There’re 2 figures in the Bible, where Holy Spirit put them side by side in John chapter 3 and 4. One is a learned Theologian and high political leader in Sanhedrin, Jews Counsel (the most prestigious during the time) named Nicodemus, who came to look for Jesus at night to avoid people. And, the other one is a sinner, a Samaria woman, who at the time Jesus met her, was still living in adultery with 5 men who were not her own husband. She came to the well to draw water in the mid hot sun noonday, also to avoid people (normally the women will draw water early in the morning).
One greatest revelation in this story was that it was the only time in the Bible, that Jesus ever revealed Himself as the “Messiah”. Jesus never before, not even to His own Disciples, revealed openly about His identity as THE MESSIAH; He once ask His disciples “But who do you say that I am?” and He let Simon Peter answered it.
Joh 4:25 The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.”
Joh 4:26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.” (in Greek simply: “I AM” the word HE was added)
What is so special about this woman comparing to Nicodemus? Isn’t it better if Jesus were to tell Nicodemus “I am the Messiah”, instead?
Also, Nicodemus had to come personally to look for Jesus, while Jesus personally came to see the woman, by diverting His journey to Samaria, Jesus sought her on purpose: The journey to Galilee through Samaria is way off different route.
Joh 4:3 He left Judea and departed again to Galilee.
Joh 4:4 But He NEEDED to go through Samaria.
Jesus needed to see a sinner to save her.
Nicodemus started the conversation with “”Rabbi, we KNOW that You are a TEACHER ….”(Joh 3:2). A person who think they know a lot, would normally say “I KNOW…” first, to show off what they know. And, secondly, Nicodemus came to see Jesus as a TEACHER. Jesus came primarily to be our SAVIOR not just a teacher. As long as you see Him merely as a teacher (something to learn from), then it can be pride-related / self-righteous: “just teach me Your PRINCIPLES of success, and I CAN DO it myself”. Do you look at Jesus as your savior? or do you just want to learn His PRINCIPLES of Grace? I heard many preaching about Grace, and yet many were DRY principles MERELY principles, there is no LIFE giving force of LOVE. Jesus wants us to feed on Him, He called Himself the bread of life, and the Living water, so eat Him and drink Him, until you are full of Him. A Savior does not just save us from Hell, but we can depend on Him to save us from every aspect of life, like our finances, health, family, marriage, etc. even save us from our self.
With the woman, it was Jesus who started the conversation first by asking her for a drink. What a humility of the Son of God who in Himself already had a fountain of Living water springing up into everlasting life, yet asking for a water to drink from a sinner. Later, in the conversation, Jesus never rebuked her, when she lied about “I have no husband”, and Jesus even praise her (in Greek) “you have BEAUTIFULLY said it you have no husband..” Then again He divine-sandwich her with another compliment for a little honesty: “…in that you have HONESTLY said…”. Although Jesus exposed her but not to condemn her, but for her to know who she was talking to (a Messiah) who knew everything about her and yet still Loved her. Because, the test of true Love is to know everything about you but still love you.
While with Nicodemus, Jesus rebuked him without any ‘sandwich-butter’, “Are you THE TEACHER of ISRAEL, and yet DO NOT KNOW these things?” ; “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be BORN AGAIN!”. Which are quite sarcastic and direct.
After spending time with Jesus, she became an INSTANT EVANGELIST to her village, earlier she was avoiding people by drawing water in the mid of hot day, and now she could boldly face the whole village crowds and loudly said “come see a man who knows everything about MYSELF….” She was delivered from SELF-consciousness to be Jesus consciousness. Likewise, Jesus was invigorated & refreshed after being “drawn” by the woman, because when the disciples came back with food to give Him, he said: “I have food to eat that you do not know of”; as if Jesus had just eaten & rested well , all because a sinner had come and TAKEN from the Savior.
There was a time, when I had to prepare 3 sermons, 3 days in a row, it was quite a stressful Grace Conference. The best sermon which touched many, was born out of my total hopelessness, no self confidence and yet I felt Loved by my Savior Jesus (just like the woman at the well). I was so stressed up in the last minute sermon preparation, and so I just threw myself to relax and listened to worship songs, and when the song “WORTHY IS THE LAMB” that I have heard so many times before, but this time was different when I heard a lyric word of “DARLING of HEAVEN”, a revelation of Jesus being the darling of heaven, loved by God & Angels, the night in Bethlehem, He came to earth being ESCORTED by millions of Angels, so dearly they said among each other “will the people of the world love HIM like we do?”. And I started to cry, remembering THE DARLING OF HEAVEN, who came to look for me and died a horrifying death to redeem me. And, that became the topic of my sermon that captured the heart of many. A simple story, but never grew old.
Beloved, if you want Jesus to reveal Himself like he did to the woman, plain open and direct, then COME to Him without your smartness, no self confidence, and just enjoying His love & presence and He will reveal to you mighty things you were once so desperately sought.