When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,) He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee.
And he must needs go through Samaria.
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. 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 cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.(For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.)
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.
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.
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? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?
Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 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.
The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.
Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither.
The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.
The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.
Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 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. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.
Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.
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?
The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?
Then they went out of the city, and came unto him.
In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat.
But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of.
Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat?
Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.
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. So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days. And many more believed because of his own word;
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. Now after two days he departed thence, and went into Galilee.
For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no honour in his own country.
Then when he was come into Galilee, the Galilaeans received him, having seen all the things that he did at Jerusalem at the feast: for they also went unto the feast. So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum.
When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death. Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.
The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die.
Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way. And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth. Then enquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him. So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth: and himself believed, and his whole house.
This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judaea into Galilee.
The Samaritans were a mixed race, part Jew and part Gentile, that grew from 727 BC when Assyrian took the northern 10 tribes of Israel captive. Rejected by the Jews because they couldn’t prove their genealogy, the Samaritans built their own temple and religious services which of course made the Jews hate them even more.
So here we have the Samaritan woman at the well and you can imagine her wariness and disbelief that a Jewish man would dare speak to her, let alone ask her for water. But ask Jesus did, as an opening to share the truth with her.
I love this because once again it shows that Jesus avails Himself for anyone who needs Him, Jew or Gentile. He loved this Samaritan woman as much as He did Nicodemus in the last chapter, and as much as He loves you and me now. Often times I hear Christians when they talk about becoming a believer, they say something like “Then I found Jesus!”
But isn’t it more true that Jesus finds us? Even though she didn’t seek Him out, it was a meeting where Jesus found her as she came for water. He knew she’d be coming and He knew that a larger harvest would be gathered through this meeting.
Jesus is weary from the travels and sends the disciples on ahead into town to buy something to eat, while He rests at Jacob’s well. After He asks the woman for a drink, she is understandably wary, and points out the obvious, that Jews don’t have dealings with Samaritans. Jesus answers, If thou knewest…
She didn’t deny His request, but questioned the properness of it. If we only knew just Who He is, we’d not question His motives. He answers in a gentle, but truthful way, that He is there to offer her something more real, thirst quenching and eternal than the water He’s asked for. It’s enough to pique her interest.
Remember from John chapter one that John uses the word life in his gospel over 30 times. Air, light, water and food are essential to life, and Jesus embodies each of these. Here He is the living water, eternally flowing with life and yes, she wants it. But He also offers the Living Water of the Holy Spirit.
But she’s like many believers when she compares it to material things now, and doesn’t consider the spiritual things of eternity. Preparing her heart to receive the eternal redemption from sin, Jesus asks her to go get her husband. Sometimes it’s humiliating and hard to admit our sins before the Lord, or anyone else- and yet, even though she answers tersely here, she still tells Him the truth. She has no husband, and Jesus basically says, “I know- but here I Am, talking to you anyway, Just As You Are.”
This had to have been a shock to her, just as it is to those of us who know our own pasts full of sin and shame, and marvel at the fact that Jesus still loved us just as we were in order to save us.
Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. She goes on to change the subject to the difference in worship styles, but again Jesus answers her with truth and tells her that she has no idea who to worship, and that true Godly worship is done in Spirit because God is Spirit, and that He, Jesus Christ can and will give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him. He offered her knowledge, just as He did to Nicodemus in the previous chapter that it’s through the Holy Spirit that one is able to acceptably worship God. Just as Jews were blind to this whole “Holy Spirit born again” thing Jesus points out to this woman that some day we’d not need a temple to worship God in, because in the new birth, the new life and the new law which is given by the Holy Spirit, God wills for people to worship Him anywhere and at any time.
She wasn’t completely changed, but Jesus simply talking truth, being patient with her, not condemning her for living immorally, gave her enough to evangelize her town! She left Jesus and ran to town and told the men of Jesus. She did in a few minutes what the disciples who had been there probably for at least an hour getting food failed to do. Makes me wonder if they bothered witnessing to anyone while they were there. Most likely not.
Jesus reminds them in the next verses that as others have sowed the fields, it takes faith and obedience to go harvest it, whether the whole field is ripe or not. Sometimes a field can be pretty sparsely planted, but there is still worth in harvesting that which is there.
We don’t always sow seeds, sometimes we water them, other times we harvest what someone else labored in. God can use anyone, but not everyone is willing. It’s kind of a mild rebuke on the church in our day too considering that with as many people professing to be Christians, the fields are heavy and laden, but laborers are few.
The Samaritan woman was a simple woman, sinful woman, yet had a heart that was ready to receive the Grace and Mercy Jesus had for her. She wasn’t a pastor, not even a disciple, yet she did what so few of us are ready to do- because we think it’s the job of pastors to evangelize and tell others about the Gospel. She’s a good reminder that we all have a testimony to share, and the Good News can be shared by anyone no matter who they are, or where they are in their faith walk.
We can learn a lot too by the way Jesus interacts with the Samaritan woman (and it’s similar to the way He responds to other sinful women as well). Truth in love goes a long way to soften a heart. Much more than truth by condemnation and judging.
Have a blessed and beautiful day all!