The woman at the well
We’ve heard a lot about the ‘woman at the well’, she was here in the middle of a messy life, had been married five times before and now she was living with a man that wasn’t her husband.
She’d been mistreated, abused, left high and dry and was looking for someone to love her. The man she was with currently didn’t even want to call her his wife! She would’ve felt like a good for nothing, filled with shame and hated by the world around her.
I really feel for this lady…… and so did Jesus.
It’s easy to imagine that she didn’t like to run the daily errand of fetching the water. Maybe she’d venture out at a time when she wouldn’t bump in to too many people. The burden of shame would have weighed so heavy on her shoulders.
I can think of numerous times, before I met Jesus, that I felt this way, can you?
Shamed by the world around her, she didn’t fit in.
That day was different though, that day she had a divine appointment with a Jewish man, who happened to be hanging out at the well!
I want us to picture this lady walking along with her bucket, carrying the burden of her meaningless, hopeless life. All the pain of the rejection she’d faced and probably hurrying so as not to bump in to anyone. Thoughts of bitterness and hurt running through her mind with each step, eyes fixed to the ground on the off chance she might pass someone by……. when suddenly she hears, “Give me a drink of water”.
She slowly looks up from the ground, her heart skips a beat, she’s fearful and wondering who this voice belongs to. Is she safe? What will he want with her? Will he hurt her? Will he treat her the way she’s been treated by all men? Her heart starts to race, her palms go sweaty, her mouth goes dry, her eyes reach His and she asks, “Why would a Jewish man ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink of water?”
What a beautiful moment. What a beautiful picture of our beloved Jesus reaching out to us. The moment we are weighed down with shame, eyes to the ground, the lowest of the low….. He says, “Look up, dear child, give me a drink”.
I’d like us to look not just at the context of this story but also physically what Jesus is doing here.
Jesus is sat upon on a well, a well that was built by Jacob and his ancestors. This well, in particular, is a spring fed well, meaning the water that flows to it is from a larger source of water, further away and led into the well by a spring.
The larger source of water represents creation, Adam and the Fall.
The spring represents Jacobs life and the continuation of sin from Adam and the fall.
The well represents our life.
Jesus is the lid to cut off the sin being drawn from the well and He takes away the pollution. How beautiful is that?
John Chapter 4 verse 13-14 says this:
13 Jesus answered, “If you drink from Jacob’s well you’ll be thirsty again and again, 14 but if anyone drinks the living water I give them, they will never thirst again and will be forever satisfied! For when you drink the water I give you it becomes a gushing fountain of the Holy Spirit, springing up and flooding you with endless life!”
The Greek verb used for “springing up” is hallomenou, and is never used for inanimate objects (water). It is a verb used for people (living things) and means “jumping,” or “leaping up.” The Septuagint translates this verb elsewhere as an activity of the Holy Spirit.
So, this whole conversation of living water goes on. Jesus explains to this lady how He can offer water that is ‘pure’ and ‘full of life’, which leads her to be curious about and then wants to receive it!
Likened to us, we experience Jesus’ goodness in a variety of ways. We come in to His presence and know that there is something more, something pure, something life giving and we decide to pursue this further which is exactly what the woman at the well decided.
Verse 15 goes on to say this:
15 The woman replied, “Let me drink that water so I’ll never be thirsty again and won’t have to come back here to draw water.”
Jesus, in verse 16, then goes on to speak of the sin in her life:
16 Jesus said, “Go get your husband and bring him back here.”
17 “But I’m not married,” the woman answered.
“That’s true,” Jesus said, 18 “for you’ve been married five times and now you’re living with a man who is not your husband. You have told the truth.”
The six men represent humanity, as we learnt in our first lesson (Say Cheers to endless joy) , when Jesus turned water into wine, the number 6 represents man as we were created on the 6th day. This woman is looking to man for her fulfilment. Our hearts can never be satisfied with what we seek or find on earth, we must have the living water that comes from heaven.
Jesus is our 7th husband the only one that will ever satisfy us.
2 Corinthians 11:2 You need to know that God’s passion is burning inside me for you, because, like a loving father, I have pledged your hand in marriage to Christ, your true bridegroom. I’ve also promised that I would present his fiancée to him as a pure virgin bride.
Jesus is saying to the woman at the well and to all of us today:
“My dear child, you’ve tried to fill your heart with things that aren’t of me. I’m here to take all of that away. Let me cut off that polluted water, give it all to me, and give me a drink of your heart, let me replace that rotten stinking water with an abundance of my pure love. You will never have to look for anything to fulfil you in this world again if you just take this life-giving water.”
This woman then goes on to logically fit together in her mind what she’s just heard.
19 The woman said, “You must be a prophet! 20 So tell me this: Why do our fathers worship God here on this nearby mountain, but your people teach that Jerusalem is the place where we must worship. Which is right?”
As humans we cannot comprehend the supernatural, we get all logical and think about our strategy towards what He is asking of us. We strive to do things to earn our salvation, or we try in our own strength to cut things out of our lives. We run off preparing a 3-course meal with wine when in actual fact all Jesus is asking for is a drink of pure water.
She steers the conversation on to what she’s religiously been taught. She’s trying to reason in her mind what this will all mean, instead of allowing Him to transform her heart. This woman is wanting to know what this all looks like logically and put it together nice and neatly to live it out practically.
I just love how Jesus steers her away from this religious nonsense! Look what he says next, in verse 21:
Jesus responded, 21 “Believe me, dear woman, the time has come when you won’t worship the Father on a mountain nor in Jerusalem, but in your heart. 22 Your people don’t really know the One they worship. We Jews worship out of our experience, for it’s from the Jews that salvation is made available.23–24 From here on, worshiping the Father will not be a matter of the right place but with the right heart. For God is a Spirit, and he longs to have sincere worshipers who worship and adore him in the realm of the Spirit and in truth.”
The word used for Worship in this portion of scripture in Aramaic is Seged, it means ‘to bow down’ or ‘to surrender’
Like last week where Jesus dealt with the religious beliefs of a moral religious leader we now see Jesus dealing with similar religious beliefs of an immoral shame filled woman, but He’s explaining the exact same thing.
It has absolutely nothing to do with keeping the law, reciting the scriptures, the type of offering we bring or the place they worship but absolutely EVERYTHING to do with the relationship we have with Christ.
Here Jesus is talking to her about her heart, and the faith she holds within her heart for her Father. He goes on to say it’s nothing to do with worshiping in the right place but everything to do with worshipping with the right heart!
The only concern for Jesus here is that she knows Him and His father, that she knows exactly who He is, why He is here and what He wants to do for us all.
25 The woman said, “This is all so confusing, but I do know that the Anointed One is coming—the true Messiah. And when he comes, he will tell us everything we need to know.”
26 Jesus said to her, “You don’t have to wait any longer, the Anointed One is here speaking with you—I am the One you’re looking for.”[Although the woman was confused she moved:
28 All at once, the woman dropped her water jar and ran off to her village and told everyone, 29 “Come and meet a man at the well who told me everything I’ve ever done! He could be the Anointed One we’ve been waiting for.” 30 Hearing this, the people came streaming out of the village to go see Jesus.
The drink that Jesus requires is the drink of our devotion, our surrender our bowing down. He no longer wants us to be filled with the world and conform. This story shows us that he is longing for this woman’s devotion, just as is he longing for ours.
My question for today is how devoted are you?
Would you be able to chuck in your bucket as this woman did and surrender your life to Jesus?
Despite her confusion she went on to lead a whole village to Him, a village full of people that pitied her, could it be that we could do that too?
This weeks Study Scripture is:
John 4:22-24 TPT:
From here on, worshiping the Father will not be a matter of the right place but with the right heart. For God is a Spirit, and he longs to have sincere worshipers who worship and adore him in the realm of the Spirit and in truth.
For more information on the 6 R’s Bible Study CLICK HERE to watch the how to video.
We believe that the word of God is powerful and life changing. When the word of God is applied to your life, you will be renewed!
CLICK HERE for this week’s playlist, songs chosen are:
- Now to Jesus by Philippa Hanna
- Clean by Natalie Grant
- Mighty to save by Hillsong
See you all next Tuesday and don’t forget to check out our YouTube video this Thursday, featuring Rachael and Hayley who will be chatting candidly about John 4:22-23 and what it means to them.
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