The Woman at the Well

This message is for mothers, women, young ladies, girls and, yes, men too. In John 4, Jesus allows us to see our loving Father and how He gently stirs us on the path that He has laid before us. It doesn’t matter how far off the path we may be. We see a woman, a Samaritan, one who was looked down upon by the Jews because of her culture, race, and religion. She especially was looked down upon by the women of her culture for the way they perceived her to be. They did not even ask or try to see who she really was or ask what she was really going through.

Younger women in the home gathered the water, and this was done usually in the evening when it was cooler. The Samaritan woman would come alone in the middle of the day, the hottest part of the day, to draw her water than to contend with the looks and tongues of those who scorned her. This woman makes one feel a sadness and a hurt for her. But I am supposing that this woman is like so many people we know who have hidden secrets which begin to leak, but as soon as they do, Christians and others begin to cause scorn and hurtful talk. Then when they truly need us, they build a wall against those who brought that scorn or hurt. Sometimes it is church folk hurting church folk with their religious acts of condemnation and self-righteousness.
You have to imagine where the mind of this woman was and imagine it in this present day. This woman, girl, or however you may want to call her, was beaten down by this world. Scripture doesn’t really go into her life but gives us just enough to make some assumptions. She was a young woman who we know by what is written had five husbands and was now living with a man, shacking up as we older women would say. We also have to know that Jesus told her more about herself than what was written, because in Verse 29 she tells the people to “Come see a man who told me all things that I ever did.” Jesus told her about those hidden secrets that we women know how to carry in our bosom so well. I am finding that men carry secrets as well and often resemble these women. How lonely, thirsty, and hungry she had been for years. She had looked everywhere, tried everything, but nothing, no material thing, and no human thing could fill this void, this unsettling place, this emotional up and down.

Jesus was on His way to Galilee, but the scripture says in Verse 4 that He needed to go through Samaria. I believe that this woman, perhaps in her loneliness, called out to God in her way of calling out. She knew about the coming Messiah, because she spoke of things that only someone who knew a little something about God would have known. My belief is that she was calling out to God for comfort or to show her a new way. God heard her cry, and Jesus needed to go. It is awesome how He did it. Jesus sent His disciples away to get food, and He waited by the well. God knows all things. He knows your every move and how to get your attention in the little things. You are going about your day as usual, focused only on your problem, and just wanting not to contend with people. There comes a little hiccup in your daily routine, but just as the Samaritan woman thought this was just a man and a Jew, so there wasn’t a worry in being spoken to or asked anything. It was the custom for men to not speak to women in open public, and Jews didn’t because of their dislike of Samaritans.

But this man spoke, and it changed her life. Jesus told her, “I see and know all things. I know about the voids, the shame, and feeling like you can’t get it right no matter how you try. I know you’ve been struggling to get this thing right. I heard you when you said, ‘It’s just not working for me.’ I see those who are supposed to be devout lovers of Me scorn you, disgrace you, hurt you, and cause you to feel like you are nothing.” Jesus also said, “Because of what you have been though, because of where your mind is right now, because of the way people treat you and have treated you, the way you feel about yourself, I needed to come right here, up in your face today, alone just you and Me. I sent those away so that it can be just you and Me. I need to tell you that I have something for you, that the thirst you feel and the void you know so well to be empty can be filled, and that if you drink of this water that I will give you, you will never thirst again. But the water that I shall give you will become in you a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” Verses 13-14).

This living water Jesus talked about refers to the Holy Spirit whose presence causes not only eternal life but endless blessings. John 7:37-38 begins with Jesus saying: “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” Verse 39 tells us He was speaking of the Holy Spirit for those who believed in Him would receive, for the Holy Spirit was not yet given because Jesus was not yet glorified. Jesus said in John 16:7: “I leave with you a Comforter” (Helper, Counselor, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, and Standby). One whose presence brings endless blessings. Jesus said: “Everything that the Father has is mine.” He goes on to say: “That is what I meant when I said the Holy Spirit will take the things that are mine and will reveal (declare, disclose, transmit) them to you.” When Jesus was crucified, He gave us a gift that we can never repay. This Samaritan woman in all of her mess, right there in that time before Jesus died and rose again, could have been in despair, discouragement, anger, hurt, and probably depressed. But Jesus told her: “Come, take a drink of what I have to offer, because I came to overcome it all. I told you these things, because in Me you may have peace and confidence, for I have overcome the world. Yes, in this world you will have tribulation, trials, distress and frustration, but be of good cheer, I have deprived it of all power to harm you and have conquered it for you” (John 16:33).

Do you get it? It is already done. There is nothing you could ever need that Jesus hasn’t already done. Even when people scorn and be little you. Jesus tells us He has given us a Helper to comfort, strengthen, and even counsel us in those times and be the one who will stand by us. He said, “I will never leave you.” We should never have to stay in despair, discouragement, or discontentment with men or women, because Jesus has overcome. Be of good cheer. Any trial or tribulation that comes you way, you have to remember, “Okay, Jesus said these will come, but He has given me a peace and
conviction, and He said to be of good cheer. He has overcome. This thing can’t hurt me, because He has deprived it of all power to harm me and has conquered it.”

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Stephanie Whitted is the Founder and President of Women of Excellence Inc. She is an ordained Minister and is the Associate Minister at Bread of Life Church in Rustburg VA. She is also the presiding minister of the Fearsome Four. Stephanie and her husband James has three children.
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