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January 16, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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“I who speak to you am He.”—John 4:26 (NASB)
One of my favorite things about the gospels is reading Jesus’ one-on-one interactions with people. From Nicodemus to Martha, His personal encounters with people are almost as miraculous and powerful as walking on water! His way with people, His ability to see into hearts to provide people with precisely what they need . . . it’s wondrous and beautiful. And my favorite interaction has to be His encounter with the woman at the well.
You know the story: Jesus stops at Jacob’s Well where He meets a Samaritan woman, whom He asks for water. Shocked by the fact that a Jewish man is speaking to her, they engage in an amazing discourse where He reveals that He has something she desperately needs: living water. Now, every time I read this (which is often), I don’t read water . . . I read hope, a living hope. You see, hope is a supernatural trust that flows in us like a river. It’s an active expectation for God’s fulfillment of His promises. It fuels the faith He’s birthed in us through the power of His love.
Now, by the time we get to our verse today, it’s a safe assumption that this woman is pondering—and hoping—that the Man before her is the One they’ve been waiting for. So she speaks of the coming Messiah who will explain everything. And here, Jesus answers her by proclaiming Himself as Messiah.
This is a truly significant moment in the Gospel of John. Miracles and signs are one thing, but a Messianic proclamation is truly game-changing. Author Peter Campbell points out, “She had not known at first who it was that asked her for a drink of water, but now she understood . . . it was the Coming One in person who sat thus by the well and spoke so wonderfully to her.”
The ramifications of this were enormous! The Messiah had come to this non-Jewish town, inhabited by the enemies of the Jews . . . and it was there that He chose to first proclaim Himself as the Savior of the world. Before the enemies of His people, Jesus demonstrated in no uncertain terms that He had truly come, as He told Nicodemus, to bring hope to all who believe . . . a hope that “does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Romans 5:5 NIV).
This is what Christ provides us with: a hope of salvation—an expectation of something beyond what we could ask, think, or imagine; an eternal confidence!
DIG: Read John 4:1–42.
DISCOVER: Where does hope come from? Examine the Scriptures to determine how we come to have hope.
DISPLAY: Reflect on this story in John 4 through the lens of 1 Corinthians 2:9 (NLT): “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” Give thanks to the Lord for the eternal and living hope He’s poured out into us through Christ Jesus!
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.