No one is beyond the reach of God’s love and grace.
Jesus went to where the sinners were. He met them on their turf; whether at a water well in Samaria, a beach, a pier, the marketplace, on the road, on a hillside, or even at the local tax office. That is where you would find Jesus. This lesson finds Jesus in a neighborhood that was considered off-limits for the Jews. The prejudice of most Jews against the Samaritans was so deep-seated they would rather lose a couple of days going around Samaria than through it. Yet, here was Jesus, sitting by a public well in the middle of the day in Samaria. He was conversing, not with a Samaritan man, but with a Samaritan woman of questionable reputation! What was Jesus thinking? This lesson informs us of Jesus’ purpose in talking to this Samaritan woman.
I’m sure glad He took the time out of His day to tell my everything I ever did! There is no hiding sin from the Lord and thankfully He doesn’t let us think we can.
DIVINELY DIRECTED APPOINTMENT WITH JESUS
A. Jesus Rejected Prejudice
John 4:1 When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John,
4:2 (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,)
4:3 He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee.
4:4 And he must needs go through Samaria……..There must have been such a compelling from the Holy Spirit that He knew there was ministry ahead. I would say there was never one time that the Spirit prompted Him to do something and He refused! In order to continuously be promoted by the Spirit, we must continually obey it.
4:5 Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.
4:6 Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour……..There were several things unusual about her coming to the well. First, noon was not the customary time for women to come and draw water. They usually came in either in the morning or evening. Second, she came alone, when it was normal for groups of women to arrive at the well together. Third, she brought her water pot, which meant she came to get water, not for herself alone, but for her household. Fourth her coming at noon time implied she did not want to be seen by, or socialize with, others because of her marital history.
4:7 There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink…….It would have been unquestionable for a man to speak to a strange woman during the time of Jesus’ ministry. Not only did He refuse the customs, but He also lived beyond the prejudices that separated the Jews and Samaritans. Because He wasn’t driven by standards and customs, but by the Spirit which draws all men to God, His ministry was beyond successful! What an example of what true ministry looks like!
B. Jesus Offers Living Water
4:8 (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.)
4:9 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans……..Just as this woman, how often do we stereotype others? In our minds there have always been denominational barriers. We have been taught, and some through experience that certain religions will not deal with us. The truth is, if someone has surrendered to Christ and is following Him, no matter what Christian church they are affiliated with, they are going to heaven! Listen to this correction Jesus gave to His disciples: Mark 9:38 And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us. 39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. 40 For he that is not against us is on our part. 41 For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward…….Knowing the truth of this scripture, we are not to go around wondering who is right and who is wrong in the kingdom. When our focus is on customs and standards it can never be on what Jesus and the Spirit desires us to do!
4:10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
4:11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?
4:12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?…….The woman here asks a question that could have been simply and truthfully answered, yes. But Jesus was completely absent of any hint of self pride. Knowing that He was the only one that could change someone’s life for all eternity, His love still outworked His accolades! He answers her question with a challenge, try it out.
4:13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
JESUS REVEALS HIS IDENTITY
A. The Woman’s History Exposed
4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life……..Jesus didn’t go around preaching a prosperity gospel. He never said your bills would be paid and you would have a bigger house and nicer camel to ride on. What He did say is my Spirit would flow within you and you would never be unsatisfied again. You would never desire the things of this world in such a way that would cause misery not having them. He came to give life (in the truest form) and peace!
4:15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw……..Rather she believed His message or not, she wanted Him to prove it. Just as Christ, we must be ready at all times to prove our faith by living it and being able to teach the truth of it! The Spirit will not let us live without a message!
4:16 Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither…….Jesus gives the woman the opportunity to confess or to walk away in a lie. She chose to partly confess which opened the door for Jesus to expose her struggle.
4:17 The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband:…….This woman knew the truths of her own beliefs but wasn’t living by them.
4:18 For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.
B. Her Savior Revealed
4:19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet……..Knowing that Jesus was at least a prophet, she would now try and change the focus off her own life. A typical stall tactic of any believer satisfied with sin. After her next statement, Christ is going to flip her world upside down!
4:20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship…….Jesus in this conversation never one time said that Jerusalem was the only place to worship. Backing up from His focus, her flesh tries to counter the conversation with prejudice facts, assuming that He is completely Jew. But listen to His response and focus!
4:21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
4:22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews……..After stating the facts of the Jews heritage, which she likely knew of already, He offers her positive opportunity of the present and future!
4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him……..Jesus tells it right here, the Father is looking for a people who will let down their guard, let go of personal beliefs and prejudices, and worship Him with our whole hearts withholding nothing!
4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth……..There is only one way to worship God and that is to surrender totally to Him!
4:25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.
4:26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he……..Because Jesus was able to tell the woman and expose of her sins with love, she did not turn away offended. Though not all followed Christ, the ones who were longing for truth could find it in Him.
TRANSFORMED BY FAITH IN JESUS
A. Come, See Jesus the Messiah
4:27 And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her?
4:28 The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men,…….When Jesus changes people, immediately their motives and desires change! She may have come to the well thirsty, but left with Spiritual water that caused her to overflow!
4:29 Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?
4:30 Then they went out of the city, and came unto him……..Because of this woman’s testimony, she was able to tell the people of the city, likely people who knew exactly who she was and the lifestyle she lived, and was able to convince them that Christ was here! What a testimony!
B. Spiritual Awakening
4:39 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did.
4:40 So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days.
4:41 And many more believed because of his own word;
4:42 And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world……..After her testimony gave the insensitive to hear, the people of the city believed after hearing Christ Himself. As a result of His own preaching and teaching, many more of the Samaritans became believers in Jesus. Significantly, Jesus did no miracles in Sychar. The Samaritans faith in Jesus as the Messiah was based on His words to them-His preaching and teaching.
This woman is thought to have soon after salvation become an evangelist for Christ. The following link tells her life story.