Those of us who believe in God’s Word and His sacrifice on the cross have probably spent our years reading through the various passages in the Bible. We look to see who is this God we worship and how are we to respond to Him and all He has done for us. The woman at the well in Samaria didn’t know she would encounter Christ that day and all Jesus could do for her, just like you and I have probably experienced.
Some of us have had a moment just like this. Moments of seeing Jesus for the first time or in a new way. We may not have gotten all the details, but our eyes were opened. His grace, His Mercy and maybe His forgiveness were all apparent in an instant. The woman at the well was no different.
Who Was The Woman At The Well
The woman at the well is a biblical figure that enters the scene in the gospel of John. The Bible tells us that Jesus was gaining more followers and baptizing more believers and the Pharisees were furious. So he left Judea and returned to Galilee and met this woman on his journey.
Jesus's Encounter With The Woman At the Well
On Jesus’s way back to Galilee, He went through a town in Samaria. This specific plot of land was the land that Jacob had given his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was on the land, and Jesus, tired from the heat, sat down by the well to rest.
The Samaritan woman, also known as the woman at the well, came to the well that afternoon. Jesus was alone, His disciples had gone into town to buy food, and he asked this woman for a drink of water. Stunned, because Jews do not associate with Samaritans, she turned to Him and said, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?”
He replied, “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.”
The woman at the well was confused because Jesus had nothing to draw the water up from the well and questioned if he was greater than Jacob who had given them this well.
Jesus explained to her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 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.”
Jesus Knows Our Needs
Intrigued, she asked, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
Knowing this woman’s situation, Jesus asked her to call for her husband and to come back to Him. She replied, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 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.”
Amazed, she called Him a prophet and was confused because her ancestors worshiped in the mountains, but the Jews had been required to worship in the holy city of Jerusalem.
Jesus encouraged her to believe His words and know true salvation is with the Jews and their God. He said, “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. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
The woman at the well knew the Christ was coming and told Jesus that he would explain everything and help her understand. Jesus profoundly responded, “I, the one speaking to you—I am He.”
She ran back to town telling everyone that this man Jesus knew all she had done and brought them to Jesus. Many Samaritans believed because of her testimony and she saw that Jesus, the Christ, came for all to worship Him and to know Him.
The Significance Of The Story
We can learn so much from this woman at the well. First, we should notice that Jesus was not afraid to speak to the outcasts of that time. Jews did not associate with Samaritans, but Jesus treated this woman this respect and wanted her to have an opportunity to believe in the One who would give her enteral life.
The second thing we should take away from her story is that Jesus knew her sins, her story and what she needed to be content. It was Him, the One who offers us a life that will satisfy our souls.
The last aspect we should recognize is that Jesus desires to reveal His plan for humanity to us. He exposed his divinity to this woman, told her that salvation is through the Jews and invited her to be a part of His great plan by offering her water that would quench her thirst and lead to eternal life.
things the woman at the well can teach modern women
While many of us have heard this story at some point, we may contemplate how we can apply these truths to our own lives. What is the modern woman to do and how can she please the Lord like this woman at the well did?
1. BE WILLING TO LISTEN
The woman at the well was busy with her daily routine and could have told Jesus she did not have time to get Him water or speak to Him. However, she did not let her chores and errands make her like overly chaotic and made time to speak to a friendly stranger. We should take the time to listen when Jesus is speaking.
2. BE BOLD
She was not afraid to ask Jesus why He was even bothering to talk to her. She knew most Jews did not associate with Samaritans. She was bold and asked why and wanted the truth. We should be bold, just like the woman at the well was, and not be afraid of what answer we may receive from people or even from God.
3. BE A SERVANT TO OTHERS
This woman was willing to sacrifice her time to get Jesus a drink of water. How often do we ignore the needs of others? We see someone drop something and we pretend we did not notice. We see someone suffering and turn a blind eye. Maybe if we had a servant’s heart, we would encounter Jesus more often in our daily lives just like the woman at the well did.
4. BE TEACHABLE
This woman was searching for acceptance and happiness. She had been married to several men and never found what she was looking for. However, when Jesus pointed out her sins and her desires, she did not get defensive. She allowed those words to sink deep into her heart and realized that she needed to change. We should also be open to God’s instruction and the wisdom of other believers.
5. BE INCLUSIVE
The woman at the well did not go home and think about what had happened to her. She went back into town and told as many people as she could. She wanted all to experience what she had. She wanted all her friends and the people she merely ran into around town to know Jesus’s plan for all the world. She wanted them to be part of it, just how Jesus had made her a part of it.
How often in ministry do we become exclusive? We don’t share our faith with others, or in the church we only want our friends to serve alongside us. However, we forget that we were all once outcasts from Jesus’s love and acceptance. Shouldn’t we be like him, and the woman at the well, and reach out to others?
There is so much we can all take away from this story. If it is in the Word of God, then we know it has spiritual implications that God wants us to learn. We should study the words and look for hidden treasures that will impact our lives and reveal more of who Jesus is to us.
The woman at the well is a perfect example of a typical person going about their everyday business and God meeting them where they are. God wants to meet all of us where we are, and He wants us to listen so He can invite us to drink of the water that will satisfy us give us eternal life with Him.
However, we have choices, just like this Samaritan woman did. We can choose to ignore Him, or we can choose to listen, choose to be bold, choose to have a servant’s heart, choose to be teachable and choose to be inclusive with what God is doing in our lives.
What we should take away from this passage, as women, is God does not care where we have come from and what is in our past. We must understand He has a place for us and a plan. If you encounter Jesus today, whether it be for the first time or in a complex situation in life, look at this woman at the well and know God cares for you and wants you to listen, learn, apply and tell others.