Summary: The "woman at the well" is a renowned Biblical story even though the woman's name is never mentioned, but that is because she never was the central figure in that story. It is the "Word Incarnate" who is revealed.
More of Jesus’ Mission John 4:27-42
Unnamed people most often are not remembered; the world in which we live basically teaches the opposite: You have to try and “make a name for yourself!” The Samaritan woman at the well remains nameless to us to this day, but Jesus’ encounter with her has been taught millions of times, and the most important thing is that Jesus revealed Himself to her as the Messiah, and He remains the central figure of the story, and central to our lives, as He rightly should.
We heard Jesus’ own revelation of Himself to us and to the woman in John 4: 26: “I who speak to you am He.” We saw that literally He said to her to: “I “I am”, the one speaking to you” or “I, the one speaking to you, I AM.” Jesus was revealing himself to the woman as the Messiah planned from all eternity and promised throughout the entire Old Testament History period, The Great and Grand, “I Am”, God revealed in the flesh. Today we look at God’s Word in John 4:27-42 (NAS):
“27 At this point His disciples came, and they were amazed that He had been speaking with a woman, yet no one said, "What do You seek?" or, "Why do You speak with her?" 28 So the woman left her waterpot, and went into the city and said to the men, 29 "Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done; this is not the Christ, is it?" 30 They went out of the city, and were coming to Him.”
As Jesus makes His self-identifying statement, the disciples returned and were amazed…amazed that Jesus was speaking to a woman. We don’t understand how UNcharacteristic it was for a Jewish teacher to be speaking face to face with a Samaritan woman who was living immorally, especially in broad daylight, in public, and willing to share HER waterpot! You should not even be speaking this way with your own wife! In the prejudicial and judgmental legalistic society of that day, Jesus should have been cursing this woman instead of bringing shame and dishonor upon Himself by sitting and speaking with her, but Jesus’ Mission WOULD BE FREE of PREJUDICE and full of GODLY COMPASSION, an UNEARTHLY compassion, which always includes sympathy AND empathy, and then moves to actually DO SOMETHING to heal sin-broken broken hearts. (Jesus acted upon the Father’s Love and came to DIE for sinners; that’s what He did!
The disciples probably didn’t curse the woman or question Jesus because they had already learned that Jesus was NOT like other Rabbis, nor for that matter, any human being that they had ever met…And the woman doesn’t wait around for them to start criticizing her either. She abandoned her original water-drawing mission, leaving her valued water jug behind to share the news openly in the town square. THIS IS the case, isn’t it, when people are convicted within themselves by God’s Word: they abandon their personal mission for one the heavenly one which is FAR MORE VALUABLE.
Her reaction to Jesus’ self-declaration of being the Christ and to His miraculous knowledge of her immoral personal past history was to go into town and testify to the town people during the day, the absolute uniqueness of this prophet she had just met. Even though He told her of her past sins, He did so with compassion; Jesus’ divine knowledge of her own past sin had impacted her heart in the presence of the Prophet to such a degree that she made a public testimony: “Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done; this is not the Christ, is it?
Her testimony caused an immediate response from the townspeople in verse 30: “They went out of the city and were coming to Him” and we’ll look at the impact in minute; but first look at 31-34: “Meanwhile the disciples were urging Him, saying, "Rabbi, eat." 32 But He said to them, "I have food to eat that you do not know about." 33 So the disciples were saying to one another, "No one brought Him anything to eat, did he?" 34 Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.”
Jesus’ Mission is to feed the hungry with UNEARTHLY FOOD. Heavenly, Spiritual Food-The disciples were famished and they had gone up the hill to town to get food, and when they returned with the food, their fatigued teacher didn’t want to eat. They say to each other, “Maybe someone shared something with him while we were gone, but that would be unusual in this neighborhood.” And Jesus offers a response to instruct them concerning Jesus’ own statement of MISSION and DEVOTION: "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.” His response reminds us of the response that Jesus made when He was tempted by the devil, (Matt. 4:4) when He quoted Deut. 8:3: “Man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.”