The Thirst of the Woman at the Well

Posted on May 24, 2012 | 0 comments

Jesus did many things that were outside of the box of his culture. One of those incidents is relayed to us in John 4, where a tired Jesus sits at a well in Sychar while his disciples run a couple errands. As a Samaritan woman approaches, Jesus engages her in conversation. Unthinkable because of her nationality and her gender. Jesus, yet again, does not understand the rules of ministry.

On the surface of it, the request that Jesus makes is benign enough. “I have been walking all day, my feet are killing me and my mouth is dry, can you get me a glass of water?” (I’ve taken a little liberty with the dialogue.)

The response of this woman is intriguing, because as we will learn soon obeying social dictums is not quite her thing. Even though she practicing avoidance by drawing water at a time when no one else would, before this unknown man she immediately puts on the mask of the false self. “Don’t talk to me, fool.” (Again, I’ve taken a little liberty with the dialogue.)

Although tired, in a state when most of us would think of ourselves and rest, Jesus is thinking of the Father and the need of this woman.

He offers her living water.

But this woman is living to satisfy her false self. She wants a magic pill so that she does not have to draw water any more. “Sir, give me this {magic} water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” (The bracketed comment is, for a third time, my liberty.)

Jesus, though, wanted to point out a different thirst that this woman had. She had a thirst of the false self. Her problem was not having to walk out to the well to get water everyday. The trouble of this woman was where she was attempting to secure her value and identity.

She had had five husbands and was shacking up with the present love of her life. Clearly this woman was determining her own worth within the context of a relationship. A man was necessary to give her a sense of being complete.

By pointing this out, Jesus was not trying to shame this woman, but rather to point out her thirst. She was in the desert. Yet, this interaction with Jesus shows that God was giving her the opportunity to leave the desert experience. (You should check out both those links.)

Jesus did not condemn this woman. He did not tell her to “just stop” what she was doing. Instead He offered her a better way. An opportunity to change her heart and worship in spirit and in truth. Behavioral change would clearly follow the newfound openness to God.

It is the heart within the person that Jesus addresses, peeling away the false self and replacing it with Truth.

This woman had a thirst that she was attempting to quench herself. Jesus was guiding her to throw off her false self of finding her worth in relationship and sex and finding it in Him.

In Christ. A change of identity. Everything else flows out from there, as a stream of living waters.

As you live your life today, are you thirsting for more of God or simply to have the desires of your false self satisfied?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Tags:   | | | |

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *