On Wednesday, I learned about the Women at the Well in John 4:1-26. I'm going to do the same thing I did last time and split it up verse by verse with the address (linked) starting each section. So, we'll start with John 4:1-3.
This is the background knowledge for the story. The Pharisees hear that Jesus is baptizing tons of disciples which means that less people will treat them like super stars (read last post for more info.) This isn't actually true, the disciples are baptizing people in Jesus' name, but nevertheless, Jesus decided to head out of town in order to avoid a big argument and keep the peace.
John 4:4: The Jews and the Samaritans where enemies. After some debates on how to worship, the Jewish people kicked the Samaritans out of "the club." They didn't allow them into the Temples and went to great pains to avoid them even though they all worshiped God. So Jesus was headed to Galilee from Judea and Samaria was in the middle of these two places. The Bible says that Jesus had to pass through Samaria but literally, that's not true. He could have gone around Samaria like all the other Jews did but for some reason the Bible says He had to go through. It seems like the author made a mistake but just like being "born again," we have to dig a little deeper for this one! Jesus had to go through Samaria because it was His mission on earth to bring salvation to everyone. Not just the Jews but the Samaritans too! He couldn't go around because He would be ignoring God's call!
John 4:5-7: Most women came to draw water in a group in the morning or evening. The fact that this women is here alone in the hottest part of the day shows that she is probably a social outcast, most likely because of things she has done. Jesus speaking to her is breaking 3 society rule with one sentence. 1) She's rejected yet Jesus is not rejecting her 2) She's a Samaritan and He's a Jew 3) Men and women don't talk but if they do the women always initiates the conversation. So here we have Jesus being the rebel once again. :)
John 4:8-9: The women immediately sees the wreckage from the social barriers JC has just crashed through and asks Him why. (We also discover JC is alone with the women because His disciples are getting food in town.
John 4:10-11: Jesus answers the women's question indirectly by saying He can give her living water. He means himself of course, He wants to give her himself. His Living Water (Him) fulfills our thirst for meaning because when we taste it we will have found meaning. His Living Water will wash us clean from the inside out. But clearly, the women doesn't know this and take Him literally.
John 4:12: She then asks if He is greater than Jacob. She is referring to Jacob from the OT. (Read Genesis 29:1-12; it's a cool story so feel free to read the whole thing too! (Genesis 26-50 covers all of Jacobs life)) Jacob met Rachel at the well Jesus is at with Samaritan women right now. Because Jacob had 12 sons the sons each became and tribe of Isreal. Had Jacob not met Rachel at the well, the nation of Israel would not of been born. This makes Jacob's well the Israelites "well of life." Because the book of John revolves around Jesus turning the old to the new, the literal to the spiritual, the Israelites well of life has now become Jesus, the true well of life for all people of any background! But it is so cool that JC revealed Himself as the well of life at Jacob's well.
John 4:13-15: Although the women took Him literally, Jesus immediately goes back to spiritual. He knows that she is lost and looking for happiness and fulfillment in things the won't and can't provide it, so He emphasize that His Living Water will quench that thrist. But she takes Him literally again so He try's a different approach.
John 4:16-18: When Jesus asks her to go get her husband, He says it just to hear how she chooses to respond. Her response and His response to that tells us why she is getting water in the middle of the day and that she is turning to men for fulfillment.
John 4:19: Jesus didn't give up or balk at her sin (because He is always patient and forgiving with all of us!) and now, He is finally getting through!!!
John 4:20-26: Jesus and the women pretty much go through her religious beliefs and the truth and then Jesus tells her flat out that He is the Christ whom she's been waiting for. Can you imagine being that women?! You're a big time sinner, shunned by your community, and then, the most unlikely of people starts to talk to you about all sorts of things that seem way beyond your understanding. Can you imagine suddenly finding out that this guy who has sought you out is the king of everything, your savior! Can you imagine everything clicking in your head all at once, everything He's been saying finally making since! I can because it happens to me all the time and I know that if I were that women I would want to stand there gaping, trying to soak the whole moment in, for hours.
So anyway, that's all for today but that is definitely one of my favorite stories now! I'm in love with how insanely smart God is so that He didn't just right a book that connected everywhere but wrote a true story that did! He's so awesome! :)