A man without a bucket
We all know the story about the woman at the well. We’ve heard it repeatedly in Sunday school. We knew that the woman was a Samaritan and we understood that Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans. However in John 4, we witness Jesus’ attempt in breaking down the walls of social injustice and gender discrimination. We see the story as it is, this woman didn’t have a lot going for her, in fact the odds were stacked up against her. First she was a woman, second she was a Samaritan and third she had been married five times. Her reputation was well known and maybe that’s why she chooses the time she does to go to the well because she knew not a lot of people would be there. But the story goes deeper than this.
The Bible says that Jesus, going from Judea to Galilee had to pass through Samaria. Through Samaria was a direct route from Judea to Galilee. Sometimes however, the Jews would use a circuitous route on the east side of the Jordan just to avoid going through Samaria. But Jesus had no other options because He had a divine appointment with destiny. Ever wonder why you have to go through what you’re going through? Ever asked why some people can avoid by going around but your purpose is going through? It doesn’t seem fair that the people around dodges the problems of life and it seems you have to face them head on. There is a purpose for going through.
Next we see Jesus having a conversation with a woman who simply came to draw water. She did this continually, every day. When she needed water to drink, she came to the well, when she wanted water to cook she came to the well. Anything domestic that would require water, her source was the well. This was Jacob’s well, which represented the law, Jesus showing up represented grace, I’ll explain further down. Here comes Jesus, a picture of grace meeting this woman at the intersection of works that leads to death and grace that leads to life. The continual visits to well represents our own human inability to keep ourselves satisfied. So Jesus asks her for a drink and she immediately looks up and looks at Him but sees her faults. “I’m a woman, I’m a Samaritan, how can You ask me for a drink?” It’s funny because she wasn’t ashamed of the fact that she was a woman or a Samaritan, she blurted those out but she kept back the fact that she have had 5 husbands. Watch me…Jesus said “if you know and recognize Who asks for a drink, you will ask of Him and He will give you living water.” She is at the point of grace and the fact that she keeps coming back for water tells me that her efforts to fill herself with works wasn’t working. So here she has an opportunity to ask Jesus for water that would fill her like no water can and instead she allows the enemy to condemn who she is. Satan can be subtle in so many ways..he points out those things that are externally wrong with you in order to condemn you, to prevent you from receiving grace. He then tries to convince you to not reveal what’s wrong on the inside. So she tells Jesus about her outward faults, what people saw, but didn’t tell Him about what she saw wrong inside her. She couldn’t receive the living water until Jesus pointed out this fact to her.
At the next phase of this encounter, she asks Jesus how was He going to get this water without a bucket? The tool she has been using all these years and was so reliable to her, this man didn’t have. God I’ve been trying to fill myself with love, when no one would love me and Jesus comes along and says, “I can love you without you doing the things you do for others to love you.” Jesus didn’t come to teach her a new way of drawing the same water without a bucket. It wasn’t the same old teaching and traditions, it wasn’t a 12 step program that would set her free. How can you draw water without a bucket? Jesus how can you fix my situation? Then He tells her the difference, “your water requires a bucket, you have to dig deep to get it and you have to come back every day to refill yourself.” That water hasn’t gotten you a husband that you can keep, that water hasn’t gotten you the job of your dreams, that water has left you friendless that you travel to well everyday to fill up. Then you go home and the water starts draining out and when it runs out through the holes of your faults, here you go again back to the well to refill. Everyone sees you walking back to the well, they know your water has run out. But the water He has, springs upward with a flow that won’t stop filling.
After some talking, she still didn’t get it, but she still asks for the water. Before she could get the water, she needed to understand the concept. She still thought He was talking about a natural water as opposed to a spiritual filling. If she had gotten what He was saying, the conversation would have ended there, instead He points to the trouble deep inside her. The thing she hadn’t revealed to Him, He was now getting ready to address. He tells her about her life, brings her situation to the forefront. Then she realized He must be a prophet because He was telling her things she haven’t told Him. There was nothing wrong with her being a woman, or a Samaritan from today’s perspective, maybe back then but not today. The well was an outward representation of what she was going through internally. The fact that she kept coming back everyday for water showed an insatiable thirst for love, hence her five husbands. Jesus meets her and she’s not ready to tell it all, to reveal what’s in her heart. She spends a little time with Him and before the conversation ended He showed her what the problem really was. He had to make her realize that what she has been doing does not suffice for what she needs. When you spend time with Jesus, He will begin to reveal the things you are scared to confess. You no longer have to draw water to satisfy your daily desires because what He has for you will continually spring up, you don’t have to dig or go deep for it, it will be a reservoir bubbling within you. Thanks for reading, leave a comment, follow the blog and may God Bless.