Have you ever been seeking the LORD, wanting Him to speak into your life and answer all of your unanswered questions, and yet so caught up in your physical world that you were unable to receive His wisdom right before your very eyes? How is it that we can study the Scripture and miss the Light that is the lamp for our feet and the illuminator for our path (Ps 119:105)? Jesus Christ is the Word, the Light, and our Life. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind” (John 1:1-4 NIV). We have the Word, we have Jesus Christ, so how do we miss His Light and His wisdom for our daily lives? How can we seek His face, but miss His presence? Let us dig into the Scripture for wisdom. Enter into the story of the Samaritan woman, not with all the presumptions that man has added to the story, but with insights from the Word of God.
Remember, the Samaritans had the same roots as the Jews. They were the ten tribes of Israel that made up the Northern Kingdom when the monarchy was divided after King Solomon died. The original twelve tribes of Israel were divided, ten to the north and two in the south. Both the Northern and Southern Kingdoms disobeyed God, and He sent them into captivity (1 Kgs 11:43-2 Kgs 25:30). After the division and captivity, the Northern and Southern tribes despised one another. Now, let us enter into the story savoring the details in our hearts.
“He [Jesus] left Judea and went back once more to Galilee. Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, ‘Will you give me a drink?’(His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)The Samaritan woman said to him, ‘You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?’ (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.’ ‘Sir,’ the woman said, ‘you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?’ Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’ The woman said to him, ‘Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.’
He told her, ‘Go, call your husband and come back.’ ‘I have no husband,’ she replied. Jesus said to her, ‘You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.’ ‘Sir,’ the woman said, ‘I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.’ ‘Woman,’ Jesus replied, ‘believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.’The woman said, ‘I know that Messiah’ (called Christ) ‘is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.’ Then Jesus declared, ‘I, the one speaking to you—I am he.’
Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, ‘What do you want?’ or ‘Why are you talking with her?’ Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, ‘Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?’ They came out of the town and made their way toward him.
Meanwhile his disciples urged him, ‘Rabbi, eat something.’But he said to them, ‘I have food to eat that you know nothing about.’ Then his disciples said to each other, ‘Could someone have brought him food?’ ‘My food,’ said Jesus, ‘is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true.I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.’
Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, ‘He told me everything I ever did.’So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. And because of his words many more became believers.They said to the woman, ‘We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world’” (John 4:2-42 NIV). Praise be to God! May Christ be glorified!!
The woman is standing in the presence of the Messiah, the One she knew was coming, the One who would explain everything, and yet it took her a while to transition into a spiritual conversation with Christ. He offers her living water, and she looks to the physical well and the fact that He has nothing to draw the water. Her concentration remains in the physical until Jesus reveals her marital situation, and then immediately, she moves into the spiritual conversation for she thinks He is a prophet. She wants to know where they are to worship. Yes, she does want to know where they should physically worship, but at least she’s engaging in spiritual matters instead of fulfilling her physical needs of needing water to quench her thirst. She was trying to process through the conversation with thoughts formatted from the physical world, while Jesus was trying to quench her spiritual needs with living water. “To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life” (Rev 21:6 NIV). How often do we struggle unnecessarily in the same way? We thirst for spiritual connection to Christ in our daily lives, and yet our focus is all wrapped up in the physical aspects of our world. So, how can we be more in tuned to Christ speaking into our lives? How can we practice living to the truth of the Spiritual? May we be blessed to live in the spiritual Light of life and quickly align our thoughts with Jesus Christ. I believe it is a process in which we grow as we journey to know Him more each day. When Jesus reveals to her that He is the Messiah, she immediately returns to her town to share the good news with everyone. Many believed on her testimony and then after they spend time with Him, they come to know Him as the Savior of the world. Praise be to God!!
Jesus also took the disciples on a journey from the physical to the spiritual. The disciples wanted Him to eat some food, and Jesus responded by telling them that He had food they knew nothing about. Then He draws them into a teaching moment on the harvest of eternal life. How often do you think our thoughts are on mere “human concerns” when Christ is trying to lead us deeper into the “concerns of God” (Matt 16:23 NIV)? Paul told us: “Everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ” (Phil 2:21 NIV). May we focus on Christ and spiritual truth as we walk this physical journey of life. May we not only study the Scripture but may it become our Life breath and Light. To God be the glory.