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Jesus and You 3

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Woman at the Well

G' day welcome to Partakers and back to this little series, Jesus and you, looking at some people that met Jesus and how he changed their life and perceptions. Today we see somebody who accepted Jesus for who he was - a surprise to his disciples! John 4:1-42) Jesus, on his way back to Galillee, came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.  Jacob's well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime.  Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, "Please give me a drink."  He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food. The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, "You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?" 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." Jesus went via Samaria as it was the shortest route back to Galilee. It was hot. Jesus was thirsty and wanted a drink. His disciples had gone into town to get food. So he asks a Samaritan woman to fetch him some water from the well. That he asked a Samaritan would have been bad enough, but to also talk to a woman!

The woman

We don't know the name of this woman, but by looking at this conversation between Jesus and her, we discover several things about her: That she was a Samaritan. There was equal animosity between Jews and Samaritans, hence the end of John 4:9: "(For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)" This could equally be translated as "for Jews do not ask any favours of the Samaritans". The Samaritans were a mixed race people of both Jewish and Assyrian descent from the time of the division of Israel into two parts and the annexation of the Northern kingdom by Assyria. 2 Kings 17 tells us that Assyria repopulated this area. She was an outcast, that's why she was fetching water at the hottest part of the day! This was probably due to her sexual immorality having had 5 husbands and currently in a 6th relationship (John 4:18). We also know that she was waiting for the Messiah (John 4:25)

Jesus

What does this tell about Jesus? It reveals his genuine humanity. He was tired, drained, hot, thirsty and hungry - normal human feelings and reactions. It also shows that Jesus contravened tradition in that he spoke to a woman who was a Samaritan and a sinner. Respectable Jewish men never did that sort of thing! By asking for a drink of water; he was putting himself in this woman's debt and showing his humility. It also reveals his divine nature! He knew the woman's life of sinfulness (John 4:17) and again, when he offered her the water of eternal life (John 4:14) and he was able to spiritually satisfy her(John 4:14)! Jesus, Loved the woman, an outcast from her community, and gave her the most revealing and explicit statement we have in the Gospels as to who He really was (John 4:26). In showing love for the woman, he transcended cultural barriers. Ordinary Jewish men would never ask a woman, let alone a Samaritan woman, for a drink! Hence the disciples reaction in John 4:27! But Jesus is no ordinary man, his love is for all, whether they be rich, learned, male, female, wanted and unwanted!  This encounter between Jesus and the woman, shows us that Jesus' offer of salvation is for all people, and not just the Jews. The woman, did however, misunderstand one thing - the living water Jesus offered as she probably thought he meant running water or water from a river! But the living water Jesus offered was spiritual water to cleanse her from sin and give eternal life. Elsewhere in the Old Testament, God is described as "a fountain of living water" (Jeremiah 2:13; Jeremiah 17:13). When the disciples returned, the woman left her water jar and went back to the town to tell other people about Jesus (John 4:29-30). We read of the many people coming to faith because of the Samaritan woman's story (John 4:39-42) knowing Jesus as the saviour of the world (John 4:42). As Jesus' ministry continues, we know that He spoke to people regardless of their social status, education, nationality or gender. Again, I ask, who do you say Jesus is? But further, what are you going to do with this Jesus and let Him do to you?

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