The Lady at the Well is a well-known passage in the Bible. This happened in Samaria. Jacob had dug the well and it became Joseph’s inheritance.
It was noon time. It was blistering hot. Hardly anyone came to the well at this time. Yet, for the very same reason, this lady came to the well at that time. She did not want to meet anyone. She thought she could come to the well, draw water and leave without having to meet and interact with anyone.
She could have been shy, perhaps she was ashamed of herself. Was her past constraining her? She wished to hide and be hidden away from others.
Let us not go further that way, sometimes we may have wanted to walk the streets, go to school/ university, office, market or even church incognito – without being noticed by others. Not wanting to meet and greet others. Not having to be seen by others.
Jesus was on his way from Judea to Galilee with his disciples. Jesus was intentional. He knew that father God wanted him to go through Samaria. He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee. And he must go through Samaria. Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there. (John 4:3-6a NKJV)
When you abide by the Holy Spirit, you know the path to take. Going through Samaria meant walking longer. But when guided by the Holy Spirit, only God’s plans and purposes count. It does not matter if it takes more time or not. Only one thing matters. Are we aligned to the will of the Heavenly Father? Does the Holy Spirit nudge us to take that direction?
When we develop a habit of ongoing obedience to the Holy Spirit, we become sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s thoughts and nudges. Certain times it may not be as obvious as other times, but even then we do not walk in anxiety, we do not fear. We may have to take one step at a time, instead of taking a stride. God leads us, He strengthens us, He makes us grow.
Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ ( Isaiah 41:10 NKJV)
Jesus was tired and weary. He sat by the side of the well. The lady came to the well at noon. Jesus asked her for a drink. The lady knew prevailing local customs well, so she asked Jesus why he was asking her for a drink, as Jews don’t have any dealings with Samaritan women.
How often do we limit our life possibilities by the little we know? The Samaritan lady almost blocked her encounter with the Lord. Isn’t it better to know less when we could encounter the Lord? Do we stop hearing the preaching when the Bible verse is familiar? Do we hear miracles and testimonies with excitement knowing that the very same testimony/ miracles of Jesus can happen to us or to near and dear ones?
The ignorance of the lady is very evident in what Jesus says to her. Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” (John 4:10 NKJV)
The Samaritan woman was like many of us. We are limited by what we see. She confidently said like some of us, how is it possible that Jesus could give the living water as he did not have any vessel to draw water from the deep well. How often do the visible, science, logic and reasoning, past experiences limit us?
Read the great promise that Jesus offers to the woman. Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”(John 4:13-14 NKJV)
All through the interactions with this lady Jesus received downloads (revelations) from Heaven. He knew much about the woman, even details which she assumed were top secret.
So many times we go to God, seek His presence, His blessings, without confessing all matters, choosing to hide matters from God. Like this Samaritan woman, we only see the vessels God does not have, we often think God doesn’t see how broken we are, the wretchedness of our relationships, lack of love, presence of envy, jealousy, pride etc. We don’t realize God knows them all, yet he chooses to see us through all our shortcomings.
Sometimes we are not aware of our shortcomings, our issues. We are so self-focussed that we are aware only of our needs, our sufferings. Here we see Moses becoming aware of the condition of his heart/life. Moses became Furthermore the Lord said to him, “Now put your hand in your bosom.” And he put his hand in his bosom, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous, like snow. And He said, “Put your hand in your bosom again.” So he put his hand in his bosom again, and drew it out of his bosom, and behold, it was restored like his other flesh.(Exodus 4:6-7 NKJV)
Jesus told her the truth about the men in her life, all the while never accusing her or belittling her. She knew that He knew all that was to be known about her. She probably perceived that, unlike other people in the city, although He knew all about her, He did not distance from her in any manner of accusation. Unlike the other people in the city, Jesus interacted with her with loving kindness and mercy, so that she could walk in the light so that rivers of living water flowed out through her.
The lady at the well knew the Messiah would come and would tell all things. But she failed to recognise the Messiah in front of her. So Jesus made it very clear. Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.” (John 4:26 NKJV)
But lo and behold, when she knew that Jesus knew all about her, she could not contain the joy and amazement that the much-awaited Messiah was there.
And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all that I ever did.” So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. And many more believed because of His own word.
Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.”(John 4:39-42 NKJV)
Thus the lady at the well became an important partner in the salvation of the city. Because of the joy, drive and initiative to tell others she witnessed to them, becoming a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.
Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”(John 4:13-14 NKJV)
Jesus saw the potential in the lady that father God saw. He knew the present. He also saw the potential God had seen in her future. You may be lousy in many ways. You may feel bad about many aspects of your life. Yet Jesus chooses to see beyond what you see yourself. Jesus sees what the father God sees.
You may be heading to the well, avoiding everyone. So what?
You may be having umpteen shortcomings. So what?
Jesus is visiting you as you read this.
Whatever your past is? If it’s filled with goodness or not, it doesn’t matter. You who thirst, need not thirst any more. Our Lord and savior has given streams of living water to you. Just receive it.
Here is John 4:14 verses from two versions of the Bible.
But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”
But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.