Jesus’ point was that this woman had been looking for life to the fullest extent in her relationship with men. Social and religious restrictions had made that the only possible outcome for her life. But there was no hope for life to the fullest extent as long as she limited her potential in that way. In John 4:13-14, Jesus made a rather large claim regarding his offer:
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Jesus was telling her that the road to relating to God no longer had to go through other people. Her parched spiritual desire would disappear due to the newly installed spiritual source. There would no longer be a need to try to find fulfillment anywhere else. There would no longer be a need to see her significance limited to the practices established by a religions system and engrained into the lives of people seeking life to the fullest extent through faith in that system. Jesus was saying that once and for all, the relationship with God she desired would be quenched, and that her satisfaction was guaranteed.
I bet Jesus “had to” go through Samaria (verse 4) not because mapquest told him to, but because he had a mission for this particular woman. He knew her wheelhouse and he wanted her to use it for his glory. Here’s the proof.
The testimony of a woman was not valid in court because women were viewed as unreliable. The woman at the well would have been considered particularly unreliable because of her lifestyle. She had even gone to the well at the worst time of day to avoid contact with other women. She was considered the lowest of the low. So what happened next was rather amazing.
The woman responded to Jesus by going straight into town and blabbing about all Jesus has said to everyone who would listen. What is alarming is that people actually did listen. And, not only did they listen . . . some of them believed Jesus because of her testimony. The people were so excited about what she had shared that they formed the first search committee to hunt down Jesus and invite him to stick around to tell them more.
This woman accomplished what only Jesus had done to that point. She led others to faith in Jesus Christ. The disciples hadn’t even done that yet! John the Baptist pointed his disciples to Jesus but they hadn’t put their faith in him until Jesus convinced them of his divinity. But, John 4:39 shows that the Samaritans had believed in Jesus before they met him strictly on the testimony of this woman.
I’d love to know what some of those people saw in that woman that made them believe her. The freedom from societal and religious restraints revealed her wheelhouse: telling people about Jesus. How else would people have listened to a promiscuous woman who had been tossed around from man to man unless Jesus had provided the power to make it happen?
Jesus will help you uncover your wheelhouse too, if you only consider the possibilities.
This is a sample from chapter 10: Satisfaction Guaranteed, of my book The Attractive Shepherd. Click on “About The Book” and “Read Chapter 1″ above for more info. For samples from other chapters click on “Book Excerpts” just under the Twitter updates on the right side of this page. Comments are appreciated.