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December 10, 2014

John 4:1-26
Hope Surprised – The Woman at the Well

The story of the woman at the well begins with Jesus traveling to Samaria, a region that was not on the path a Jew would normally take from Jerusalem to Galilee. Most Jews looked down on the Samaritans, a group of Israelites who had intermarried with their Assyrian conquerors centuries earlier, and so the woman’s first surprise was that Jesus, a Jew, would even bother to talk to her at all since she was a Samaritan. Her second surprise was that Jesus seemed to know so much about her. He knew she’d been married five times for example and that she was currently living with a man who was not her husband. Jesus knew quite a bit about her religious beliefs as well but also what was happening inside her; what some of her felt needs were.

The woman was not totally absent of hope. The Samaritans did believe in messianic deliverance but thought that the messiah was going to come to Mount Gerizim in Samaria rather than to Jerusalem and built a temple there in preparation for His coming. When the woman asked Jesus about this, He told her that it was more important who and how she worshipped than where she did so. Jesus then laid one final surprise on her. He was the messiah she was looking for. He was also willing to give her living water from a well that would not run dry. The woman responded by putting her faith and trust in Jesus and then by telling others in her community about her encounter with Him (John 4:39-42).

I’m wondering as I think about this if we’d be surprised at how many times Jesus reaches out to us and tries to connect with us so He can bring some positive changes into our lives. Jesus wants to give us living water from His well. My prayer is that we won’t be so surprised by this that we fail to grab and drink from that bucket when He holds it out to us.

What do you sometimes find surprising about Jesus, some ways perhaps that your hope has been surprised?

What are some things He may be trying to give you right now; things that come from the bucket of living water He’s holding out to you?

The topic of this week’s devotionals, contributed by Dick Lentz the from Neon flock at Calvary, is Hope. Dick has a blog at and can be reached at .