John 4 – the woman at the well

In John 4 we find the record of a woman who came to a well to draw water at a time of day when no one else was around. We read there that she came alone because she didn’t want to hear the gossip of the other women (about her). She had a reputation of unfulfilled love. I call it that because she had been married 5 times and the man she was currently living with was not her husband. She was starved for love and sought it the only way she knew how. I think this is a picture of all of us really. God created us to love and be loved. It’s the only way we can survive this side of heaven. Some people attempt to find love and significance through work, through study, through relationships (like the woman), through exercise, through drugs, through crime etc. Whatever it is, this woman is a picture of all of us.

Suffice to say though, that this woman was pretty empty. The fact that she is coming to draw water is significant. I speak symbolically. She has been drawing water in so many place but always found thirst following her. Jesus sees all of her life at once too. But I love how kind He is towards her. He doesn’t shame her for her life, not at all. In fact He compliments her a couple times as they have a discussion over water, drinking, worshipping, etc. She is not a real Jew either, but a Samaritan. So, technically she is outside of God’s covenant people. But in verse 4 of this chapter it states, “And He had to pass through Samaria.” Jesus knew exactly who this woman was. We’re not given her name, but Jesus knew it. Do you feel like God doesn’t see you today? He sees right where you are and knows your name, and knows how many hairs are on your head too. And He has to come see you.

Eventually Jesus reveals His identity to her. But it’s after He tells her all about herself. If a perfect stranger told you all about your particular sin and then told you He came to save you, it would be a shock, wouldn’t it? So the woman then immediately ran back to her town and told everyone about Jesus and herself. It’s like all her shame melted off of her. Praise God for the gift of no condemnation!

But the real point of why I’m writing this, is about receiving. All during this time with Jesus and woman, the disciples had gone away to get some food for all of them. That’s why Jesus was left alone at the well. The disciples came back and found Jesus at the well and told Him in verse 31, “Rabbi, eat. But He said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” The disciples therefore were saying to one another, “No one brought Him anything to eat, did he?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me Me, and to accomplish His work…”

Jesus had asked the woman for a drink but she ended up with her soul filled with living water. She took from Jesus. She received from Jesus and it appears that Jesus was totally refreshed to give! He gave Himself, His salvation, His eternal life, living water, to one person and the disciples noticed it. It seemed as if He had already eaten. It’s like Jesus was hungry to give, to save, to have someone take from Him. And in the giving, it gave Him a refreshment that no earthly food could ever provide.

His work, the will of the Father, was to give to someone in dire need. He gave the kind of love that didn’t condemn but revealed sin and loved the woman in a way she had never been loved. If someone knows the worst about you and still loves you, this is true love.

I want to encourage you to receive a lot from Jesus. It’s the Father’s will that you receive from Him. It brings Him great delight to give to you! We move so fast in this world today that we don’t even notice how empty and needy we really are. So get alone with Him who really wants to give to you. Don’t hide your life from Him who sees it all. His love isn’t like human love that spoils easily. His love is deep, wide and never ends. He wants to give and give some more to you, right where you need it most. God doesn’t need you to give to Him. What pleases Him most is when you receive from His hand. He is always full and has plenty to give.

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