Exactly! What about Women? (Part 4)
Well, this is now Part 4 of the series, “Exactly! What about Women?” In Part 3 we had just begun to examine the passage concerning the Samaritan woman at the well who encountered the Lord Jesus one hot day at noon. She experienced this encounter with the Lord Jesus which surely changed her life forever. We left off from the last article, at the place where the Lord Jesus tells the woman to go and get her husband and to come back to the well.
The Samaritan woman responded to the Lord Jesus command and answered Him, “I have no husband!” One can surmise that this was surely and odd request, at least by our modern standards, but not so in that day. Also, this was the more obvious way for the Lord Jesus to involve the town’s residents by having them come out to the city well and resort there and listen to the teaching that the Lord would give. Plus, by asking the woman to go and bring her husband back, this also demonstrated to the woman that He was just not the everyday Jewish man walking through Samaria, but that He was a prophet indeed. Jesus’ next words told the woman this when He stated,
You have well said that you do not have a husband. For you have had five husbands and the one you are currently living with is not your husband.” The woman responded, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet.
The woman now having this information, the conversation immediately turns to religion and she launches into the topic of Jewish vs. Samarian worship places and which one is the correct place to worship God. But here we have an unusual situation to be sure. We have a woman who steps out of her cultural norms to address a Rabbi by asking Him which place of worship is the correct one. Not only did Jewish men not converse with women and certainly not with Samaritan women, women of any culture did not speak with men other than the men in their family, except of course when they went to the market and had to negotiate prices.
Once again, the Lord Jesus adroitly ignores her polemical jab and states unequivocally:
Woman, believe me, the hour comes when you shall neither in this mountain, nor at Jerusalem, worship the Father. But the hour comes when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such to worship Him. God is Spirit and they that worship Him must worship in Spirit and Truth.
The Lord Jesus has no difficulty at all in teaching this woman privately despite the fact that she was a Samaritan, a woman, plus a sinner. With this in mind, it is difficult for this author to comprehend why some theologies refuse to see that the Lord did not discriminate in His dealings with people. He did not only choose men to have as His disciples, but clearly made an open call to both women and men to follow Him and to become His disciples. Clearly, the Lord Jesus opened the salvific pathway to both genders, and the pathway to discipleship and service were now being offered to both.
As with the next two verses, the Lord Jesus often revealed to women what He did not with the men. Here, the Samaritan woman is the first one that the Lord Jesus revealed without question that He was the Messiah that the Jewish nation had waited for thousands of years. It should also be noted that she belonged to the despised race of the Samaritans, the ones whom the Jews would have no dealings with at all. Yet here He honors this despised woman with such an astounding truth.
The woman said unto Him, I know that Messias comes, which is called Christ: when He is come He will tell us all things. Jesus said unto her, I that speak to thee am He.
Stayed tuned for Part 5!