The story of the Samaritan woman at the well can be found in John 4:1-42. I'm going to post those Scriptures in their entirety so that those of you who don't know the story, can read and understand this beautiful lesson in God's Love and Acceptance! Sometimes, I will refer to the Scriptures when the story is as expansive as this but in this case, I feel it to be a necessity to share the entire story here before I continue writing!
The Samaritan Woman Meets Her Messiah:
"Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John v2) (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples), v3) He left Judea and departed again to Galilee. v4) But He needed to go through Samaria. v5) So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. v6) Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour. v7) A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” v8) For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. v9) Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. v10) Jesus answered and said to her, “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.” v11) The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? v12) Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?” v13) Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, v14) but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” v15) The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.” v16) Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” v17) The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ v18) for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.” v19) The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.” v21) Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. v22) You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. v23) But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. v24) God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” v25) The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.” v26) Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”
The Whitened Harvest
v27) And at this point His disciples came, and they marveled that He talked with a woman; yet no one said, “What do You seek?” or, “Why are You talking with her?” v28) The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, v29) “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” v30) Then they went out of the city and came to Him. v31) In the meantime His disciples urged Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” v32) But He said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.” v33) Therefore the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?” v34) Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. v35) Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! v36) And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. v37) For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’ v38) I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors.”
The Savior of the World
v39) 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.” v40) So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. v41) And many more believed because of His own word. v42) 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,[a] the Savior of the world.”
|Living Waters of Jesus Christ|
In His encounter with the Samaritan woman, Jesus broke three major Jewish customs of the time: first, He actually spoke to a woman which was frowned upon; second, she was a Samaritan woman, a specific group of individuals that the Jews traditionally despised; and third, He asked her to get Him a drink of water, which would typically have made Him ceremonially unclean from using HER cup or jar. This shocked the woman at the well. Jesus then told the woman that He could give her "living water" so that she would never thirst again! Ah, to never thirst again! That must have resonated deeply within her spirit even though she didn't understand it clearly just yet! Jesus' use of those words, living water, was simply to refer to eternal life, the free gift that would satisfy her soul's desire that was ONLY available through Him.
They had never met before but Jesus showed her that He knew all about her by revealing she had 5 previous husbands and was now living with a man who wasn't her husband. Jesus had her attention! She was shunned and rejected by the other women of the area for her immorality. They talked about their two views on worship and the woman voiced her faith that Messiah was coming soon. Jesus answered, "I who speak to you am He." Jesus knew her history but still accepted her and ministered to her. By this time, the woman began to grasp the reality of her encounter with Jesus. Shortly after, the disciples returned and was shocked to find Jesus speaking to a woman. She left behind her water jar and returned to town. She invited the people to "Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did." In the meantime, Jesus told His disciples that the harvest of souls was ready, which had been sown by the prophets, writers of the Old Testament, and John the Baptist. The Samaritans were genuinely happy and ecstatic over what the woman had told them and they wanted to know more, they wanted to learn more from Jesus so they asked Him to stay. He stayed two days, as recorded above, and taught the Samaritans about the Kingdom of God. When He left, the people told the Samaritan woman that they heard for themselves now and believe that indeed, Jesus is the SAVIOR OF THE WORLD, recounted in John 4:42!
So now let's take a look at some points of interest from this wonderful story before moving on.
1) Since He interacted and spoke with a woman AND a Samaritan who the Jews clearly shunned, showed that His Gospel message is for EVERYONE, all mankind, and broke barriers for ancient traditions of the roles concerning women of the time.
2) He explained the differences between the water from the well that the Samaritan woman was at, known at Jacob's Well, and the "living water" that Jesus offered as the Messiah, "a spring of water gushing up to eternal life."
3) He loved and accepted the Samaritan woman and told her also, the truth about herself, which was a sign, as Paul stated separately, that NOTHING can separate us from the Love of God the Father.
4) He told her who He was/is.
5) The contrast between the astonishment from His disciples that He spoke to a woman AND her people reacting to her telling them "Come and see a man who told me everything I have done!" showed just how Jesus confounded traditional expectations!
6) The Samaritans were a mixed race people, who had intermarried with the Assyrians centuries before. They were hated by the Jews because of this cultural mixing, and because they had their own version of the Bible and their own temple on Mount Gerizim.
7) In the book of Acts, after Jesus' ascension into heaven, His apostles continued His work in Samaria and to the Gentiles. So by His reaching out to the Samaritans, He showed that His mission was for the entire earth and not just for the Jews.
8) This is also about the ministry of the Gospel as well as we learn from the Samaritan woman who went to her people to witness to them.
|Jesus Loves and ACCEPTS Us!|
These harmful comparisons oftentimes brings on feelings of depression, insecurities, anger, jealousy and a number of other sinful emotions that we weren't meant to feel. As they are left unchecked at the door, if you will, they can be the precursor to dehydrating us. We begin to get thirsty for the things of THIS world and not the things of God and the more we get stuck in the mire of life, the more some people continue to chase those things of the world that they believe will quench their thirst. At the end of the day, as they lay awake in bed, they're still thirsting for a cool drink of water but they can't seem to quench their thirst. We want to be accepted and loved for who we are, for who we are in Christ and from our friends and family, co-workers and bosses, from neighbors and acquaintances. It doesn't always work out that way though. That's the beauty of the story of the Samaritan woman at the well! What a testimony she had! And what a lesson in the power of the love of Jesus for EVERYONE! He didn't judge her. He didn't turn from her. He didn't condemn her. He loved her. He accepted her. He revealed Himself to her. He accepts and loves each of us too. Just the way we are. We need to make the choice though to believe in Jesus, just as the woman at the well did. She was anticipating the Messiah even though she was a broken, hurt and rejected woman! She was a woman of faith, of strong faith and she then went out and ministered to her people what she had experienced in Jesus Christ!
So comparing ourselves to the "man" of this world is like comparing ourselves to our adversary the devil because he is sin. He is the "god" of this world and is the ruler of this world. He is the deceptive one who leads us down that slippery slope in believing those lies of rejection and not being "good enough." He doesn't deserve us! So let's not give him his due. See, Jesus said, in Romans 3:21-26, "But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, v22) even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; v23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, v24) being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, v25) whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, v26) to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus." This is what we need to focus on! We all do fall short of the glory of God because we all have sinned. But look at v24, "being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus," and that alone should be our "ENOUGH" of everything that He IS!
There are many lost souls out there who are so thirsty that they are dehydrated! They've been searching for the water to quench their thirst. The water from the well will only leave them thirsting for more because a drink of water is only meant to quench the thirst temporarily. While the "living water" is meant to quench the thirst ETERNALLY and that's way more important than the water from the well. Lost souls are already dehydrated but their dehydration could be mild, moderate or severe based on where they're at emotionally and mentally. There are also born-again, Christ believer Christians who are also thirsting for the living waters because they've strayed from His word, His instructions and have slipped into the world. Dehydration causes many things to happen in our bodies so let's first look at the definition. It says: 1) Excessive loss of water from the body or from an organ or a body part, as occurs during illness or fluid deprivation. 2) The condition of not containing or being covered by a liquid (especially water). Medically, dehydration means your body does not have as much water and fluids as it should and can be mild, moderate, or severe based on how much of the body's fluid is lost or not replenished. When it is severe, dehydration is a life-threatening emergency.
John 7:37-39, it says, "Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. v38) He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” v39) But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified." So let's ask ourselves, "Since I trust in Jesus Christ as my Savior, has it been my experience that ever-flowing, abundant rivers of living water have gushed up inside of me and flowed out of me?” Well, if we're brutally honest with ourselves, that question should be both convicting and hope-producing. Convicting because none of us, if we’re honest with ourselves and God Almighty, can say, “Yes, those words nailed it! That’s exactly how I'd describe my life since becoming a Christian!” But let's face it, honesty forces us to say, “Well, there's usually been a steady trickle of living water, although there's also been some droughts from time to time that has even dried up. But, occasionally, there's been a creek of living water. But ever-flowing, abundant rivers (which I'll point out is PLURAL)? It'd be a big stretch to describe my Christian life like that!” So Jesus’ words convict me with the barrenness of my walk with Him. And it should convict you too of the same! This is why we need to strive to be in His word daily, chewing the meat of His Word, continually drinking from His cup!
But this also should give us hope too. In Jesus’ words is HOPE. If my life doesn’t match His description here, it can! So can yours! This is a promise from the Son of God to ALL who will come to Him and drink: Out of your innermost being will flow rivers of living water. And notice it's to ALL who believe. Not just some but ALL. In Calvin’s Commentaries [Baker], pp. 308-309, it's described as an ideal that none of us can possess perfectly in the present life because of indwelling sin and because of differing measures of faith. But it’s an ideal in which we can make progress as we walk with the Lord. We really can experience consistent fullness of joy in Him that flows from us to others. And so we should have hope because He who began the good work of salvation in us will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus (Phil. 1:6). But we need to press on toward the goal (Phil. 3:12-16). Jesus Christ blesses all who believe in Him with rivers of the living water of His Spirit so that we will bless others.
It's at this part in this post that I will remind you that God loves us ALL so much that He gave His Only Begotten Son to die on the Cross for ALL of our sins, to pay for our sin-debt in full by the blood that He shed for a debt He didn't owe! It was ours. But God created all of us not to be condemned to Hell, but to have everlasting life with Him in heaven. It's OUR choice where we want to spend eternity. God gave us a choice. He won't, and doesn't, force any of us to choose Him. He wants us to come "willingly" with our full hearts, minds and souls. So, make your choice wisely!
In John 7:37, it states if "ANYONE" is thirsty. “Anyone” is as broad as you can get! It's even extended to Jesus’ enemies, the very ones who were trying to kill Him. Even they could come and drink. It was later extended to a man who described himself as the chief of sinners, the apostle Paul. This is found in 1 Tim. 1:15, "This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief." By giving the offer in the temple, it extended to the religious Jews, who had come to Jerusalem from all over to celebrate the feast of Tabernacles. Even though they were going through all of the prescribed Jewish rituals, those rituals could NOT save them. Religious observances cannot save anyone, then or now. Everyone needs to come to Jesus and drink. EVERYONE. Since the Spirit inspired John to record Jesus’ words here, the offer extends to each of us. It doesn't matter if you grew up in a Christian home and have always gone to church or whether you are a complete pagan or a convicted criminal, THIS OFFER IS FOR YOU: Come to Jesus and drink. No one is excluded. No one is rejected. And to lovingly underscore this truth, the Bible virtually ends by repeating Jesus’ offer in Rev. 22:17, “And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.”
There is just one condition of this promise....you have to be THIRSTY. Jesus cries, “If anyone is thirsty….” You HAVE to be thirsty for God. The Bible often uses that kind of language as we just saw in Rev. 22:17 above. Isaiah 55:1 proclaims, as an invitation to the Abundant Life, “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk Without money and without price.” The psalmist cries out Psalms 42:1, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You, O God.” as a deep yearning for God in the middle of distress! David cries out in Psalms. 63:1, “O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; my soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” And in Revelation 21:6, Jesus says, “I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost.”
Now, it would appear, that being thirsty for God would seem easy enough. But the problem is, because of sin people either don’t recognize their thirst or they seek to satisfy it in wrong ways, in the ways of the world. People don’t usually sense their own desperate need for Christ, and some twisted way, some of those same people seem to be able to point out someone else's need for Christ. In any event, they just don’t feel thirsty for Him. So instead, they try to quench their thirst with many of the wrong things. They tend to think that success, money, fame, sexual pleasure, drugs, false religious teachings that tickle the ears, diversions or other things will satisfy that deep inner thirst. It won't. It actually just leaves you thirstier than when you first realized the "thirst." Thirsting for those worldly things other than God and His glory is the root of all sin. J. C. Ryle observed (Expository Thoughts on the Gospels [Baker], 3:40): "The beginning of all true Christianity is to discover that we are guilty, empty, needy sinners. Till we know that we are lost, we are not in the way to be saved. The very first step toward heaven is to be thoroughly convinced that we deserve hell."
John 7:38 makes clear: “He who believes in Me ….” John repeats “believe” in the clarifying statement of v39. To receive the living water that Jesus offers, come to Him and drink, or in otherwords, BELIEVE IN HIM!
Since the requirement is THIRST, then we ALL have thirsted for a drink of cool flowing water when we've been parched. Our thirst is an indicator of what our body needs in order to function properly. So we drink water. This is a parallel to our THIRST for the "LIVING WATERS" as well. Our spirits thirst for the eternal rivers of living waters so our spirits will be hydrated, full of flowing rivers, and in order for our spirits to function properly, we MUST thirst for Jesus' "LIVING WATERS!" Make Him your own by faith in Him. A river running through the desert does you absolutely NO good if you don’t drink from it. If you choose not to drink from it, then eventually you will become dehydrated and in the severe form, die. So, if you feel thirsty, ask Jesus to satisfy your thirst with His abundant, free salvation. He'll quench your thirst in a way that you won't be able to explain! The breadth of His promise is as wide as humanity. The condition of the promise is that you must be spiritually thirsty. Being spiritually thirsty is that feeling, that knowing, that internal dialogue that lets you know something is "missing." It lets you know you aren't being filled, that your hunger isn't being fed, and that your thirst for TRUTH isn't being quenched by anything of THIS world.
There are many Old Testament Scriptures that link water to God’s abundant blessing on believers. Here are just a few for you to look up, ingest and then DIGEST! Psalms 78:15-16; Proverbs 4:23; Isaiah 44:3; Ezekiel 36:26-27 and 47:1-9; Joel 3:18; Zechariah 13:1 and 14:8. Christ blesses us with abundant rivers of living water so that we will be a source of blessing to others. The rivers flow out of us to others who are thirsty. The world is an extremely barren desert, and people are dying of thirst! They are dehydrated and don't realize just how close to spiritual death they really are. Their dehydration is in the severe stages and they're probably exhibiting some of the "spiritual" symptoms of the physical symptoms listed above! We're to be the living waters that these dehydrated, dying people need. Lost people desperately need what only we who have believed can give them. As they see Christ through us by the fruits of the Spirit, we can tell them how they too can have what we have and lead them to the "living waters."
The rivers of living waters should also flow from us to other believers, especially to those who may be going through a dry spell or a drought. Even Paul and Titus were refreshed by other believers as evidenced in 1 Corinthians 16:18 and 2 Corinthians 7:13. As you’re filled with the Spirit and satisfied in Christ, and you're thirst has been quenched, you can overflow to those around you with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. All these should be flowing freely to even those Christian believers that we find hard to be around.
Don't compare yourself to others because you are unique to God! He created you for a purpose, a special time, and appointed you for a special ministry. His will for you isn't based on someone else. He wants you to drink from His rivers of living waters so you can grow into a strong, loving relationship with Him through Jesus Christ, His Son. He doesn't want you to be jealous of others. He wants you to be content and secure in your own skin. Remember, He has a plan and a perfect Will for each of us individually and what one person has or is going through isn't always what it appears to be upon closer observation. Especially if you tend to compare yourself to unbelievers. These things drain you and empty your souls. They make you thirst for the wrong things and force you to search for the water in the wrong places. When you find yourself thirsting for a drink to fill a void, search not in the world for that water. Seek Jesus and come to Him for His rivers of living waters and drink from Him! Eternity awaits you! Refresh yourself. Keep drinking and keep yourself "hydrated!"
When thirst becomes dehydration, there is only ONE source that will satisfy that internal, spiritual thirst and that's our Lord Jesus Christ! Are YOU dehydrated? Won't you come and take His free gift?