Updated: May 4, 2020
John 4 “ A Samaritan woman came to draw water”
God sees...hears, and will never forget
As I read chapter 4 of John, several things came to mind, but the thing that stood out to me, was the fact that the Lord HAD to go through Samaria, and that while Jesus was speaking with the woman, the disciples weren’t present. The scripture indicates they came back at the end of the conversation. Revelatory Note: Sometimes when God wants to establish a new thing in you, or you in a new thing (way) he has to separate you. He has to sever the ties you have with things that are familiar and comfortable.
During the time of Jesus, men were strongly admonished, “not to talk much to women kind” Jose b. Johanan of Jerusalem (One of the oldest known scribes); to which was added, “they said this of a man’s own wife: how much more of his fellow’s wife” (J. Jeremias, 1969, 4th edidtion 2019). Women were not allowed to be out in public by themselves, or uncovered. Their husbands were to accompany them, if they did go out. If the women were found in violation of these ordinances,
Living in the kingdom requires a separation from traditions of men and the ways of the world.
husbands were allowed to divorce their wives, without the customary monetary support given in divorce. And men were strictly forbidden to be alone with a woman if she wasn’t his wife. The issue was even more intolerable, if the man was considered a scholar. It was considered utterly disgraceful.
Single women, it is said to be “ more preferable” if they do NOT go out at all (J. Jeremias, 2019 citing Philo( De spec. leg. III, 169). In some cities during this time period, women were said to stay in seclusion, not going out at all, in strict observance of this law.
The societal law, as it relates to Samaritans, makes what Jesus did, even more, spectacular or salacious.
Samaritans of the time were considered to be of the lowest degree in class and society. The attitude of the Jews toward their neighbors, samaritians, even during the post biblical period, (J. Jeremias) were regarded as “half-breeds” a mixed Judeo -Gentile race.
Anytime a “pure Jew” would pass through Samaria to celebrate feast, there was often violence between the Samaritan and the Jew.. Josephus tells the story, for the period immediately before 150 B.C. of a religious quarrel, between Egyptian Jews and Samaritans. The quarrel was brought before Ptolemy Philometer.The rivalry between the two sanctuaries in Jerusalem and Gerizim, had reached its peak, and not long after the death of Antiochus VII, (in 129) the temple on Gerizim was destroyed (J. Jeremias, 353).
When Jesus addressed the woman at the well, he broke all of the cultural laws of the time to address The Samaritan Woman’s need.
In verse 10 of chapter 4 Jesus addresses her thirst. He knew she was thirsty (needing sustainable life).
-The first reference to what is now used as expression of someone who is desperate for affection or attention.-
The woman at the well was in need. When the Lord pointed out her need. She asked him to give her this “water” so that she wouldn’t have to come to draw any more.
Water is defined as, the basis of the fluids of living organisms. Yeshua called himself “living” water. When the woman asked, for this water, the Lord began to pour into her. He told her to go and get her husband. The woman answered, “I have no husband”
(Refer to above historical context)
When she said to Jesus “I have no husband” she was saying to him, I have no one to cover, protect, or provide for me spiritually, emotionally, societally, or monetarily. *remember she came to the well alone**
Jesus responded, “ You have rightly said, and the one you are with is not your husband” and he began to speak.
Side Note: what does this say about the “husband” in the story.
Every word Jesus spoke, touched and filled her thirsty soul. I think there may have been more to the conversation, because when she leaves her waterpot to tell everyone in her city to come hear a man, she says to them, “who told me everything I ever did”, which implies there was more to the conversation. Another indication it was a long conversation, was the fact the disciples were just returning.
*The walk to the city to buy food may have taken more than an hour*
As she left to tell everyone in the city about her newfound living spring, the scripture indicates she left her waterpot behind. She left her way of satisfying her essential need. She left behind her way of carrying, managing her life, ( looking to others, to men for her supply, satisfaction of soul etc.), and started carrying life eternal to those who needed it.
The woman met the living water at the well, and never thirsted again. She began drawing from the perpetual supply.
Her Needs Our Needs
This woman needed protection. Someone to help her hold things together. She needed a true provider, someone that would give her his name and everything that comes with this.
She was in need of emotional rescue, healing (no man valued her for who she was, only for what she could give).