For a few weeks, I have been diving into the word of John chapter 4. Many of you may know the beautiful story of John 4, as it is often used in ministry studies and church sermons. This is the story of the Samaritan Woman. Or the Woman at the Well.
The context of this story holds a powerful display of Jesus’s purpose to come and save everyone regardless of social status, socioeconomic title, cultural customs, or past history. For those who may not know this story, I will provide a brief summary to explain, but I challenge you to meditate on this word over the following days as it is vital to know in your hearts.
Back in Jesus’ days on earth, the Samaritan population was considered “dirty” as it was the Jews that married outside of their ethnicity (half Jewish, half Gentiles). Being a Jew meant you were in the bloodline lineage of Jesus Christ, so the fact they married outside their cultural norms was a disgrace. In fact, there was hatred towards the Samaritans. However, Jesus came to change all of that, Jews & Gentiles, He came for every one of us. But culturally, the Samaritans were not classy or respected before the revelations of Jesus were known. They were seen as dirty, unfit, and a disgrace to the current society. On top of that, women were also lesser than men. Women were not to be talked to by males, especially not in public according to cultural standards at the time.
Well, are you ready for it? (no pun intended 😉 )
While Jesus was on His way to the town of Galilee, He made a stop in Samaria. He rested next to a well, Jacob’s well, to replenish & rest from His journey (John 4:6). While sitting by the well, a Samaritan woman walked to the well. At noon. The hottest hour of the day because no other woman would be retrieving water at the hottest, most uncomfortable hour of the day. Most women at the time would go to the well at dawn and dusk to retrieve their water. But not this woman.
She’s a social outcast. A big one. For one, she was a woman. For two, she was a Samaritan woman. For three, she had many husbands. All three strikes concluded the biggest social outcast in her town.
But Jesus did not care. In fact, He strikes up a conversation with her. Please read this portion for yourself. It is a quite charming revelation to see Jesus voicing that He is the living water. Not the well the woman was retrieving water from. He strikes up a divine conversation with the biggest social outcast, the woman at the well.
Eventually, this woman is one of the first to know and see Jesus as the promised Messiah. The prophecies, praises, and worship that the woman had heard about and waited for. He came. He is standing right in front of her. A woman. A Samaritan Woman.
After Jesus reveals that He is the Messiah (John 4:26, NIV). The woman leaves her water jar, goes back to the town, and says “Come see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah (John 4:28-29, NIV)?” Then the passage continues “They came out of the town and made their way to him” (John 4:30, NIV).
Can I share with you an interpretation that I realized?
It’s about the water jar. The large hearthstone pitcher that she carried every day to fill. I have no doubt it was heavy, as you know water in volume can be lumbersome. She didn’t carry that water jar back to town.
She left the water jar behind.
She left it behind to share that she had visited Jesus with everyone else. Now mind you, in the New Living Translation, John 4:28 states that “The woman left her water jar beside the wells and ran back to the village, telling everyone…” She ran back. To the town that once made her so ashamed of who she was.
But this time, the living water, the living well of Jesus was within her. So much so, she didn’t carry her water jar, she forgot it in the midst of translation & excitement of running back to the very shameful place, the town that disowned who she was because of her identity. That’s what happens when Jesus becomes our new identity, the living water that never runs out or runs dry. And that living water is offered to anyone who is willing to believe that He is the Messiah.
She left behind her history. Her humiliating past. Her dishonoring identity. Her shame of having to come to the well at noon was to avoid the crowds that would make sure she felt the burden of her identity and past history with men.
Much like the fishermen leaving their fishing nets to follow Jesus (Luke 5:11,NIV)
Much like Rahaab leaving prostitution to follow Jesus (Joshua 6:25, NIV)
Much like Ruth leaving her home to follow Jesus (Ruth 1:16, NIV)
And like the Samaritan Woman leaving her water jar to follow Jesus.
So here is the question for you…
What is holding you back from fully following Jesus? What do you need to let go of to “run” in so much excitement and proclaim the good news of Jesus?
Do you need to let go of Control? Pride? Comfortability? People pleasing? Financial contentment? Social status? Past history? Fears? Lies? Our water jars can seem so important, but when we meet Jesus, we need to drop them and run for Him.
Your water jar is meant to be left behind. You are called to run into the town and tell people about Jesus. Even to tell the ones who have wronged us & shamed us. To evangelize the good news of Jesus Christ. Regardless of your past identity and history. It looks different for everyone on how and where we share the good news of Jesus, but Jesus is worth telling everyone.
The water of the physical water jar was never for us to carry because we have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus. He is our living water. It dwells within us and it will never leave us thirsty. Meeting Jesus for ourselves should electrify our hearts to want to share the goodness of Him in our neighborhoods, workplaces, friend groups, and our families. Let us fully embrace His invitation to meet us where we are, and let Him be our never-ending source of love. A well of living water within us.
With all my heart,
Like this post? Check out my other blog posts!
Struggling with Perfectionism?
Feeling like You are in a Life Slump?
Stuck in a Hard Season Currently?
Why New Year Resolutions Do Not Work?
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.