Drops of Living Water: The Woman at the Well
The brilliant sun gleamed off the dirt path, leaving mirrored mirages of puddles along the path.
Her eyes blurred, maybe from sweat and tears, as she made the inclined trek to Jacob’s well. The water vessel she carried grew heavy, much like the burdens and rejections she held in her heart.
Until now, she had endured having not only one failed marriage but five. And not only that, but this woman was fetching her household’s daily water in the middle of the day with the intense heat while other women traveled to the well in the early morning or the evening hours when the temperatures were much cooler.
As she walked along the dirt path, she carried the discouragement of rejection in love and friendship. And in doing so, grew thirsty for meaning, acceptance, and love.
Will You Give Me a Drink?
As she reaches the well, a man comes into view. Why was He resting by the place that women frequented? For men, especially Jewish Rabbis, it was against societal customs to associate with women during the midday, especially women as shunned as she.
He was Jewish, and she was a Samaritan. To be seen in the same vicinity was considered repulsive and unheard of at the time.
In John 4:7, we have an inside look at one question that changed the trajectory of this woman’s life when Jesus asks, “Will you give me a drink?”
This single question gave the woman purpose while cultivating a place for reflection and truth to develop.
Wrestling with the risks and norms of how a Samaritan woman of her reputation could give a Jewish man anything, especially a drink from her vessel, Jesus responds in a way she may not have expected.
“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.” John 4:10 NIV
Jesus, in His kindness, gives her space to examine her thirst while leaving drops of water that offer her freedom to explore and ponder who God truly is.
Where Are You Drawing Your Water From?
Jesus, leaving breadcrumbs, subtly hinted that He was the Messiah. However, she was focused on something other than the words of Jesus. Her thoughts centered on her circumstances.
This man had no vessel to draw the water.
The well is deep.
Where does this living water come from?
Isn’t that the case for most, if not all? We get so caught up in our circumstances that we lose sight of the Promise offered to us.
What well are you drawing from?
Are you tirelessly striving to fill your bucket from a source that waters your soul with shame, rejection, and beliefs that you are unworthy of being loved and accepted?
Or will you draw from the Well that fills you with life, purpose, and restoration?
A Spring of Living Water
Fetching water is no doubt exhausting and tedious work. Not only do full vessels require grit and strength, but it is a job that must be repeated daily for survival.
Similarly, as Christ’s disciples, to live abundantly, we must also drink of the Living Water.
John 4:13-14 says, “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.'”
Almost immediately, this chosen daughter, who had been rejected and ridiculed, a woman who lived as an outcast, decided for herself that she wanted the Living Water.
And just like the woman of Samaria, Jesus offers us the same thing. What will we choose? Will we choose to drink from heaven?
A New Well
Jesus, in His loving-kindness, not only invites this woman to drink of the Living Water, but He gives her space to wrestle with the questions that seemed to flood her mind.
The woman of Samaria lived in a culture that required worship, cultural roles, and households to operate under specific rules. Jesus gave her the space to process a new and better way.
Coming from a standard that worshiping God was reserved only for a set of people, in a particular place, under specific guidelines, Jesus would introduce a new way of communing with the Father.
“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 truth.” John 4:23-24 NIV
This life-changing revelation was gifted to this nameless woman.
A woman rejected by the place she called home was accepted into a new family.
A woman looked down upon was now lifted up and invited into a greater purpose.
A woman whose testimony was considered unreliable was given the incredible opportunity of sharing the good news of the one who gave her a new beginning, the Messiah, and her testimony changed the lives of countless others.
Through this woman, Jesus changed cultural boundaries and blurred lines. And because of this interaction with an unnamed woman around a well, we are also invited to drink from the revelation of the Living Water.
“On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.'” John 7:37-38 NIV
Are you thirsty?