In being exact, Jesus knows exactly the conversation that will engage us as He reveals Himself to us. His exchange with the Samaritan woman at the well continues as her question back to His request for a drink betrays her feelings about His unconventional ways.
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” (John 4:9-10).
When Jesus says to her: “Give me a drink” in verse eight, her response in verse nine reveals her bewilderment and maybe even bitterness: “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?”
Because the hatred between Jews and Samaritans went both ways, she would have seen Jesus as seeing her as undesirable and a direct encounter with her as repulsive. She would have expected animosity, and it would have been her attitude toward Him.
Do we sometimes think this is how Jesus sees us? We cannot imagine He would seek us, come to us, personally engage us in conversation and give us exactly what we need? There was a time when that is exactly where I was.
I saw myself as undesirable, unwanted and beyond the bounds of the forgiveness Jesus offered. I was miserable! And how I saw myself was rooted in the fact that I could not, would not and/or did not believe Jesus could forgive someone as hopelessly gone as me!
I wonder if this is how the Samaritan woman saw herself?
That does not stop Jesus, though, and it will not stop Him from encountering us at our place and time of need. And do not miss this: the woman is not seeking or looking for Jesus; He seeks her. He orders everything EXACT so He will encounter her!
Jesus is exact!
Jesus meets us at our exact point of need to reveal Himself as exactly what we need!
Jesus might not be sitting before us in the physical sense the woman at the well encountered Him, but He is showing Himself to us and talking to us nonetheless. Maybe we are “hearing” His voice as we sense in our knower His presence and His voice; maybe we are answering Him the same way she does, because we do not think we are worthy and maybe we do not believe in Him at all. Maybe we are bitter toward Him.
But He is there, meeting us where He knows He will find us so He can reveal Himself to us!
That brings us to verse ten: Jesus’ answer to her. It is His answer to us, too:
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 (all caps mine).
When we encounter Jesus, we might not know right away it is Him or it is His voice. We might think He is talking to us about something completely different than what He is actually saying. Yet if we know Jesus is the gift of God – He does not only have the gift of what we need, He IS the gift; if we knew who was talking to us, would we ask a different question? Would we ask for the living water He offers?
Instead of saying, “How is it that you ask me a ?” Would we ask: “Dear Jesus, please give me living water!!!!”?
Could it be we are at our own version of Jacob’s well and do not even know our thirst is not physical?
I love this conversation Jesus has with her where He answers her questions to bring her to a place of understanding and belief! He is leading her and opening her eyes. And He will do the same with us and our loved ones!
For other posts in this series see: