Dr Andrew C S Koh
Heavenly Father, we commit to You our daily devotion. Holy Spirit, we pray that You will explain, teach, reveal, and give us spiritual insight and understanding, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Jesus took the shortest route from Judea to Galilee by traveling directly northward stopping in Samaria. This was not the usual route. The Jews bypass Samaria by going through Perea, eastward, northward, and westward into Galilee. Jesus took the road less traveled.
Jesus arrived at Jacob’s well in Sychar at noon, tired, hungry, and thirsty from the long walk. The disciples went into the city to buy food. Jesus, who was fully man and fully God, felt tired, thirsty, and hungry. As a Samaritan woman came to the well to draw water, she noticed a stranger, a man, waiting there for her. This was most unusual. Woman came to the well in the morning or evening to draw water, socialize, and gossip. This woman came at 12 noon knowing that no other women would be there.
Woman of Samaria
7 A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” 8 For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. 9 The Samaritan woman therefore said to him, “How is it that you, being a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. So where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our father, Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his children and his livestock?” 13 Jesus answered her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never thirst again; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I don’t get thirsty, neither come all the way here to draw.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” 17 The woman answered, “I have no husband.”Jesus said to her, “You said well, ‘I have no husband,’ 18 for you have had five husbands; and he whom you now have is not your husband. This you have said truly.”John 4:7-18
Jesus had a divine appointment to seek and save this unnamed Samaritan woman. When Jesus asked her for a drink, she was shocked because Jews and Samaritans were sworn enemies. In the first-centrury world, a woman was not allowed to talk with a man in public. This was forbidden, unacceptable, and even scandalous. Jesus broke the social, cultural, and gender divide in His opening gambit! Jesus, the gift of God, spoke to her! If only she knew! Here was a spiritually thirsty woman who looked for satisfaction in the well of relationship with other men but could not find it. Jesus’ brilliant icebreaker was to ask for water, and He was ready to give her the living water of the Holy Spirit, John 7:37-39.
The woman was shocked. Here was a Jewish rabbi asking her for a drink! Jesus spoke spiritually but she thought physically. She blurted out a rhetorical question, are you greater than Jacob? Jesus responded that drinking water from this well would not satisfy her spiritual thirst.
The woman was caught hook, line, and sinker!. She wanted the living water! When Jesus told her to go home and bring her husband, she was speechless! With omniscient power, Jesus exposed her sin, revealing that she had 5 previous husbands and the present man in her life was not her husband. Jesus exposed her sin to convict her to repentance.
“On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them’. By this, he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time, the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified”.
Here is an evangelism 101 masterclass. How do you talk to a stranger? How do you break the ice? Ask a simple question. Jesus was thirsty, and the woman came to draw water with a bucket. It was very natural to ask for water. Use this approach. Start a small talk by asking a question with eye contact to build a bridge. Be sincere, friendly, and genuine. You are trying to break into a stranger’s world and he/she may be going through some hard times. Break down social, racial, political, gendered, or religious divides. Jesus did it and so must you and me.
Drinking water will only quench the thirst temporarily. What she, and everyone need is Jesus Christ, the living water of eternal life. Only Jesus can satisfy the thirst of relationship with the God of creation. Blaise Pascal, a Christian physicist, once said that each person has a void in their heart that can only be filled by God the Creator, who is revealed through Jesus Christ. This void can never be filled by anything else in this world.
What wells are you drinking from? Are you drinking from the material wells of the world? None of these wells can satisfy the longings of your heart. Only the well of Jesus Christ can give you true inner and lasting satisfaction. Will you turn to Him?
Heavenly Father, the waters of worldly pursuit make us thirst for more. We need a drink from You to satisfy us for eternity. Fill us with Living Water, Holy Spirit, Spirit of Truth, and Spirit of Life. You came to seek and save those that are lost. You went out of Your way to save a lowly, unnamed, despised, and immoral woman of Samaria. Thank You for Your grace, mercy, loving-kindness, and faithfulness, in Jesus’ name, Amen.