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Mary Elizabeth Baxter :: The Woman of Samaria. Part 3—John 4:1-42

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God so ordered it that no interruption should occur in the conversation of Jesus with the Samaritan woman until the critical moment when He revealed Himself as the Messiah, and she accepted Him as her Saviour. But just then "the disciples returned, and marvelled that He talked with the woman," and yet none of them questioned Him on the matter.

But the woman had got what she wanted. Perhaps for long years there had been the yearning of her soul for something satisfactory, something which she felt her need of, and which would make it possible that her dark life should be made light, her sinful life clean; and now that she had found it, all else was left. She "left her water‐pot, and went her way into the city "to tell about Jesus. It was a simple sermon:

"Come, see a Man which told me all things that ever I did; is not this the Christ?"

A woman preacher who is sent of God does not need to become a Doctor of Divinity. Let her leave the knotty points which scholars wrangle over to others, but let her testimony be: "Come, see a Man," come and look at Jesus, come and receive of Him what I have received of Him. He has "told me all things that ever I did, He has searched my heart as no human being could: "is not this the Christ?"

The woman's character was so well known in Samaria that everyone was conscious that if Jesus had told her all things that ever she did, He had told her what was not much to her credit. In her simple testimony there was no assumption of being herself anything remarkable; it was Jesus she sought to honour; He was the subject of her discourse.

And it was effectual. "Many of the Samaritans of that city believed on Him for the saying of the woman which testified, He told me all that I ever did." Is it not a dangerous thing that one so recently converted, and converted out of such sin, should be allowed to preach to others as though she had been an example of holiness for years? Jesus Himself not only suffered it, but rejoiced to see her testimony, and spoke of it as the promise of a harvest.

When his disciples prayed Him, saying,

"Master, eat," He said:

"I have meat to eat that ye know not of." And when they wondered if anybody had brought Him something to eat, He replied:

"My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me, and to finish His work."

Just at that moment of weariness, when the flesh would have petitioned for an inactive hour, He had renounced His will for His Father's, and this precious soul had been gathered into the fold, and His prophetic eye saw through that one a coming harvest:

"Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold I say unto you, lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest" (Jhn 4:35).

Seeing, as He did, future things, Jesus' heart was glowing already with the foresight of the wondrous work among the Samaritans which was done by Philip the evangelist, and his four daughters, after the time of Pentecost (Act 8:5-8; 21:9), and He saw the beginning of it in the testimony of this one Samaritan woman. When those who came out of the city "besought Him that He would tarry with them, He abode there two days; and many more believed because of His own word."

And their testimony was a very clear one. They said to the woman:

"Now we believe, not because of thy saying, for we have heard Him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, and Saviour of the world." As Prophet and Priest, to convince and to forgive, the Christ of God became known to this people.

So suddenly and so completely can the Lord Jesus transform even the most sinful woman into a witness for Him. But it is only when He has met us as a prophet, dealt closely with our sin, and brought it to the surface, where it can be rebuked and put away, that He can make us really fit to be instruments in His service. Then our testimony is not to what we are, but to what He is, and He is glorified in us.


The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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