Nov. 22, 2022 – John 4:7-26
When reading the account of the Woman at the Well, it’s important to know that in first-century Judea, only husbands could divorce their wives. Women had no such legal rights. This often resulted in the practice of husbands “passing around” their wives through a succession of divorces and remarriages.
It’s quite possible the woman in this story had been treated in a similar way: passed around from marriage to marriage, only to be divorced again when the current husband became bored with her. That this woman had given up on marriage should not surprise us. After all, the men in her life had never cared about her, why should she care about them? And so her current relationship had no legal strings attached. It was better for her that way.
But her painful past still haunted her; the Bible tells us that the other woman in the village would have nothing to do with her. Perhaps some of their husbands had left them for her. So here she is, alone, drawing water from the well at the hottest time of the day.
And then Jesus shows up.
John gives us only a summary of their conversation, so we don’t know all that went on between them. But we do know that at the end of her encounter with Jesus, we see a very different woman, full of confidence, running back into town with her head held high, proclaiming everything that Jesus had done for her.
The Israelites constantly told stories about what God had done for them. Because they believed what God had done before, he could do again. Because of Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well, she had been restored into the person God intended her to be all along. And the Good News is what Jesus did for her, he can do in your life as well!
Questions for reflection
- Where have you been treated as unimportant, less-than, or just a tool for somebody’s agenda? What was that like for you?
- Where in your life do you need a restorative encounter with Jesus? What would that look like?
Bible passages for further exploration: Mark 1:40–45, Luke 5:17–27, Acts 3:1–10