The Woman at the Well
By Tina Hamaker
According to Webster-Merriam, leadership is defined as the office or position of a leader, the capacity to lead, and the act or instance of leading. Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” According to Bible.org, leadership is the act of influencing/serving others out of Christ’s interests in their lives, so they accomplish God’s purposes for and through them.
I chose the Samaritan woman at the well because she is a woman that developed the qualities of a good leader after meeting Jesus. I can relate to her in so many ways! The Biblical account of Jesus meeting and talking with this woman at the well is found in John chapter 4. Although she was a “no-name” to us, she had the longest conversation with Jesus than any other character in the book of John. She also continues to influence people through this account over 2000 years later! This a wonderful reminder of how we can influence people for many generations with a simple act of obedience to God (unfortunately, this also applies to negative influence with disobedience). The woman at the well had several characteristics of a good leader; determined, fearless, servant’s heart, honest, she had a repentant heart, worshipper, and mission-minded with vision.
The woman at the well was determined from the beginning of her story because she chose to go draw the water from Jacob’s well despite the talk of the towns’ people. She decided to go at noonday (in the heat of the day) while others were taking siestas to ensure she would not be seen. She also showed determination when she left her water jug because she was so determined to run back to town to talk to the very people, she was avoiding earlier in order to share her testimony and the news of the Messiah.
She was fearless when Jesus asked her for water and she knew she was not supposed to cross gender and cultural boundaries to talk to Him; much less, serve Him water.
Just being in His Presence made her fearless just minutes after she was walking alone for fear of the town gossiping about her. She had to be fearless to go back and face the town, taking the chance on her already scarred reputation to admit she went to the well alone and talked to a man who was a Jew and served Him water! She no longer cared what others thought of her.
SUBMITTED with a SERVANT’S HEART:
She was also submitted to Jesus when she served Him and answered His question.
When Jesus called her out, she did not try to deny her past marriages or the fact that she was living with a man that she was not married to. She realized that He really knew everything about her and was not condemning her for it.
When she realized who He was and what He was offering her, she graciously accepted the Living Water and received forgiveness for her sins and encountered a true spiritual cleansing through Jesus!
She had a sincere desire to worship Jesus after what He had done for her. She knew that she could not go to the Holy of Holies and worship. Jesus assured her and foretold of an hour coming when we could all worship anytime and anywhere regardless of nationality or gender and we could worship in Spirit and in Truth. This had to spark a fire in her heart and soul!
Imagine, for just a moment, how she must have felt when He said, “I who speak to you am He.” The excitement had to “well” up inside of her!
MISSION AND VISION:
The disciples came back and began to ask Jesus questions about her. That is when she left her water to run back to town and shared her testimony with the other Samaritans. She ultimately shared her testimony of how Jesus knew everything about her and convinced the town who she had avoided before of what He could do for them and who He was! I imagine Jesus “tuning out” the disciples rambling on about why He was talking to that woman, arms
crossed in front of Him, watching with eyes, as the Samaritan woman took off running straight into her purpose!
Her purpose is outlined in John 4:39-42. Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony. “He told me everything I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to Him, they urged Him to stay with them and He stayed two Days. And because of His words many more became believers. They said the woman, “ We
no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.
I identify with the woman at the well because I once was fearful of what others thought of me. I was a community outcast and had sinned much. I was ashamed of myself. After I encountered Jesus, I ran back to those same people to boldly share what God did for me! I am also forever changed for accepting the Living Water.
***Special thanks to Tina Hamaker for sharing this essay she wrote for leadership class.