The Samaritan woman was strangely at ease, there at the Jacob’s well talking with the interesting man who asked her for a drink of water. Her comfort would be short-lived. Relaxing a bit in this unusual situation, she followed Jesus’ revelation of some new source of water that actually relieved thirst with a request.
“Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.”
Why was she drawing water from the village well in the heat of the day, a time everyone else avoided? Chances are it was because the village gossips made her more uncomfortable than the noon-day sun. There was much to gossip about in her life and the other women didn’t even bother to whisper. So, it was noon-day for her at the well in Syhcar. Just when she thought she was safe from the gossips…
“Go, call your husband, and come here.”
“I have no husband.”
The woman was shocked by the sudden change of subject and by the subject itself; she did not answer right away. She looked around the streets leading to the well to see if some of the busybodies were watching. Maybe they had been talking to this man. Finally, she answered with the truth—not the whole truth—but the truth. She expected Jesus to be offended but He was smiling at her!
“You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands,
and the one whom you now have is not your husband…”
There was not an ounce of condemnation in His accounting, simply the facts. The woman was totally confused now. What did this man want from her? More than a drink of water, she thought. Maybe He was not one to be trusted. She decided to change the subject.
“Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.”
With this, Jesus broke out in laughter. She hadn’t meant to make a joke but she was so relieved to have changed the subject that she joined Him with nervous laughter. She pursued the new topic.
“Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.”
Jesus caught his breath and looked into her eyes. It was as if He carried a torch deep into her soul. He saw her search for love, for meaning, for a relationship that would last. He knew that she vaguely suspected that she might find what she was looking in worship of Jehovah.
But with His reply Jesus ruled out all the forms of worship she knew, both that of the Samaritans on the their mountain or that of the Jews in the temple. A new day of worship was coming—indeed it was here—when
“…the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth;
for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.”
In her soul, a deeper thirst began to stir.
Perhaps there was a way to quench her parched mind, to water her thirsting spirit. “The Father”—who exactly did He mean? God Himself?
Just then the tenacious little breeze returned to the well, pushing dry leaves before it. Loose hair fell from her headpiece and she quickly put it back into place. She knew she should pick up her water jar and go about her business but the promise of water that would slake a deep thirst like hers made her stay. Who was this man and what else did He have to say?
The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.” Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.” The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.
Lord Jesus, we may not be able to identify with the Samaritan woman’s life but each of us possesses a thirst deeper than water can reach, a thirst for life, for true companionship, for safety when life threatens like an approaching storm. You do offer living water, spiritual refreshment that goes deep into our souls, reaching the driest parts of us. You are the spring of Living Water! I will drink deeply in prayer. I will draw the refreshment of Your presence in worship and the Word and my thirsting soul will be satisfied. Amen and Amen.
Drinking at the Springs of Living Waters
Words and Music: John W. Peterson
1. I thirsted in the barren land of sin and shame,
And nothing satisfying there I found;
But to the blessed cross of Christ one day I came,
Where springs of living water did abound.
Drinking at the springs of living water,
Happy now am I,
My soul they satisfy;
Drinking at the springs of living water,
O wonderful and bountiful supply!
2. How sweet the living water from the hills of God,
It makes me glad and happy all the way;
Now glory, grace and blessing mark the path I’ve trod,
I’m shouting “Hallelujah” ev’ry day.
3. O sinner, won’t you come today to Calvary?
A fountain there is flowing deep and wide;
The Savior now invites you to the water free,
Where thirsting spirits can be satisfied.
© 2018 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved
TheJesusStory devotions are also found at KingdomWinds.com.