Summary: Jesus talks with a Samaritan woman who is "drinking" of the water of relationships. 6 men can’t satisfy her. But the 7th Man, the God-Man Jesus Christ perfectly satisfies!
Please open your Bibles to John chapter 4. We have a very interesting story here before us this morning, a story of Jesus speaking with a Samaritan woman at a well. This story is interesting because the Jews did not speak with Samaritans. Samaritans were called “half-breeds.” You see when Assyria captured the Northern Kingdom of Israel in 722 BC they deported the Israelites from the capital, which was Samaria, and replaced them with idol-worshipping people across their own empire. These idol worshippers eventually adopted a hybrid form of Judaism which allowed them to worship idols and serve the Living God. They were indeed “half breeds.” So the Jews had no dealing with Samaritans.
In fact, the Jews had a saying when they would travel around from place to place, and that saying was, “we must go around Samaria.” As they would plan their trips out ahead of time they were careful to say to one another, “we must go around Samaria”. And I think John here in his gospel picks up on that very saying when he says in verse 4, “now He had to go through Samaria.” While the Jews had to go around Samaria, Jesus had to go through Samaria, because He was on a mission to an outcast Samaritan woman.
Furthermore, in this culture, men did not speak to women publicly, devout Jews would not even address their wives publicly, believing that women were inferior to men, and not to be addressed directly. You could talk about them, but never to them. But not so with Jesus. This Jew speaks kindly with the Samaritan. This Man talks directly to the woman, thereby elevating, and respecting and loving her. Because Jesus crosses cultural boundaries, and breaks down gender barriers, because that’s who He is.
Listen to Ephesians 2:14: 14 “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, Ephesians 2:14. That’s what you see Jesus doing right here, destroying cultural barriers, knocking down walls that divide people. And that is what He would do right up to and including His death. Through His death He would completely destroy every dividing wall that man ever put up. In Christ, there is no Jew and Gentile, no male or female, no black or white, no old or young, no Goth or yuppies, but we are all one in Jesus.
We are going to look at John 4:4-30, and notice three specific points. Here we have:
#1: an apparent sinner
#2: an amazing Savior
#3: an absolute salvation
An apparent sinner. This Samaritan woman was
…living immorally, Look at verse 18: “18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband.” I mean, she has gone from one man to another to another, and what is left behind broken hearts and shattered lives. She is living immorally.
…thirsting spiritually. In fact, she’s living immorally because she is thirsting spiritually. And right now, I would like to give you THE key to understanding this entire passage. If you understand this point, you get all of John 4. The key to this whole passage is to connect verse 13 with verse 18. Verse 13 says 13 Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again” and verse 18 says 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband."
In verse 13, Jesus is not merely making a statement about the physical water in the well, saying that if anyone drinks of it he will thirst again. That would be an overly obvious and unnecessary statement. Instead, Jesus is connecting physical thirst with spiritual thirst, which can be seen by comparing verses 13 and 18. This woman is going from one man to another, always hoping the next man will “satisfy her thirst,” meet her needs, satisfy her longings, but each time she is “thirsty again.”
See this story is not just about a woman at a well, it’s about a man at his workplace, a woman in her home, or a child growing up. Because we all thirst. Thirst is a universal need. You and I are the woman at the well. When I was young I had a video game called Atari. I know that makes me really old. But I loved the game called Frogger, and I would play it by the hour. Man you got to get that little frog across the highway, over the logs, and out of the mouths of alligators and home to safety. It was fun. But then after about 2 million hours I got tired of it. I started squishing the frogs on the highway just for fun. But then out came my all time favorite, Donkey Kong. This game had levels. It was fun, but I soon tired of it, which is a good thing because out came Pac Man, the number 1 video game of all. But that was when I was a kid.