Summary: The 5th sermon in the John series looks at Jesus encounter with the woman at the well where Jesus offered her Living Water.
John’s Gospel #5 She said; He said
CHCC: February 3, 2008
What would it be like to have a one-on-one conversation with Jesus? John chapters 3 and 4 tell about two private conversations Jesus had during the first months of his Public ministry. Jesus offered two very different people the same thing: salvation. To Nicodemus he offered new birth. To the Woman at the Well he offered living water.
It was no coincidence that John put the two accounts right next to each other. They show that salvation is available for ANYONE and EVERYONE. Nicodemus and the Woman at the Well were about as opposite as it gets.
Nicodemus The Woman at the Well
At midnight At noon
Religious Jew Irreligious Samaritan
Wealthy and Respected Poor and an Outcast
Pristine Past abuse,pain,and bad choices
Said very little Had a lot to say
Not long after he talked to Nicodemus, Jesus left Judea and traveled to Galilee where he would stay for most of his 3-year ministry. Jesus was attracting such a big following that the Jewish Leaders in Jerusalem had already started looking for excuses to arrest Him. Jesus had to travel through Samaria.
You can see why on the map … but there was so much animosity between Jews and Samaritans that many Jews would cross the Jordan River and go the long way rather than travel through this land of despised half-breeds. Whatever his Disciples might have preferred, Jesus intended to go through Samaria.
About half way through the trip, Jesus and his Disciples stopped near Sychar. While the disciples went to the town to get some food, Jesus sat down and leaned against a Well to rest. This was a famous well that Jacob dug thousands of years before. If you went to the Holy Land you could still visit Jacob’s well today. There was no one around until a woman walked up with her water pot. Jesus made a simple request. “Will you give me a drink?” And that’s where the She Said, He Said part begins.
What this woman said to Jesus was not exactly friendly: She snapped, "You’re a Jew and I’m a Samaritan woman. Why would you ask me for a drink?" John 4:9 In her defense, she had good reason to be suspicious. Jews avoided Samaritans like the plague. Besides that, men and women didn’t usually talk to each other. (By the way, it’s still that way in much of the world. For example in India, men and women are rarely ever seen together unless a married couple are traveling together)
So the last thing this Woman expected was for a Jewish Man to ask her for help. She basically told Jesus, “I’m not about to give you any of our well water.”
Jesus ignored her rude comment. He said, "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." John 4:10
She said: I won’t give you well water.
He said: I will give you living water.
So how did this woman respond? She said, “Sir, 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?" John 4:11-12
Even though she addressed Jesus as “Sir” (which seems a little more polite) … I think she was goading Jesus. To her, all Jews were self-righteous know-it-alls.
Again, Jesus looked past her cantankerous attitude. He said, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks 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." John 4:13-14
A while back, SPRITE had a commercial that said, “Image is nothing. Thirst is everything. OBEY YOUR THIRST.” Jesus wanted this woman to OBEY HER THIRST.
I’m sure his offer of living water caught her interest … because she already WAS thirsty. She was about to lower a bucket over 200 feet down into the well so she could quench her thirst.
She said, "Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water." John 4:15
You might think Jesus had won her over. But I don’t think so. The more we learn about this Woman, the more we see that she had lived a hard life. After years of abuse and rejection, she had built a hard, protective wall around herself. She didn’t trust anyone … especially not this Jew.
When she said, Sir, give me this water so I won’t have to hike out to this well any more. I think she was really saying, Okay, big shot. If you have some sort of magic water, then PROVE IT!