She was not expecting to meet Him there. She was hoping not to meet anyone at all. That’s why she had come to the well in the heat of the day — when all of the gossipy, grownup mean girls would be gone.
But there He was.
He asked her for a drink. And then He offered her “a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” He spoke truth that convicted her, right to the very core of her being.
She couldn’t handle it. So she changed the subject.
The question she raised was controversial, the cause of debate and division. It concerned the historical basis for an awful lot of hatred, racial and religious prejudice. Maybe she did wonder sometimes if there was an answer…
But this time, she just wanted the focus of the conversation NOT to be on her. The question was simply a distraction. We know this, because when He gave her an amazing answer, she shrugged it off. She dismissed it with a well-worn expression people often used to end these kinds of conversations. “When the Messiah comes, he’ll explain it all to us…”
Jesus answered, “I who speak to you am He.” (John 4:26)
As I read this, I find my eyes welling up with tears. Imagine being the woman at the well. Just stood there, talking with Jesus. Feeling exposed and unworthy, guilty and ashamed. Wishing you were anywhere else. Only to hear Him reveal to you something so precious, so powerful, so radically transformational. The world would never, ever be the same. Centuries of wise men, scholars and theologians, prophets and kings, would have given their lives to witness and experience that moment. The moment when Jesus declared, “I am He.”
It’s absolutely mind-boggling.
He chose to share it with her.
I also can’t help but wonder how often Jesus comes to me — and I don’t recognize Him. I’m too busy or distracted, not really paying attention… or so focused on my pain, my guilt and shame, that I don’t see Him reaching out to me with love and mercy and grace. I KNOW there are times when He wants to shine the light of His truth into the dark corners of my heart… only I don’t want to go there. I’m not sure I can handle it. So I try to change the subject.
There are times I go thirsty when Living Water is mine for the asking…
There are times I go hungry when the Bread of Life is right there before me…
But when I see how deliberately He sought out the woman at the well, how undeterred He was by her status in society or her sin or her subterfuge, how focused He was on setting her free…
And I think about how good and kind and loving and faithful He has been to me…
I find myself wanting to be a better woman. The woman He created me to be.
So with my Samaritan sister, I tell all my friends, “Come and see!” (John 4:29)
And I return again to sit at His feet. I don’t want to miss anything He wants to reveal to me.
This Week’s Assignment:
For those who are participating in Summer in the Son — Virtual VBS For GrownUp Girls — our online study of the Gospel of John:
Read John Chs 4-5. Take your time and really immerse yourself in the Word. (For tips on how to get the most out of your Bible study time, see Five Simple Ways to Focus on the Words You Read.)
Memorize John 4:34.
Today’s question: If we’ve tasted the Living Water that Jesus said would quench our thirst, why do we sometimes find that we’re still thirsty… even parched?