The woman at the well is one of my favorite stories in the Bible. It is found in John chapter 4. This is where Jesus asked the Samaritan woman for a drink of water from the well. (I have to add that this is one of the sights I will able to see when I go to Israel in the fall! And I recently learned that there is STILL water in the well and you can drink it!).
One of the reason I love this story is because Jesus gives us an example of how to confront someone, how not to ignore facts and put them under the rug, and how not to take responsibility for other peoples choices. If you have read my book or been reading my blog for a while, you know these are the three things I struggled with for most of my life:
1. Ignoring red flags
2. Putting things under the rug
3. Taking responsibility for other peoples choices and behaviors
In John chapter 4 we know that Jesus already knows the woman is a Samaritan and He, of course, was a Jew. Samaritans and Jews were not supposed mingle together and they certainly were not expected to give one another a drink of water. Jesus already knew this woman was living outside the confines of marriage. The man she was living with was not her husband. She had been married five times previously. He knew all of this (and probably more!) when He saw her. He could have easily waited for her to get her drink and move on. He could have made small talk with her. Once He tells her all that He knows about her He could have "excused" her behavior by taking responsibility for her (or help her justify her choices). He could have also had a finger pointing moment with her, telling her what He knew by shaming or condemning her.
The beauty of this story is that He spoke the truth in love to her. He didn't shame her. He didn't condemn her. He didn't excuse her choices. He didn't pretend He didn't know anything. There are no exclamation marks of His conversation to show He yelled at her. He gave her an opportunity to tell the truth and she did. He then calmly told her what He knew. He tells her He is the Messiah and He can provide water that will never dry up; a well of water springing up to eternal life. The woman goes on to tell others about Jesus and many Samaritans come to believe in Him because of her words.
If you are looking for hope, you don't need to look any further...Jesus is our hope! He is our well of water springing up to eternal life!