The Woman of Samaria, also known as The Woman at the Well… What does scripture tell us about her? Not much. We don’t even get to know her name. But we should all strive to be like her.
What?! Strive to be like her? The Woman of Samaria?! She was a Samaritan – someone a Jew wouldn’t even talk to. She wasn’t a very virtuous woman. She doesn’t seem to be worthy of much more than a casual glance. I mean, the Bible doesn’t even give us her name. And Jesus shouldn’t have even been talking to her. Men were not allowed to address women without their husbands present. And certainly a rabbi shouldn’t be talking to a woman with the vice that this one had.
But she does show us a spirit to strive for. She showed a spirit of longing, a spirit of seeking the truth, and a spirit of true worship. She boldly spoke to Jesus, questioning His words and his intent. She showed a natural curiosity for the truth. And upon hearing it, she determined to use it to her advantage.
“Please sir, give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.” She saw an advantage and she was ready to use it.
Yeah, But How?
Then, she didn’t try to hide her sin. Her sin wasn’t that she had had five husbands. Life was hard. Husbands didn’t always live to old age. Injury, war, disease, famine – these issues were real and hard to live through. A widow didn’t always have many choices. Some became beggars, some prostitutes, and some became wives again. The Woman of Samaria had chosen the best option four times. But this sixth man was not her husband. And she was living as if he was. That was her sin.
Still, she simply spoke the truth and in hearing the truth from Him, recognized it immediately. Well, maybe not immediately. It took the return of His disciples for her to realize that He must be who He said He was. But when she got it, she GOT it!
She eagerly returned to her village, desperate to share what she had just encountered. She recognized that she had been in the presence of the Messiah and was anxious to share His news with others.
Isn’t this what God has asked of each of us? He knows we have sin and shame in our lives. But He has given us an out by sending His Son. All He wants is for us to accept that gift and tell others.
This woman took that yoke upon her with excitement and enthusiasm. She gladly told her friends and neighbors, “This man told me everything I ever did!” She was convinced he must be the Messiah.
Shouldn’t we be just as eager to share this news? Shouldn’t we want to make sure our friends and neighbors don’t miss meeting the Messiah?