Reading for Thursday, January 5th: John 4
The story of the Samaritan woman at the well is one of my favorite in the whole Bible. I’m really convinced that she contrasts Nicodemus in the previous chapter:
He is male; she is female.
He is Jewish; she is a Samaritan.
His name is known to us (Nicodemus); she remains anonymous to us, even today.
He comes to Jesus under cloak of night; she encounters Him at high noon.
He is well respected for his piety; she is a known sinner.
And yet…Jesus has a place for both of them. The Kingdom life isn’t just for well-respected Nicodemuses; it’s also for outcast Samaritan women. As we said yesterday, the amazing gift of Jesus is intended for “the whole world”.
I love verse 4: Now he had to go through Samaria. Geographically, this isn’t true. There were plenty of routes Jesus could’ve taken to avoid Samaria altogether; in fact, many devout Jews of His day would’ve done this very thing. But the necessity is relational and spiritual. Jesus knows there’s a soul to save at this well. Jesus asks her, “Will you give me a drink?” — and the resulting conversation shifts to uncover her greatest thirst. She has been seeking fulfillment in the arms of multiple lovers; in Jesus, she finds the unconditional and transformative love she’s been seeking all along.
Based on her testimony, the people of her village — the same ones who reviled her for her sinfulness — come to know Jesus as Lord, confessing their faith in Him. Her testimony is simple: “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?”
Let’s continue to be praying about the people around us. May God give us the courage to say, “Come and see…”