In the scriptures, the Woman at the Well is a very captivating and significant story. I long to complete a devotional on the passage in John chapter 4 that I started about four years ago because of all that I have gleaned from the story.
I will share with you some insights I have learned from it….
Therefore when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (although Jesus Himself was not baptizing, but His disciples were), He left Judea and went away again into Galilee. And He had to pass through Samaria. So He came to a city of Samaria called Sychar, near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph; and Jacob’s well was there. So Jesus, being wearied from His journey, was sitting thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
At the beginning of His earthly ministry, Jesus took His disciples through Samaria, which was very odd since all Jews were ordered not to enter into the land because it was seen as unclean. The Samaritans were considered a “mongrel” people. They had blended Jewish customs with their pagan beliefs and rituals. Many Samaritans worshipped the Hebrew God, but they did not know Him.
There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.
So, to enter into this land was taboo, yet here was God Himself in the land. He rests on a well, not just any well, but the well of His fathers; Abram built an altar here, it is where Isaac met Rebecca, Jacob named the site El-Ehohe-Israel (God, God of Israel).
Wells had great meaning in scripture. They symbolized the presence and provisions of God. Many men in the Old Testament met their brides by the well; Moses, Isaac, and Jacob.
Now Jesus is about to meet a woman who will become part of His church….His bride.
The Sixth Hour
The time of day is significant because it was noon when the sun was at its highest. We are told in Genesis 24:11 that the women usually came to the well in the evening time when the hot sun is low in the land and the water would be cool for drinking.
So, why would she go out at noon when the sun is highest? Surely the water would be hot. Perhaps, it is because she wanted to avoid the other women?
Later, Jesus explains to her that the water she has come to draw will not satisfy her. This water in the stagnant well will cause her to thirst again. Isn’t that how it is with earthly things tainted with sin? Instead, He tells her:
but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.
A well of water springing up to eternal life! What a word picture! Water springing out and up…not stagnant in a deep dark hole, but living water. How does she respond?
The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty nor come all the way here to draw.”
Who wouldn’t want this water? But Jesus has to reveal Himself to her first. So, He confronts her sin. Now we know why she comes to the well at noon in order to avoid others:
He said to her, “Go, call your husband and come here.” The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus *said to her, “You have correctly said, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly.”
A Life Changed
Yes, we discover that the woman is living in sin. But, there is hope for her. Jesus takes this time in His ministry to reveal Himself as the Messiah…the Promised One sitting on the well of His fathers. He is the Promise Fulfilled!
So, does the woman continue on with her task of drawing water? No. As with anyone who comes in contact with Jesus Christ…she is forever changed:
So the woman left her water pot, and went into the city and said to the men, “Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done; this is not the Christ, is it?” They went out of the city, and were coming to Him.
She left her water pot….and many came to Him!
Have you left your water pot by the stagnant well? So many of us have met Jesus, but continue on drawing lifeless water. Now is the time that we leave our daily tasks behind and drink the Living Water!
Think about it.
Are you a changed life? Leave the water pot and go tell others about the Man who is The Christ!
Your Turn: What lessons did you glean from The Woman at the Well? How have you left your water pot to further the Gospel message?