2023 Living Boldly Series: Jesus Meets the Woman at the Well
Updated: Feb 11
by Joyce Hornbaker
We use the word bold in many places … selling cars, clothes, describing chips, flavors, colors, and much more. We can make the word bold bold. We can be bold. Some respond to others in a bold way, and sometimes being bold can be positive or negative. Where in life are you bold? Do you dress in bold colors, or use a bold hair color? Do you season your food with bold flavors?
What about in your walk with Christ? Is that bold? I am usually not a bold person. I would rather someone else take the lead.
In recent years, reading and studying God’s Word has become even more precious to me. After all, The Word is His word, and I promise to take it personally. I especially enjoy God revealing new insights as I study familiar passages.
During a discipleship time I share with two friends, we were working our way through John 4. John 4 starts with Jesus leaving Judea and going back to Galilee. In verse 4, we read that Jesus had to go through Samaria. I love reading maps. As I have been looking at maps during the time of Jesus, I observe that there were other ways to get to Galilee from Judea.
So why does Jesus need to go through Samaria? You have to understand that the people of Samaria were not very well liked by others groups of people. Maybe that is a clue as to why Jesus had to go.
Jesus knew that a certain person who lived in Samaria in the town of Sychar needed to hear about the Kingdom of God. Have you ever planned a trip and you thought you might arrive at a certain place at a certain time? Does that always work out? Today we have GPS and smartphones that can tell us the best way to go and when we might arrive. But long before that, Jesus knew just when to arrive at the Community Well at Sychar.
At the well, Jesus found a lady retrieving water from the well. She was the exact person He had come to talk to. Most women of that town came to the well early in the morning and again in the evening. But it was lunchtime and here was the lady.
This lady had made some poor choices in her life, so she came to the well when others would not be at the well. I imagine if she had come in the morning with the others, there may have been those would have been unkind to her because of her poor choices.
Jesus asks this lady for a drink of water. She could not believe that this man would talk to her. She said to Him that we are of different races. Why would you ask me for a drink? Jesus tells her that He has living water that will change her life forever. Now she had brought something to put the water in. It may have been a water jar or maybe a cup. She notices that Jesus has nothing to put the water in that He was asking for.
Now the lady has a choice to make. She can give what she has to Jesus, or she can keep it. Do you ever think Jesus is asking us to give Him something? Maybe it is our hurts. Maybe it is our joys, our time, or our resources? There may be sadness in our lives, and we choose to not give to Jesus what He is asking us to give Him.
Whatever we are holding onto, we may be missing out by not giving it to Jesus. It is almost like we enjoy holding onto the things that have hurt us. We hold onto grudges that rob us of joy. We wear them proudly. We act like they continue to benefit us as we continue to repeat them.
This lady gave what she had to Jesus (a water container), and as a result, He filled her with living water. Living water that changed her for the rest of her life … for all of eternity!
As a result of her choice, she went boldly into town saying, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” (John 4:29) She could have easily been singing, “Joy to the World, the Lord has come!”
What a beautiful reality. Christ will come any distance needed to reach us. He will enter anyplace, even a place that may not be welcoming. He knows each of us and everything about us. He loves us with a deep, significant, and eternal love. We simply need to give what we have to Him.
Let’s fast forward a few verses.
39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony, ‘He told me everything I ever did.’ 40 So when the Samaritans came to Him, they urged Him to stay with them, and He stayed two days. 41 And because of His words many more became believers. 42 They said to the woman, ‘We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.’”
I would like to think that from that time on, the people in the town of Sychar were changed. They had received eternal life from Jesus. How do we, and how will we live boldly because of Jesus? Are there places or people we need to go, to have a conversation with someone?
One more thing I learned from this portion of scripture is in verse 28. She leaves her water jar and goes to tell others about Jesus. She leaves the very thing she was holding tight to and exchanges it for the living water.
My prayer is that each of us will daily and boldly give what we have and allow Jesus to fill us and use us for His glory.
I love this story from John 4. If Jesus came to your town, who do you think He would talk to? I love the fact that Jesus comes for each of us. He pursues us! It does not matter if we are accepted, popular, rich, poor, an outcast, young, or adopted. It literally does not matter. Let us live boldly for Jesus!
Joyce Hornbaker loves Jesus and His Word. She has not been married to her beloved husband long enough. She is Momma to four and Gramma to thirteen. She attends Shippensburg First Church of God where her husband is the pastor of visitation and discipleship.
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