John 4:1-26, John 4:28-30, John 4:39-42
Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that He was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John — although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but His disciples. So He 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.”
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.
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.”
This Samaritan woman had been searching for something, but she had looked in the wrong place — she had had five husbands and was with a sixth man. She was filled with shame, coming to gather water at high noon, well after all the other women had finished that chore. Then Jesus spoke with her and said He was the Messiah and the living water, echoing Isaiah 12:3:
With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
What did the woman do next? How, in your life, has Jesus been like “a spring of water welling up to eternal life,” changing shame into worship?
Excerpted with permission from The Hope of Easter, copyright Zondervan.
* * *
What must that have been like for her? She had been hiding, avoiding, hardened by her sin and circumstances but Jesus took all of that off of her and freed her completely! She walked in shame no more! And everyone around her could see the change! ~ Devotionals Daily