So sorry for my delays on this post. It’s going to be a little long to make up for lost time :->. Here are a few things God has shown me when I read this part of the story, John 4:15-26. I will highlight the verses in purple.
“He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.” “I have no husband,” she replied.
Just before Jesus told her to go call her husband and come back – He had promised her water that would satisfy the thirst of her soul. In this moment He is drawing her physical eyes away from the physical well and opening her spiritual eyes to the well within her.
I believe Jesus intentionally met her at the well that day because He knew there was a powerful everyday life parallel between her physical thirst and her spiritual thirst. He could have met her at home while she was cooking. He could have met her at the market while she was shopping, or in a dream while she was sleeping. But instead He met her here – at this well filled with water for her thirst.
Jesus know that Sam wore a path to this well each day – back and forth, back and forth. Always returning for more. And, in the same way, she has worn a similar path to the heart of men. When one failed her, rejected her or simply couldn’t satisfy her, she looked for another.
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.”
Jesus knew that she would never find what she was looking for in her husbands – or in the man she was now living with. She could never find the love she longed for in a physical relationship. None of them could satisfy her need to be intimately known. No man could fill the empty place in her heart that thirsted for acceptance, a sense of belonging, a deep need to be chosen and loved. A place where she could simply be who she was – not offering anything but her presence – and be desired still the same.
Jesus had come to show her what she was looking for and where she could find it. But first He helped Sam see where and to whom she’d been looking – her husbands and other lovers. He came that day full of grace and truth – to help her see the truth. I love that there was no condemnation – only salvation in His intentions (John 3:17).
She has a choice in this moment- will she go there with Him and talk about her history of marriages? This man knows a whole lot about me – let me find out more about Him. Why focus on my weaknesses when we could talk about his strengths?
“Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
She asked Jesus where she should go to church to worship. Maybe she’d felt that aching emptiness we all know when something or someone fails us – the aching emptiness that cannot be filled by food, family, shopping, friends, sex, alcohol, etc. Then we wake up Sunday morning and go to church hoping for an emotional experience that will fill or fix it. Maybe she thought that if she went to the right church to worship she’d find the feeling she was looking for. Worship – tt’s the perfect lead in to where Jesus wants to take her; what He wants to show her.
Jesus declared, “Believe me, woman, 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 spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”
I love that Jesus created a safe place for her to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. He invited her to acknowledge the truth of where she was and what she was worshiping (men). He wanted her to see that she’s been worshiping something physical and something false. She’s been worshiping a person and a lie. She’s been looking to a man and believing that her value was determined by his love and acceptance.
Jesus opened her spiritual eyes to see what she’d been looking to. Jesus knew she didn’t need a new place to worship, she needed a new Person to worship – the One True God – the very One she’d been waiting and watching for.
The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.”
He’d explain everything to her? Yes sweet Jesus – You JUST DID!!
Oh Lord, help us to pause today and go with you to a place of truth. Help us to see where we are in our search for something that will satisfy the thirst of our hearts. Open our spiritual eyes and show us if there is anyone or anything in a place of preeminence where only You belong. Lord pour the Living Water – of Your love, Your assurance, Your acceptance, Your value of us – deep into our souls. Help us to worship You and You alone in all that we do today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
© 2008, Renee Swope. All rights reserved.