Do you ever feel extremely ordinary? Like there’s truly nothing special about you? You just sort of blend into the background of life. There aren’t any distinct features about you. You don’t have any really cool talents. You make a lot of mistakes. You aren’t particularly great at anything. Your body isn’t “supermodel status.” You even have extra fat stored around your thighs and waist. And sometimes when you’re really upset, you feel like saying a cuss word…or maybe four. Then you move on with your monotonous day. You just kind of live life in the background and let other people play the main role.
I feel like that’s the kind of life our friend-a.k.a the woman at the well-had. The study Anonymous by Cindi Wood has opened my eyes to this woman and three other anonymous women in scripture. It’s opened my eyes to their situations, the importance of their meetings with Jesus, and how they relate to us NOW. So, let’s talk about this Samaritan woman at the well.
“So 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.” John 4:3-6
The details in these verses are extremely important! Jesus NEEDED to go through Samaria. This was a big deal anyway because Samaritans and Jews did NOT get along. There was unfortunate hatred amongst the two groups. For Jesus to NEED to go through Samaria was already a big deal. A divine encounter was about to take place! Also- noon was not the normal time for people to draw water from the well. It is the hottest part of the day, for crying out loud! The woman was most likely avoiding other women. Possibly women who judge her for her life and think of her as insignificant. Jesus knew He was about to encounter a woman who was seeking earthly satisfaction through a drink of water when in all reality she was about to find living water. Water that would quench her very soul!
“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’ (v. 7-10).
Wait just a minute. This MAN, a JEWISH man is speaking to her. How can this be? In their day and time, Jesus would have been rendered unclean just because he drank from a cup of a Samaritan woman. Yet, He still asked for it.
“’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’”(v. 11-14).
Jesus, by divine encounter, is offering this culturally dirty, sinful woman living water…water that quenches her soul. A relationship and eternal life with Jesus Christ Himself!
“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’” (v. 15-18).
Can you imagine the shock this woman must have been experiencing? He knew everything about her! Everything she had done and the situation she was living in at the time, but he had no reason to know. He was a Jewish man whom she had never even seen!
“’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’” (v. 19-24).
This woman begins placing a lot of value on the place where the Samaritans worship, and Jesus informs her that the place is not of importance. God is not confined to a space. He can be worshipped anywhere!
“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’” (v.25-26).
Jesus wanted to get His point across that HE is the only way of salvation. She doesn’t have to keep waiting. He’s here! Among her! In her “ordinary” presence on quite an ordinary day in her world.
The woman left and told the people of her town that the Messiah had come! They beckoned Jesus to stay to teach them, and many of them became believers themselves! Verse 42 says, “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.’” She didn’t keep this amazing news to herself! She was radically transformed when she met Christ, and she wanted others to experience this freeing, satisfying water also.
Again, I ask…do you ever feel ordinary? Do your days blur together and your tasks seem mundane? When you know Jesus Christ, you aren’t just ordinary. Like this woman, you are able to experience freedom, satisfying freedom in Jesus Christ. Freedom from all of your mistakes, from sin, from bondage. In our every day lives we can experience the extraordinary presence of Jesus Christ. Through His word, prayer, encouraging relationships, our children…we can meet with Jesus Christ. These encounters aren’t just for the people in the Bible. These encounters are available to us all. Make yourself available in all your ordinary today. Allow Jesus to have an extraordinary meeting with you today! Go to the well, and be filled to the brim. He won’t ever run out of living water.