Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ as it was written and recorded by the apostle John. More specifically, today passages is found in verses thirty-nine through fifty-four of the fourth chapter. “And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did. So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days. And many more believed because of his own word; and said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world” (John 4:39-42).
“Now after two days he departed thence, and went into Galilee. For Jesus himself testified that a prophet hath no honour in his own country. Then when he was come into Galilee, the Galilaeans received him, having seen all the tings that he did at Jerusalem at the feast. So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus was out out of Judaea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death. Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, y e will not believe. The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die. Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way. And as he was not going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth. Then inquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him. So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth: and himself believed, and his whole house. This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judaea into Galilee” (John 4:43-54).
When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find the continuation of Jesus’ time in the region of Samaria. It’s actually quite remarkable when you read the words found in this passage for you will find that Jesus’ time in Samaria would yield an even greater result and even greater support than simply encountering the woman at the well. While it is indeed true that Jesus had a great need to pass through Samaria that He might seat Himself at Jacob’s well outside of the city of Sychar that He might encounter and speak to this woman it is also true that there was something much larger and something much greater that was at work here than simply this woman. With this being said I am absolutely convinced that Jesus recognized and understood that this woman was the key that would unlock this city of Samaria and as a direct result of this understand He deliberately and intentionally came unto this well where He knew she would be. There is not a doubt in my mind Jesus knew this woman from the city came unto the well to draw water from the depths of it, as well as the time of day she came to the well. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for when we come to the fourth chapter of this New Testament gospel we find the apostle John not only expressing Jesus’ need to pass through Samaria, and not only writing of Jesus being alone at Jacob’s well outside the city, but also Jesus sitting down at the well being wearied from the journey. I would dare say that Jesus was indeed weary from the journey—not only because of the journey itself, but also because He needed to be there by a specific time that He might be found waiting for this woman to arrive.
The more I read the words found in this passage of Scripture the more I am brought face to face with the absolutely awesome truth that Jesus deliberately and intentionally made His way through Samaria and came unto this well that He might be found there in that place ready and waiting for the woman to arrive. I can’t help but get the strong sense that Jesus was fully aware of this woman’s routine and knew that she would be there at the well at a very specific time. WHEN JESUS HAS A SCHEDULE TO KEEP! WHEN JESUS HAS AN APPOINTMENT TO KEEP! JESUS CAN’T BE LATE! JESUS WON’T BE LATE! JUST IS NEVER LATE! JESUS IS ALWAYS ON TIME! WHEN JESUS ARRIVES BEFORE YOU AND WAITS FOR YOU TO SHOW UP! It is truly something worth thinking about and considering when reading the words found in this text for it suggests that Jesus made it a point to arrive in Samaria and to come unto this well before this woman from the city would show up that He might indeed encounter her in that place alone and away from others. This woman would come unto the well around the sixth hour and it would be just Jesus who was sitting there on the well almost as if He was waiting for and expecting her. Oh I can’t help but wonder if this woman was not only shocked to find this man—a Jewish man at that—sitting at the well which she had undoubtedly come to countless times before. I can’t help but wonder if this woman came to the well on this particular day and found herself being shocked and surprised that there was a man who was sitting there at the well and did so almost as if He was waiting for something or someone. There is not a doubt in my mind that when Jesus showed up at the well and sat down on it He did so deliberately and intentionally waiting for this woman to arrive knowing that she would ultimately come unto the well to draw water from the depths of it.
I sit here this morning thinking about the words found here in the text and I am absolutely astonished with the tremendous truth that Jesus showed up at this well at the precise time He need—not only to keep a schedule and appointed time, but also to keep a divinely ordained encounter with this woman whom He knew would come unto the well. Oh it is truly something worth thinking about this passage of Scripture and recognize that Jesus not only seemed to weary Himself from the journey to ensure He arrived at the well at just the right time, but He also refused to be late for this appointment. Within the New Testament gospel of John you will find the apostle recording Jesus declaring unto the crowds that He did absolutely nothing which He did not see the Father do. Jesus would emphatically declare that He did not come to do His own will but the will of the Father. I firmly believe that when Jesus needed to pass through Samaria in route to Galilee there was an underlying reason and purpose for doing so. I can’t help but get the strong sense that the Lord Jesus Christ recognized and understood the importance of making His way to this well which was present in the region of the Samaritans and just outside the city of Sychar. Jesus knew and understood according to the will of the Father that there was a specific woman which would come out of the city with her water pot that she might draw water from the depths of it. Jesus would ensure that He came unto the well and was found in that place ready and waiting for the woman to arrive knowing that there was something very specific which needed to be accomplished in that place.
I continue to find myself absolutely gripped with the fact that when Jesus showed up outside the city of Sychar in the region of Samaria He showed up in a region and place where there might have been tension during those days. If there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand when reading the words found in this portion of Scripture it’s that during those days the Jews had no dealings nor any association with the Samaritans and vice versa. It would be during those days when the Samaritans would be considered a half-breed and race of people and as a direct result of this the Jews themselves had absolutely no dealings with them. What we find here, however, is the Lord Jesus Christ entering into the region of Samaria and entering into that region and place where no Jew would even dream of journeying to—much less entering. There is not a doubt in my mind that there was not a Jew within Galilee and Judaea who would have thought about entering into Samaria and having any type of dealings with the Samaritans. Regardless of whether it was a publican, or a Pharisee, or a prostitute, or any other group of people during those days there would be absolutely no dealings with the Samaritans. Not only this, but no Jew would deliberately and intentionally make their way into Samaria for there would undoubtedly be no reason or purpose for them to do so. What we find here is Jesus not only entering into a place where there would have undoubtedly been tension and division, but we also find Jesus entering into a place where there would have been animosity and indifference. Jesus knew the differences which existed between the Jews and the Samaritans and yet Jesus deliberately and intentionally chose to enter into Samaria—and not only enter into Samaria but also to sit down at Jacob’s well and speak with a woman from within the city.
With this being said I find it absolutely amazing to read this narrative and discover that when Jesus showed up at Jacob’s well here outside the city of Sychar He would encounter this Samaritan woman who had been with five men who were husband to her and was now with a sixth man who was not her husband. It would have been very easy for Jesus to show up here in Samaria and condemn, accuse and criticize this woman for her past relationships and having been with so many men. Jesus could have showed up in this particular region and judged this woman for having been with five different men who were her husband. Jesus could have pointed the finger at this woman and emphatically declared unto her how God hated divorce. This woman not only walked through and experienced divorce but had experienced it five separate times during her life. One thing Scripture is not clear on is how long she was married to each man before they would ultimately end up divorced. Scripture also does not point to nor reveal how long this woman was single between each marriage. If there is one thing we know for sure when reading this passage it’s that this woman had indeed and had in fact been with five different men who were each her husband and was now with a sixth man who was not her husband. Jesus could have undoubtedly showed up at this well outside the city of Sychar and condemned this woman according to that which was written in the Law of Moses and cast a tremendous amount of shame against and upon her. It is true that Jesus could have showed up in Samaria and encountered this woman knowing her sordid past and cast a tremendous amount of guilt, shame and condemnation upon her. The truth of the matter, however, is that Jesus did not show up in Samaria to condemn this woman no more than He entered and came into the world to condemn it.
If there is one thing we must needs recognize when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture it’s that the Father did not send the Son into the world to condemn it but that the world through Him might be saved. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it calls and draws our attention to the fact that when Jesus showed up in the region of Samaria and sat down at this well He did not do so to condemn and judge this woman. Despite the fact that Jesus was the only one during those days and at that time who could have cast judgment against and upon this woman and been justified in doing so that was not the reason He came. THAT’S NOT WHAT I CAME TO DO! THAT’S NOT WHY I CAME! THAT’S NOT WHY YOU’RE HERE! THAT’S NOT WHY I’M HERE! I absolutely love the fact that even though Jesus brought up this woman’s past and addressed it during the encounter there was absolutely no judgment nor was there any accusation in His words nor in His heart. When we read the words found in this passage we must needs understand that even though Jesus brought up this woman’s past and her having been with five men who were husband to her and now being with a sixth man who was not her husband He did so with tremendous care, compassion, grace and mercy within His heart. There is not a doubt in my mind that when Jesus spoke to this woman—even when He spoke to her about her past He did so with full compassion and affection toward her. We must needs recognize and understand that Jesus didn’t show up in Samaria and specifically at this well outside the city of Sychar to judge and condemn this woman. Jesus didn’t show up here at the well in Samaria to cast judgment and condemnation against and upon the woman—even though others might have thought and even desired to do so.
Perhaps one of the greatest truths surrounding the New Testament gospel narrative written by John is that not only do we find Jesus emphatically declaring that the Father did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world but we also find two incredibly powerful narratives that illustrate this particular truth. Within the fourth chapter of this gospel we find the narrative and account of the Samaritan woman who was a five time divorcee while in the eighth chapter we find a woman who caught in the act of adultery. In the fourth chapter of this gospel we find Jesus entering into a region the Jews wouldn’t have normally entered into that He might offer living water unto a woman who had been divorced five times and in the eighth chapter of this same gospel we find Jesus in the Temple offering a woman caught in the act of adultery deliverance from her accusers and freedom to go and sin no more. Oh stop and consider how absolutely incredible this truly is when you take the time to think about just how significant this actually is. It is something worth noting and thinking about when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture that this woman had been married and divorced five times and was now on her sixth relationship and yet Jesus did not show up in Samaria to condemn her of her sins. Even though Jesus would indeed bring up her past relationships He would not begin asking her countless questions concerning these relationships. Jesus did not speak unto this woman of having been with five different men who were husband to her and asked her what went wrong in each of the marriages. Jesus did not show up speaking unto this woman of her past relationships and then assaulted and attacked her with questions concerning each of these relationships.
At this point in time this woman did not know that the one standing before her was the Messiah and even when He spoke unto her of her past relationships she perceived that He was a prophet. It’s important for us to realize and understand just how incredible this truly is as it calls and draws our attention to the fact that this woman could have been entirely turned off had Jesus showed up at the well in Samaria—one who was a complete stranger and one whom she had never met or encountered before—and began asking her questions about her past. What we find within this passage is that although Jesus spoke unto this woman of her past relationships and addressed the fact that she had been with five different men who were husband to her He did not do so seeking to condemn her. This is incredibly important for us to recognize and understand as it is the key that unlocks the entire encounter between Jesus and the woman at the well. This encounter between Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well would indeed and would in fact be one that was incredibly crucial and critical to what would take place in the city as when this woman returned to the city—not only did she leave the water pot behind her at the well but she also spoke unto the men of one who had told her everything she ever did. What’s more is that even after Jesus had encountered this woman at the well and even after she had left leaving her water pot behind Jesus could have departed from the well. Jesus could have showed up in Samaria and spoken unto this woman of living water, spoken unto her of her past relationships, spoken unto her of worship, and even declared that He was the Messiah, and then immediately departed for Galilee after that. The truth of the matter, however, is that if you read the text you will find that not only did Jesus show up at this well and seemingly wait for this woman to show up, but He also waited at the well after she left knowing that she would return.
WHEN JESUS WAITS FOR YOU TO SHOW UP! WHEN JESUS WAITS FOR YOU TO RETURN! If there is one thing I find so absolutely incredible when reading this chapter it’s that which is found in the twenty-ninth verse. In this particular verse we find this woman leaving her waterpot and returning unto the city speaking and declaring unto the men of a man who told her all the things she had ever done. Not only this, but within this verse we find this woman speaking unto the men in the city asking them if the one she had encountered was not the Christ. Please don’t miss that which is found within this passage of Scripture for in the twenty-eighth verse of this chapter we find the woman leaving her waterpot and returning unto the city with one very specific purpose in mind—to speak and declare unto the men concerning this man who had told her everything she had ever done. When this woman returned unto the city—not only did she return to speak unto the men concerning one who had told her everything she had ever done, but she also returned to declare unto them that the one whom she had encountered was possibly the Christ. This concept of Jesus being the Christ and the Messiah is something that is found within and throughout the gospel narrative of John and is something that was presented as early as the first chapter. You will recall in the first chapter that after John the Baptist saw Jesus and proclaimed Him as being the Lamb of God two of His disciples departed from John and began following Jesus. As a direct result of following and abiding with Jesus one of these disciples named Andrew who was Simon Peter’s brother would go and speak unto his brother and unto others about quite possibly finding the Messiah and the Christ.
This is something we must needs recognize and understand as within the first chapter of this gospel we not only find certain individuals speaking unto others concerning Jesus possibly being the Messiah, but we also find the Jews in Judaea and Jerusalem sending priests and Levites unto John to inquire of him whether or not he were the Messiah. The priests and Levites would come unto John and would ask him whether or not He were the Christ and the Messiah to which he would emphatically respond by declaring that he was not. Instead John the Baptist would declare and proclaim that he was the voice of one crying in the wilderness who was sent to baptize in water. Furthermore John the Baptist would speak of one coming after him who was mightier than he was who would not only baptize with fire but would also baptize with the Holy Spirit. That which we find in the first and opening chapter of this gospel is actually quite remarkable when you think about it as within it we find priests and Levites asking John if he were the Messiah, as we find John calling men and women to behold the Lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world, and as we find Andrew Simon Peter’s brother coming unto others to declare unto them they had possibly found the Christ. This is necessary to recognize and understand for it sets the stage and the tone for what is found in the fourth chapter of this gospel narrative written by the apostle John. It is in the fourth chapter of this gospel we find this Samaritan woman—a woman who by the way we are absolutely unaware of what her name is—returning unto the city and speaking of a man who not only told her everything she had ever done, but also who might very well be the Messiah. It is with this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the opening chapter of this gospel concerning John the Baptist as well as two of his disciples who began following Jesus when they heard him proclaim Him to be the Lamb of God:
“John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” (John 1:15-18).
“And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ. And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No. Then said they unto him, Who art thou? That we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself? He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias. And they which were sent were of the Pharisees. And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizes thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet? John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; He it is who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose. These things were done in Behabara beyond Jordan where John was baptizing” (John 1:19-28).
“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. And john bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare recorded that this is the Son of God” (John 1:29-34).
“Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; and looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour. One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of JOna: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone” (John 1:35-42).
“The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me. Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of Joseph. And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see. Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold and Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbit, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel. Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? Thou shalt see greater things than these. And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man” (John 1:43-51).
I fully realize that what you just read was a tremendous amount of Scripture, however, there is a great need to recognize what was present in the opening chapter of the New Testament gospel written by the apostle John. In the opening chapter of this gospel we find the Jews sending priests and Levites unto John the Baptist inquiring of him whether or not he were the Messiah to which he responded that he was not. Instead that which John the Baptist would proclaim unto them concerning himself was that he was the voice of one crying in the wilderness and that he indeed baptized with water but there was one coming after him who would baptize with the Holy Ghost and with fire. Within the first chapter we also find the apostle John writing concerning John the Baptist how on two different occasions he called men and women to behold the Lamb of God, while on one occasion he would add the declaration “who taketh away the sins of the world.” It would be this second invitation to behold the Lamb of God that two of those disciples who followed John would depart from him and would follow Jesus. When Jesus turned and saw them following He would ask them what they were seeking to which they responded by asking Him where He dwelt. Jesus would invite them to come and see where He dwelt and they would abide with Him that same day. On the next day we find Andrew one of those two disciples finding Simon his own brother and proclaiming unto him that they had found the Messiah and the one who was the Christ.
It is absolutely necessary that we recognize and understand what is present here in this portion of Scripture, for what we find here is an incredibly powerful picture of what we see in the fourth chapter. It is in the fourth chapter of this same gospel we find this woman—after Jesus had spoken to her of those things which she did and after declaring unto her that He was indeed the Messiah which was called the Christ—returning unto the city and immediately speaking unto the men of the city. This woman would leave her waterpot behind her at the well with Jesus after His disciples returned and would immediately find the men of the city and proclaim unto them that there was a man outside the city who had told her everything she had ever done. What makes this quite interesting when you take the time to think about it is that when this woman spoke unto the men of the city she mentioned how Jesus had told her everything she had ever done. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for you would think if Jesus had entered into Samaria and accused, judged, criticized and condemned her of what she had done she might not have returned into the city and spoken unto the men concerning one who had told her everything she had ever done. This woman would proclaim unto Jesus after He spoke unto her concerning everything she had ever done and how she perceived that He was a prophet. By the time she left Jesus at the well, however, she would not only hear of living water, she would not only hear of worship, and she would not only be confronted with her past, but she would also hear Jesus proclaim that He which spoke unto her was indeed the Messiah which is called Christ. When this woman departed from the well there in Samaria she would return unto the city and proclaim unto the men how there was a man outside the city who not only revealed and spoke unto her concerning her past but also that this man might very well be the Christ.
“Then they went out of the city, and came unto Him” (John 4:29). Please pay close attention to the words which are found in this verse for after the men of the city heard the witness and testimony of this woman they departed from the city and came out unto Him. Oh there is something which must needs be pointed out and emphasized when reading the words here in this passage of Scripture—namely, that not only did the men of the city come out of the city unto Jesus but also that Jesus was still there outside the city at the well. It is truly something worth noting and pointing out when reading the words found in this portion of Scripture how not only did Jesus show up at this well and wait for the woman to show up but there is also every indication that Jesus remained at the well and waited for this woman to return. I would dare say that when this woman returned unto the well from within the city she was accompanied by a number of men from the city who came out to see Jesus. The fact that the men of the city departed from within it and came unto Jesus suggests that there was indeed a wonderful and powerful Messianic expectation and hope that was present within Samaria. There is not a doubt in my mind that although Jews and Samaritans had no dealings with one other the Samaritans still had within themselves a Messianic hope and expectation within themselves concerning that One who was to come. On this particular day a woman from their own city would come unto them and speak of one who had told her everything she had ever done and how might possibly be the Messiah and the Christ.
One thing I so absolutely love about what is found in this passage of Scripture is not only that Jesus showed up in Samaria and sat down at this well at the sixth hour to wait for this woman to show up but even after she departed leaving her water pot behind He remained at the well. It would have been very easy for Jesus to speak unto this woman concerning living water, and speak unto her concerning worship, and even declare unto her that He which spoke unto her was the Messiah and the Christ, and then departed from Samaria and entered into Galilee. Pause for a moment and think about what this passage could have been like if this woman had indeed departed from the well and returned unto the city speaking of one who had told her everything she had ever done and how this man might be the Messiah and then returned unto the well only to find Him no longer there. Think about what this passage would and could be like if this woman had returned unto the city and spoke unto the men concerning one who had told her everything she had ever done and how this might be the Messiah who is called the Christ. I am trying to picture within my mind what this would and could have been like had the woman spoken unto the men of the city concerning this one outside the city sitting at the well quite possibly being the Messiah which was the Christ and then returned to the well to find her waterpot still there but Jesus having already departed. The truth of the matter is that within this passage of Scripture we do not find Jesus departing from the well but instead remaining and abiding there in that same place where the woman left her waterpot and departed from His presence.
WHEN JESUS REMAINS IN THE PLACE YOU LEFT HIM! WHEN JESUS ABIDES IN THE PLACE YOU MET HIM! JESUS DOESN’T DEPART FROM THE PLACE WHERE YOU MET HIM! If there is one thing I so absolutely love about this passage of Scripture it’s that this woman departed from the well when the disciples arrived—perhaps being intimidated by at the number of men which increased at the well—and did so without speaking a word. I would dare say that Jesus knew precisely what this woman was going to do as she departed into the city and deliberately and intentionally waited there at the well for this woman to return. What’s more is I would dare say Jesus knew that this woman would return to the city and speak unto the men concerning her encounter with Him and chose to remain and abide there at the well waiting for whosoever would come out unto Him. It is something worth thinking about and considering upon reading this passage that Jesus chose to wait, chose to tarry, and chose to abide at the well rather than departing for He was ready and willing to accept all those who came unto Him. In the twenty-ninth verse of this chapter we find that the men of the city departed from the city and came out unto Jesus simply because of the word and testimony of this woman. This woman proclaimed unto the men of the city that there was one among them who might be the Christ and the Messiah and as a direct result of this the men from within the city would depart and come out unto the place where she had first met and encountered Him. Oh I can’t help but wonder what it was like for the men of the city to come out from the midst of it and come unto Jesus who was sitting there at the well. I wonder what it was like for the men of the city to depart from the midst of it and come unto the well where this woman had first experienced and encountered Jesus and where He had told her everything she had ever done.
Within this portion of Scripture we find the men of the city hearing the word and testimony of this woman and I am inclined to believe that she was one who perhaps held a tremendous amount of influence in the midst of it. For the men of the city to come out from the midst of it according to the word of this woman not only speaks to and suggests the Messianic expectation and hope within their hearts but also the tremendous influence and testimony this woman had within the city and among the men. The thirtieth verse of this chapter describes how the men came out of the city and came unto Jesus and I can’t help but wonder what went through their hearts as they were departing from the city and following the woman. What was it like as this woman led the men of the city—however many there actually were who accompanied her—unto the well and unto the place where she had encountered and experienced the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. What went through the hearts and minds of those who accompanied this woman unto the well and unto the place where she had first encountered and experienced this one whom she perceived might very well be the Christ and the Messiah. What’s more is that this is one of the only times within Scripture when Jesus would actually openly proclaim that He was the Christ and the Messiah. This woman would speak unto Jesus of their belief that there was one coming who was the Messiah and the Christ, and Jesus would respond unto her by declaring and proclaiming that He which spoke unto her was He. OH please don’t miss and lose sight of this and how absolutely incredible it truly is, for it brings us face to face with the awesome truth that there in Samaria—there in a place where there might have undoubtedly been tension and division—Jesus would not only offer living water but would also openly proclaim that He was the Christ.
Within this passage of Scripture we find the narrative surrounding Jesus and the woman at the well and Jesus among the men of the city being broken up by an encounter which He would have with His disciples. If you turn and direct your attention to verses thirty-one through thirty-eight of this chapter you will find the disciples having come back to Jesus and finding Him speaking to a woman at the well just outside the city. After the woman departed from the well leaving Jesus and her waterpot behind the disciples would pray Jesus to eat. Upon hearing the disciples asking Him to eat Jesus would declare unto them how He had meat which they knew not of. Upon hearing this the disciples would inquire among themselves who had brought Jesus meat and if anyone had in fact brought Him food and they were unaware. What we find immediately after this is truly astonishing for we find Jesus speaking of the meat which He partook of, however, the meat which He spoke of was not an earthly and natural meat of this world but rather something entirely and altogether different. This “meat” which Jesus would speak unto the disciples of was not only what caused Him to pass through to Samaria, and not only what caused to sit down at the well outside of the city, but also to engage and entertain this woman as well as remain and abide at the well even after she had departed. In order to understand the true and underlying reason why Jesus needed to pass through Samaria we must pay close and careful attention to the words found in this section as it not only helps us to understand how and why Jesus could pass through Samaria but also how Jesus could remain in Samaria for two days among those in the city. It’s truly amazing to think about and consider the fact that not only did Jesus sit down at the well and speak with this woman there in that place but Jesus would also remain at the well waiting for this woman to come back. Moreover, Jesus would remain at the well knowing that this woman would return unto the city to proclaim her testimony unto them. With this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in verses thirty-one through thirty-eight of the fourth chapter of this book:
“In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal : that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours” (John 4:31-38).
That which we find here in this passage of Scripture is incredibly strong and powerful when you take the time to think about it as we are brought face to face with the desire within the heart of Jesus to do the will of the Father as well as the harvest which was before Him. If there is one thing we must needs understand it’s that for Jesus there was a harvest present in the city of Sychar in the region of Samaria. It is entirely unclear whether or not this was the only city in the Samaritans which had this Messianic hope and expectation and I have to wonder if the sole reason and purpose Jesus went through Samaria and entered into this particular region was to demonstrate and show Himself as the Messiah and the Christ. In the four gospels we find Jesus preparing to journey unto Jerusalem and passing through Samaria and how one of the cities in Samaria had rejected and chosen not to receive Him. The brothers James and John were greatly agitated with their rejection of the Messiah that they asked permission from Jesus to call down fire from heaven upon them. Jesus’ response to them was one which men and women in our generation must needs recognize and understand for Jesus spoke and declared unto them that they knew not what spirit they were of. Jesus would not permit these two brothers to call down fire from heaven and would continue on His journey to Jerusalem. What makes this particular account so incredible is when you consider the fact that it is possible Sychar was perhaps the only city within Samaria that had a Messianic hope and expectation within their hearts. We know that this woman was well aware of the concept of the Messiah and the Christ and that she spoke unto Jesus concerning His coming. It would be upon hearing the words of this woman Jesus would declare unto her that He which spoke unto her was the Messiah.
I absolutely love the words which are found in this passage of Scripture as there seems to be every indication that Jesus came unto Samaria to not only manifest Himself within the life of this woman but also to demonstrate Himself as the Messiah and the Christ. This woman undoubtedly spoke unto Him concerning the Messiah and the Christ and the truth that there was coming a day when the Messiah would in fact be manifested in the earth and I would dare say she had absolutely no idea that when she departed from her house on this particular day she would encounter the very one whom she had perhaps heard and read so much about. The question I can’t help but wonder is if the Jews had no dealings with Samaritans then how was this woman aware of the concept of the Messiah and the promise of His coming? Did the Samaritans have access to the Law and the prophets as well and did they read the words and language that was contained therein which would give them an understanding of the Messiah and the Christ? Scripture is entirely and altogether unclear concerning this woman and how she had come to know that there was such a one who would be the Messiah who was to come. The only thing Scripture points to and reveals in this passage is that this woman was aware of the concept of the Messiah and was aware that there was coming a time to come. Scripture seems to provide no indication that the Samaritans were at all aware of John the Baptist and his preaching and baptizing men and women in water unto repentance for the remission of sins and yet this woman was very much aware of the reality and concept of the Messiah which was to come at some point.
Jesus would speak unto the disciples concerning His meat which was to do the will of the Father as well as the harvest and it is absolutely necessary we pay attention to what is being spoken of here. Jesus came into the region of Samaria knowing that the Jews had no dealings with them because where others saw tension He saw a harvest. Where others saw division He saw a harvest and an opportunity to do the will of the Father. Jesus knew that the Jews would just assume bypass Samaria and go around it—much like the priest and the Levite who saw the man on the road to Jericho who was left beaten, and robbed, and half dead. There is not a doubt in my mind that the parable of the good Samaritan carries with it more weight than simply the priest and the Levite who passed by on the other side of the road rather than helping this man who was clearly in trouble and clear in need. The parable of the good Samaritan is one that helps us to understand the mindset of the Jews toward the Samaritans and how the Jews would have been the ones who passed by on the other side. If there is one thing this passage reveals it’s that instead of going around Samaria—instead of being that one who passed by on the other side—Jesus would actually enter into and go through Samaria. When the Jews of that day would have assumed go around Samaria so as not to come in contact with any from within that region Jesus and His disciples would actually pass through the midst of it. What’s more is that Jesus actually stopped outside this city in Samaria and actually sat down at a well as if to be waiting for this particular woman to come out of the city and come unto the will. In fact, I would dare say that Jesus deliberately and intentionally came unto this well at this particular time during the day so as to be there ready and waiting for this woman to arrive. Jesus knew there was a divine appointment ordained by the eternal and living God in Samaria and He was very careful to be there at the well waiting for this woman to arrive.
What so amazes and impresses me about Jesus’ actions in this particular passage is that whereas the Jews of that day—priests, Levites, Pharisees, Sadducees, teachers of the law, publicans and the like—would not have dared step foot into Samaria and would have otherwise gone around it, Jesus deliberately and intentionally chose to enter into Samaria. Jesus knew the Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans and He knew that the Jews would not have even thought to step foot in Samaria and yet He knew there was perhaps a woman—quite possibly even an entire city—that was in eager anticipation and expectation for the Messiah. I would dare say that Jesus knew and understood that there was a city within Samaria that was living with this Messianic expectation and could not go throughout those three and a half years without entering into the midst of it. Jesus knew that there was a city within the region of Samaria that was waiting for the Messiah to be manifested in the earth and He had great need to manifest and demonstrate Himself as the Messiah they were waiting for. Jesus would not permit the disciples to enter into any of the cities of Samaria, however, He Himself would enter into the midst of that division and separation and would manifest Himself as the Messiah. Not only this but Jesus wouldn’t merely interact with this woman at the well but would remain at the well even after she left until she and the men from the city returned to the place she had first encountered Him.
When you come to the thirty-ninth verse of this chapter you will find how many of the Samaritans of that city believing on the woman for the saying of the woman when she testified of a man who had told her everything she ever did. What makes the remainder of the narrative so incredibly unique and powerful is when you consider that the Samaritans not only came out of the city unto Jesus based on the testimony of the woman, but they also believed on Him because of the word of this woman’s testimony. The men of the city heard this woman speak unto them of a man who told her everything she ever did and they believed on Jesus because of her word. What you find as you continue reading, however, is something much deeper and something much greater taking place. As you read the words found in this passage of Scripture you will find that the men of the city came unto Jesus based on the word of this woman’s testimony concerning Him telling her everything she ever did and when they came unto Jesus they besought Him that He would tarry with them. Please don’t miss the importance of this for it was one thing for Jesus to enter into Samaria but it was another thing for Jesus to actually abide there for a full two days. It was one thing for Jesus to sit down at a well outside one of the cities of Samaria, however, it was something else altogether for Him to abide among the Samaritans for two days. If there is one thing I so absolutely love about this passage it’s how Jesus was more than willing to honor their request and abide with them. The men of the city believed on Jesus because of the word and testimony of the woman and it would be upon coming unto Him they would beseech Him to abide and tarry with them. These men of the city believed the word which this woman spoke and the men of the city would come out unto Jesus to see who this man was and upon seeing Him there at the well they would beseech Him to abide and tarry with them.
THE JESUS WHO WAITS FOR YOU TO SHOW UP! THE JESUS WHO WAITS FOR YOU TO RETURN! THE JESUS WHO AGREES TO ABIDE WITH YOU! What I so love and appreciate about this particular narrative is not only that Jesus was willing to show up at the well outside the city of Sychar and wait for this woman to arrive but even after she departed from the well leaving her waterpot behind He chose to remain behind and wait for her to return. There is not a doubt in my mind Jesus knew that this woman would return and that she would undoubtedly bring others with her and He would sit there at the well and simply wait for them to come out of the city. Jesus would sit there at the well and speak with His disciples concerning the will of the Father and the harvest and the men of the city would come out unto Him. Scripture is unclear what the men of the city said unto Jesus and even what the journey from the city unto the place where Jesus was like, however, we do know that the men of the city believed on Him because of the word of this woman. When they actually came out and saw Jesus in the flesh and in person they would beseech Him to abide and tarry with them—a request which Jesus would not only accommodate but would do so for two days.
Pause for a moment and consider the fact that Jesus would spend two full days among the Samaritans—among those whom the Jews would have had no dealings with. For two full days Jesus would abide and tarry with this group of individuals in a region of the world during that time whom the Jews—those who were of the seed of Abraham whose seed He took upon Himself—would have no dealings with them. There is not a doubt in my mind that the sole reason and purpose Jesus would enter into such a place as Samaria during a time when Jews would have no dealings with the Samaritans was because they were such which were looking for and expecting the Messiah. I am convinced the Messiah showed up and came to those who were present here in this city of Samaria because they were looking for and expecting Him to come. There is not a doubt in my mind that during Jesus’ three and a half years of public ministry he needed to enter into Samaria and come unto this city for He needed to show Himself as the Messiah and the Christ whom they were looking for. This woman at the well undoubtedly knew of the Messiah and that the Messiah would come and was most likely shocked and surprised when He declared unto her that He which spoke unto her was the Messiah and the Christ. I would love to know what it was like for this woman to not only experience this Jewish man who was willing to speak with her but also that this man who spoke unto her was indeed the Messiah and the Christ. What’s more is that this woman could have chosen not to believe the words Jesus had spoke unto her concerning His identity as the Messiah, however, it’s important to recognize that before the men of the city believed on Jesus as the Messiah and the Christ this woman believed. It was the belief within this woman’s heart and soul as well as her testimony that would cause the men of the city to depart from the city and come unto Jesus to see and behold the man who had not only told her everything she had done but also claimed He was the Messiah.
As I prepare to bring this writing to a close it is absolutely necessary that we call and draw our attention to the fact that not only did Jesus enter into the region of Samaria but He was also willing to sit down and speak with this woman who was from one of the cities within it. There is not a doubt in my mind that Jesus came to this particular well and unto this particular city because He needed to show and manifest Himself as the Messiah. I firmly believe that Jesus deliberately and intentionally entered into this region of the Samaritans because He knew and understood their need to behold the Messiah. In the first and opening chapter we find John the Baptist declaring that he was not the Christ and we find Andrew declaring unto his brother Simon that they had found the Messiah and now we find Jesus at a well in Samaria making one of the only declarations in all of Scripture that He was indeed the Messiah. What we find in this passage is absolutely astounding when you take the time to think about it for it calls and draws our attention to the fact that Jesus had a great need to enter into the region of Samaria and abide with these Samaritans because they were looking for Him. Oh it is true they did not know they were looking for Jesus of Nazareth, however, on this particular day Jesus would indeed arrive and show up seemingly out of nowhere and without any advanced notice. On this particular day Jesus would show up at a well outside the city of Sychar in the region of the Samaritans and would minister unto a woman who was undoubtedly searching and looking for something. I would dare say this woman was not only looking for something personally within her relationships but she was also looking and searching for the Messiah. On this particular day she would find and encounter the Messiah and the one she had been looking and longing for during those days and at that time.
I conclude this writing with the powerful truth that Jesus wasn’t merely willing to enter into Samaria and entertain this woman at Jacob’s well but He was actually willing to abide and tarry with them. If the Pharisees and the scribes took great offense with Jesus because He ate with and entertained publicans and sinners then I can only imagine what they would have thought if they learned Jesus had entered into Samaria. Imagine the backlash Jesus would have faced and experienced in Jerusalem or in Judaea if the leading religious parties during those days heard that He had not only entered into Samaria but also entertained a woman in the midst of it. What’s more is I can only imagine what the Jews and the religious elite would have thought about Jesus if they learned and discovered that He had spent two days abiding and tarrying with the Samaritans. What we must realize and recognize is that as a direct result of Jesus abiding and tarrying with them for two days those who originally and initially believed on Him because of the word of the woman would believe because they heard His own words. Oh there is something incredibly different about believing in Jesus based on the word and testimony of someone else and believing in Jesus because of an experience and encounter with Him yourself. These men would hear of the encounter this woman where she spoke to them of a man who told her everything she did and for two days they would experience the person and presence of the Messiah for themselves. When these two days were over they would still believe, however, they would no longer believe based solely on the word of this woman but because they have heard Him for themselves and knew that He was indeed Christ, the Savior of the world. Perhaps the single greatest lesson we can in fact take away from this passage is Jesus’ willingness to enter into a region where no Jew would have dared enter and step foot into and would do so because of the hope and expectation that was in their hearts. Jesus would enter into the region of Samaria and would abide there for a two full days thus creating within their hearts and spirits the belief that he was indeed the Messiah. Oh if there is one thing that is so absolutely critical and needed during these days it is the person and presence of the Lord Jesus Christ being fully and completely manifested in those places of tension, strife, contention, division, chaos and the like and men and women not only believing that He is indeed the Christ but also commit themselves to faithfully walking with and following Him.