WELLS OF TRUTH
I hear her brokenness echoing throughout the centuries . . .
It’s the sound of the Samaritan woman who met Jesus at the well. This story is rich with meanings we often miss as we read through it. We take the words at face value and think of it as a great story, but there’s layer upon layer of text not written on the page, but between the lines and on the hearts of both Jesus and the woman.
Over the course of conversation, Jesus drew the woman out, much as she would draw water from the well – slowly, bit by bit, and long before she acknowledged the truth of what Jesus already knew about her life, you hear the weight of her heartache in the words she spoke.
“The woman replied, ‘Let me drink that water so I’ll never be thirsty again and won’t have to come back here to draw water.” (John 4:15)
We take her statement as being relief over having a solution to a situation. She wouldn’t have to come and perform the hard work of pulling up the heavy buckets of water and hauling it home because she would no longer need it. She wouldn’t be thirsty any more.
Yet, what stirred hope in her heart was not having to come to the well at a time when she could avoid others who would also be there drawing their daily water from the well. These were those who were part of her community. They knew her. And they knew how she lived her life – as one who had had five husbands and was currently living with another man.
In the words she spoke, her heart’s cry echoed the pain of what she saw in their faces and heard them say about her. It encompassed the ache of rejection, the judgment toward her, and the condemnation from those who were meant to be friends. She was an outcast within her village.
I heard that same pain coming from the hearts of countless people today . . . and I wept.
The Samaritan woman wanted a quick fix to a situation she wanted to avoid. Jesus was offering her life – and so much more that she hadn’t yet grasped.
His unconditional love and acceptance of her for who she was as she faced Him in that moment in time not only offered her eternal life as she believed in Him - His love transformed her from the inside out. Through His eyes, she no longer saw or believed herself as rejected with good reason. In the face of His truths, she was utterly made new in every way and was restored to her original, divinely given identity and destiny.
Jesus valued this “sinner” so much that she was the first He revealed Himself to as the Messiah. A sinner and a woman – two strikes against her, yet she was the one with whom He shared this revelation and so much more in that conversation. She became a deep well dug by Him.
The story goes on to tell of how she ran to the town and drew them all out to meet the man who had told her everything she’d ever done. She convinced them He might be the One they’d been waiting for . . . The town believed her – and they believed in Him.
Brian Simmons shares incredible study notes in The Passion Translation of this passage of scripture. With verse 30, he explains:
“Although unnamed in the biblical account, church tradition identifies the Samaritan woman to be Photini. An internet search of her name will yield many interesting stories about her post-conversion ministry, including her being named as an ‘apostle’ of Jesus and her eventual martyrdom. Regardless of the validity of the extrabiblical references, history records her as the first New Testament evangelist to win a city to Christ. God is faithful to use anyone to reach others when we are honest to tell others that Jesus knows everything we’ve ever done and still loves us.”
NOTHING can separate us from the love of God.
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
I’m convinced – nothing can separate any of us from His love. Let that be our message to a broken-hearted world that believes so much less about themselves than He does.
Brian Simmons also notes (vs. 6-8), “When the sinner drank of the Savior and the Savior drank of the sinner, both were satisfied. Neither ate nor drank, but each satisfied the other.”
He's always in passionate pursuit of our hearts and He only sees us with eyes of love. He drinks US in…and WE satisfy HIM . . . “saint” and “sinner” alike.
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