We’ve been looking at Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well. In my post, “The Seventh Husband,” we saw that this woman’s “five husbands” symbolize our trying to find life and fulfillment through our five senses, but they cannot give us what we deeply long for. Only Jesus can satisfy our soul. And now we’re ready to learn something even more wonderful!
First, I will pick up the story from where we left off last time.
27 At that moment, his disciples returned and were stunned to see Jesus speaking with a Samaritan woman, yet none of them dared ask him why or what they were discussing. 28 All at once, the woman left her water jar and ran off to her village and told everyone, 29 “Come and meet a man at the well who told me everything I’ve ever done! He could be the One we’ve been waiting for.” 30 Hearing this, the people came streaming out of the village to go see Jesus.
31 Then the disciples began to insist that Jesus eat some of the food they brought back with them, saying, “Teacher, you must eat something.” 32 But Jesus told them, “I have eaten a meal you don’t know about.”
33 Puzzled by this, the disciples began to discuss it among themselves, “Did someone already bring him food?” (John 4:27-33 TPT*)
Think about this scene. Jesus has just called down a very different “fire” on a city in Samaria through this liberated Samaritan woman! (Remember Luke 9:54). He was setting this region ablaze with the love and grace of God. These people’s hearts were going to be satisfied from a very different well: “a gushing fountain of the Holy Spirit, flooding you with endless life!” (John 4:14).
But, like most of us, the disciples were still clueless about what was happening, talking about food that perishes instead of what gives endless life—now, in this life, and forever (John 6:27). Like we often are, they were still earthbound and dull of hearing.
So, in this sense, the Samaritan woman understood something that Jesus’ disciples still hadn’t, for she experienced “food” from heaven that satisfies the deepest longing of the soul that nothing on this earth can ever provide. Jesus had activated her “senses of the heart”—that “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8), where there is endless, overflowing life, and “fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).
But what’s also fascinating is how Jesus viewed His encounter with the woman.
“I have eaten a meal you don’t know about.”
Jesus had also experienced a “meal” that sustained His life and fulfilled His purpose!
I want you to look at the woman’s expression in the picture (from a scene from The Chosen). THIS is the “meal” that Jesus is talking about! She experienced pure love and joy and freedom! And Jesus was being filled up through this encounter as much as she was being filled up by Him.
Let me put it this way. Heaven was flowing through Jesus to the woman, so Jesus experienced the same joy and blessing that the woman received.
What we should learn from this is that we receive God’s overflowing life in two ways: first, we receive it when Jesus sets our hearts on fire and frees us from bondage—like what happened to this woman; second, and just as important, we receive this same life-flow when we give it away to others—like what happened to Jesus.
We become a conduit of heaven to the world around us and are filled up in the process!
14 Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. (2 Cor.2:14 NKJV*)
This is critically important if we’re going to grow as followers of Jesus. Living water must first flow to us, but then flow through us. If we don’t understand this, and actually walk in this other-centered, self-giving love (diffusing His love through our yielded hearts), we’ll never experience what Jesus is talking about here. Our lives, though redeemed, will remain superficial and relatively empty compared to what God has intended for us.
This also tells us about the nature of God. Remember, God is the author of the festive feast! The wedding celebration! The Prodigal’s father who throws a party when his lost son comes home….He loves sharing “food” with us!
Hear His heart in the following:
14 When Jesus arrived at the upper room, he took his place at the table along with all the apostles. 15 Then he told them, “I have longed with passion and desire to eat this Passover lamb with you before I endure my sufferings. (Luke 22:14-15 TPT*)
Listen to Jesus’ invitation to the lackluster Laodicean church:
20 Behold, I’m standing at the door, knocking. If your heart is open to hear my voice and you open the door within, I will come in to you and feast with you, and you will feast with me.21 And to the one who conquers I will give the privilege of sitting with me on my throne, just as I conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. (Rev.3:20-21 TPT*)
Beloved, the things that matter most in this life are affairs of the heart. And Jesus is calling us to bring our cold dull hearts to the blazing bonfire of His love, so that we can set other hearts ablaze with His love. Jesus calls us to dine with Him!
Think about it. Jesus knocked on the door of this sad and marginalized woman’s heart and she took a chance and opened up to Him. And because she did, she experienced a “meal” with Jesus that freed her from their shame and fears. And just as Jesus was filled up with the woman’s response to heaven, we also receive this “food” when we give away His love to others. It’s time to eat!