The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did!
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Judges 21:1-Ruth 1:22
This account is a beautiful example of a life turned upside down by an encounter with Jesus.
It’s high noon, and the only woman drawing water at the well is this Samaritan woman. She didn’t come in the cool of the morning, when all the other women in town drew their water for the day. It is thought that she avoided the other women because they knew her reputation. Rather than endure their looks of judgment and disapproval, she goes alone, in the intense heat of mid-day, to draw her water. She suffered no lofty stares this way, but neither did she have a chance for fellowship or friendship.
But she’s not alone at the well today. It will take her a little while to figure it out, but the Man who is unafraid to to speak to her, who went out of His way to be there despite the fact that no self-respecting Jew would step foot on Samaritan soil, is her Messiah.
When Jesus tells her that the man she is living with is not her husband, He’s saying two things. One, He’s telling this woman and all the rest of us that living together is not the same thing as marriage, and two, He’s telling her that He is omniscient and knows everything about her.
The 180 degree turn is this: the woman who lived in a state of self-preservation till now stops thinking of herself, because her mind is suddenly full of Jesus. And she who avoided all contact with the townspeople before is now so convinced of Who she has discovered that she wants the whole town to know about Him. Unafraid, uninhibited, unfettered, she has become the town evangelist.
I do hope that in heaven, we get to see “the rest of the story,” as Paul Harvey would say. I’d love to know the effect of her words on her community. For now, it’s enough that we’ve been given a glimpse of her new life. It reminds us that you can’t have a real encounter with Jesus and walk away unchanged.