Study 4 WITH THE WOMAN AT SYCHAR’S WELL
OUR LORD’S INTERVIEWS
by Francis Dixon
(Scripture Portion: John 4:1-42)
We have this beautiful record of the Lord’s interview with the Samaritan woman. Please read the whole of John 4, and then come back to verse 27, which is our point of departure for this study. The Lord Jesus had purposely passed through Samaria and had come as far as Jacob’s Well so that He might speak with the sinful Samaritan women whom He knew would be there drawing water. He was tired from the journey! Although He was truly God He was also man, and as man was subject to physical tiredness. He sat by Sychar’s Well, and this poor sinful woman came to draw water. The disciples were away in the city buying food, and when they returned and saw Jesus speaking to the woman they wanted to ask Him ‘Why are you talking to her?’ – but none of them actually asked Him the question. Why were they so surprised? For at least three reasons:- first, according to Jewish Law, no rabbi (teacher) must ever hold a conversation with a woman alone; second, the Lord Jesus was a man, and for a man to engage in serious conversation with a woman, and a strange woman at that – and to do this in the open – was a very improper thing 2000 years ago; third, Jesus was a Jew (see verse 9). But notice three further things:-
- 1. The Lord really did speak to this woman.
- 2. What He said was with authority because of who He is – see verses 10,14 and 25-26.
- 3. What He said to the woman resulted in the complete transformation of her life.
Now these three facts are true in relation to ourselves, and these things apply to us in the same way. But let us ask these questions: Why did Jesus seek this interview with the woman? Why did He talk to her? Why does He speak to us? There are four answers to these questions:-
1. He talked with her because He loved her.
Please invest this word “love” with all the dignity and glory that it deserves. Think who He was – the eternal Son of God, the Saviour of the world – look up John 3:16; 2 Corinthians 8:9; Galatians 4:4; Ephesians 5:25 – and compare John 4:42 (last five words). And who was she? A poor peasant woman engaged in menial work, a woman who had broken God’s laws and in particular the seventh commandment. She had given way to passion and had sold her life to sin. Probably she never meant to do this, but now she was living in sin. She was a prostitute, yet Jesus loved her. She was a fallen woman – and Jesus loved her! Are you like that? – a fallen man?…or woman? Do learn from this study that Jesus loves you; whoever you are and whatever your sin; He comes near to you now and waits to cleanse and forgive you if you will turn away from your sin and fall at His feet in confession and contrition – look up Proverbs 28:13; and compare Jeremiah 31:3.
2. He talked with her because He sought her salvation.
This woman was lost, and she knew it (Luke 19:10). Nobody needed to tell her that she was a sinner needing salvation. She knew it. Many people do not know of their lost condition in God’s sight, even though they are as lost as this woman was. Was she lost because she had broken the seventh commandment? No, not primarily. It was because she had never been saved by the Lord Jesus Christ, and this is the same for any of us. Look up 1 Timothy 1:15. Notice:-
- 1. Jesus wanted to reveal her sinful condition and need. He spoke with such conviction about the sinful life she was living – see verses 16-18.
- 2. Jesus wanted to forgive her sin. Yes, He was ready to forgive and to say to her what He said to a similar woman on another occasion (Luke 7:48).
- 3. Jesus wanted to cleanse her from her impurity (1 John 1:7,9).
- 4. Jesus wanted to break her appetite for sin in her life (Matthew 1:21; John 8:36).
All these things He waits to do for you. Thank God for Matthew 9:13; John 6:37!
3. He talked with her because He longed to satisfy her.
Read Psalm 107:9. This woman longed for satisfaction, as John 4:13-15 assures us. Is there anyone, anywhere, who does not long for a deep-down heart satisfaction? Nothing on this earth that is material or temporal can really satisfy the deepest needs of our hearts. Things we can handle or see may bring temporary relief and pleasure, but soon we “thirst again” (verse 13). Money, a beautiful home, an excellent job; these do not satisfy if God is left out (Psalm 16:11), and Jesus longs to give full satisfaction (Matthew 11:28-30; John 10:9).
4. He talked with her because He wanted to use her.
We see this in John 4:28,29,30,39. This is Jesus’ method for spreading the gospel. He saves and satisfies men and women, and they go out to tell others about all that He has done for them. The woman preached no sermon, but she gave a testimony; she would have gone back to the very men with whom she had committed adultery and told them that the Lord loved her, had saved and satisfied her, and that He would do the same for them if they would trust Him. She became an instrument in the Lord’s hands, a true ambassador for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20), a vital witness to Him (Acts 1:8); and she had the joy of seeing many people brought to Christ through her simple testimony.
What an amazing interview Jesus had with this woman at Sychar’s Well! He is waiting and willing to use you in the same way, and bring others to know of His saving grace through your witness.