Read John 4:1-42
In this portion of Scripture, we continue to see the rise in the ministry of Jesus. He just left Judea and was returning to Galilee. As he journeyed back, he went through a town called Samaria, were he had a divine encounter with a woman - a woman who was/is a picture of humanity as a whole on many levels, as we will see.
It is interesting that Jesus chose this woman, one who was no doubt despised by many to reveal His true Identity and nature. Jesus shares several foundational doctrines with her. True to his nature, he uses the physical to reveal the spiritual.
As Jesus was resting by the well, a woman came to draw water. She came at an hour in which is unusual for women, and even more so, she was alone. Why is this?
Much to her surprise, Jesus - a Jew, asks her for a drink of water. What a fiery woman! Her response is sure and strong; perhaps even a bit sarcastic. Jesus as usual, gets straight to the point.
"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
Naturally her response is in the now - how are you able to do this? You have nothing to draw with, she says. She goes on to question him by bringing up her ancestors. Un-phased, Jesus sticks to the point. Again, she responds in the now: Give me this water so I don't have to keep coming to this well.
This bold woman was thrown for a loop when Jesus asked her to go get her husband. Jesus displayed his Deity by telling her about her current state. While taken back, she continued to question him and again he gave her Divine answers. Then in Verse 26, He plainly said, "I who speak to you am He". This is the first of many times Jesus used this "I am He" and/or "I Am" statement, revealing who he was/is so that no one will be able to say they were unsure of His indentity. This we will see in later chapters.
After their conversation, the woman dropped her pot of water and ran back to the city. There she told the men all that she just experienced.
THE RESPONSE OF HIS DISCIPLES
When His disciples saw him speaking to this woman, they were shocked and curious; this being more evidence of what the Jews felt torward the Samaritans, especially a woman. Of course, none of them dared ask him. Instead, they brought up food. Again, Jesus used the opportunity to share the spiritual and tells them that his "food" is to do the will of Him (His father) who sent him and to finish His work.
He goes on to tell His disciples that they to have work to do. Jesus was laying the foundation and sharing a small prophetic word, that soon, they would be responsible to continue the work - the havesting of souls. I love that Jesus doesn't explain himself in regards to why he was speaking to her, but brought them to the point of why he was on earth. This answered their question in a much bigger fashion - to me it says, He went were there was need - no one is excluded. What an example for us when we get caught up in "what are others going to think."
This woman amazes me. Though brought to a place of humilty as her lifestyle is brought to the forefront of her mind, she was unhindered and had no problem telling everyone about this Messiah, who told her all things. The gentleness of her encounter with Jesus gave her such freedom, that her past, and even current situation did not stop her from bringing others to Him.
What was the result?
"And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, "He told me all that I ever did." So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. And many more believed because of His own word. Then they said to the woman, "Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world." John 4:39-42
Wow! What an evangelist this woman was!
As always, there is more to this story. Why did the Jews, "have no dealings with the samaritans? What else can we learn from the statements Jesus made? How can we relate to this woman and the men who later believed? The list goes on. Join in the discussion as we explore these topics.
Discussion questions here.
In the meantime, what are your thoughts? Please share them with us.
(C) Teresa Ortiz - Book of John study 2010 - All rights reserved.