A Biblical perspective concerning Jesus and women, Part 3
In the last article, which was Part 2, a fuller detailed treatment was given to the biblical women which were highlighted. Therefore, in this article, the biblical story concerning the Samaritan woman will be examined as we continue through this series.
This Gospel story opens up John 4:3-4 as the Lord Jesus is leaving Judea to go back into Galilee and He knows that “He must needs go through Samaria.” Because of the past enmity and hatred, the Jews and the Samaritans did not associate in any way. They did not inter-marry, and they barely spoke to each other, even though Samaria stood between Judea and Galilee. Because of this geographical positioning, any Jew that wished to travel to Galilee traveled to the Samarian border, headed east to the outside of their border and then resumed traveling north until they reached the outside northern border of Samaria. At which point, they then headed back west and then north into Galilee. This is why the statement that Jesus makes, saying that “he must needs go through Samaria” should stand out for the reader of this passage. Why? The loyal Jewish person would never travel into Samaria unless the utmost important of reasons actually required them to do so.
Therefore, when the Lord Jesus arrives in the town called Sychar, which is where Jacob had dug a well, He found a Samaritan woman at the well at noon, drawing water for her daily needs. He approached her, sat down on the well to rest and asked her to draw some water for him. As we read in:
Then said the woman of Samaria unto him, “how is it that you being a Jew ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria? For the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.
The woman was keenly aware of the cultural discrepancies between the two nations. So the Lord Jesus answered her and said:
If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that was saying to you, Give me to drink; you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water.
It is interesting to note that here at this point; the woman throws out some polemical bait to see if the Lord Jesus would respond to her taunt regarding which national heritage was greater. Just as interesting, the Lord Jesus deftly ignores the bait stating:
Whosoever drinks of this water shall thirst again, but whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him, shall never thirst; but the water I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
The Lord having thrown out His own bait towards the woman begins to reel her in, even as a master fisherman would do.
Imagine for a moment, if you will, someone telling you that they have a source of water that never runs dry is continually moving, so it’s ‘living’ and when you drink it, you will never be thirsty again. Moreover, if this concept is taken further, not only will you never be thirsty again, but also this water will be a well that springs up into everlasting life. Imagine! Anyone who reads this passage can almost see the puzzled look that must have been on that woman’s face after hearing the Lord Jesus as He drops that prophetic jewel into her lap, so to speak. It is worthy and so noted that the Lord Jesus is often referred to as the Master Fisherman, and He surely reels the woman in, bait still in her mouth.
If you enjoy the sport of fishing, you know when the fish has soundly bitten into the bait and the hook is clearly embedded. You can now reel it in and put it in your creel or throw it back. The Lord Jesus, true prophet that He is, states to the Samaritan woman:
Jesus said unto her, “Go, call your husband and come back here….
The Lord’s relationship and interactions with the Samaritan woman at the well in Sychar will be continued in Part 4.
If the issues of gender equality, not just for women, but for both women and men functioning as equals in the church is a concern for my readers, then you should check out Christians for Biblical Equality. They have a local branch, the Chicago Greater Chapter and they may be reached at email@example.com if you would like to inquire about membership.