Going To The Well
By Dot Bowen
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." John 4:10 (NIV)
Grabbing her water jug, the Samaritan woman headed toward Jacob’s Well around noon. Time was short if she was going to arrive before the other Jewish women. It was possible the ladies might not know she had been married five times and was now living with a man who was not her husband, but in her mind, everyone in town knew every sin she had ever committed. It’s obvious she was searching for more than a great marriage and the love of a man. Little did she know she would soon meet the only man who could love her with a perfect love without needing anything from her.
If only I could have seen the look on her face when she saw a man sitting beside the well. Obviously men didn’t intimidate her; she likely had more encounters with men than women. But this man was different. He was Jesus—the Messiah—and He was about to change her life completely. She thought He was just another Jewish man until He crossed cultural boundaries and spoke to her. As they talked, she soon realized He was different. For one thing, He knew everything about her, yet He wasn’t condemning. It’s not every day we meet someone who doesn’t judge us for our sinful behavior.
I can’t imagine what was going through her mind when Jesus asked her for a drink of water or to go get the husband He knew she didn’t have. Certainly Jesus had her attention when she realized He knew everything about her, yet she knew nothing about Him. Jesus told the Samaritan woman, "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." What did He mean? First, let’s consider some of the attributes of Jesus. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. Jesus is the Savior of the world. Jesus is the bread of life, and the water that satisfies our soul. If she had known what Jesus offers, she would have asked, and He would have given her exactly what she needed. Do you feel empty because of the guilt over past regrets? Jesus has forgiven you. Do you struggle to believe your life has any purpose? Jesus can give you a life with purpose. When Jesus said to drink from Him, He is saying He is what brings meaning to life; knowing we are a child of God brings value to our life. Jesus said if we knew who He is we would ask Him and He would give us everything we need—He would give us His life.
Jesus sat by Jacob’s Well waiting for the Samaritan woman to come, and I believe He waiting for us to come to Him. The last thing we want is an empty life. We will do whatever it takes to fill our lives with things we believe will make us happy—just like the Samaritan woman was seeking the approval of men to fulfill her emptiness. Jesus can’t fill something unless we come to Him empty. If we believe we can only come to Jesus once our lives are fulfilled, we are wrong. We must empty ourselves of ourselves and ask Jesus to fill us with Himself.
The Samaritan woman came looking for water from Jacob’s Well, but Jesus offered her a “spring of living water.” Too often we fill our empty jugs with something else when Jesus knows everything about us and what we need to be satisfied. And He is more than willing to give us everything we need. He’s just waiting for us to ask!
Further Reading John 4:1-43; Philippians 4:19; Psalm 37:4