Many people have interpreted Jesus’ interaction with the woman at the well as a model for personal evangelism for Christians. That’s one way of looking at it, I guess. Perhaps more significantly, however, we can look at this episode to see how we are like the woman, and how Jesus is our great Pursuer. This passage shows us our immense need to constantly come to the Fountain of life and drink.
In John 4:4, it says that Jesus “had to pass through Samaria.” He didn’t do this because it was the shortest route, but because he had an appointment. He had an appointment with a woman who needed to be pursued — a woman who needed to be saved.
Notice the conversation in verses 7-25. The woman is continually plagued by a lack of spiritual fiber in her bones. She can’t handle spiritual realities. She’s blind. She’s ignorant. She’s only able to think in terms of things she can see and touch:
- She thinks Jesus can’t give her water because he doesn’t have a bucket (v. 11).
- She thinks Jesus gives water so she won’t have to come to draw from this particular well anymore (v. 15).
- She avoids her sin by starting a debate about where people should worship (vv. 19-20).
If we are honest with ourselves, we are the woman. Even the disciples didn’t always digest deep, spiritual realities (e.g. John 4:33). We continually need the great, pursuing Savior to tear away the blinders of spiritual ignorance and give us knowledge of himself.
Where do you see yourself in this woman? Where are you ignorant of Jesus’ pursuit of you? How will you respond?