The Woman at the Well - The Woman at the Well

Article Index


T he Woman at the Well


JOHN 4:5-24 Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour. There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee LIVING WATER. The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to DRAW with, and the well is DEEP: from whence then hast thou that living water? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and his cattle? Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. Jesus saith unto her, GO, CALL THY HUSBAND, and come hither. The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus saith unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. The woman said unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers WORSHIPPED in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship; for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the TRUE WORSHIPPERS shall worship the Father in SPIRIT and in TRUTH. GOD IS A SPIRIT: and they that worship him MUST worship him in spirit and in truth.

Jesus sat on the well. He was weary. I'm so glad that Jesus got tired while He was executing His ministry here on earth. This reveals His humanity. Thank God that there is a man in heaven today, representing man to God. And yet, when He probed this woman's thinking with, "Go and get your husband", and "Thou hast had five husbands, and the man you are presently living with is not your husband", here was more than a man talking. Here we see expressed the divinity of the Son of God.

When Jesus lay asleep in the back of the boat in the centre of a raging sea, here was a man. However, when He spoke, "PEACE BE STILL!", here was more than a man!

When He cried upon receiving news that His friend Lazarus was dead, here was a man. However, when He screamed, "LAZARUS, COME FORTH!", here was more than a man.

When Jesus died in agony on the cross, here was a man. When he BURST FROM THE GRAVE on the third day, here was more than a man!

Jesus' thoughts no doubt turned to Jacob, his son Joseph and this parcel of ground as He sat on the well, as mine did, when I sat on the same spot in 1975. The dream of Joseph was one of leadership. This well was part of that blessing. Perhaps the Master's thoughts went back through time until He could hear the prophetic word given by Jacob.

Joseph had a dream.

Genesis 37:5-11 And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more. And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed: For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obesiance to my sheaf. And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words. And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obesiance to me. And he told it to his father: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed com to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth? And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.

Joseph subsequently was sold as a slave by his own brethren in Egypt. He spent fourteen long years in prison. And yet the betrayal and imprisonment were God's method of preparation for Joseph to become a great leader, and a provider of food for his family in the coming time of famine! 

Genesis 49:22 Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall:

As our Lord pondered this mighty blessing, no doubt he gave thought as to how this prophecy was fulfilled. Fruitfulness, the bough planted by a well, the running of the branches over the wall. But alas! Some fourteen testing years must pass before the leadership dream is to be realised in the life of Joseph. He must experience BETRAYAL BY HIS BRETHREN, be SOLD as a slave; he must spend the majority of this time in PRISON. Oh, how like the pattern of the life of the Lord Jesus Christ, Joseph is!

The dream of leadership must be fulfilled. The answer to this PARADOX, for it is indeed a paradox, a complete inversion of that which was spoken, can be found in the book of Psalms.

Psalm 105:17-19 He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant: Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron: Until the time that his word came: the word of the Lord tried him.

Notice the phrase, "Until his TIME came, the WORD OF THE LORD TRIED HIM." There is a time and purpose for everything under heaven. There is a specific time for the word of the Lord to be fulfilled. When that time comes, there is no power in heaven or earth, or, under the earth, that can withold it from coming to pass. Be encouraged my Christian friend, when God's time for the prophetic word to be fulfilled in your life has arrived, it will surely comes to pass. There is nothing that can restrain it. Did you notice that until the time comes, the word of the Lord, the very dream of leadership that has preceded the current working of God in our lives, is the VERY WORD THAT WILL TEST, try and prove us!

In the midst of this heart searching meditation, a Samaritan woman approaches to draw water.

Jesus requests, "Give me a drink."

The woman is startled. How could a Jew, (the Jews despise the Samaritan people), ask something of a Samaritan? They do not acknowledge Samaritans. They conduct no dealings with them whatsoever.

The astonished woman is greeted with, "If you knew the gift of God, the One who made the request, you would have asked Him, and he would have granted LIVING WATER. ''

The gift of God is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Romans 5:15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift, For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

2 Corinthians 9: 15 Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.

In response to living water, the woman of Samaria retorts, "You have nothing to DRAW with, and the well is DEEP."

Here is revealed a classic fault of human beings, even of those who have been born again and love the Lord Jesus Christ, namely, the confusing of spiritual truth due to a natural application of it.

Here is revealed one of the most powerful methods of teaching. This illustration serves to underline one of the most majestic principles of God.

l Corinthians 15:46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural: and afterward that which is spiritual.

Reading the account of the Woman at the Well today poses no problem, for the reader understands that living or spiritual water speaks of the HOLY SPIRIT.

John 7:37-39 In the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come to me, and drink. He that believeth on me as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of LIVING WATER. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.

Neither is this woman alone in her confusing of spiritual truth.

An eminent theologian confused the new birth.

John 3: 1-13 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do the miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. THAT WHICH IS BORN OF THE FLESH IS FLESH: AND THAT WHICH IS BORN OF THE SPIRIT IS SPIRIT. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you EARTHLY things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of HEAVENLY things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

Nicodemus confuses natural birth for spiritual birth in our Lord's statement, 'Ye Must Be Born Again.' He applies that which is earthly, fleshly and natural, to that which is heavenly and spiritual.