Summary: This is a sermon based on the woman at the well. A parched mouth is not the only thing the woman had... she had a parched soul too. We travel with her as Jesus gives us all the living water we need.
Now Jesus had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
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.”
“Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?”
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drink this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drink the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”
“I have no husband,” she replied.
Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
“Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
Jesus declared, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”
The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.”
She’s thirsty. It seems like she’s always thirsty. The dry and arid air of this region has a way of just sucking all the moisture out of you. She looks forward to dipping her cup into the cool, clean water of Jacob’s well. It will bring relief… if only for a moment. But man… is she ever sick of making this long trip. How many trips had she made to this well? Hundreds? Thousands? Well… once a day now for…. what has it been? 20 years since she moved here with her first husband? 20 years. How time flies.
She remembers how exited they were when they first got here. As they approached from the south, they gasped at how picturesque the little town was. Nestled gently between two small mountains… just a half mile from Jacob’s well… they wondered if there was anything prettier on this earth. Her husband was going to be a sheepherder here.
Was. Oh… the plans they had. He died shortly after they got here. (Sigh) That was a tough time. All those hopes… all those dreams… gone… in an instant. The dread she felt that day was still palpable today. She still wonders how she got through it. She can remember it all like it was yesterday. She can still remember the day he was buried… still remembers the emptiness of being alone in a new city… still remembers the difficult decision she made to stay here, and try to find her niche.
After all, it was such a nice little town. And it was in a prime location. The road just south of Sychar became the Ridge Road, the "Patriarch’s Highway." Many travelers came through this area on their way between Judea and Galilee. That’s how she met her second husband. What a handsome one he was… with sticky fingers nonetheless. He got caught with a sack full of the governor’s finest jewelry. Husband number two was hung the next morning.
Husband number three was a load of fun, until he was caught having fun in somebody else’s house. Husband four was an artist… she remembers eating like an artists wife. Mmm mmm bread and water. Yet with all of her sacrifices for his art… he still left her because she was tying him down. Husband five was supposed to be the mature… responsible one. The one that would go the distance… the one that would take care of her. But he was addicted to the drink… and drank their wealth… and his health right down the tubes.