Learning of Jesus at the Well
June 11, 2023
Learning of Jesus at the Well
June 11, 2023
John 4:1-4 KJV
When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, 2 (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,) 3 He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee. 4 And He must needs go through Samaria.
The goal of this messages is to illustrate that:
1- Jesus must do the will of The Father
2- Jesus desires for us to have an encounter with Him
3 – Jesus will break through every barrier to meet with us
4 – Jesus desires to reveal Himself to us
5- Jesus desires to use us to bring others into the kingdom
1- Jesus must do the will of the Father
Luke 4:43 NKJV
but He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.”
John 9:4 NKJV
must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.
Luke 9:22 NKJV
saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.”
We see here 3 “musts” that Jesus talks about. When we see this word, scripture emphasizes that it has the implication of something that is absolutely necessary. It is something that is divinely ordained to take place.
When the Bible tells us that “Jesus must needs go through Samaria,” we must understand that it was of vital importance and necessity that He did this.
John 5:30 AMPC
I am able to do nothing from Myself [independently, of My own accord—but only as I am taught by God and as I get His orders]. Even as I hear, I judge [I decide as I am bidden to decide. As the voice comes to Me, so I give a decision], and My judgment is right (just, righteous), because I do not seek or consult My own will [I have no desire to do what is pleasing to Myself, My own aim, My own purpose] but only the will and pleasure of the Father Who sent Me.
Jesus would not go through Samaria if it were not the will of The Father. He must do the will of the Father.
2- Jesus desires for us to have an encounter with Him.
John 4:5-7 AMPC
And in doing so, He arrived at a Samaritan town called Sychar, near the tract of land that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 And Jacob’s well was there. So Jesus, tired as He was from His journey, sat down [to rest] by the well. It was then about the sixth hour (about noon). 7 Presently, when a woman of Samaria came along to draw water, Jesus said to her, Give Me a drink—
We see so many things right here. We see Jesus’ humanity. He was tired and thirsty. It was noon time; the heat was at its peak. And we see someone coming towards the well.
Did Jesus know that a woman would be approaching the well as He sat there? Could He possibly have been expecting her? Absolutely. He knew that she would be coming to the well.
The Jews (Jesus was a Jew) avoided going through Samaria at all costs. There was hostility between them. Furthermore, the name of the town Jesus was now in, Sychar, teaches us much about the town itself. The original name of the town was Sichem or Shechem, the Jews now call it Sychar. Which has a derogatory connotation, meaning the seat of drunkards. Scripture also reveals in Isaiah 28:1 this place.
Isaiah 28:1 AMPC
Woe to [Samaria] the crown of pride of the drunkards of Ephraim [the ten tribes], and to the fading flower of its glorious beauty, which is on the head of the rich valley of those overcome and smitten down with wine!
Jews preferred taking the way around Samaria to get from Jerusalem to Galilee so that they would not defile themselves by being around Samaritans. Jesus went through Samaria for the sake of encountering this woman.
Jesus asks her for a drink:
Jewish men, especially Jewish rabbis, were not supposed to talk to women. Here he requests a drink from a woman, and not just any woman, a Samaritan woman. Just to drink from her vessel would have been ceremonially unclean. Jesus desires to be engaged with this woman. He wants to connect with her.
Jesus desires to have an encounter with us.
3- Jesus will break through every barrier to meet with us.
John 4:9 AMPC
The Samaritan woman said to Him, How is it that [a]You, being a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan [and a] woman, for a drink?—For the Jews have nothing to do with the Samaritans—
As I mentioned before, the Jews and the Samaritans have a history of hostility and hatred. The Samaritans were of the Northern tribes of Israel that were separated from the southern tribes (Judah and Benjamin) through the leadership of Solomon’s son, Rehoboam.
The Northern tribes were captured by the Assyrian armies, who assimilated themselves amongst the Israelites. In doing so they intermingled by marriage and also began to worship the gods of the Assyrians. The Jews looked at these Israelites as half-breeds and idolatrous. What made matters worse was that the temple where Yahweh was worshiped was in Jerusalem. This caused the Samaritans to build their own temple to worship God at, which was on Mt Gerizim, the place where Moses gave the blessings to the children of Israel. (1 Kings 1-12; 2 Chronicles 1-12).
They both believed that they were the seed of Abraham. They both believed in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the one and only God, and they both knew that Moses was the prophet and lawgiver of God. Where they had strong disagreement was that the Samaritans only accepted the first five books of the Jewish Bible/OT (The Pentateuch) as their Holy Scriptures and did not accept the rest. And they did not accept the teachings of the rabbis, but only believed in the Levitical line of the priesthood. These were serious conflicts between them.
We also know that Jewish etiquette and the law forbade Rabbis to speak with women in public or teach them the law. Not even their wives, their daughters, or sisters in public.
Jesus is breaking through a cultural barrier to reach her. He has already broken through all barriers to reach us.
4- Jesus desires to reveal Himself to us.
John 4:10-26 AMPC
Jesus answered her, If you had only known and had recognized God’s gift and Who this is that is saying to you, Give Me a drink, you would have asked Him [instead] and He would have given you living water. 11 She said to Him, Sir, You have nothing to draw with [no drawing bucket] and the well is deep; how then can You provide living water? [Where do You get Your living water?] 12 Are You greater than and superior to our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well and who used to drink from it himself, and his sons and his cattle also? 13 Jesus answered her, All who drink of this water will be thirsty again. 14 But whoever takes a drink of the water that I will give him shall never, no never, be thirsty any more. But the water that I will give him shall become a spring of water welling up (flowing, bubbling) [continually] within him unto (into, for) eternal life. 15 The woman said to Him, Sir, give me this water, so that I may never get thirsty nor have to come [continually all the way] here to draw. 16 At this, Jesus said to her, Go, call your husband and come back here. 17 The woman answered, I have no husband. Jesus said to her, You have spoken truly in saying, I have no husband. 18 For you have had five husbands, and the man you are now living with is not your husband. In this you have spoken truly. 19 The woman said to Him, Sir, I see and understand that You are a prophet. 20 Our forefathers worshiped on this mountain, but you [Jews] say that Jerusalem is the place where it is necessary and proper to worship. 21 Jesus said to her, Woman, believe Me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither [merely] in this mountain nor [merely] in Jerusalem. 22 You [Samaritans] do not know what you are worshiping [you worship what you do not comprehend]. We do know what we are worshiping [we worship what we have knowledge of and understand], for [after all] salvation comes from [among] the Jews. 23 A time will come, however, indeed it is already here, when the true (genuine) worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth (reality); for the Father is seeking just such people as these as His worshipers. 24 God is a Spirit (a spiritual Being) and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth (reality). 25 The woman said to Him, I know that Messiah is coming, He Who is called the Christ (the Anointed One); and when He arrives, He will tell us everything we need to know and make it clear to us. 26 Jesus said to her, I Who now speak with you am He.
Several things this passage of scripture is revealing to us here:
What He gives us surpasses our momentary, physical needs. It is life-giving, life-sustaining, it is acceptance, it is love, it is peace, it is patience, it is kindness and gentleness to our souls.
Look at the discourse happening between them in verses 11-15. She is looking at the physical/natural things. He has nothing to get water with. This well was dug by her ancestor Jacob; how can this man get water for me? She is questioning Jesus based on outward things.
Notice that He never responds to the questions that made no difference in regards to His quest to reach her. He never responded to her question about Him being a Jew and she a Samaritan, nor does He respond to not having a vessel to draw with, and He definitely has no response to who is greater. These are all fleshly issues.
Instead, He promises that what He has will cause her to never thirst again, a water that gives life eternal (verse 14).
He desires to give to us perpetual life that will fill us from the inside out. Yet, she is stuck in her needs, all she can see is the life she has in front of her.
I believe she responds to Jesus with questions because she has had a hard life. A life perhaps full of rejection. When He asks her for a drink, she comes back with a question, as if she’s reminding Him that I am a “defiled Samaritan and you a pious Jew.” It seems to me that she wanted Him to reject her, or expected Him to do so. I believe that when she tells Him she would like this water that He is offering to give to her, she is expressing that she has a need (a longing for something) and that she no longer desires to come to that well to draw water from it. She is here in the heat of the day; this indicates that she has no servant to do this, it is her and her alone. In this period of time, women came together in the morning or evenings when it was cooler. She is there at noon; no one else is with her.
Jesus then changes the dialogue when she tells Him she wants this water. He changes the subject and tells her in verse 16, “Go and call your husband.” Here she responds with her heart “I have no husband.”
Jesus wants to get to the heart of the matter.
John 4: 17-18 AMPC
The woman answered, I have no husband. Jesus said to her, You have spoken truly in saying, I have no husband. 18 For you have had five husbands, and the man you are now living with is not your husband. In this you have spoken truly.
I would like to point out that there is nowhere in this passage of scripture that it is said she’s a divorced woman. Or that she’s in adultery.
She could have been a widow who was passed down from brother to brother after the death of her first husband (Gen 38:6-8; Deut 25: 5; Luke 20:27-33). She could have been a concubine, or a slave to the man she was living with. We have no way of knowing because scripture gives us nothing more.
What we do know is that Jesus is connecting with her through a word of knowledge.
She begins to open up and moves from the natural/physical to the spiritual.
This woman begins to reveal herself and what her heart longs for. She accepts that He can see more about her than meets the eye. She then says:
John 4: 20 (APMC)
Our forefathers worshiped on this mountain, but you [Jews] say that Jerusalem is the place where it is necessary and proper to worship.
See what she does here: she’s identifying that she sees that He is something more than just a mere man, and that she can finally ask for what has been a longing in her heart. She perhaps begins to recognize that there is a deeper need. I think it’s at this point that she realizes the water He’s offering me is greater than what I must toil and labor to get.
He goes on to explain that she’s been chasing something that is wrong, worshiping something that she doesn’t know.
He reveals what true worship will be for those who are genuinely seeking God. It will have nothing to do with where we worship, but it will come from our hearts, our spirit.
Perhaps one of the most truly remarkable things that I can see here is in her response.
25 The woman said to Him, I know that Messiah is coming, He Who is called the Christ (the Anointed One); and when He arrives, He will tell us everything we need to know and make it clear to us.
She has been longing, she’s been looking and waiting for Messiah. This woman has some knowledge of spiritual things. She has hope. As mentioned before, the Samaritans observed the first 5 books for the Old Testament. Deuteronomy 18:15,18,19 foretold of Messiah. She was aware of this. She is looking for Messiah to tell her all things and make it clear to her.
Could it be that Jesus desired to get to Samaria and send the disciples off to buy food, that the need for Jesus to be at the well at the time when she would be approaching it was because there was a weary cry from this daughter’s soul to heaven. I believe she was longing for something better than she had, and I believe that heaven responded.
26 Jesus said to her, I Who now speak with you am He.
For the first time in scripture, we see that Jesus reveals who He is to someone! This is a big deal.
Just prior to this account of this woman, we look at John chapter 3, where a ruler among the Jews, Nicodemus, could not understand simple spiritual truths that Jesus shared. And here, our blessed Lord reveals Himself to this woman who is not a Jew and seems to have a checkered past. She believed what Jesus said. Nicodemus, having seen the signs and wonders that the scriptures declared, still couldn’t understand.
He desires to reveal Himself to us.
5- Jesus desires to use us to bring others into the kingdom.
John 4: 27-41 NKJV
And at this point His disciples came, and they marveled that He talked with a woman; yet no one said, “What do You seek?” or, “Why are You talking with her?” 28 The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, 29 “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” 30 Then they went out of the city and came to Him. 31 In the meantime His disciples urged Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” 32 But He said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.” 33 Therefore the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?” 34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. 35 Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! 36 And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. 37 For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors.” 39 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.” 40 So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of His own word. 42 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 [a]the Christ, the Savior of the world.”
When His disciples came and saw Him, they had questions running around in their head, yet they did not ask him what they were thinking.
Notice that the woman doesn’t even acknowledge them, she leaves her waterpot and takes off to her town. She begins to tell the men of that town, and they come out to meet Jesus.
I don’t want to downplay what is happening here. The Bible teaches us that out of the abundance of our hearts our mouths speak; our actions reveal what is important to us. Her one purpose for going to the well at the hottest time of the day was all forgotten when she got a glimpse of Jesus. It became the least of her concerns. She left the water jar behind and went to share this wonderful news.
And her message was received by the men in her town. They went out to meet Jesus.
This one encounter brought salvation to this Gentile city. The people believed in this woman’s testimony and moved to faith in Jesus.
Jesus used the knowledge of her life not to condemn this woman; it was used to cause her to move beyond her life circumstances and reach those around her for the kingdom.
1- Are there things God is asking you to do that you must do?
John 14:15: If you love me, you will keep my commandments
2- Are you making time to have daily encounters with the Lord? Time in the Word, time in worship, time with other believers, serving others, etc.
3- Are you looking for reasons to love and meet others where they are in life? What social, cultural, ethnic, demographic barriers keep you from being a true witness for Christ?
4- Can Jesus trust us to reveal His heart to us?
He trusted this woman to have revealed Himself to her.
5- Are you witnessing to everyone that will listen, or are you hiding the kingdom?