The story of the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4 has always been a favorite of mine. Perhaps because our first meetings with Jesus were so similar: a thirsty and hopeless heart living an ordinary day suddenly transformed by an extraordinary encounter with the Savior of the world.
Jesus went out of His way to pass through Samaria. Most Jews of His day avoided the land because the Samaritans weren’t considered “true” Jews. This is why the Samaritan woman was incredulous when Jesus asked her for a drink. “Doesn’t He know He shouldn’t be talking to me, much less asking me for water?” she must have thought.
I thought the same thing when I first met Jesus. I couldn’t believe He had descended to earth and become man just so He could die and rise again, defeating sin and death for me. Neither could I fathom that He really was offering me eternity with Him.
But I soon discovered, just like the Samaritan woman, that “I who speak to you am He.”
Once she drank deeply of the living water which quenches all thirst, the Samaritan woman no longer had any need for the well she had up until now counted on. Just as when I drank of the living water Jesus offers I no longer needed the wells of superficial relationships, jealousy for someone else’s lifestyle, a closet full of clothes, or any of what is commonly thought to hold fun, fulfillment, and happiness.
The world is full of thirsty people dipping into wells looking for water. I was once one of those individuals.
I confess, I still am sometimes. My wells have taken on a more “spiritual” look over the years. I drink from the well of Bible study, ministry opportunities, work at the church, etc., and sometimes forget that Jesus alone is my source of living water.
It is then that Jesus gently knocks on the door of my heart, and recently with this phrase in verse 28:
Then, leaving her water jar…
Just as the Samaritan woman did, I leave my water jar behind as a testimony that the water which I once relied on can’t compare to that which Jesus offers.
(originally published in 2010)