Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Woman at the Well

The Woman

John 4: 7-8

"A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, 'Give Me a drink.' For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food."

We learned that the land of Samaria had special significance to the Jewish person and to God Himself. We learned last time that the well where Jesus waited also had significance to the Jewish person and to God Himself.

The setting is rich with history and meaning!

Now, the stage is set, the scene is prepared, and the players are all in place:

-Jesus, the Promise of God, God in the flesh, sits at the well of Jacob where so many men of God had met their future wives. 

-The Samaritan woman, who is not named here perhaps because her earthly name is not needed for she is about to become a new creation in Christ.

-And the disciples. They have followed their desires and needs of the flesh. They have gone to buy food to satisfy their hunger...and look at what they missed! If only they had been more patient like Jesus...if only we were more patient like Jesus.

Imagine all that we have missed because we were so concerned with our physical needs being met.


God Remembers

Please read:

Ez. 16:51-59

53 “I will restore their fortunes, both the fortunes of Sodom and her daughters, and the fortunes of Samaria and her daughters, and I will restore your own fortunes in their midst, 54 that you may bear your disgrace and be ashamed of all that you have done,becoming a consolation to them. 55 As for your sisters, Sodom and her daughters shall return to their former state, and Samaria and her daughters shall return to their former state, and you and your daughters shall return to your former state.

We see here that the Lord remembered what He swore He would do to Samaria. Restoration was about to come.

Let's continue:

Who was this woman?

-We see here that the woman came to draw from the well for herself. She had no servants. So she must have been poor. She came at noon...an unusual time of day for women to draw water.

Gen 24:11-And he made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water at the time of evening, the time when women go out to draw water.

Ex 2:15-16-15 When Pharaoh heard of it, he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from Pharaoh and stayed in the land of Midian. And he sat down by a well. Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came and drew water and filled the troughs to water their father's flock.

In this historical time period, the time to draw from the well was evening when the water would be cool. And it also seems the custom was for the women to gather at the well to draw water together.

Why was the woman going to the well at noon when the water would be warm? Why was she alone?Perhaps the Samaritan was ashamed and did not want to see other women? Yet, our Lord knew she would come at this time and not at evening time. The providence of God.

-Jesus was alone. He had walked a long way. His disciples went to buy food, but Jesus knew that water is more important than food. The human body can live weeks without food, but only a few days without water.

Jesus knew of a different food:

Matt 4:4- “‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
    but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Concerning the woman, Jesus focuses in on her needs ahead of the needs of the whole town. Their time would come, but now Jesus centers in on the woman at the well.

-Finally, Jesus lowers Himself to speak to this woman. He appears without servants to do His work for Him. She would see Him as a poor Jewish traveler.

Phil 2:5-7  Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,  but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

Life Application

In this passage, we see the humanity of Jesus. He was weary. He was thirsty.

By witnessing the humanity of Jesus, we are convicted with the fact that He did not give in to His earthly needs or desires. He was weary, yet did he go to sleep? Was He so impatient to fulfill His thirst that He drew His own water? He is God...He could have ordered the water to rise up and meet Him where He stood.

Yet, He waited.

How many of us are ruled by our own desires to the point of disobeying and rushing into things without waiting for the Lord to meet us there? I know I do it all the time.....yet we can learn from Jesus not to be ruled by our lusts or desires for material things, or our need for food, or people.

That is why we turn to Christ.

He was 100% man.

Jesus had hunger and fatigue. He had sorrow (Luke 22:39-46 & John 11:35,38) and we know He felt pain.

He was even tempted! And because of this, we now have an example to follow:

Heb 4:15,16-15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Because Jesus passed the tests of temptation, now we can go to Him, confident that He is the Helper we need.

John 5:19, 30:

"Then Jesus answered and said to them, 'Most assuredly I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.....I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me."

Your turn:  Do you see yourself in the woman at the well? How does she compare to you and how does your life compare to hers? Would you go to the well alone? What about the disciples? Have you ever put your physical needs ahead of your spiritual needs?

Until next time.............

“When we understand the character of God, when we grasp something of His holiness, then we begin to understand the radical character of our sin and hopelessness. Helpless sinners can survive only by grace. Our strength is futile in itself; we are spiritually impotent without the assistance of a merciful God."

Dr. R.C. Sproul



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