sharing about inspirational women of the Bible, I thought I would share her story with you.
Every story has a beginning, a middle, and an ending. The story of the woman at the well is a classic, three-fold story of salvation with Jesus being the witness. First, you have a beginning (confrontation), a middle (conversation), and an ending (conversation) between Jesus and the Samaritan woman. It is a dialogue between two people and a conversation with a sinful woman whose life will be changed forever (conversion) after one conversation.
In John, 4:1-4, it tells us that Jesus left Judea and went back to Galilee and had to go through Samaria. (Keep in mind that most Jews avoided Samaria because of their prejudice and hatred of the people who were a mixed race of Jews and Gentiles.) But not Jesus. He was unaffected by the prejudices of the Jews because there was a woman he needed to see and talk with.
He went to a town called Sychar and waited by Jacob’s well and about the sixth hour (noon) he sees her coming, and in verse 7 he asks her for a drink of water (his disciples had gone into town to buy food).
Background on the woman: Normally the women went to the well in the morning when it was cool. Because this woman was alone and came at the hottest time of the day indicates that she was a social outcast which is evident later in verses 16-18. She was hated by her own people.
In verse 8, it says that when Jesus asked her for a drink she was amazed that a Jew would ask for a drink “from a woman”, let alone a Samaritan woman. (It was considered inappropriate for a Rabbi to speak to a woman in public.)
In verse 10, Jesus then offers her a drink of “living water” but at this point she is not ready for this living water (salvation) and asks where she can get it.
In verse 11, they talked about the water. He tells her that she can drink from Jacob’s well every day and she would still get thirsty and would have to come back for more. He tells her that he can give her a drink of water that will forever satisfy her.
In verse 15, she asks him to give her this water. But first they talked about her sinfulness. Jesus asks her to go and bring her husband back, and she says she has no husband.
In verse 17, he tells her everything about herself. She had five husbands and the one with whom she lived was not her husband. This information clearly makes her “sit up and take notice” that perhaps Jesus is a “prophet.”
In verses 19-20, they talked about worship. She tries to start an argument about the proper place to worship, but Jesus tells her that “true worship” is never found in rituals and substitutes for God; it can only be found in spiritual worship–from his Spirit (verse 21–worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth).
Jesus simply reveals himself and it was what she needed to understand. Then in verse 25, she acknowledges that “when the Messiah comes (Christ) he will explain everything to us.”
In verse 26, Jesus declares that “I who speak to you am he.”
Then Jesus’ disciples return and are surprised to see Jesus speaking to a woman, but
“they did not ask Jesus why”. (verse 27)
In verse 28, Jesus reveals himself and she responds in faith; and her salvation was immediate (conversion). She leaves her water jar behind, runs to the town and testifies that she just met Christ and that he told her everything she had ever done. She met Jesus and was forever changed. The men saw her “transformation.”
In Proverbs 22:1, it tells us that “a good name is more desirable than great riches; to be respected more than silver or gold.”
Jesus gave this woman a “new name”. Her past would no longer define who she was or would become. First, she was transformed by the renewing of her mind and God filled her emptiness and cleansed her heart. Secondly, she was no longer immoral (sinful) but a child of God. Finally, she was no longer disgusting/rejected/ostracized by her people, but she was now forgiven and accepted.
In verse 39, it tells us that because of her testimony, many believed. In verse 40, they asked Jesus to stay for two days; and through his words, many more became believers. Verse 42 says that they met the “Master and Savior” of the world.
Three truths that can be learned from Jesus’ dialogue with the woman at the well:
- First, Salvation comes to those who recognize their need for the spiritual life that they don’t have. Living water is obtained by those who recognize they are spiritually thirsty. John 4:14…”whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
- Second, Salvation comes to those who confess and repent of their sin and desire forgiveness. Romans 10:9-10: “But if you will confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”
- Third Salvation can only be found in Jesus. John 14:6: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Acts 4:12: “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
I leave you with the beautiful words from the hymn (chorus), “Fill My Cup Lord”, by Richard Blanchard:
“Fill my cup, Lord–I lift it up, Lord!
Come and quench this thirsting of my soul.
Bread of heaven, feed me till I want no more;
Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole.”
May the Lord fill your cup with his love and strength beginning today–January 1, 2020, a new day, a new beginning, and a fresh start. Everything in the past is gone. Be a truly inspiring woman for the Lord.