Exactly! What about Women? (Part 5)
Well, here at last is Part 5 of this series, concerning how the Lord Jesus interacted with the women who followed Him and those that He encountered as He traveled. We stopped in Part 4 at John 4:25-26 at which point, the Lord Jesus boldly declared to this despised woman that HE was the long-awaited-for Messiah. As a recap, this was a time, at least culturally, that Jewish men did not speak to women; barely did they speak to their wives or daughters, and most certainly they did not speak to Samaritans, let alone a Samaritan woman. So let us continue:
And upon this came His disciples, and marveled that He talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or Why talkest thou with her?
As we come upon this scene written, their culture is demonstrated in that they were clearly shocked that the Jewish Rabbi that they were following was clearly not behaving like any other Rabbi that they had ever seen or heard about. Yet they were too intimidated by the Lord Jesus’ status as a Rabbi to question His behavior. It is at this point that in:
The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, Come see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?
In that culture, because one had to walk to a community well, and women were the primary water carriers, women did not just haphazardly leave their water jars lying around the precincts of the town in which they lived. The water pot was a functional tool that they used each and every day, and even if they were relatively inexpensive to buy or to make, yet women did not just leave them anywhere they felt like leaving them. So what does this tell us about the Samaritan woman’s state? She was obviously wildly excited that she had just heard from the Lord Jesus’ lips that HE was the Messiah. However, because obviously she lived within the confines of her own culture as well, and she knew that the word of a woman was doubted, unless of course there were at least two other women who could vouch for the first woman; she knew that she would have to get the men interested in coming out to see for themselves this prophet at the well.
In the meanwhile, Jesus’ disciples were trying to get their Master to eat some food, since it was now noon time, but the Lord Jesus said:
…My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work.
Totally uninterested in physical food at this point, the Lord Jesus launches off into a teaching moment for His disciples and questions them with:
Say not ye, There are yet four months, and comes harvest? Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.
At this time of the year, this was most likely the barley harvest that would have been ready in the next four months, and it would have looked like the field was white. However, it is thought that the Lord Jesus was viewing all of the towns people that were by now crossing the fields to come towards Him and primarily they would have been wearing white clothing.
John 4:39, 42
And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on Him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did.
And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard Him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.
This despised woman with whom even the other women in the town would not openly socialize with, was chosen by the Messiah, the Lord Jesus, to be the first one ever to hear openly that He was proclaiming to be the Messiah to the World. Even the men then grudgingly acknowledged that she was right, even though they hedged their comments with, “Now we believe, not because of thy saying…” Okay, right…it was because of her own word of testimony that He was THAT prophet….the one that everyone had heard about and up to that point were still waiting for, had just now identified Himself to a woman who in the view of her contemporary society, didn’t amount to much in their eyes.
It is interesting to see how throughout the Gospels, the Lord Jesus interacts with the women of His day in an openly accepting manner, thereby letting these women know that He valued them as people in their own right, even as the Creator, the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ had originally created both man and woman, creating them as equal beings in His sight, and said, “It is good!”
If you would like to read more about the passages that I covered here in Part Five concerning Biblical women and especially about the Gospel of John 3-4, I have written a book titled, “The Holy, the Common and the Despised.” It is available for purchase for $10.00 and you can follow this link to New Covenant Christian Ministries’ website to obtain a copy for yourself at http://www.newcovenantchristianministries.org/bookstore/id21.html