Your husband is not your well

Jesus is. In John chapter 4, the Lord Jesus made the point abundantly clear when He met with the Samaritan woman who had been seeking love for a long time in various husbands. Jesus made a pit-stop to teach this living-changing truth – that married or single – we should go to Him for everlasting love, satisfaction and wholeness.

7 There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.

Like a husband would, the Lord Jesus asks her for water.

9 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.

The woman is essentially saying I am less than you. I am not in your category or class. Why are you interacting with me? What are you giving a task/ purpose to a woman outside of your class?

10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

Jesus doesn’t directly take on the class, inferiority issues. He goes straight to truth. He proclaims that He is a Gift to her. Can you imagine that? In many marriages, the husband is more of a ruler rather than a gift. Gift is a precious description to use in this context. Plus, most women love receiving a gift!

The other interesting point that Jesus is making is that if she knew the kind of Gift He was, she would ask of Him (as should pertain in a godly husband and wife situation where a wife takes pleasure in asking and is encouraged to ask for what she needs).

Moreover, being that He is not merely a husband but the Spiritual Bridegroom to the Church (and to this dear woman) He would give her Living Water, which is not merely an earthly kind of sustenance but sustenance that is life-giving and truly satisfying.

11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?

The woman at first doesn’t seem to be catching on to what the Lord is saying and is concerned that He doesn’t have a ‘glass’ (something to draw with). But then her mind was clearly mesmerized by what He was saying so she eventually asks about the Living Water. ‘Where is the Living Water?’ She also wants to know how great of a man He is. Is He a bigger man than Jacob who gave them the well? Is He greater than the well-maker? Is He able to more than provide for her basic needs?

12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?

With the precision of a surgeon, the Lord makes the point that this earthly well can’t really solve people’s problems. You drink the water today and tomorrow you’re thirsty again. You find a man today and ‘yuh nice’ but by tomorrow you are unfulfilled, needing something more, needing another man, perhaps. How is this about a man, weren’t we talking about water you may ask? Well, for this woman it was about men. And for many women, it is about a man…a man that is supposed to fill them up and complete them. Jesus is saying I am that man.

13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

Note that Jesus now moves from only speaking to this woman but to whosoever – man, woman, Jew, Samaritan. Of course, this woman wants some of this magical water.

15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.

Now that the woman asks and is ready to receive it, the Lord wants the woman to come to grips with what may be an addiction or distraction in her life; a source to which she has looked for love and wholeness. He wants her to come to grips with where she had been “drinking from,” it seems. Why else would He ask, if He already knew?

16 Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. 17 The woman answered and said, I have no husband.

The woman not only comes to grips – in the face of truth, she speaks the truth.

Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: 18 For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.

Five husbands are a lot even by present-day standards. She was no doubt searching for something. Even so, even if it were one husband, I think this woman (or any other woman) could still be searching for life-giving love, completion and fulfillment in a man’s well.                                                  

19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.

She is catching on to the fact the Jesus is not an ordinary man and now turns the conversation to what He was talking about all this time. Worship.

21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

The point of access to the Living Water that Jesus is offering this woman (and whosoever) is worship. He also again makes it clear that class, category or ethnicity don’t factor in His dispensation – you could be a Jew, you could be a gentile. God wants worshippers who worship in spirit and in truth.

Plus it is no longer about where you worship. But how you worship – in spirit and in truth. The woman must turn her heart and soul and mind and strength and spirit towards God the Father. That is where she should place her highest devotion. It is no longer an act of obeying God’s rules while your heart and mind long after the things of the world or some kind of idol. Worship is now putting God above all other desires and in turn receiving Living Water = Life-long satisfaction and fulfillment that sustains.

Interestingly, the woman seems to have had a hope or an understanding for this new way of worship, pointing out that a Messiah is to come and teach all of this stuff.

25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. 26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.

The Lord settles the issue.

He says, I am the Messiah. He proclaims that, I am the gift of God – I give Living Water. In those deep lonely places where we feel incomplete, alone or unloved, He is saying, I will fill you, heal you and you will never thirst again. Jesus is your Bridegroom. We must drink from His well and let it be well with our souls, whether married or single, male or female.

Drink by lifting your cup of worship.


Shelly-Ann Harris is the President and Founder of Family and Faith Magazine.



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