203: Isaiah 42:3
365 Prophecies: Prophecy 203
The Messiah will show unparalleled compassion for the lost.
Old Testament Prediction:
Isaiah 42:3 A bruised reed He will not break, And smoking flax He will not quench; He will bring forth justice for truth.
New Testament Fulfillment:
John 4:1-39 Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John (though Jesus But He needed to go through Samaria. So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour. A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?” Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.” Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.” The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.” And at this point His disciples came, and they marveled that He talked with a woman; yet no one said, “What do You seek?” or, “Why are You talking with her?” The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” Then they went out of the city and came to Him. In the meantime His disciples urged Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” But He said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.” Therefore the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors.” And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all that I ever did.”
Isaiah 42:3 describes a Messiah who is so gentle and kind, He will not extinguish the tiniest spark of hope that remains in a crushed spirit.
A bruised reed He will not break, And smoking flax He will not quench…
Who would notice a reed that has been bruised? Who would care if a smoking flax was nearly extinguished?
Flax is a blue-flowered plant that is cultivated for its linseed oil and fiber that is used for cloth.
In the condition that Isaiah describes this flax, the useful parts of the plant have apparently already been harvested. All that remains is a smoldering wisp of smoke. Neither the reed nor the burning flax have any value or beauty, yet Isaiah describes the Messiah finding both important and worthy of His attention.
You might feel as if there is only a tiny remnant of smoke remaining from the fire that once inhabited your heart. Perhaps you are in a hopeless and seemingly impossible situation that appears to have no way out. When Jesus comes to those who are barely existing, He does not extinguish what little hope they have. He is gentle, loving and very compassionate to everyone who is in distress.
The very attributes that Isaiah attributes to the Messiah, Jesus comes into the world to fulfill.
One of the most irresistible and attractive qualities of Jesus is His heartfelt compassion for the lost. When we examine the manner in which He speaks to people, even the most destitute and hopeless—find great compassionate and care. Every word that Jesus speaks—encourages those who hear Him. Like a soothing balm that comforts and heals, Jesus bring relief to the downcast and the brokenhearted.
Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would display His intense compassion for people, with great tenderness.
This compassion is best illustrated by the story of the Samaritan woman at the well. As a result of her encounter with the Messiah, this dear woman’s life was transformed. After meeting Jesus she returned to her village and told everyone: Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?
It appears that there were many who were saved as a result of her testimony about Jesus. This was not, however, the chief reason why He came to the well. It was simply because Jesus cared that He visited a woman who needed hope and a new life.
Jesus did not die for the sins of the world so that He could gain a few good out of the many bad. He loved and died for everyone of us, even those He knew would never love Him nor thank Him for the sacrifice He has made. Jesus did not die for the world as a package deal. He died for each individual person, one at a time, loving each one of us with the same passion and intensity.
In the year 2000, I taught a verse by verse study through the combined text of all four Gospels, called: “The Harmony of the Gospels.” One of the most compelling stories within this study is Jesus with the Samaritan woman at the well. This narrative gives the reader a closeup look at what matters most to Jesus: people. It is His deep and abiding love that changes the lives of those who come into contact with Him. These individuals go on to touch the lives of other people by the same love that was first show them. An example of the power of this love is seen in a young boy called “Timmy.”
If you had seen Arthur when he stepped off the bus in Kingston Ontario, you would never have been able to guess what his past was like.
He would have blended into the background and fit in like any other person getting off that bus on a sunny afternoon.
What you would not know is that Arthur was anything but “Average.”
He was released from prison when he was 53, after having spent 42 years behind bars.
He began his prison career at the age of 11, and no prison seemed capable of holding him. No bars or iron doors could break his spirit or reform his behavior.
Arthur served 24 of the 42 years in solitary confinement. For seventeen months he sat on death row. He participated in prison riots, broke a guards arm, another guards collarbone, and brought about the death of a sheriff.
In one particular prison in Indiana, he stole 40 pounds of cyanide while working in the prison with the idea of poisoning the entire prison staff.
He spent 31 months on Devils Island Prison confined in a 5 X 7 cell, chained by his neck.
Society had no hope for Arthur, they just tried to keep him isolated and confined.
But something happened to Arthur on one particular day in Leavenworth Kansas.
A pastor came to visit the prison and brought along his 14 year old son Timmy.
As Timmy followed his dad down through the rows of cells of the prison, for some reason he stopped for a moment and paused at Arthur’s cell, smiled at him and winked.
That was all that it took, Arthur began to curse at Timmy, verbally abuse him, calling him every name he could think of.
Timmy stood there and took it all, and then began to shed tears, he looked into Arthur’s rough face and said to him “I love you.”
Arthur said later that this was the first time in all of his life that someone had told him that he was loved.
Arthur began to receive letters from Timmy every week, and Timmy would tell Arthur how he was concerned for his life and more importantly, His eternal life.
As the letters kept coming, Arthur’s heart softened until finally one day he broke down in his prison cell and asked Jesus to save him and come into his heart.
Arthur later recalled that moment:
“Every letter that Timmy sent me, I stained with my tears. I just couldn’t take it any more, the Love that Jesus had for me changed my life…”
Jesus transformed this hate filled, violent soul into a man full of love and grace and the ability to care about other people.
Then the Lord did another miracle, Arthur was released from prison and spent the rest of his life telling people how Jesus had transformed his life.
The Samaritan woman at the well
The fourth chapter of the Book of John is dedicated to the power that Jesus has to transform a human life, any life. We can tell that this story is important, because the Holy Spirit devotes over 40 verses to this single encounter. This is the story of a woman whom the world cared nothing for. She had made many poor decisions during her life. She had been used and abused by those whom she had trusted. Her life was broken, and she lived daily with the ever-present pain of regret and shame.
Knowing all these things, Jesus makes it His priority to meet this woman and take away all of her shame and despair.
A preeminent quality of Jesus is the fact that He always has time for people. His attention is continually upon the poor, the downcast, the lost and the forgotten. Jesus will cease from all other things, just to go and find the one that is lost.
He wants to do for us what no other person can.
No matter how broken you life is, even if you live every day with the consequences of your imperfect decisions and failures, Jesus can make your life new.
This is the story of The Samaritan Woman, and in just 40 verses, she is going to be A New Creation.” Who knows? Perhaps when we finish these 40 verses, you will turn your life over to Jesus and you will also become A New Creation…
Christian author and teacher Elisabeth Elliot said:
“The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian—but the fact that I am a Christian does make me a different kind of woman”.
In some ways, this is really a very relevant human interest story, because so many people will be able to see themselves in this woman’s life. She is preoccupied with the details of her life—while ignoring more important eternal issues. We notice that Jesus departs from His disciples, neglects His own personal need for food and takes valuable, precious, time—just to visit this woman; because she is important to Him.
After a secret nighttime meeting with Nicodemus, in John Chapter 3, Jesus comes into the region of Judea. From there, He goes to the area of Galilee where He is planning to meet this woman by a well.
While traveling, the disciples ask to stop and get something to eat. Jesus tells these men to go on ahead and have their lunch, He has something far more important to do.
John 4:1-9 Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John 2 (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples), 3 He left Judea and departed again to Galilee. 4 But He needed to go through Samaria. 5 So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour. 7 A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” 8 For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. 9 Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.
Jesus needed to go through Samaria
The fact that Jesus felt compelled to go through Samaria is really an interesting statement because the Jews hated the Samaritans for a variety of reasons. The Jews made it a point to never make a journey through this area unless it was absolutely necessary.
As Jesus arrives at Jacob’s well, during the precise time that this woman is here, she asks Jesus: How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman? For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.
A better translation for the phrase: have no dealings, is: Jews have no communion with Samaritans. The word dealings was translated from the Greek word sungchrootai: Sun, meaning together and chraomai, meaning to use or borrow something.
The Jews hated and despised the Samaritans so much that they would not borrow anything from one of them, no matter how great their need might be. In the Jews’ way of thinking: “If I borrowed a cup from you, well, your filthy slimy little Samaritan lips might have touched it, and your filth will get on my lips and defile me.”
“If I borrow a cup of sugar, who knows that one of your greasy Samaritan hairs might fall into it. No, I will not even (Sungchrootai) borrow anything from you.”
John wrote in 4:9 that the Jews will have no communion or fellowship with Samaritans. Why?
When Nebuchadnezzar captured Jerusalem and carried back to Babylon the citizens of Judah, he allowed some of the Jews to remain in Judea. During the 70 years that many Jews were held captive in Babylon, those who were allowed to remain in Israel, intermarried with their captors who came from Babylon. This mixed race of Jews and Babylonians even set up their own temple for worship in Samaria.
Because of their intermarriage with the enemy, the Jews who returned to Israel after the 70 years of Captivity, hated the half Jew—Samaritans. By the time Jesus arrives in Israel, the Jews believed that the Samaritans were cursed by God and were to be avoided at all costs.
Jesus describes a story in Luke chapter 10, where a man went down to Jericho from Jerusalem and while on the way, he was attacked by bandits. The priests who found him made sure that they walked around to the other side of the street so they didn’t have to get involved. A Samaritan, also walking by, seeing the man lying injured and what had happened to him, stopped to lend assistance. This Samaritan paid for all of the care the man needed at that time and even paid in advance for any future care that he might need.
Luke 10:30-33 Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion.”
This was intended by Jesus as a personal indictment against the religious leadership of Jerusalem. Jesus labeled these men as hypocrites who hid behind their religion but would not lift a finger to help a person who was in need.
Matthew 23:13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!”
The story of Jesus great compassion continues…
John 4:1-5 Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John. 2. (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples), 3 He left Judea and departed again to Galilee. 4 But He needed to go through Samaria. 5 So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.
In the Old Testament, Samaria was called Shechem.
After Abraham left Haran on his way to the land that the Lord had promised him, he stopped in Shechem. This is the location where the Lord first appeared to Abraham and promised that He would give the land of Israel to him and his descendants forever.
Genesis 12:6-7 Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, as far as the terebinth tree of Moreh. And the Canaanites were then in the land. 7 Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” And there he built an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him.
As a result of this encounter with the Lord, Abraham built an altar and worships God here in Shechem (Samaria). Later, Jacob, Abraham’s grandson, returns to this same location and buys a field for one hundred pieces of silver. It is here where Jacob had excavated this well that Jesus and the woman are standing.
The opening of this well is covered with an old stone. To gain entrance, the stone must be moved and a bucket is lowered by a rope, down into the shaft, some 35 feet underground.
The well is about 9 feet in diameter and cut from solid rock. This is the well that Jesus has come to, and the well where the Samaritan woman was drawing water from.
John 4:6-9 Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour. 7 A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” 8 For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. 9 Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.
How did this woman know that Jesus was a Jew? By the way that He spoke—His accent. The Samaritans did not pronounce the sound “Sh”; they left off the “H” and just pronounced it “S.”
When Jesus said, Teni Lishekoth or Give me a Drink, He pronounced the “H,” instead of omitting it as a Samaritan would. As Jesus asked her for water, Immediately, she knew that He was a Jew.
The lesson here is to be very careful in how you pronounce all of the vowels in a word when you speak…
One man approaches another at the Olympic Games.
“Excuse me,” he says. “Are you a pole vaulter?”
The other man replies, “No I’m German, but how did you know my name was Walter?”
The point is: The Samaritan woman knew that Jesus was a Jew by the way He pronounced His words.
There is a detail here that is very important for us in our understanding of this story. This meeting between Jesus and the Samaritan woman was not an accident. If we can grasp one basic principle for how God operates the universe, it could be learned here. God had ordained that Jesus would meet this woman—before the universe was created. Every work of God was known to Him, before He made all that exists.
Acts 15:18 “Known to God from eternity are all His works.”
If we carry this concept of pre-ordained events to its ultimate intent, we realize that every micro-second of our life has already been determined by God. If we understand that God is sovereign over every event in the universe and add this to the fact that He really loves us and always has a good purpose intended for every situation, we can have great confidence that whatever happens today, the Lord is in control and nothing in our life occurs by happenstance, or luck.
Everything happens according to God’s sovereignty
Even the decisions that you make yourself—everyday in your life, He already knew what you would do. Because of His advanced knowledge concerning every event, He forms our entire life around His plans for us and works everything together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purposes.
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
When the day arrives and we finally understand this truth, peace fills our heart; a peace that passes all understanding. No matter what people do, or what happens during our day, when delays take place, or plans get changed by circumstances beyond our control, it doesn’t matter. The Lord is working out every detail of our life according to the counsel of His will, in line with His plans, not ours.
For some people, the thought that God is in total control over our life , is very frightening. It makes the self-sufficient feel as if they have no control over anything. In reality, we do not have any power over the events of our life. The sooner that we realize this fact and accept it as a truth, the easier it will be for us to take the next step: To trust and love God for His magnificent power and His goodness. His will determines the final result of everything, bolstered by His promise that everything will turn out for good if we will love and trust Him.
Jesus had determined before the foundation of the world, the precise moment and location when He would meet this woman to change her life—forever.
John 4: 5 So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
According to Jewish time keeping, 6 a.m. is referred to as “the first hour.” 12 noon would be the sixth hour. This is why the disciples had gone to find food, it was their lunch time. Jesus had traveled a great distance and the heat of the sun was extreme. He was thirsty so He asks this woman for a drink of water.
John 4:7 (When Jesus arrived at the well) A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.”
It seems important to pause here for just a moment. We should consider that Jesus came to earth to complete the salvation of all people. With this in mind, He has a great deal to do and a very short period of time to accomplish all that is required of Him. According to over 400 Old Testament prophecies, Jesus must suffer many things and be crucified. Three days later He must rise from the dead. He must establish His church and instruct His followers in what they will be doing on earth until He returns. Considering the great tasks before Him, Jesus still takes time to meet with one woman whom the world considers insignificant. Herein is the point: No one in Jesus’ estimation is insignificant. Every person is important to Him, and He proves this point by meeting with this one woman at the well, in the midst of completing our great salvation.
Above all necessity in fulfilling each Old Testament prophecy, Jesus maintains the importance of saving people, as the primary purpose for His life.
1 Timothy 1:15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners…
Jesus earnestly desires that He might be able to save your family and friends—even more than you would like them saved. He wants to help you with every problem and need that you will have throughout your life. You are always on His mind and never beyond His reach.
Psalms 139:17 How precious also are Your thoughts about me, O God! How great is the sum of them!
Psalms 40:5 Many, O LORD my God, are Your wonderful works Which You have done; And Your thoughts toward us Cannot be recounted to You in order; If I would declare and speak of them, They are more than can be numbered.
There are books kept in heaven with the thoughts that God has about you. There are also books in heaven which record every thought you have of Him.
Malachi 3:16 Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, And the LORD listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him For those who fear the LORD And who meditate on His name.
The Lord’s timing is always perfect
Notice how Jesus arrives at the well precisely at the right moment. He apparently knew ahead of time when this woman would be there to draw water. This illustrates the Lord’s ability to control every situation and pierce the linear realm of time at any point that He chooses. Jesus has knowledge of every future event and He knows precisely what is going to take place long before these events transpire.
It was a tradition of this time that young women would go each day to draw water for their families from the local well. What is unusual about this story, is the time of day in which this woman has chosen to go to the well. Most of the women of the village would come together in a group, usually earlier in the morning when it was still cool. The fact that this woman arrives alone, and at noon, indicates a great deal regarding her life. We learn later that she had been married five times and the man whom she was currently living, was not her husband.
This gives even greater significance to this meeting with Jesus. Not only was this a despised Samaritan whom most Jews would never have contact with, she was someone who was likely scorned and avoided by her own people. Women would not likely befriend her and no man of good reputation would never be seen alone with her.
This tells us a great deal about Jesus and how He feels about people whom the world has no use for.
Jesus loves those whom the world has cast off as undesirable. He has special compassion for the lost and He cares for those who have ruined their lives and live in open shame. This is a very tender story of a woman whom God searches out specifically because of who she is and what her life has become.
Jesus told His disciples that He must go through Samaria. He had made an appointment with this woman—before time began, and nothing was going to prevent Him from keeping this meeting. The fact that you and I are discussing what happened here, nearly 2,000 years after this meeting took place, tells us the significance of these events.
If you have ever felt as though your mistakes and sins have ruined your life and there is very little hope that you could find happiness again, the Lord is also searching for you today. He would like a private meeting with you so that He can tell you how greatly you are loved. Perhaps your family has abandoned you, and you have very few remaining friends. Consider the meeting between Jesus and this woman as a message, communicated to you—through time. The Lord is also interested in helping you with your life, if you will only give Him the opportunity.
You are greatly loved by God; He sent His Son specifically for people just like you. Perhaps you can relate to this dear woman from your own experiences in life. Maybe you can understand how she feels because you have felt some of the same emotions yourself. Just knowing that someone understands and would take the time to tell us that they care, makes a world of difference.
Perhaps you could offer a little kindness and compassion to someone you know. Is there a person you have observed recently who lives as an outcast from others? Your tender act of kindness in reaching out to someone who feels all alone, could dramatically change their life.
We should never forget that although we may have a great interest in Bible Prophecy and the coming of the Lord, there are still people in this world who need to know about the Love of God, before Jesus arrives. The entire point of all these prophecies is to bring people into an awareness of God’s love for them. Please do not forget this as you grow yourself in a greater knowledge of the Lord and His word.
The Lord’s patience with His disciples
The disciples were hungry and were preoccupied with their own needs. They went into town to get something to eat without considering that perhaps there was something more occurring at this moment. Jesus was also hungry, for it was the noon hour when all of us require food. More important to Jesus than food or satisfying His own desires was His necessity to meet the spiritual needs of this dear woman.
John 4:8 For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.
Every day that we live on this earth we can see people who are completely oblivious to the needs of others. Because of our fallen nature, we all tend to focus on ourselves and what it important to us. A dozen times a day we can see people who are doing things that display their callous disregard for other people. Hurrying to take a parking space ahead of another car. Leaving a mess for someone else to pickup. Filling up our shopping cart at the grocery store while a homeless person begs for quarters at the front of the store.
Even Jesus own men who knew Him well and had been following Him for some time, when the time came to think of someone else and their needs above their own, they failed miserably. We never read that Jesus scolded these men for their insensitivity. He simply went about doing the right thing, without putting guilt upon anyone else. The Lord is always very patient with us, allowing time and experiences to bring to our mind the fact that we are not the only person here on this planet. There are millions of other people who need help, and we have a solemn responsibility to do what we can to help them.
Above all of the things that Jesus could have done for Himself, He chooses instead to meet with this dear woman and change her life—Forever.
John 4:9-10 Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. 10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”
Jesus tells her: If you knew the Gift of God.
In other words, “If you only knew how much the Lord has planned for you.”
It is a common area of shortsightedness that many people suffer—which prevents them from perceiving the immensity of God’s grace towards them. There is an entire world of blessing that God has planned for those who love Him.
1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
Perhaps it is due to poor parenting and a lack of expressing love to a child while they are growing up which contributes to an inability of many to understand the Love of God. It may be that many people who have made such a mess of their lives and have lived with constant guilt—are unable to believe that God could love them. Whatever the cause, there are a vast number of individuals who do not believe that they are worthy of the Lord’s love or attention. In fact, the opposite is true. God loves those who have made a disaster of their lives. He longs to express genuine love to those who have never experienced true love. He earnestly desires that He might be able to poor out grace and mercy upon those who need it so desperately.
Psalms 34:18 The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit.
All that is required to experience the mercy of God is to be sincerely sorry and have a desire to change. God will accept anyone who comes to Him—regardless of their past mistakes.
Yes, God hates sin. He will someday judge all sinners who refuse to come through Jesus for their salvation. But let us not forget this story of the Samaritan woman at the well. God is more interested in showing compassion and tenderness towards us than He is in showing His wrath. If it was the desire of God to judge and send us to hell, then no person would have a chance. It is because God is not willing that any should perish that He allowed His Son to die a horrendous death for us. The Lord delights in showing mercy to the repentant and sincere.
If we will come to Him, He will receive us and hear our humble cries for mercy. That is all this woman needs: Someone to show her a little grace and grant her great mercy. She will respond to this invitation and her life will be changed forever.
Jesus said: If you knew the Gift.
This woman is undoubtably carrying a tremendous load of guilt inside her heart. Let us be clear: Sin is a heavy burden. To carry regrets of the past, anger over what people have done to us, and sorrow for our mistakes, is too much for any person to bear for so long. Perhaps you have been carrying a similar heavy load in your own heart. You can also be set free right now if you will just talk to the Lord where you are. Tell Him about all your hurts, disappointments, and failures. Ask Jesus to come into your heart and forgive all of your sins, and He will lift all of your burdens, take away the guilt and sorrow, and give you a brand new start.
Jesus says: “I have the cure for that heavy burden of Guilt because of the things you have done in your life.”
“I can remove the sin and take away the guilt at the moment you surrender your life to me.”
Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, let us argue this out,” says the LORD. “No matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can remove it. I can make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can make you as white as wool.”
Jesus is holding out a gift to you, just reach out and receive it.
When God offers a gift, He does not force us to take it. He gives to us freely in the hope that it will be freely received. Jesus has already paid the price for all your sins; the debt you owed to God for your mistakes is already paid. When Jesus died on the cross, naked before the world, He said something very interesting: It is Finished. He used the Aramaic translation for the Greek word, tetelestai, meaning, paid in full.
There is something very important about this gift: Although Jesus has already paid the price for your sins, this gift is not yours until you willingly accept it.
You must pray and ask Jesus for the gift of forgiveness of sin, before it is given to you—because He will not force you to receive it.
John 4:10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”
The Greek word that Jesus used here for gift, in verse 10, is dorea (do-reh-ah), meaning, without cost.
What Jesus has done for you, He offers without any cost. This is what Grace is all about: receiving things that you know you don’t deserve. For the rest of your life, the Lord will continue to lavish upon you blessings—which you cannot possibly contain. He wants to give these things to you simply because He loves you.
In response to Jesus’ offer of the gift, the woman answers:
John 4:11 “…Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water?”
“Jesus, I have nothing to draw this water with. I have nothing in Me that would allow me to obtain it. The well is deep and I can’t reach it. It is far, I can’t get there. It is difficult, I don’t know how to receive it…”
John 4:14 “but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
Jesus reveals to her the key to receiving His gift: You don’t have to do anything except believe what God has said and accept it. Jesus will do the rest.
“Whoever drinks of the water that I give them, will never thirst again…”
Forgiveness and eternal life are free gifts which Jesus has given His life to purchase for you—all you must do is come to Him and drink.
Now Jesus gets down to the important business of dealing with this woman’s sin so that she can free herself of its burden and obtain a new life. When Jesus takes away our sins—after our sincere repentance (desire for change), a whole new world of joy opens for us. No longer encumbered with guilt, a peace begins to fill our heart and for the first time in our life, we experience satisfaction.
John 4:14-22 “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.” Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.” The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.”
Jesus knew all about her life. He was aware of her sins, but He came to give her the opportunity to repent from the old life and turn to Him for salvation. The woman responds: “Sir I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshipped on this mountain…”Jesus informs her that religion is not the answer; relationship with God through His Messiah, is the answer.
“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”
The Messiah has come. All of the promises of God, all of the prophecies that foretell His coming, are fulfilled in Jesus Christ. This woman’s life was changed forever by this meeting made possible by God’s eternal love and care. Jesus had this appointment with this dear woman in mind—before He ever created her. He knew about all of her sins and her struggle with false religion and pretense. He opened her eyes so that she could see the Savior of the world by a personal audience. This encounter with Jesus changed her life forever.
This is why I write, and the purpose for which I implore you now—that everyone who reads these words might discover what this woman apprehended from Jesus here in her story. The Lord cares deeply for each one of us, and He has an insatiable desire to have a personal relationship with us. If you have come to Jesus yourself and have already obtained the forgiveness of your sins and the new life He promised, then please tell someone else about what has happened to you. If this woman’s story has reminded you of your own need for forgiveness or sins, they please turn to the Lord in this moment and receive Him into your heart. Pray a very simple prayer of sincerity to the Lord and He will hear you and respond to your heart—immediately.
“Jesus, I want to receive you as my Savior. Thank you for dying for me on the cross to pay for all my sins. Please forgive me Lord for every sin I have committed during my life. Take away the burden of guilt and replace it with your peace. I want you to be the Lord of my life and guide me every day in all of my decisions. Please take control of my life and lead me where you want me to go. I turn away from the old life I have lived before I met you and ask you Lord to help me to live a new life of righteousness. When I sin again, please forgive me and restore me. Thank you Lord for coming into my heart at this moment. Give me boldness to live for you and not be afraid to tell those I know—what you have done for me. Please help me live for you all the days of my life and to bring you the glory you deserve. Remind me to pray for my family and friends every day so that they might also come to know you and be saved. I pray these things in the name of Jesus, my Savior, amen.”
This is the purpose for which the Lord has allowed me to write each of my books, and it is the reason that you have come to read these words—so that you would take what you have learned and share it with someone else. Simply communicate how wonderful Jesus is and the power that He has to change our lives when we come to Him humbly and with a sincere desire to know God.
May the Lord use this amazing story of the woman at the well to help us reach those who also need God’s love and the salvation which Jesus died to make possible.
 Franz Eugen Köhler, Köhler’s Medizinal-Pflanzen, 1897, Now in the public domain since it’s copyright has expired.
 The original author of this wonderful story is unknown. It came from my personal study notes over many years. If you know who the author is, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so that I might give proper attribution to the person who wrote it.
 Strong’s Greek New Testament Lexicon.
 Paraphrase by Robert Clifton Robinson, from the literal meaning of Jewish hatred for Samaritans in general.
 Map used by permission: http://www.bible-history.com/maps/samaria_central_palestine.html According to the web site all material may be freely used without copyright or fee.
 A Samaritan would have pronounced it: Teni Lise-koth, with no sound of the “H.”
 John 4:18 for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband.
 John 4:4 …He needed to go through Samaria.
 Strong’s Number 5055, Greek Concordance and Englishman’s Greek Concordance.
 Strong’s Number 1431, Greek Concordance and Englishman’s Greek Concordance.