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A Word To Women

The Woman of Samaria

John 4:1-44

The Samaritan woman stated accurately, “…The Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans” (John 4:9). This animosity dated back to when Assyria captured Samaria and sought to colonise it (II Kings 17:21). The result was that Samaria mixed truth with false religion (and was therefore fully false). Whilst the earthly ministry of the Lord Jesus was primarily to the Jews, it was not exclusively so. Leaving Judea to return to Galilee, we read that, “He must needs go through Samaria” (John 4:4). His meeting with a Samaritan woman was that ‘need’.

Weary from travel, the Lord Jesus sat on the well. It was about midday, and most people were glad to be inside. However, one Samaritan woman came to draw water. She avoided others because she was despised for her lifestyle. Recognising Christ as a Jew, she was surprised when He asked her for a drink of water and queried His motive. The Lord Jesus immediately changed the conversation from the natural to the spiritual, speaking of His ability to give living water. The Samaritan woman’s interest was piqued, and her tone changed to interest and respect, addressing Christ as “Sir”. Like all by nature, she was a lost sinner with no interest in spiritual things, “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). Only the Lord can awaken dead souls. Christ was working in the heart of the Samaritan woman and creating a desire.

Christ spoke of living water that would quench thirst forever and would spring up to everlasting life. Thinking of the ease from her daily workload, the woman craved the living water. The Lord Jesus then put His finger very gently on the woman’s cardinal sin. Asked to go and bring her husband, the woman confessed that she had no husband. Christ commended her for her honesty and revealed that He knew about her past marriages and present immorality. No soul can be saved until they own their sinfulness. If there is no acknowledgement of sin, there is no awareness of the need of a Saviour and therefore no salvation. The Samaritan woman’s conscience was now awakened.

Accepting what Christ had said about her and aware that Christ was no ordinary man, the Samaritan woman spoke about where God should be worshipped. The Lord Jesus made it clear that it is not the place of worship but the Person worshipped and the way He is worshipped that is vital. “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship in spirit and in truth”. (John 4:24) The Samaritan woman knew that the Messiah was to come; and, with a clarity seldom used concerning Himself, Jesus told her, “I that speak unto thee am he”. (John 4:26) The Christ of God had touched her heart, revealed her sin, and offered her eternal salvation. This is the privilege offered as the Gospel goes forth to the ‘whosoever will’.

Having heard all she needed to hear, the Samaritan woman believed; and, forgetting her past life, she hurried from the well, a new creature in Christ. The purpose of her midday excursion forgotten, she had a new purpose. Entering Samaria, she broadcast the message of Christ; and many flocked to hear for themselves, confessing, “Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard for ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Saviour of the world.” (John 4:42)

Have you known God speaking to you of sin and drawing you to Himself? Have you felt the joy of sins forgiven and the compulsion to share the message of redeeming grace with other lost souls?

Olive Maxwell
(Olive lived and worked as a missionary in Cork for over twenty years. She is married to Colin, who serves with the Mission Board, mostly in the Republic of Ireland.)