A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.”
– John 4:7
There once was a woman no one was looking for—A woman no one saw but God. She lived in a place called Samaria, a central region of land in Israel that is located between Judea and Galilee. She was living her quiet life, business as usual. She quietly did her daily chores. She went to her people’s famous well, named by their patriarch Jacob, to draw fresh water. She scheduled her time to visit the well when she knew no one else would be there. Nobody saw her.
But one day, she went to her regular watering spot, and Jesus was waiting for her. She lived in isolation, but Jesus showed up! God saw her when she thought no one saw her and orchestrated a divine appointment to meet her that day. The Jews had a love-hate relationship with the Samaritans; they loved to hate them. Because of their ungodly past of mingling with other idols and other cultures, no respective devout Jew would interact with them. The direct route between Judea and Galilee was through Samaria. Most Jews would go around. The people who carried the truth of the Word would not visit this woman, but Jesus did.
No one saw her because she was an outcast. Samaritans were outcasts of the Jews. Women were outcasts of men during that day. To make matters worse, she was an outcast from her own people, probably because of her checkered past, having five failed marriages (John 4:16-18). This is also probably why she chose to draw from the well during the hottest time of the day to avoid others. She was surprised that Jesus would even initiate a conversation with her as she recognized him as a Jew (John 4:9). But Jesus crossed all barriers to talk with her to help her see her need for the Savior. She found what she was thirsting after beyond Jacob’s well (vss. 10-15). She found the bridegroom or seventh husband after six failed relationships (vss. 16-18). She found the right object of her Worship – God who is Spirit (vss. 20-24), the right means of worship – to worship in Spirit and Truth (John 4:24), and the Messiah she was waiting for – Jesus Christ (vss. 25-26)
I think about this woman of whom we have no name. She represents so many around us who are isolated, who feel that nobody sees them. Many people like this woman today are living their lives, doing business as usual, who need to know that God sees them and desires to have an intimate meeting as He did in Samaria. This story demonstrates the love of our God, who would go to the ends of the earth to reach us to meet our needs. In fact, that’s precisely what He did. He sent His son Jesus breaking every barrier between a holy God and sinful man, to meet us at our point of need and provide for us living water so that we would have eternal life.
Hagar, another woman in the Bible that God met during her own experience of isolation, attributed to God the name El Roi, which means the God who Sees (Gen. 16:13). Thank God that He saw me. And may we, like this Samaritan woman, employ ourselves to tell others about the God who sees.