The Samaritan Woman at the Well who meets Jesus is another un-named woman. This nameless woman brings many lessons to us as women and it heightens our experience in following Jesus. She has made a strong statement about the role of the early Christian communities and the role woman played. Through this woman we learn what it takes to receive life giving water. It is a story of faith in the Messiah, courage to step out and bringing others to Jesus.
Jesus left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee and had to go through Samaria. Jesus came to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.
This is where Jacob’s well was. Jesus was weary from His journey and sat on the well. There was a woman of Samaria who came to draw water. Jesus told her to Give Him a drink.
This un-named Samarian wanted to know how it was that a Jew would ask a Samarian woman for a drink of water. The Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans.
This is when she heard about the “living water” being the gift of the LORD God. Whosoever drinks of the water from the well of Jacob shall thirst again. Drinking of the water that Jesus give shall never thirst again and the water shall spring up into everlasting life. (John 4:12-14).
The Samarian woman did ask for the drink of the water so she would never thirst again nor would she have to draw water. Jesus told her to go call her husband to come. And she told Jesus she had no husband.
Jesus called her on her lie and told her He knew she had five husbands and the one she has now is not her husband. Wow that must have shocked her. She thought Jesus was a prophet.
The woman at the well begins a spiritual discussion with Jesus about where men should worship. The Samarians worship in the mountain and the other Jews said that Jerusalem was the place where men ought to worship.
Women and men did not worship together and they certainly did not have religious discussions with a man, let alone a man who offered living water. She was very bold in suggesting that she knew the Messiah was coming, which is called Christ: when he comes He will tell all.
Jesus told 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.”(John 4:21-24).
Jesus told this un-named woman that He was indeed the Messiah, the Christ. The woman left her water pot and went into the city and said to the men to come and see. It is interesting that she had the conviction and strength to speak to the men about such things.
The disciples marveled, was surprised that Jesus had been talking with this woman because this is something that was not done. They questioned Jesus why He would do such a thing.
When the Samaritans heard the woman they came to Jesus and many more believed because of the Words that Jesus spoke. The men let her know that they believe, not because of what she had said but because they heard Jesus themselves and they knew that He indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.
It was because this Samarian woman testified of Jesus that the people had the opportunity to hear Jesus and indeed knew He was the Christ, the Savior of the world. The woman was first amazed that He had told her all that she ever did and she thought Jesus was a prophet. Then as Jesus spent the days with the Samaritans they all came to believe.
The Samaritan woman was from a group that traditionally the Jews despised. She came to Jacobs well in the sixth hour which is around noon. She was alone and this says that her relationship with other villagers was that of an outcast. She was probably shunned by the other women who would normally go to the well together with their water jars earlier to escape the heat of the day.
Jesus told us why she was probably shunned by the village. She was living an immoral life having five husbands and living with one that was not her husband. The Samaritans were a moral people who tried endeavored to honor the LORD God and to keep His commandments and Laws.
When Jesus spoke to the woman at the well He broke Jewish custom and traditions. She was a Samaritan woman and traditionally despised by the Jews just because she was Samaritan. When Jesus asked her for a drink of water that means He would have been ceremonially unclean if He had used the cup she gave Him.
This Samaritan woman had a boldness to speak to Jesus even though He knew her imperfections. The woman at the well was isolated, without friendship and alone. This is a state many of us find ourselves today. We find ourselves in this condition not necessarily because of an immoral life style but because our life style is not what the worldly encourage us to have.
Do we have a boldness to go to the people who have shunned us and reach out to our Lord and Savior? She invited the people of her village to come and see the man who told her all she ever did. The people of the village were receptive and begged Jesus to stay with them.
It was by reaching out to the Samaritans that Jesus gives hope to all of us that there is not state we can be in that He is not there with us. The woman of the well was an outcast who brought many of the Samaritans to Jesus.
It’s interesting that the Sanhedrin rejected Jesus as the Messiah, the outcast Samaritans recognized Him, accepted Him as the Savior of the world. The Samaritans were a mixed race of people who had intermarried with the Assyrians. It was because they culturally mixed and had their own version of the Bible and had their own temple on Mount Gerizim that they were so hated. Yet they recognized the Messiah.
Attributes that the Samaritan woman at the well brings to us is she was a woman with a bad reputation, she was poor and she was living in a sinful relationship. We would all agree she was outspoken. She is an example that even though she was living by carnal pleasure she was saved by grace. She was offered divine mercy and the living water of grace. Because of her faith she had a spiritual washing and cleansing of her soul. She goes on to bring others to Jesus.
The woman of the well teaches us that we can obtain eternal life, divine grace, and forgiveness for our sins no matter where we are on our life journey. Jesus made it very clear she needed to confess her sins, change her life and believe on Him before she could obtain the life giving water. She confessed her sins when she acknowledged she had no husband. She knew the Messiah was coming and was called Christ. She believed when Jesus told her He has come and is speaking to you.
John 4:39-42 suggests she repents of her past and runs to tell her family, friends, and neighbors how she met Jesus and how He revealed his knowledge of her sins and His offer of live-giving water, which brings eternal life when you will thirst no more. This woman brought many to Jesus then and is still bringing many to Jesus today.
The Samaritan woman at the well shows the progressive stages of faith in the Messiah. Even though she was an outcast and living a sinful life she had the courage and faith to step out and bring others to Jesus. She is an example that gender, sinfulness, nationality, stereotypes makes no difference to that can bring other to hear Jesus.
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MLA Style Citation:
Holstein, Joanne “Samaritan Woman at the Well:.” Becker Bible Studies Library Jan 2015.< https://guidedbiblestudies.com/?p=2142,>.
APA Style Citation:
Holstein, Joanne (2015, January) “Samaritan Woman at the Well:.” Becker Bible Studies Library. Retrieved from https://guidedbiblestudies.com/?p=2142,.
Chicago Style Citation:
Holstein, Joanne (2015) “Samaritan Woman at the Well:.” Becker Bible Studies Library (January), https://guidedbiblestudies.com/?p=2142, (accessed).