For those of you who are new to my blog and don’t yet know my story let me introduce myself…
My name is Misty Elliott and I have been in Recovery from Alcoholism since March 15th of 2014. Since that day God has radically changed my life, my marriage, and my children’s lives. Our father took a shattered woman living in darkness and redeemed her story.
I’ve been told by many people that my story reminds them of The Woman at The Well. Which led me to study her and she now holds a very special place in my heart. So today I want to share her journey with you as well as my own. Let’s go take a peek into her Jesus encounter…..
The back story here is that Jesus is leaving the Judean countryside and heading back to Galilee. The Pharisees had been keeping count of the baptisms that he and John had been performing and had posted the score that Jesus was ahead. This was turning Jesus and John into rivals in the eyes of the people. So Jesus is like “I’m bouncing outta here”.
I think it is important to note that on this trip back to Galilee Jesus decides they are going to travel through Samaria. Actually in John 4:4 of the NIV translation it says “Now he HAD to go through Samaria.” It doesn’t say That Jesus just wanted to take the fastest route to Galilee. In actuality most Jews would take the longer route and go out of their way to avoid Samaria entirely!
If we were to look at a map of this region we would see that it’s a straight shot to Galilee when heading north from Judea and in the middle of this path is Samaria. Ok so let me tell you what most Jews would do just to avoid the Samaritans.
They would leave Judea and head east. Going across the Jordan River and entering the region of Perea. Next they would go north, re-cross the Jordan River, and end up in Galilee.
What does this tell us friends? For me it says Jesus wasn’t just taking the shorter route. He knew he had a divine appointment with a Samaritan woman.
Ok so Jesus enters Sychar, which happens to be a Samaritan village that bordered the field Jacob had given his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was still there and Jesus being worn out from his trip sits down by it. It’s about noon.
Jesus sends his disciples into the town to buy lunch and while he is hanging out by the well a Samaritan woman comes to draw water.
Jesus asks her for a drink of her water and she is floored. Most Jews wouldn’t be caught dead talking to a Samaritan.
So she asks him “why are you asking me for a drink?” To which he replies “If you knew the generosity of God and if you knew who I am you would be asking me for a drink and I would give you fresh Living water!”
She is super confused by the Living water comment. So Jesus explains that anyone who drinks water will be thirsty again but anyone who drinks from the water he gives will never be thirsty again. In fact the water he gives becomes a part of us like a spring welling up to our eternal life.
Oh our sweet girl. Still not understanding she asks for this water so she will no longer be physically thirsty. She doesn’t want to have to come to this well anymore.
Jesus tells her to go get her husband and come back but she replies “I have no husband.” Now Jesus lays her sins out on the table. He says she is speaking truth when she says she has no husband. For she has had five and the man she is living with now she isn’t even married to.
Does your heart hurt for her a bit here? Seeing her sins tossed out into the open. It hurts mine. Her story is definitely becoming a little more clear now. She has been heading to this well at noon everyday because she is probably feeling embarrassed and ashamed. Why else would you get water during the heat of the day when no one else was around?
All the other women would have come out during the early morning hours. So not only is she feeling ashamed about her circumstances, I’m betting none of the women were kind to her.
We know what people say nowadays about women who give themselves away freely. So could you imagine what it would have been like for her in her era.
We don’t know the story of her five husbands or how those relationships ended but we can conclude from the fact that she has given up on marriage and has settled to just live with a man that they probably weren’t healthy relationships.
Do you think anyone took the time to look at her story and ask themselves “how did she get to this point?” Do you think anyone saw the pit of unworthiness that had developed inside of her from so many failed relationships? Because that’s what happens Friends. Sexual sins dig pits of unworthiness inside our spirits.
I honestly doubt that anyone really took the time to understand or she wouldn’t be hanging at this well during the heat of the day all by herself.
This man saw her though. This Jewish man, our Jesus, whom by society’s standards shouldn’t have even been talking to her. He really saw her. He confronted the sin and offers her a different way. That’s because our savior is in the business of leading us out of darkness. He is all about showing us that there is a better way.
Isn’t that good news? Knowing we have a savior who can pull us right out of any dark situation and bring us back into the light!
To be continued….