by Zhang Yiping
I believe that many people must be familiar with the story about the woman of Samaria: When drawing water, the Samaritan woman ran into the who asked water of her. She then recognized that He was the coming Messiah in prophecy during their dialogue.
As a common woman, she neither had much knowledge of the Scriptures nor had been in touch with high-level people in the religious world, but she could recognize the voice of God. We cannot but marvel at this. Was it the special grace of the Lord Jesus? Or did she have a certain secret behind it? During the three and a half years when the Lord Jesus did His work on earth, plenty of people kept His company for a short time. At the same time, He also treated many people with grace. But, how many could really recognize that the Lord Jesus is the Messiah? And how did the woman of Samaria identify the Lord Jesus?
It’s recorded in this way: “Jesus said to her, Go, call your husband, and come here. The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said to her, You have well said, I have no husband: For you have had five husbands; and he whom you now have is not your husband: in that said you truly. The woman said to him, Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and you say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus said to her, Woman, believe me, the hour comes, when you shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship you know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. The woman said to him, I know that Messias comes, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus said to her, I that speak to you am he. … The woman then left her water pot, and went her way into the city, and said to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?” (John 4:16-26, 28-29).
After the Lord Jesus told the woman of Samaria about the fact that she had had five husbands, she was shocked, for no one knew what she had done in the dark. For this reason, she believed He was not an ordinary man, and regarded Him as a prophet. After that, she talked about the confusion in her heart: Where should man worship God, in the mountain or in Jerusalem? And exactly how should man worship God? The Lord Jesus made her know that man should worship God neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, and clearly told her, “when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him.” Having heard these words, the Samaritan woman recognized that the Lord Jesus was the coming Messiah in prophecy. This just fulfilled the words of the Lord Jesus: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). Only God’s sheep can recognize God’s voice.
As can be seen from the words of the woman of Samaria, the reason why she was able to identify the Lord Jesus was not merely because she took the prophecies as proof, but more importantly, because she was aware that s have authority and power. When the Lord Jesus said she had had five husbands, she was clear that this could not be spoken by any man, for only God searched people’s hearts. Besides, God also can supply man’s spiritual needs. When people of that time were unclear about how to worship God, the Lord Jesus solved their confusion with just a word and pointed out the path of worshiping God for them.
Therefore, the Samaritan woman immediately laid down her water pot, and went into the city to testify to the Lord. She was wise, for she listened to the Lord’s words with her heart and thereby recognized Him. We should also pay attention to hearing God’s words like the clever Samaritan woman. Only in this way can we welcome the Lord’s return, just as the Lord Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27).