Conversation between Jesus and a Samaritan woman
Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, ··· Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. ··· I have made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander of the peoples. ··· Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. ··· and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him(Isaiah 55:1-7)
This prophecy was fulfilled by Jesus, God who appeared in the flesh, about 700 years later (John 7:37-39). During the three years of his public ministry, Jesus presented an invitation to life while dwelling with His people. The Jews rejected it, but a Samaritan woman accepted it. This was because the Jews held fast to the appearance of God they had set up for themselves, but the Samaritan woman abandoned her own thoughts and listened to Jesus’ words. The Samaritan woman’s humble attitude eventually led her to the blessing of receiving the Savior, the source of the water of life.
1. The Samaritan Woman and the Savior Meet
– Dialogue #1
– Dialogue #2
– Dialogue #3
– Dialogue #4
– Dialogue #5
– Dialogue #6
– Dialogue #7
2. What if the One Who Gives the Water of Life Appears Again?
The Samaritan Woman and the Savior Meet
For centuries, the Samaritans and Jews had been hostile towards each other. As God’s chosen people, the Jews, who regarded their bloodline as their life, despised the Samaritans, who were of mixed blood with the Gentiles, and did not even associate with them (2 Kings 17:24, John 4:9). Although unprecedented, Jesus, who was born as a Jew, had a conversation with a woman He met in Samaria and made her realize the Christ.
Jesus arrived at Jacob’s well located in Sychar, Samaria, about 12 noon. Because He had a body just like ours, He was thirsty and tired from a long journey under the scorching midday sun. Right then, a Samaritan woman came to draw water from the well. Jesus asked her to give Him some water to drink (John 4:6-7). It was the first meeting between God who appeared in the flesh and the Samaritan woman.
The Samaritan woman was somewhat surprised by Jesus’ request for water from her. It was because a Jew, who did not associate with Samaritans, had asked her for water.
The Samaritan woman said ··· “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?”(John 4:9)
Jesus had pity on the Samaritan woman who was despised on this earth and revealed who He was through the Word.
Jesus answered ··· “If you knew ··· who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”(John 4:10)
However, the woman did not recognize the Messiah who had the water of life was standing right in front of her. This is because she saw God as just an ordinary man.
The woman said to him, “Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well ···?”(NRSV John 4:11-12)
The Samaritan woman did not realize that the One she was talking to was a great man beyond comparison to that of Jacob, and she doubted Jesus, who had offered her the water of life if she had asked for it. She did not even understand the meaning of the water of life.
To the woman who knew nothing, Jesus explained the Truth one by one.
Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.”(NRSV John 4:13-14)
Jesus said that even if a person drinks water from Jacob’s well, which boasts a long history and has been around forever, they could not quench their thirst. When a person drinks water, their thirst is quenched right away. But that time is very short. They will thirst again after 10 minutes or an hour. No matter how good the water a person drinks is, as time passes they will most certainly feel thirsty again. The water of life that Jesus gives is not actual water that can quench a person’s physical thirst. However, the woman thought of it as actual water.
The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.”(NRSV John 4:15)
If there was water a person could drink and never be thirsty again, that was the water the woman wanted to drink. The reason being, then she would not have to go to the well every time and struggle to draw water.
He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”(John 4:16)
Jesus suddenly changed the subject of their conversation. It was because although He was talking about the spiritual things, the woman continued to receive them as worldly things. Jesus said, she could quench her spiritual thirst if she believed in Him, the source of the living water, but she continued to think about the water she had to draw from the well so their conversation was at an impasse.
“I have no husband,” she replied ···(John 4:17)
The Samaritan woman had a complicated family life. She did not even conceive of the idea of trying to explain her complicated family history, and just replied that she did not have a husband.
Jesus knew what she was trying to hide and revealed to her, her family history.
Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true!”(NRSV John 4:17-18)
There are no records of why she had a complicated family history. What is clear is that she was living an unfortunate life. She realized that Jesus, a man whom she had never met, saw right through her circumstances, her private life, and her current situation, was not an ordinary person. And finally she started to ask spiritual questions.
The woman said to him, “Sir, I see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem.”(NRSV John 4:19-20)
In those days, the Jews worshiped at the Jerusalem temple and the Samaritans worshiped at the temple on Mt. Gerizem. The woman always wondered about the conflict between the two peoples over the place to worship God. And she wanted to find out the truth from Jesus, who looked like a prophet, standing right before her.
Jesus replied, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem ··· But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth ···(NLT John 4:21-23)
Jesus explained about the place of worship that the Samaritan woman had long wondered about. He said where we worship, whether it’s on Mount Gerizim or in Jerusalem was no longer important. The worship method of the ‘Old Covenant’, which was bound by place and form, had passed away, and announced that the time for worship of the ‘New Covenant’ to be offered in spirit and truth had arrived (Jeremiah 31:31-33). And that time is now. It means that we can offer true worship anywhere now.
God, who is the reality of the New Covenant, had come as a man and was offering the woman an invitation to salvation. How great it would have been if she had realized the Messiah even at that moment. But she still did not realize that Jesus was the Messiah.
The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us.” Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one who is speaking to you.”(NRSV John 4:25-26)
Jesus’ answer must have shocked the woman quite a bit. Jews and Samaritans had been waiting for the Messiah for a long time. The long-awaited Messiah, surprisingly, was standing in Samaria, an insignificant place, and that in human form. The person who had asked for some water was in fact God, the source of the water of life, prophesied by the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 55:1-3). Then the woman, leaving her water jar behind, hurried back to her village, where she preached that the Messiah had come as a man (John 4:28-29).
Here is something we must pay careful attention to. Why was the woman unable to easily recognize the Messiah? She was clearly standing face to face with the Messiah and even after a long conversation she was hardly able to recognize Him. Was it because she was not a Jew? Or was it because she was ignorant?
So, how did the Orthodox Jews, not Samaritans, view Jesus? Were they able to recognize who Jesus was in nature? The Jews viewed Jesus only as Joseph’s son (Luke 3:23), treated Him as an uneducated person (John 7:15), and thought of Him as a mere man pretending to be God (John 10:33). The Pharisees and Sadducees dismissed Jesus’ testimonies as lies (John 8:13).
This was how the Jews and the religious leaders of those days viewed Jesus. During the three years of His public life, Jesus gave the water of life, revealing that He was the Messiah. However, no one thought that Jesus was the Messiah. Even those who believed and followed Jesus just thought of Him as a prophet (Matthew 21:10-11, 16:13-14, Luke 7:16, John 6:14). Even the disciple Philip, who had been with Jesus for a long time, was no exception (John 14:7-9).
The reason why people did not recognize Jesus as the Messiah is simple. It was because the appearance of Jesus who told people to receive the water of life was just too ordinary. He was in the exact same appearance as all humans. But in reality, He was ‘God who rules over the whole universe and who is to be praised forever’ (Romans 9:5, Philippians 2:6-7).
What if the One Who Gives the Water of Life Appears Again?
The New Testament contains details of the Messiah who appeared as a ‘man’ to give the water of life, who the religious establishment really were and how they treated Jesus. 2000 years ago, the Jews and religious leaders set God’s appearance as to what they thought He should look like. For them, God had to be full of majesty, speaking with thunder, and lightning, just like when He proclaimed the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai (Exodus 20:18-19). God had to exist only in spirit. Because of this, they did not recognize Jesus who came in human form, which was completely different from the appearance they had set God up to have. Their faith that came from the way they set God up to be, mobilized crowds, public opinion, and false witnesses to accuse Jesus of being ‘insane’, an ‘eschatologist,’ and a ‘heretic’.
The Samaritan woman, on the other hand, was different. She did not view Jesus with the standards of the establishment’s doctrines. Rather, she acknowledged her past sins, lowered herself, and humbly listened attentively to His words. This led to the blessing of receiving the Messiah, the secret of the water of life, who came as a man.
In this time and age, we need to pay attention to the account of the Samaritan woman and the religious leaders. This is because the last chapter of the Bible testifies of the Messiah who will appear in human form to give us the water of life again.
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.(Revelation 22:17)
The great forefathers of faith such as Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and Peter appear in the Bible. But they are not said to be the source of the water of life. The power to give the water of life is only with God, the Savior (Jeremiah 2:13, John 4:14). The Bible testifies that this water of life that only God can give is given by the Holy Spirit and the Bride. What does this mean? It means that the Holy Spirit and the Bride are the Saviors, that is, Gods.
The Holy Spirit is God of the Trinity, that is, God the Father (Isaiah 9:6, 1 Corinthians 2:10-11, Romans 8:26, 34). Then, who is the other God, the Bride, who gives the water of life to humankind? In the Bible 『Revelation』 and 『Galatians』, the Bride who gives the water of life is recorded as the ‘Heavenly Jerusalem Mother’ and the ‘Mother of the saints (our Mother)’ (Revelation 21:9-10, Galatians 4:26, 31).
Times have changed, but deep in our hearts, there exists an unresolved spiritual thirst. People have tried to satisfy their invisible thirst, sometimes with money, sometimes with leisurely activities, and sometimes with hobbies, but they still say that they do not know what it is but an emptiness remains in their hearts. It is just as the prophet Amos prophesied (Amos 8:11-13). The only way to quench that never-ending thirst is to go to the Holy Spirit and the Bride, who are the sources of the water of life.