Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Woman at the Well

The Samaritan Woman

"When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 
(John 4:7)

Satisfied

Unquenchable, undeniable thirst drives so many of us into the desperate pursuit of things, relationships or status often leaving us empty and more unsatisfied as when we began our search. Often the desire to fill the dry places in our lives lead to poor life choices. Perhaps we have tied ourselves to men who were not worthy of our value. Maybe we have sacrificed faith and family for upward mobility or financial gain. Or ironically we faithfully serve others weekly, daily in our faith community only to find ourselves totally spent and in need of encouragement. We ask ourselves “Where am I and how did I get here?"

Jesus knows where we are. Just like He knew where she was.

Well, who is she?

A woman like many of us. A woman silenced by the shame of her choices. A woman whose relationships failed to supply the value she needed. She is a woman searching for spiritual answers despite living what many would label a disgraceful life. A woman we get to know only by her location; a woman of Samaria making her way to a well. Read her story John 4:1- 40

“He had to pass through Samaria” John 4:4

We start this story looking at Jesus as He is traveling with the disciples. Jesus was clearly on an appointment to meet her: this nameless woman of mixed heritage from a rival ethnic group with more than a few bad relationships under her belt.

We know from Matthew’s account that Jesus tells his disciples not to go to Samaria (Matthew 10:5) to share the gospel. But we read in the previous scripture that Jesus seemed almost compelled and led to go there when we read this account in John 4:4 of the King James version.

“And he must needs go through Samaria.”

So here we find Jesus in Sychar, a city of Samaria, tired from his journey approaching a well where He stops to rest.

And then she comes, this woman of Samaria in the middle of the day. We have no name just her location and the knowledge that she is completely alone. Drawing water from Jacob's well is the setting of this powerful moment of exchange between her and the Lord. In his thirst, Jesus asks her for a drink of water and totally surprised, she asks him in so many words “why do I deserve your attention?”

“How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?”

But this dialogue between her and Jesus is not about water at all. It’s about thirst. It is about the desire we all have to be valued, to be part of a community, to understand truth and have our most pressing questions answered.

As we continue to read, we learn that this Samaritan woman had some challenges in her personal life. Men. Yes, she is like most of us! It is unclear if she was the victim of flawed self-concept, poor decision making, or the casualty of bad circumstance after bad circumstance. But we do know she came to the well that day alone in the middle of the day when no one else was around.

Quickly, Jesus responds with his reason for being there.

“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.”

He is there to satisfy this thirst that men and empty human rituals never soothed in her life. He uncovers the deepest expression of her dissatisfaction, her string of broken relationships. What I love about this lady is her transparency. I believe she knew that this man at the well was different. And this opportunity to be so open with this stranger was the chance to get fresh insight on her life and perspective.

Amazingly, when Jesus prophetically exposes her condition, she doesn't ask for relationship advice. She doesn't inquire what she is doing wrong to attract these “wrong men” that have left her shamed. But she does ask in her own way how do I reach God.

I love the Lord’s response. He says, “Lady you don’t know what or who you worship.”

He shares that worship is not outward -- it is inward. True religion is not vain repetitions or empty religious practice or even a location but is a pure, living and transformative connection with God. True worship is the place of contact to receive this living water.

“Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst…”

This divine meeting between the Samaritan and Jesus serves as the revelation that people, places, and things can never completely satisfy the heart.

So this unknown woman who arrived at the well alone and met Jesus got something I believe she had been trying to obtain all her life.

Value.

Christ validated her worth by talking to her, teaching her and revealing his divinity to her. Transformation came to her at the well.

“The woman then left her water pot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” Then they went out of the city and came to Him.”

This woman probably shunned by the women of her city, disdained by men and possibly lived a life of regret in one afternoon changed from the inside out. Christ met her need for belonging and purpose as He passed through Samaria.

Within one day this woman went from shame and unimportance to confidence and significance.

“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 today I ask this. Woman are you satisfied?

Are you ready to quench that thirst that stuff, status, or sex can never completely satiate?

If you are Jesus is too. He knows you’re name. He knows your exact location, and He is ready to satisfy your heart.

Bible Scripture references: John 4:1-42


Wanda Lovale McCall

Wanda Lovale McCall is a biblical teacher, Pastoral & Temperament Life Coach, and professional critical care nurse. She co-pastors End Time Harvest World Training Center with her husband Dr. Nathan McCall in the amazing city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Wanda has served the ministry as a worship leader, youth teacher and ETH Bible Training Center curriculum creator and instructor. She is the happy mother of two talented daughters, Namarah and Seanna and the wife of one extraordinary man, Dr. Nate McCall.




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