"He 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 correctly said, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly.”  The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet." - John 4:16-19


We’re back with the woman at the well. She met Jesus and was astounded that He would even talk to her. Still, as she started to get Him a drink of water, He tells her that it’s not that kind of water that she needed and told her if she drank Living water, she would never thirst again. (Remember that Jesus uses earthly things to parallel spiritual things.)   So, what did she do? Did she have this powerful “ah-ha” moment and the band comes out and she made her way forward and her life was changed forever?  No.  She said, “So can I have a bottle of this water so I won’t get thirsty again? Just give me a sip of that.”  She did what we all do – we bring it back to earthly things.  But Jesus didn’t stop there.

Remember that Jesus was tired and worn out. He initiated this spiritual conversation, and she brought it back to earthly things.  So, Jesus said, “You want to talk about earthly things?  Let’s talk about earthly things.  Let’s talk about your life.”  Jesus said, “Go call your husband.”  “I don’t have a husband,” she said.  And I can just imagine that she was ready to move on past that conversation!  She says, “Let’s change the subject.” But Jesus did not change the subject.  In fact, Jesus pressed on with the subject.  He said, “No, let’s stay here for just a minute.  Let’s talk about your life.  You are correct – you did tell the truth.  You don’t have a husband.  You’ve been married five times.”  She must have been overwhelmed, not only by his knowledge, but that somehow, He came across as kind to her.  How could this man know about her life?

Jesus was actually saying, “I bet by the fifth time you didn’t feel very valued.” You see, to Jesus, all women are valued. He wasn’t saying to her, “I think you’re a failure.”  I think He was saying, “Yes, you’ve certainly failed.  Everyone has failed many times.  But you’ve also been failed.”

So, she stated the obvious  – “I think You’re a prophet.” Duh! The woman herself turned the conversation back to spiritual things, without even realizing it.

Today, let’s remember that Jesus understands and cares about our earthly needs, but we need to learn from Him that, regardless of the need, it always points back to what is truly spiritual – HIM!

(Adapted from sermon by Thomas Nelson)