Tonight we are returning to the New Testament to continue our “No-Name” series. The story is found in the gospel of John, chapter 4 and is one of the most well-known among all the encounters Jesus had with people during His ministry on earth. I would dare say that anyone who has spent any time at all going to church and/or Sunday school has heard the story of the woman at the well. The Samaritan woman. But few have really considered the potentially significant role she played in spreading the good news of the gospel. I realize that the previous “No-Name” stories we have heard during this series have been rather lengthy. So tonight I will attempt to condense the paraphrased version of the story and get to the valuable lesson of it in short order. So here goes.
Shortly after Jesus had been seen by John the Baptist who had made the statement that Jesus must increase and he must decrease, Jesus left Judea and headed for Galilee. It so happened that on His way to Galilee He passed through Samaria and a city called Sychar. This city was very near what was known as Jacob’s well which was main source for water for that area. Jesus was tired from His journey and stopped at the well to rest and perhaps have a drink of cool water. During the afternoon as Jesus rested there, a Samaritan woman came to draw water as was normal for that time of day. Jesus asked her for a drink of water because His disciples had gone into the city to purchase food. The woman certainly never realized that this would begin a conversation with the Lord that would radically change her life.
The woman had recognized that Jesus was a Jew from the beginning so she replied with a question. “Why do You, being a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?” she asked. This question reveals the hatred that these two groups had for each other and shows the woman’s surprise that He even had spoken to her. So, it is not hard to imagine her even greater surprise with the answer He gave her. Jesus said to her “If you were aware of God’s gift and who I am that says give me drink, you would have asked Him instead and He would have given you Living Water”. She understood that He was referring to Himself but she didn’t understand how He could get living water without anything to draw with and because the well was so deep. She even tried to compare Him to Jacob and his sons implying that He would certainly not be greater than them. Jesus patiently explained that He was talking about something greater than the water from the well. He was talking about satisfying the thirst much greater than the physical thirst for water. That He was talking about a spiritual well that would never run dry. His response prompted her to ask for this water.
We know how the story goes from here. Jesus tells her to go get her husband and bring him and she replied that she had no husband. Of course Jesus knew that and even knew that she had been married five different times and was living with a man who was not her husband. In other words, He knew her reputation and her history of sinful living. At this point she realized that He was not an ordinary man and after more conversation with Him, explained that she knew that the Messiah was to come and declare all things to His people. Jesus said to her “I am He”. The woman then left her water pot at the well, went into the city and told the men to come and see a man who told her all the things she had done. She posed a question to the men that indicates she believed Jesus was the Christ. And the men left the city to go meet this man Jesus.
Here we see another person whose name that we are never given, be an instrument in God’s hand to play a role in the furtherance of the gospel. This “No-Name” became a witness in her own right and was responsible for many of the Samaritans from the city becoming believers as stated in verse 39. She simply shared what Jesus had done for her. Further proof that God uses people, even those whose names are never revealed, for His purposes to bring others to Him. Again, we should all be like the Samaritan woman at the well and share with others what He has done for us.