We know her story well. She’s the woman who kept husbands that were not her own. The home wrecker. The floozy. Yet her story is one that shows powerfully the love our Heavenly Father has for us.
As we read her story in John 4:1-30, let’s start our focus on verse 4:
[Jesus] needed to do through Samaria.
A cursory history of the Jews at that time will show that the Jews had no dealings Samaritans. It is believed that the Pharisees took this antagonistic relationship to the extreme that they refused to take the easier route through Samaria. I like to believe that though this was the shortest route from Judea to Galilee, Jesus had a divine appointment with the Samaritan woman. A divine appointment with a woman who was such an outcast in her society that she chose to go to the well at midday in the boiling desert heat instead of facing the scorn and animosity of her neighbors at the customary time.
My friends, this is good news for us. If Jesus sought out the Samaritan woman he will seek us out too. Jesus never changes. He’s the same person yesterday as he is today. There is no sin that we have done that makes us unlovable in his eyes.
As the story unfolds, we see Jesus probing the heart and mind of the woman. He tests her willingness to serve:
“Give Me a drink.” (John 4:7 NKJV)
He tests her knowledge of Bible promises:
“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.” (John 4:10 NKJV)
He offers her the gift of himself:
“Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:13-14 NKJV)
What I love about the Samaritan woman is how she responds. To me her responses show that though she sinned she was still searching for something … or Someone to fill the gaps in her life.
She knew the prophecies about the Messiah.
She knew that she had sinned.
But even more important she knew when she had met her Master and how to submit to him.
She didn’t keep it to herself either. She ran to shore the good news of the Messiah’s first coming. She left behind her earthly desires (her water pot), her guilt and her shame.
“Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” (John 4:29 NKJV)
She forgot to be ashamed. She forgot that she was persona non grata.
“Come,” she cried. “Share in the good news that the Messiah has come.”
We have so much to learn from the Samaritan woman, such as how to put Christ ahead of ourselves. From her we learn that when we are forgiven the slate is wiped clean and we are new creations.
I encourage you to dig into that Bible teaching found in John 4:1-30 again. What lessons can you learn from the Woman at the Well about seeking God?