Today’s post is written by our guest, Lauren Hansen.
You’re at a luncheon. You missed breakfast because your kids woke up late for school. You raced into work, hopped on a conference call, and then a meeting – and another meeting. It’s time for lunch and you’re oh-so-ready.
In front of you is a beautiful assortment of sandwiches, fresh fruit, vegetables, pasta salads, and desserts. You’re ready to dig in and realize you forgot to grab a beverage. So you get up and go to the nearest watering fountain to get some water.
“‘Jesus said to her, ‘Give me a drink.’ … The Samaritan woman said to him, ‘How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?’” (John 4:7, 9 NIV)
The woman in John 4 had a similar situation. It’s midday. Hot. The sun was scorching. So the woman stops at a well and begins to draw water. When she arrives, she finds Jesus sitting at the well, resting from His journey to Galilee.
“Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.’…The woman said to him, ‘Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.’” (John 4:10, 15 NIV)
Then Jesus ever-so-gently opens a can of worms.
“‘Go, call your husband and come back.’ ‘I have no husband,’ she replied. Jesus said to her, ‘You are right. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have said is quite true.’” (John 4:16-18 NIV)
Gulp. Could you imagine? Remember that luncheon you’re attending? Imagine a stranger showing up to the water fountain and speaking to you. After some brief conversation, he reveals intimate details about your past. You’d be thinking he must be a prophet. A fortune teller. Or a nosy neighbor at least. Let’s jump back into John and see how this woman responded.
“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.’ … 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…Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony.” (John 4:25-26, 28-20, 39 NIV)
What I love about this story is that the woman came to fill her physical needs, but Jesus met her in a deeper place. He revealed her sin so she would see a greater need, and He gave her Himself – the greatest fulfillment, the living water. And instead of feeling shame, the woman leaves her water jar and runs back into town.
“Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John 17:3 NIV)
Scholars explain that most Jews wouldn’t trek through Samaria to get to Galilee. Instead, they would purposely extend their trip (twice as long!) and go around the region to the east of the Jordan River because there was intense hatred between Jews and Samaritans.
John 4:4 says that Jesus “had to go to through Samaria”. But, he didn’t really have to, did He? Couldn’t He have taken the long route? He was Jewish. Why would he go through a region that didn’t get along with Jews? May I make a guess?
He was looking for the woman at the well.
John 5:19 says, “The Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” The Creator of the universe knew that at the moment Jesus sat his weary body down, a woman would come to the well nearby to fetch water.
And as she came looking for water, God came looking for her. He gently and graciously offered her living water – Himself.
Just like the woman at the well, the God of the universe creates moments every day to show you He is pursuing you. Even after you invite Him into your life, He still pursues you.
He romances you. He delights in you. He fights for you.
You are the apple of His eye. The daughter He twirls. The girl He sings over. The woman He loves. Just like the woman at the well, He will walk through anything to get to you.
The next time life is like that luncheon, where you’ve become starving and thirsty, remember that God is right beside you giving you the living water you need – Himself.
“The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’ Let anyone who hears this say, ‘Come.’ Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life.” (Revelation 22:17 NLT)