9. The Woman at the Well, Part 2

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For a review, reread the passage as a whole and then we will dive back into our study:

Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John— although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.

Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)

Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

“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 his livestock?”

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks 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.”

The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”

“I have no husband,” she replied.

Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”

“Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”

“Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”

Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?”

Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” 30 They came out of the town and made their way toward him.

Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.”

But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”

Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?”

“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.”

Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. And because of his words many more became believers.

They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.” (John 4:1-42)

Verses 25-26

The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”

The Samaritans may not have known as much about God as the Jews but they did know and believe that the Messiah was coming. In a very rare admission, Jesus comes right out and clearly tells her that he is Messiah. The only other time he does this is at his trial before he is to be crucified. Some people need to be hit with a Mac truck with the truth; this woman was one of those people.

Verse 27

Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?”

The disciples are clueless as to what just happened. All they know is that Jesus is talking to a woman and that he shouldn’t be but no one dares to get involved. They have no idea what just transpired between him and the woman. They just (wisely) keep their mouth shut.

Verses 28-32

Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, “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.

Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.”

But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”

Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?”

The woman was so excited because of what she had heard. This is kind of interesting because she 1. Didn’t understand the water talk and 2. All Jesus did was expose her sin. He hasn’t even given her the rest of the salvation message yet. Still, she leaves her stuff at the well and goes back to town to get not only her friends and family but the whole stinkin’ town! Meanwhile, the disciples are clueless as to what just happened. Jesus is saving souls and they are more concerned about lunch. Now we learned from our study of the Temptation of Jesus that there is nothing wrong with eating… unless it causes you to sin. Unlike Satan, the disciples aren’t trying to get Jesus to sin but we will see in the next section what this spiritual food is that Jesus has and why he needs to eat it right now and not the disciples’ food.

Verses 34-38

“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.”

Jesus reveals that the food he has isn’t a hamburger, fries and a coke. His “food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” What sustains Jesus? Doing God’s work! The saying, “It’s still four months until harvest,” was probably a saying similar to todays, “hold your horses.” It was a way of saying be patient, relax. Remember the people of the town are headed their way. I imagine Jesus sweeping his arm toward the coming crowd and saying, “Look, the harvest is a’comin’. Put your fries down, we have work to do.” Jesus planted the seeds of salvation in the woman’s heart and now it was time for the disciples to reap the reward of that. It was time to help the seeds grow and bloom into salvation!

Verses 39-42

Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. And because of his words many more became believers.

They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”

The woman might have said that he told her everything about her, but in reality he only told her one part about her. He exposed her sin remember? But her sin was such a big part of her life that it probably felt like he told her more than what he actually did. Regardless, she told them her story and because of that they were curious and came to see Jesus. Then after they saw him the townspeople longed to spend more time with him and “because of his words many more became believers.

Practical Life Applications

1. How many times do we not tell our stories and miss out on opportunities to share the Gospel? I think about the woman and how excited she was. She left everything to go tell her friends, family, and even people she probably didn’t know about Jesus and what he did for her… and he hadn’t even done much at that point. How much more should we be chomping at the bit to find someone, anyone, to share the gospel with. I am going to make a challenge to you and to myself. Are you ready for it? This week, spend some time writing out your Jesus story- a 2 minute version, a 10 minute version and a 20 minute version and practice them. I think a lot of the time we don’t talk to people about what Jesus has done for us because we don’t know what to say. It’s time for that to end. It’s time to start being a prepared people of God, ready to go and eat the food of doing the will of God and letting that sustain us. Which brings me to point #2.

2. What sustains Jesus? What fulfills him even more than physical food? Doing the will of God and finishing his work! I think about ministry burn out and even the phenomenon of the mid-life crisis and wonder why these things happen. Could it be because we are not doing the will of God for our lives? This doesn’t mean doing ministry is bad; ministry is good but working in the children’s ministry just because you have kids there isn’t necessarily doing the will of the Father. You should be seeking a spot to serve that fits the spiritual gifts that God gave you. After all, that’s what he gave them to you for; so that you can eat the sustaining food of doing his will and finishing his work. I think people that have mid-life crises have the same problem. They get to a point in their life and nothing sustains them, nothing satisfies them so they look for physical things to curb their appetite. If only they would eat the food that sustains! If only they would eat that which only God can provide! Do the will of God and finish His work!

3. Sometimes it’s just better to keep your mouth shut and go along with Jesus. The disciples didn’t know why Jesus was talking to someone they would have never talked to but they never questioned Jesus about it, they just shut up and went along for the ride. And what a ride it was, many people from the town became believers because they were willing to let Jesus do his thing even if they didn’t like it.

4. It’s time to start giving God genuine worship. It doesn’t matter if you go to this church or that church. It doesn’t matter if you sing the great old hymns or modern praise and worship.”True worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” Singing songs, just to sing songs is not pleasing to the Father. We must put our whole self into it. That might mean you are the only person in a crowd of hundreds that raises hands to the Father. It’s ok, as long as God is telling you to raise your hands. It’s ok to smile and be joyful when you sing, you should be joyful when you are praising God. Even in hard times, we can be joyful if we truly believe that God works everything for our good if we love him (Romans 8:28). It’s time to start acting like we believe this promise.

5. Just like the woman, I think we tend try to hide parts of us from Jesus. What do I mean? Let me explain- When Jesus asked her if she was married, she said no which wasn’t exactly the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help her, God. I know I try to hide some of the uglier parts of myself from God. Why? Is it shame? Is it a fear of disappointing my Father? Is it because I’m not willing to face that part of myself? It’s probably a little bit of all this and more. But it doesn’t matter what or why I try to hide, God already knows it anyway. The only one I’m fooling is myself if I think I can keep something from God. What are you trying to keep from God today?

6. Jesus uses sore spots in our lives to change us. After Jesus tries to nicely help her, Jesus cuts right to the heart of the matter. The woman is a sinner and needs a Savior. This is how Jesus has worked in my own life. He put his finger right on the wounds of my soul until I couldn’t ignore the pain of them anymore. It didn’t feel good at the time but the pain was worth the joy that I experience now.

I’m sure there are plenty of lessons I didn’t cover. Feel free to add any that you found interesting below in the comment section. Next time we will study the calling of the first disciples. I have been going in chronological order of Jesus’ ministry and I missed this part so we will be back tracking a little. See you next time!

The End.

 

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