The Woman at the well
The Samaritan woman is the first recorded evangelist in the bible and many Samaritans turned to Christianity as a result of her ministry. What I like most about her story is how Jesus reaches out to a woman on the outside of society and shows her grace and love and as always the result of this encounter with our Lord is both amazing and encouraging and lives are always transformed. We can learn much from these little stories, these brief meeting which change lives.
If we look at the margins of the biblical text we always meet the un- named, the poor, the broken, the unnoticed quietly following Jesus showing extraordinary faith and obedience. We can learn so much from those unnamed people and one such unnamed is the woman at the well.
We meet her at the village well in the middle of the day when the sun is at its hottest. This woman must avoid interaction with the other women in her community, she doesn’t meet and chat and catch up at the well like the other women. She must make her way there in shame with her head held low because of her position in society. She has had five husbands, she is a woman of dubious morals and because of this the rest of the community has rejected her. Here is a woman on the very edges of society, pushed out and excluded; rejected by everyone and yet Jesus reaches out to her, he ignores the prejudices of society, breaks all the rules and as a result of his grace and love he transforms her, he uses her to share the good news, he chooses her to serve him.
This encounter changes the woman’s life as she comes face to face with Jesus just as our lives will change when we too gaze into his face.
When Jesus reveals himself to her as the messiah and tells her that he offers living water she cant wait to run to the village and tell everyone else, she cant wait to share the good news and it is these people who have turned against her, who hurt her maligned her, bullied her and rejected her that she runs towards. Because once touched by Jesus her fear disappears and all she wants to do is share this amazing news with her persecutors so that they too may be saved and know the living water which is Jesus Christ. Once you have known the grace of God, you can do no other than pour our grace to those who hurt you.
This woman has seen the face of Jesus and she no longer has any thought for herself and she doesn’t care what others may think of her, her first thought is how can I bless others. For her the most important thing in her life is to now tell others about Jesus - this amazing man who looked upon her, sin and all and offered her clear living water. This man who knew her and all she was and yet didn’t judge her or reject her. This man who looked into her face of shame and took her sins away that she might live again.
This encounter transformed her because by coming face to face with Jesus she lost her fear and she lost her shame and in its place she found courage and a passion to share the good news; this encounter changed her life she became new in Christ.
She leaves her old life behind as she leaves her water at the well because now she is now filled with living water and so she runs towards those who rejected her to share the good news. here is a woman who was thirsty for the living water of Jesus she was thirsty;
1. thirsty for PURPOSE
2. thirsty for HOPE
3. thirsty for PEACE
Living water satisfied those longings in her heart which she probably didn’t even recognize until she met with Jesus and suddenly her life has purpose, she has hope and she has a desire for peace. Jesus saw beyond the sin, He didn’t see her through
the worlds eyes, he saw her thirst and he quenched it.
The disciples are shocked by Jesus’s actions and they cannot understand why he should firstly speak to a woman and secondly an unclean Samaritan woman. They see her with the world’s eyes and the worlds eyes made judgment over whether she should be saved.
I wonder if we ever find ourselves doing that? Deciding who we want to share the good news with, who we want to join our church, who can and cant be saved? If we ever do, we need to start praying and ask Jesus to show us others through His eyes and not the distorted eyes of the world. When we see others through the eyes of Jesus our prejudice is lifted and we see people for who they can be and not what they were. We have no right to judge others, Jesus didn’t come to judge us so why should we judge our brothers and sisters? Jesus died because of our sin, not His so what right have we to judge others of their past? What right have we to keep them from the living waters?
In Christ all things are made new, the living water of Christ washes us clean and the blood of the lamb covers us so that we can step out in faith putting the past behind us, leaving behind the person we once were, stepping out in faith to be the people God wants us to be.
I can hardly recognize the person I was ten years ago and when I was asked on interview for the ministry where will you be in ten years? I said I don’t know, but I am excited about it because ten years ago I wasn’t a Christian, I wasn’t the woman God wanted me to be, I wasn’t happy, I had no peace and I was thirsty.
When I came face to face with Jesus my life was transformed and my thirst was quenched and now each and every day I can enjoy the living waters that only Jesus could bring into my life. Once we have tasted the living water, we are filled with hope and purpose because following Jesus is exciting He allows us to let go of our fears and run towards those who frighten us to share the good news with courage and grace.
An encounter with Jesus allows us to accomplish something of eternal value, an encounter with Jesus frees our potential and encounter with Jesus leads to action.
My prayer for you today is that you too come face to face with Jesus each and every day that you may know what it is to drink the living waters which will create a perpetual spring within.