Binding Broken Hearts

Introducing Jesus to Those Who Need Him Most

header photo

The Power of the Word - Part 26

She stood by her front window watching as the last stragglers returned. She heard their voices and their laughter as they passed by her house. She remembered the days from long past when she was one of those women. That was before. This was now. She wiped her wet face and turned from the window. She would wait another hour to go just to make sure she would be alone. Being alone was better than facing the looks of scorn in the faces of those who used to be her friends.

When the sun was directly overhead, she grabbed her large water pitcher and headed out of town to the well. No one would be at the well at sixth hour. She would be safe. As she walked the dusty road she had traversed every day for years, she passed a group of men heading into Sychar. Not one of them noticed her. They were so busy talking amongst themselves that it didn’t appear they even saw her. That was fine, she thought. She didn’t want to be noticed.

As she neared the well, she saw that she wasn’t to be alone after all. Someone was there. She stopped. She didn’t recognize the person, but at least she could tell it wasn’t a woman. She just couldn’t face any of the women she knew. She thought about turning around and going home. She could return to the well later after that person left, whoever he was. But, no, she needed the water for her afternoon chores. The man she was living with would definitely not be happy if he returned to a house that was a mess. She unconsciously touched her arm that had not quite healed from the last time he showed his displeasure.

She decided to continue on to the well, although her paced was now slowed. She didn’t look directly at the man sitting there, but she did keep him in her sight just in case. She set down her water pitcher and began cranking the mechanism to let the water basket down into the well. She focused on her task. The sooner she was done, the sooner she could retreat to the safety of her home.

She jumped a bit when the man broke the silence. “Jesus said to her, ‘Give Me a drink.’” (John 4:7)

This wasn’t happening. This man, whom she now knew was a Jew, wasn’t actually talking to her, was he? She turned to look directly at him and caught her breath. The man had the kindest eyes she’d ever seen. No one had looked kindly at her for so long, she had forgotten what it felt like. She was mesmerized, frozen in place. Finally she gathered her wits about her and answered.

“'How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?’” (John 4:9)

She wondered if perhaps this man was a bit crazy. Jews didn’t talk to Samaritans. And Jewish men would never talk to Samaritan women. But the man’s eyes dispelled that notion. He wasn’t crazy, but he was different.

Instead of answering her question, the man responded taking the conversation into a different direction.

“Jesus answered and said to her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, “Give Me a drink,” you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.’” (John 4:10)

She felt her indignation rising. She may be the lowest person in society, but she was still a Samaritan. Who was this Jewish man to tell her that what he had was better than what she had?

“The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?’” (John 4:11-12)

She stood there with her hands on her hips, her eyes blazing, ready for a verbal battle. But the man did not appear to want to play along. Instead, his eyes twinkled and his big smile lit up his face.

“Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.’” (John 4:13-14)

She was intrigued. It would be wonderful to never be thirsty again. A flicker of hope ignited in her heart as she looked at this man. Was there a better life out there for her? Could she be free from having to face the daily disdain of Sychar?

“The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.’” (John 4:15)

She expected a reply to her statement. She wasn’t prepared for what came next.

“Jesus said to her, ‘Go, call your husband, and come here.’” (John 4:16)

And there it was. The one topic she wished would just go away. Would she never be free of her past? Would she never be able to stop talking about her broken life? Would she never have peace?

She lowered her eyes and whispered, “I have no husband.” (John 4:17) She had told the truth without divulging details, and now she wanted the topic to be closed. But she didn’t get what she wanted.

“Jesus said to her, ‘You have well said, “I have no husband,” for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.’” (John 4:17)

How on earth did this man know that? She never talked about this with anyone. Most of the people who knew her knew – how she had been passed from one man to another like a farm animal. Each step in her life journey degrading her further until she was now just a shell of a woman trying to survive from day to day. Was this man some kind of prophet? Was this dusty stranger a holy man? If he was, perhaps she could get a question answered that had been burning in soul for a long time. She didn’t want to talk about her past anyway.

“The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.’” (John 4:19-20)

The man smiled at her again, and this time he answered her.

“Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.’” (John 4:21-24)

Her hope burned a little brighter. This really was a holy man, a prophet. Could he answer her most important question? Could he tell her about the Messiah she had heard so much about?

“The woman said to Him, ‘I know that Messiah is coming’ (who is called Christ). ‘When He comes, He will tell us all things.’” (John 4:25)

The man held her gaze for a moment and then said, “I who speak to you am He.” (John 4:26)

In that instant, she knew that he was telling the truth. He was the Messiah, and he talked with her. Her! For the first time in she didn’t know how long, she felt like a person again. A valued person. The Messiah had come to her.

Others needed to know this. The Messiah was real. The Messiah was here. The Messiah was love.

“The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, ‘Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?’” (John 4:28-29)

People came out of their homes at her urgent pleading. She invited them over and over to come see the Messiah. She led the entire town out to the well so they could all see for themselves.

“Then they [the residents of Sychar] said to the woman, ‘Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.’” (John 4:42)

Over the next two days she found out the man’s name was Jesus. A fitting name, for he had certainly saved her. And she would never be the same again.

This woman started her day as a devastated soul in the most miserable circumstances. A seemingly chance meeting with Jesus (“But He needed to go through Samaria.” John 4:4) completely changed her life. Her past was cleansed, and she was given not only a new life, but a new lease on life. She went from the most obscure person in Sychar to a public evangelist. That’s the power of the Word.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

This is why Binding Broken Hearts is passionate about getting God’s Word into prisons and into the hands of inmates who so desperately need to know that through the power of the Word, they can become new in Christ with all their past forgiven and made clean. Because these are men and women who need Jesus most.

Perhaps you want to help spread the power of His Word to an inmate who desperately needs its power. If so, please consider becoming a financial partner with us. Click here to see how you can help.

Go Back