The Woman at the Well Part 1
Verse 1-4: “when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John 2 (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples),
3 he left Judea and departed again for Galilee. 4 And he had to pass through Samaria.”
The Samaritans worshiped the same God as the Jews, but had their own version of the Law of Moses, their own priests. Their temple was on nearby Mount Gerizim, and at one time, was pictured on their coins.
The Samaritans considered themselves (not the Jews) to be the true heirs of God's promises to Israel.
They thought that God spoke to His people only through Moses. As a result, the only books in both the "Jewish and Samaritan Bibles" were Genesis through Deuteronomy, and their versions differed in some details.
They both celebrated a number of the same feasts (such as the Passover.) They also believed there would be a Savior, the Messiah.
The Samaritans are descendants of two groups, making them a mixed race:
1: The remnant of native Israelites who were not deported after the fall of the Northern Kingdom in 722 BC.
2: Foreign colonists brought in from Babylonia and Media by the Assyrian conquerors to settle the land with inhabitants who would be loyal to Assyria.
In the 2nd century BC, the Samaritans reportedly helped the Syrians in their wars against the Jews.
Jesus' going to Samaria would be somewhat like going to Iran or Syria in our present day.
Verses 5-7: "So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour."
Most Jews traveling through the Samaritan Countryside would go around Samaria and would only enter the cities to trade.
Jesus deliberately went through Samaria, and in doing so crossed strict cultural boundaries of people with differing gender and moral values. However, as we will see, it was necessary, because He had a divine appointment with the woman at Jacob's Well.
So here Jesus is resting at Jacob's Well, in Jacob's Field, near the city of Sychar in Samaria, and...
VERSE 7-10: "A woman from 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)."
"The Samaritan woman said to him, "How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?" For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans."
Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water."
The Gift of God: The gift of God was His Son, (John 3:16), the benefit was eternal life.
Living water: In Jer 17:13 God refers to Himself as the "Spring of Living Water." (Perpetual life?)
About this Samaritan Woman: Due to her questionable lifestyle, this Samaritan woman was an outcast among her own people. If she had been a Jew, she could have been sentenced to death by "stoning."
She came to draw water in the middle of the day; the other women came in the cool of the day. She came at a time when she would avoid other people.
However, on that particular day Jesus was there, waiting for this woman at the well.
Verses 11-14: "The woman said to him, "Sir, you have nothing to draw water with and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock."
"Jesus said to her, Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again," "but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
Jesus realized that she did not know who He was.
Spring of Living Water: is figurative of the Holy Spirit in the believer (Vines Dictionary)
Never thirst: Jesus said, "Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again,"
I believe God has placed a natural thirst, to know and worship Him, in every human being. Satan realizes this and attempts to lead the ones who do not recognize the true God, into Idol worship, astrology, witchcraft, etc.
Verse 15: "The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water."
At this point, she may not have understood everything Jesus was saying, but apparently had detected something good in Jesus that she had never seen in anyone else.
Verse 16-18: "Jesus said to her, Go, call your husband, and come here." 17 "The woman answered him, I have no husband. Jesus said to her, You are right in saying, 'I have no husband'; 18for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true."
She told Him the truth, but not the whole truth; however, Jesus already knew how she was and the details of her life.
The following Scripture reveals that she was beginning to take Jesus seriously. In the next few verses, she seemed to be questioning her faith, while wanting to know more about Jesus and what He believed.
Verse 19-22: "The woman said to him, "Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship."
"Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews."
The Jews and Samaritans despised each other's worship places. She said, "We worship on this mountain," (which was Mt Gerizim.) A little less than 2900FT in elevation.
That would all be immaterial, because very soon she would neither worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem."
Verses 23: But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him."
He was telling the woman at the well, that the Followers of Christ would soon be indwelled by the Holy Spirit, and would then become the temple of God?
Salvation is from the Jews: From the bloodline of Abraham to Jacob. Jacob's name was later changed to Israel, which became the name of his descendants, and an entire nation.
Verse 24: "God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth."
The new born again Believer becomes the temple, and His Spirit bonds with our spirit.
Verses 25-26: "The woman said to him, "I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things." 26Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am he."
He actually told this Samaritan woman at the well that He was the Messiah. Studies show that this was the only time He voluntarily announced this to anyone, until His appearance before Pilate upon His arrest.
There were other references, such as when He announced the beginning of His ministry by quoting from Isaiah 61; and when Peter proclaimed Him to be the Christ, but this was possibly the only time He revealed His true identity while witnessing.
John the Baptist said he was not worthy to even untie Jesus' shoes, yet here is Jesus reaching out to this Samaritan woman, who was of a different race, a different society, living in adultery.
The woman by the well is a beautiful example of God's love and total acceptance. A love that accepts us where we are. Jesus, the King of kings, went out of His way to find and to offer this woman by the well, a place in His coming kingdom.
This woman, without a name, and who doesn't appear again in Scripture, was an outcast in her own society. Jesus reached out to her and she reached back.
We can only wonder how many millions she has witnessed to over the centuries, and she has certainly witnessed to me.