Sitting with Jesus: The Woman at the Well
Reading: John 4:1 – 42
Jesus had spent some time in Judea. At Jerusalem He had, among other things, attended The Passover (2:13) Cleansed the Temple (2:14 – 22) Spoken with Nicodemus (3:1-21). In the Judean countryside those who believed in Jesus had been baptised by His Disciples. At this stage of His three year public ministry Jesus didn’t want to attract too much attention to Himself. He learned that the Pharisees were getting concerned about his growing popularity so he left Judea and headed back to Galilee via Samaria. At Sychar Jesus stopped at Jacob’s well, on the land that the Old Testament Patriarch, Jacob, had given his son, Joseph.
(v6) “Jesus, tired as He was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.”
The scene is set for a conversation that was to Eternally change the life of a woman and her village. In this historical story we see Jesus, The Master of Conversation, The Evangelist, refusing to let there be any barriers of communication between Him and the woman.
*Jesus refused to let Gender to be a barrier to conversation
“When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her.” (v7) “His disciples returned and were surprised to find Him talking with a woman – But no one asked, what do you want? Or why are talking with her.” (v27)
*Jesus refused to let Cultural History to be a barrier to conversation
The hostility between Jews and Samaritans dated back to the time of the Assyrians settling non Jews in the area. Intermarriage between those settlers and the local Israelites contributed to the Jews’ view that Samaritans were second class people who should be avoided for moral reasons. So, when Jesus asked her for a drink, her reply (v9) “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” Jesus knew her spiritual need and says that He would give her “Living Water.”
 JESUS IS THE MASTER OF CONVERSATION!
He knows exactly where He is taking the conversation – A Conversational Journey – with the Samaritan woman. The woman is thinking only on an earthly level. Read (v11 – 12) “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 livestock.”
 JESUS IS THE MAKER OF THE WELL!
We know that Jesus is The Creator of all things. Without Him nothing that has been made would be here! Jesus does not give her that theological lesson. He keeps focused on the conversation to hand wanting the woman to come to know who He truly is. Jesus sees her spiritual thirst!
(v13 – 14) “Jesus answered, Everyone who drinks this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of 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.”
Again the woman, thinking on an earthly level, thinks, I can save hours every day drawing water for my daily use. Who can blame her? She does not know who Jesus is and she does not yet accept her need of salvation.
*Jesus refused to let lifestyle be a barrier to conversation
In fact, he uses it to begin to reveal who He is. (v16) “He told her to call your husband and come back.” Her defensive reply, (v17) “I have no husband, she replied. Jesus said to her, you are right when you say you have no husband (v18) The fact is, you have had 5 husbands and the man you have now is not your husband. What you have said is quite true. She was amazed that Jesus knew her past….. she accepted that Jesus is ‘A Prophet’ (v19) She then took the lead in the conversation,
*Jesus refused to let Religion be a barrier to conversation
(v 20) “Our ancestors worshipped on this mountain, but You Jews claim that the place to worship is in Jerusalem.” This was a hotly debated issue between Jews and the Samaritans. Should God be worshipped on Mount Zion in Judea or on Mount Gerizim in Samaria?” Jesus answers by saying that the question itself is no longer relevant. He says that what is more important than where worship takes place is how it takes place. (v23b) “True worshippers will worship The Father.” Father is the focus. “In spirit and In Truth.” With sincerity not formalism. (v24) “God is Spirit and His worshippers must worship in The Spirit and in Truth.” God’s Spirit communes with the human spirit.
During the conversation the Samaritan woman shows a growing recognition of who Jesus is. She began by seeing this as just another Jew, then as a Prophet. Then…….
 JESUS IS THE PROMISED MESSIAH
*Jesus refused to withhold His Self Revelation from her
(v25 – 26) The woman said, I know that Messiah (called Christ) is coming. When He comes, He will explain everything to us. “Then Jesus declared, The One speaking to you – I am He!”
 Jesus is The Master of Conversation!
 Jesus is The Maker of the Well!
 Jesus is the Promised Messiah!
At this point the woman is so excited that she leaves her water jar and runs back to the village to tell the people who she has met. (v28 – 30) “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be The Messiah? They came out of the town and made their way toward Him.”
There then follows a “Teaching Moment” for the Disciples, and for us. Read (v31 – 38)
The Samaritan woman became the Evangelist, introducing Jesus to them. Read (v39 – 42)
Conclusion: Some of us are sowers, some of us are reapers. We are called to share our faith through daily conversation and our testimonies as we enjoy Jesus on our journey with those He brings across our paths.