Even as an agnostic, I knew two scriptures and one unusual story. John 3:16 – from my Bible school days. John 11: 35 – from playing Trivial Pursuit. And the unusual story – from listening to a stereo record album.
You see, in my college days, I enjoyed folk music and one of my favorite groups was Peter, Paul and Mary. A song that I really liked by the trio was Jesus Met the Woman at the Well. I listened to it over and over again.
Then as a new Christian, I discovered that Peter, Paul and Mary’s song was actually taken from the Bible. And it is this story which was the second early act that Jesus performed, that sent shock-waves through the men-only leadership system of the Temple.
And Jacob’s well was there. So Jesus, being wearied from His journey, was sitting thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour. There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (John 4: 6-7)
Jesus did the unspeakable: He spoke to a woman in public.
Yes, the woman was a Samaritan and, most of the time, Jews avoided Samaritans. The reasons the Jews did this was because they despised the mixed Gentile ancestral heritage of the Samaritans and their style of worship.
But being a Samaritan was not the number one issue in this instance. It was because the person was a woman.
At this point His disciples came, and they were amazed that He had been speaking with a woman, yet no one said, “What do You seek?” or “Why do You speak with her?” (John 4: 27)
Not only did Jesus break the accepted religious protocol of His day, but He did something even more amazing than that.
The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us. Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.” (John 4: 25 – 26)
Jesus tells a woman that He is Messiah, the Christ. So, when did His twelve men disciples finally discover this same truth?
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 16: 16 – 17)
Simon’s revelation happened about two years later.
Now, was this just a mere coincidence that Jesus revealed who He was first to a woman?
For I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak. (John 12:49)
…Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. (John 5: 19)
Amazing, but true! It was the Father’s decision to honor a woman.
Now, why did the Father do this?
(Continued in Part 9)