In this guest blog by Mark Kresge, we’ll unpack a pretty well-known story in the New Testament. Its about a Samaritan woman who visits a well in search of water. It proves to be a life-changing encounter for this woman. And shares a very powerful and timeless message with us today.
Jesus Meets The Samaritan Woman
Jesus was on his way to Galilee from Judea. And, in order to get there, he had to cross a place called Samaria. Now, religious Jews generally avoid Samaritans because of a long history of animosity between both groups.
Eventually, they come across a well. Probably having to avoid judgmental stares and whispers from passing Samaritans as they stop to draw some water from it.
As she hovers near him, Jesus breaks one of the unspoken rules surrounding the feud between his people and hers.
He begins to talk to her.
This woman would have been completely shocked if anyone had approached her close by. It was not normal for a Jewish man to ask an unaccompanied woman for a drink. Especially a Samaritan woman!
Jesus Is The Living Water
Did he not realize they were enemies? Had the heat of the day gotten to him? Nonetheless, Jesus asks her, “Will you give me a drink?”
To which she responds, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?”
What happens next is an example of the love with which Jesus meets us in our brokenness. and how he offers us the refreshment of his love and his kindness despite it.
Jesus goes on to tell the woman that had she known who she was speaking to, she would have asked him for a drink of living water. Drinking this water would mean she would never thirst again.
Now, Jesus wasn’t talking about the literal, physical water that our bodies need to survive. He was talking about the spiritual water that gives life to our souls.
However, Jesus’ offer baffles this woman. She takes it literally and asks Jesus to pour her some of this water so that she can stop returning to the well.
Jesus Loves The Outsiders
We learn that not only is she not married, but she has already been married five times before. In fact, she is currently with a man who belongs to someone else.
In the eyes of the law at the time, this woman would have been deserving of shame. Anyone considered a religious teacher would never associate with someone like her. She was an outcast, an outlier, and an outsider to the rest of her society. This was the reason she was getting water from the well at a time when there were fewer people around. But beneath the shame and the scorn that her community would have put on her, she was broken. Due to the multitude of her sins, this woman was helpless, exhausted, and crippled.
It’s no wonder she was so shocked when Jesus, a Jewish religious teacher himself, approached her for a drink of water. It was even more shocking for her to learn that Jesus was not there to condemn her like so many others had done, but that he was there to invite her into a life that would not only wash away the sins of her past, but a life where she would never be thirsty in the spiritual sense again.
For she would have the Living Water of Christ to quench her longing for love, acceptance, peace and purpose.
Jesus Changes Her Story
Jesus steps into a world where people despise each other, a world where sins are not forgiven but heavily condemned. He enters into a conversation with a woman who was desperate to be known and accepted—a woman who hopped from one relationship to the next in search of finding love.
Jesus looks past her sin, her mistakes, and her wrongs.
Instead, he recognizes her need and offers her the only thing that can meet it. He tells her that he holds the answer to her quest for satisfaction and that she is looking for love in all the wrong places, quenching her thirst for acceptance with all the wrong things. He tells her that he is the One who can offer her what she is really looking for, the One who can offer her life—real life—in the Kingdom of God.
Jesus Breaks Social Barriers
When Jesus said to her, “Those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again, [for] it becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life,” he meant it.
He broke all the rules of the social confines that kept people like him and people like her apart, just so that she would come to know and accept the love He knew would save her.
The love that would rescue her from the depths of her sin and the love that would offer her a brand-new life, a life overflowing with joy and peace and hope and grace.
At the end of this story we see how, in just one brief encounter with Jesus, this woman is transformed from the inside out. Instead of hiding from the world in shame, she runs into it and declares these words: “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?”
Jesus Sits Beside Us
In this powerful story, we see Jesus stoop down to meet us in the thick of our sins, just to give us a lifeline. He gives us a way out and a way forward away from our destruction. He approaches us with compassion, not condemnation, and he engages with us in understanding, not unkindness.Jesus offers us something better than anything we’ve ever known—something that will satisfy our desperation for love and our desire for acceptance.
Jesus reveals to us that he is our rescuer and our redeemer. In fact, he reminds us that he came to us as one of our own so that we could see just how deeply he cares for us.
Perhaps, like her, you feel a bit overwhelmed. Maybe you have shame over past mistakes and are filled with desperation for something to satisfy the longing you feel. Maybe you’ve been searching for something to fill an empty void inside your heart, only to find that nothing ever does. Well, just as Jesus did for the Samaritan woman at the well, he sits beside you today, offering you the same Living Water that leads to eternal life.
Jesus Brings The Beauty Of His Grace
Jesus Christ came to our broken world to bring the beauty of his grace. He took on human form so that we could experience heavenly freedom from the destruction of our sins. Jesus’ death and resurrection have dealt with our sin fully.
When we trust our lives in his hands, we are made right with God, and we are invited into eternal life in his righteous Kingdom.
This is what it means to be saved.
Our sin is forgiven, and we are made new in Christ. Our wants and desires are changed to those that please and glorify God. And we can live in His comfort forever and always.
Jesus offers salvation freely to everyone. He offers to make us new and whole if we choose to accept this gift.
Take A Moment
Take a moment to pause and consider the areas of your life where you need the living water of Jesus. Think about the Messiah, who knows everything you ever did and loves you still. He welcomes you into his presence and offers you his grace, his redemption, and his mercy. Imagine that Jesus is kneeling right there beside you, opening his arms, and offering you the gift of eternal life.
What about you?
Whatever is going on in your life, remember that Jesus is no stranger to pain. He’s not unfamiliar with our struggles, and he understands the challenges we face as humans. He is there to help you, to guide you, and to accept you. As you are, where you are, and whoever you are Jesus love is unfailing, and his promises are good.