Saturday, September 26, 2009

After The Well

“The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?” (John 4:28-29).

God has used women to accomplish His purpose throughout the history of man. It was a woman who gave birth to our Savior. It was a woman who proclaimed a young Jesus the Messiah. It was women who cried at the feet of Jesus as he hung on the cross. And, it was women who first saw the resurrected Christ.

The story of the woman at the well stands as a dynamic testimony of how God uses women to accomplish His purpose.

You may have heard the story before … one day after a long journey, Jesus rested by a well. A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus asked the woman to give him a drink.

The woman was amazed that Jesus spoke to her. After all, she was a woman from a despised race, who lived an immoral life, and whose spiritual life was seemingly non-existent. Decent people just did not speak to women like her. In fact, she had come to the well during the hottest part of the day to avoid the stares and whispers from people who looked down on her.

However, not only did Jesus ask this woman for a drink, but he also began to have a deep theological discussion with her. The words he spoke to her would usually have been reserved for educated religious leaders. However, by the end of their discussion Jesus had revealed to her that he was the Messiah.

Through her meeting with Jesus, and her acceptance that he was the Messiah, her life was changed. In those few short minutes she heard, believed, and changed the direction of her life forever.

John 4:28-29 reads, “The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?”

What is significant in this passage is the fact that the woman was so anxious to tell others about her experience with Jesus that she left behind her water jar.

Have you ever been so excited about some good news that you received that you totally forgot about everything else you were doing at the time?

The whole reason the woman came to the well in the first place was to draw water. She probably had a whole day’s worth of chores that were waiting for her back at home.

Also, drawing water wasn’t an easy task. Depending upon where the well was located, a woman would have to walk a long way to get water. Back then they didn’t have indoor plumbing where she could just turn on a facet.

Then after drawing the water, she would have to carry the heavy water-filled jar back to where she came from.

The Samaritan woman’s task would also have its perils. She traveled at noon, the hottest time of the day, and we all know how brutal the sun can get at noon. Then there might be snakes and scorpions on the path, as well as other travelers who may have known her reputation.

So when the woman left behind her water jar she showed that she cared more about what Christ said to her than about her earthly concerns. In leaving behind her water jar she was in essence leaving behind her past.

• In leaving behind her water jar … she left behind her bad reputation. She had a series of marriages and relationships, but was now devoted to spreading the Good News.

• In leaving behind her water jar … she left behind her religion. The Samaritans were despised, because of their religious practices. However, she embraced Jesus’ words, and spent the rest of her days sharing Jesus’ message with others.

• In leaving behind her water jar … she left behind her gender. In those days, men did not speak to women in public, much less one with a sordid past. However, she had the courage to approach the men of her town and tell them about her experience.

• And, in leaving behind her water jar … she left behind other people’s expectations. People had once looked at her with distain, but now they listened to her. In fact, the Bible tells us that when the woman returned home and told the people about her experience that “there were those who believed.”

It took courage for that woman to tell others about her experience. Instead of just returning home and continuing with her life of shame, she went forth and served the purpose that God had prepared for her – to spread the news of Jesus Christ.

As women we know that society expects certain things from us. We are expected to marry, birth children, and care for our family. We were born with the natural ability to serve others.

If you think about it, it is not a disadvantage to serve, but it is a mighty blessing. The Bible tells us, “For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).

Also, 1 Peter 4:10 reads, “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” God has equipped us with the ability to serve others.

As women, we need to renew our thinking and take advantage of our God-given gifts. The Samaritan woman had the courage to leave behind her past, and step forward to perform the purpose that God had given her. What about you?

Are you willing to set down your water jar and do the work that God has planned for your life? Or, are you too caught up in the everyday things of life to listen to God, much less do anything for Him?

Perhaps you have something that is keeping you from embracing the work that God has planned for you? It may be a series of failed relationships, unhealthy habits or addictions, unforgiveness, or past failures and broken promises.

Put them in your water jar and lay it down.

You may say, “I know I should be doing something, but you don’t know how busy I am.” Well, maybe it is time to reevaluate your priorities and put some of your activities in your water jar.

• Put those unfruitful projects in your water jar.

• Put those hours of excessive sleeping in your water jar.

• Put those endless phone calls in your water jar.

• Put that mindless television viewing in your water jar.

Put all of that wasted time in your water jar and lay it down.

Now don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying that you must work to be saved. For according to Ephesians 2:8-10, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

Remember that works do not result “in” salvation … they result “from” salvation.

As we walk down the narrow path, keep these things in mind:

• Listen to what God is telling you about His will for your life.

• Believe that you can do whatever He asks of you.

• And, make the necessary changes in your life, so that you can serve God’s purpose for your life.

Are you ready to leave your water jar behind?

1 comment:

  1. I love this scripture, but you have made me think differently about it. Well done.