Then the woman left her water jar and went back to the city. (Jn. 4:27-28)
The woman at the well was so excited to have met this man who knew all about her that she left her water jar to run back to tell her neighbors about him.
The woman leaving behind her water jar needs to convey more than simple forgetfulness. Think about what that jar meant to her. Every day it reminded her that she didn’t belong, that she’d been shunned, and that she was deemed fallen and unsafe.
How do we know that? Because she went to the well alone. Women in those days didn’t go to wells by themselves. They went together for company, support, and protection.
But this woman went alone. Why? It was probably because she had already had five husbands and was currently living with a man without nuptials.
When that woman left her water jar, she left more than just the means to draw water. She was also leaving behind all that the water jar represented. She was leaving behind her past, her losses, her grief, her shame, and all the judgments that had followed her and excluded her.
The freedom that woman felt, Jesus wants us to feel. Which invites us to consider this question: What are the water jars we need to leave behind?
Do we think that we don’t belong at the well—I mean this as a metaphor—because we’re a loser, a sinner, or because we’re divorced, got fired, lost our way, or didn’t measure up?
Our belonging at the well for the Living Water of Grace has nothing to do with what we have done or not done. Our belonging at the well is about what Jesus has done.
At the well of Jesus, I encourage us to believe that all belong. At His well, there’s no room for anything that could symbolize or signify our past failures. At His well, there’s only room for the thirsty. Which, friends, are all of us.
That woman left her water jar behind. What do we need to leave behind so that we can drink deep from the Living Waters of Jesus?
- How and where are you thirsty for Jesus? Parched for His grace? In need of His love?
- Have you ever felt like you didn’t belong? Ever felt shunned or judged? If so, what does Jesus’ Living Water taste like, and what does it give to you?
- Do you have a water jar that you need to leave behind? That is, do you have some shame, loss, embarrassment, or grief that you need to let go of? If so, what is it?