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Jesus gives living water to Samaritan woman

BY: Jude Hama

A woman from Sychar, popularly called the Samaritan woman, meets Jesus. She ends her day with a most happy chorus on her lips:

“Come and see o…
Come and see
Come and see what the Lord has done.
Come and see what the Lord has done!”

She is absolutely thrilled with Christ’s intervention in her lonely, sin riddled and unhappy life.
In this narrative, we first see Jesus Christ reach out to the Samaritan woman. She comes to the well at which Jesus stops to rest, to fetch water, at about 12 noon.

What is she doing at the well fetching water at this time? She probably doesn’t have women friends to go fetch water with in the morning. The women are careful about losing their husbands to her! But here comes Jesus reaching out to her: “will you give me some water to drink?”

She is shocked at Jesus starting a conversation with her. She responds: “you must not be talking to me”. She says to Jesus “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?” Here she gives two reasons why she is surprised at Jesus. There is a tribal or ethnic block: Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans (John 4:9).

And culturally, a man does not engage a woman who is a complete stranger in a conversation. They must have first been introduced to each other by a common relative or friend before any conversation takes place. But Jesus overcomes both the tribal or ethnic barrier and the gender barrier to reach out to this Samaritan woman.

There are over 38 language groups in Ghana. You belong to one of them. How many of the other tribes’ people do you negatively treat or react to in regular social interactions; in marriage considerations, and in business?

Secondly, Jesus Christ’s response to the shock and surprise of this woman is disarming. It melts the objections:
“Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”” (John 4:10 NLT)
And Jesus follows it up: “Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. 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.” (John 4:13,14 NLT)

This is an absolutely amazing offer from Jesus Christ. He offers her “Living Water”. Wise and eagerly, the woman responds: “Please, sir, give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.” (John 4:15 NLT)

We can hear Jesus think, “your request is on what my mission here on Earth is”. But first, “go and bring your husband”. The woman is truthful at this point: “I have no husband.” Really? Certainly, all she does in her life have been going on record in God’s presence:
“Jesus said, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband— for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!” (John 4:17b &18 NLT)

The woman has changed husbands like cloth – five of them. And she is sadly co-habiting with the man she is currently staying with. They are not properly married!

The Lord Jesus offers this Samaritan “Living Water … that will give her eternal life”. But she has to face up with her relationship lifestyle which is grossly unpleasant to God and she has to repent from it and turn to God for “new life in Christ” (see 1 John 1:8-9; 5:11 & 12).

And this becomes a significant turning point in her spiritual and total life. The evidence of the rest of the story shows that at this point, she admits her sinful lifestyle, repents and turns to Christ for new life. She begins by telling Jesus “I can see you are a Prophet.”
Next, she comments on the Messiah, and behold Jesus the Messiah was the one right in front of her: “The woman said, “I know the Messiah is

coming—the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” Then Jesus told her, “I am the Messiah!” (John 4:25&26 NLT)

It is clear that change has taken place in this woman and she goes back to the very people she was avoiding socially and begins to give testimony about meeting Jesus and the change she has in her life:

“The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?”

So the people came streaming from the village to see him… Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, “He told me everything I ever did!”

When they came out to see him, they begged him to stay in their village. So he stayed for two days, long enough for many more to hear his message and believe. Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not just because of what you told us but because we have heard him ourselves.

Now we know that he is indeed the Saviour of the World.” (John 4:28-30, 39-42 NLT)
Jesus still changes people who listen to His Word, believe in Him as God and Saviour, turn away from their sin, and turn to Christ asking for Living water; asking for New Life in Christ.

The author is a consultant in authentic Christian Spirituality and Discipleship and former CEO of Scripture Union.