An Encounter at the Well
Background Story: Jewish people and Samaritans- they did not hang out. In fact, Jewish people were not even supposed to talk or walk through their towns. When Jewish people used their GPS- they would take the longer route to avoid even coming into contact with Samaria.
Read John 4: 3-42
3 So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.4 Now he had to go through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.
7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”
13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.” 17 “I have no husband,” she replied.
Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” 26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”
27 Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?”
28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” 30 They came out of the town and made their way toward him.
31 Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.” 32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” 33 Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?”
34 “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. 35 Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36 Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. 37 Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. 38 I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.”
39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41 And because of his words many more became believers.
42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.
Big Idea: God Sees Us.
It’s easy to believe the misconception that God only chooses perfect people. That somehow we need to have it all together for God to love or accept us. But the Bible says in Romans 5:8 that, “God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” Shame produces this desire to attempt to hide from God and from others. We see this shame in the Samaritan woman.
This woman lived in the middle of nowhere, from a despised group of people, and had been married many times. She purposely chose to get her water in the middle of the day when it was hot and all the other women were at home. My guess…she didn’t want anyone to see her. Her life had been marked by disappointment, and she wanted to get her water, go home, and hide.
Jesus didn’t wait for the woman to fix herself before He spoke to her. Seeing and knowing her completely, Jesus waited for her at the well to reveal Himself as the Messiah or Savior. God has always been a seeking God who seeks us out in the midst of us mess. In Genesis 3:9 after Adam had sinned against God and was hiding in garden, the Bible says, “the Lord God called to the man. He said to him, “Where are you?” God knew where Adam was…God was calling Adam back to Himself.
Today if you find yourself in a place of shame wondering if you’ve messed up too bad for God to forgive, know this… God is waiting for you with open arms. The woman at the well’s identity was transformed when she met Jesus. Today, no matter your past or present, God is standing waiting for you to confess your sin and be reconciled (made right) to Him.