The Pharisees had a very simple system for being holy—they simply kept their (physical) distance from sinners. They thought sin was contagious, and that one could catch it by merely being close to sinners. This is one reason they are so distressed when they see our Lord having such close contact with “sinners.”
As we saw yesterday, Jesus is not the usual Jew. He doesn't avoid sinners; He goes to them. This passage about the woman at the well starts by saying that Jesus "had to go through Samaria," when all Jews would actually avoid this sinfully forbidden region. But there were people there who needed saving. And Jesus begins his salvation work in Samaria with a sexually immoral and rejected woman.
7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?”
8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?
12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”
13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again,
14 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.”
15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”
17 “I have no husband,” she replied.
Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband.
18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
Jesus addresses the deepest level of this woman’s need. She thought she came to the well for her daily water to quench her thirst and other hygiene needs. However, the water she needed was to cleanse her of her sins and satisfy her eternally.
In order to make her aware of her need for the water of salvation Jesus gently exposes sin in her life. He does so by telling her to bring her husband.
She makes a choice—not an unusual choice, but a very predictable one. She chooses to conceal her sin by giving Jesus an answer that is factually truthful, but functionally dishonest. She tells Jesus she has no husband.
Any other man (apart from divine revelation) would have accepted her answer at face value. But Jesus knows what goes on in the depths of our beings. We can't fool Him or pretend outwardly that everything is ok with our clever choice of words and manufactured feel-goodness.
When we are not willing to expose our sins and repent, Jesus might just show up and disturb our routines and call out our sins.
Because He wants to offer us a drink from His cup. The cup of salvation. A cup that will never dry up. He wants to cleanse us and give us new life.
I will run and hide no more.
I respond to your invitation.
I confess my sin of __________________________
Cleanse me. Renew me. Transform me.
Lead me not to the wells of this life but to Your Well.
Satisfy me oh Lord.
Quench the thirst of my soul.
1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
2 Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—
those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,
3 those he gathered from the lands,
from east and west, from north and south.[a]
4 Some wandered in desert wastelands,
finding no way to a city where they could settle.
5 They were hungry and thirsty,
and their lives ebbed away.
6 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
7 He led them by a straight way
to a city where they could settle.
8 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
9 for he satisfies the thirsty
and fills the hungry with good things.
"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever."