In my last post we left Jesus in the wilderness being ministered to by the angels.
After this, we briefly see Him and His disciples at the river again, baptizing more disciples than John.
And wouldn’t you know it? The Pharisees had a problem with that! Boy they sure did start on Him early! He has just begun His ministry! (Of course, it could have something to do with the fact that He drove the money changers out of the temple!)
Anyway, John has been taken into custody, and Jesus still has a lot of ministry to accomplish the next 3 years, so He and His disciples take off for Galilee. (Mt. 4:12; Mk. 1:14)
They probably took the northbound road that ran by Jerusalem and came to a fork at Sychar, one branch heading in the general direction of Nazareth, and the other toward the Sea of Galilee.
Jesus stays at the well while his disciples go into town to buy food.
As Jesus is sitting by the well resting, a woman comes from town to draw water, and Jesus asks her for a drink.
She does not appear to be intimidated by Jesus in any way.
When He asks her for a drink, she could have just said, “Yes sir,” given Him the drink, and left it at that.
But instead she engages Him in conversation. Why is He asking her for a drink?
Apparently no Jewish man has ever done that before.
I’m not sure what kind of answer she expects from this unexpected visitor, but I’m sure she does not expect what He says. (By the way, Jesus is our example.)
- He gets her thinking and asking questions.
- He shows her her need and draws out her longing for something better.
- He does this before showing her her sin.
Of course, she does what a lot of people would at this point; she tries to change the subject.
- But Jesus masterfully gets her back to thinking outside the religious box she has been conditioned to stay in all her life.
- He shows her that He is the Messiah, the very One she has longed for, even though she has not known before now that it is He who will satisfy all her deepest longings!
When she realizes that He is the Messiah, she gets excited and goes to tell someone, “the men”.
Why “the men”?
I can think of two possible reasons.
- Perhaps the men were the ones who would mobilize the rest of the village, being the cultural leaders?
- Or could it be that she does not have a good relationship with the women? That she is an outcast for her failures in love and the sinful life she is now living? That she has been the subject of much gossip and rejection with the women? That they have treated her with scorn and contempt more times than she cares to remember? Maybe she figures that they won’t listen to her anyway and that trying to tell them will just invite more verbal abuse.
But she has GOOD NEWS!
So she tells the men.
They listen to her and go out of the city to see Jesus. They seek Him and find Him.
They want to find Him.
I think it is interesting that Jesus went to the well, but did not go into the city to preach. He convinced one person who was not afraid to speak up and let her go do some footwork.
She went and told others, but only those who came to see actually saw.
We see a similar phenomenon today in those who claim there is no God. Some make the effort to seek Him, and they actually find Him.
Others have no desire to seek Him. He is not far away, just outside the gates, waiting for them at the well, but they don’t find Him because they refuse to go out and see for themselves.
And even when someone comes to them with a word of testimony, they refuse to go look or listen.
But it is not our job to convince them, only to give them the good news.
“From that city many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, ‘He told me all the things that I have done.'” (John 4:39 NASB)
They asked Him to stay, and He stayed for two days.
“Many more believed because of His word; and they were saying to the woman, ‘It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world.'” (John 4:41,42 NASB)
So, we see that our word of testimony is important to draw people to look for Jesus and consider whether He is God or not.
But when they hear HIS Word, the truth will pierce their hearts (Hebrews 4:12), and they will become convinced.
Another thing I think is important to note is that the woman did not listen to the voice of fear over whether the men would listen to her or not. She did not keep the good news to herself, beating herself up over her past sins and listening to the voice that said she was not worthy to carry such an important message.
After all, if the Messiah had revealed Himself to HER, sinner that she was, He must be declaring her worth.
Was not His very decision to entrust her with this amazing good news a statement on His part that she was extremely valuable to Him?
Jesus feels the same way about you and me. It is He who assigns us worth, and He has given us good news to tell.
Will we do it?
Linking up with: