Woman of Samaria: Witness

The Judean, tired from his journey, waited alone at Sychar's town well. He was on his way to Galilee, but this was more than just a rest stop. A Samaritan woman approached the well to fill her water jars. As surprised as she was to see a Jew sitting there, she was astonished that he would speak to her. The Samaritan bluntly asked him why he asked her for water. She had reason to be suspicious. Jews didnít speak to Samaritans and the men didnít speak to women in public. 

Sheís intrigued when he claims to have water she should have asked him to give her. Was there a little sarcasm in her reply? He didnít have anything to draw the water up from the unusually deep well. Did she chuckle when he claimed to have water that permanently satisfied thirst? She responded with a joke. No more trips with a heavy water jar sounded good to her.

Now that he has her attention he tells her to go get her husband and come back. She didnít have one which the stranger already knew. Now sheís impressed. He knows about her five husbands and her current live-in arrangement. He must be a prophet to be able to know so much about her. Now sheís willing to take him seriously. She was also willing to believe that he might be the Messiah.

Jesus didn't seek out the civic or religious leaders of Sychar in Samaria. He waited for a person who  had a hunger and thirst for God. The person he waited for was a woman who had five failed marriages and was living with a man she had not married. She had been rejected and abandoned at least five times.

When the disciples interrupted their conversation, she hurried into the village. She was eager to tell everyone about the man who knew all about her life and who claimed to be the Messiah. She shared her encounter with Jesus with her neighbors. She stirred up their desire to see him for themselves. They begged Jesus to stay and teach them.

Many believed in Jesus, sight unseen, because of the womanís testimony. Others wanted to hear him before they made up their minds. They believed after they had experienced his teachings. Both groups found Jesus to be authentic when they listened to him teach.

This woman had no credentials. She couldnít point to a successful life or a formal education in theology. She didnít have a wholesome image that would impress others. But she had met the One who knew the conditions of her life and had the power to save her from it and give her eternal life. She wanted everyone she knew to have that same opportunity. When they met him, they knew he was the Savior of the world.

Scarlett Stough

For the scripture reference list and related Bible Study Guide, go to Bible Study Guide: Witness