Friday, October 21, 2016

Three Strikes—You’re NOT Out!

Three Strikes—You’re NOT Out!

Stee—rike! We love to hear that when our opponent is up to bat. 

Three strikes and you’re out in the game of baseball. But with Jesus—not so.

Often times we feel we’ve messed up one too many times for Jesus to pick us up and take us back again. Or perhaps we think we’ve just got too many strides against us for Him to even glance our way. 

As recorded in John’s Gospel, 4th chapter, Jesus encountered such a person beside a well in the region of Samaria. 

Weary from travel, Jesus sat down near the well. Before long, a woman came—alone—to draw water. 

The woman was taken aback when Jesus said, “Give Me a drink” (John 4:7).

First off, she was a woman and He was a Jewish man. Jewish men simply didn’t talk to women in public. On top of that, this woman was a Samaritan which assigned her to a position considered inferior to Jews—a person with whom any upstanding Jew would have no sort of dealings. So that’s two strikes against her right there.

But Jesus asked her to give Him a drink of water. That even meant He would be drinking out of her vessel—that was a big no-no!

So, here’s Jesus addressing, as well as requesting a service of, a person who He should not even acknowledge, according to societal standards.
And that’s not the end of it, He went on to engage in further conversation—unheard of! 

Jesus said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would ask Him, and He would have given you living water” (John 4:10 NKJV).

She didn’t get it. Actually, I don't think I would have either.
She pointed out that the well was deep and He had nothing with which to draw water. Besides, where would He get living water, she inquired.

Jesus explained, “Whoever drinks of this water thirsts again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (vv. 13-14).
The woman then said, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.”

By now she knew she wanted what Jesus had to give but still didn’t understand His living water. Would you understand? Would I?  

I’d like to interject here that I’m so grateful for the Holy Spirit. Jesus knew exactly what was going on in this woman’s mind and the Holy Spirit was apparently working in her spirit. Very often, believing in Jesus is a process. Jesus was bringing her along and at a point in time, she would know with whom she was talking.

Jesus changed the subject and said, “Go, call your husband, and come here” (v.16). 

She answered, “I have no husband.”

Jesus, of course, already knew that and even knew her life history, which had apparently had a few bumps in the road.

He then said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly” (vv. 17-18).

Strike THREE! This woman apparently had a bad reputation. There are several possible reasons she had gone through five husbands, but because she was at the well alone at midday, it appears the other women in her city would have nothing to do with her. 

Typically, the women of a village or city would go together to get water in the early morning and in the evening. There was safety in numbers and these excursions would serve as social outings, timed to allow them to avoid the heat of midday. 

So there she was—with three strikes against her. 

The two spoke briefly on the subject of worship (a whole other topic).

Then He did it. Jesus bestowed, on this supposed outcast, a great blessing. To her, right then and there, He revealed His identity as the Christ. Their conversation made its way to the topic of the expected Messiah and in verse 26, Jesus said to her, “I who you speak to am He.”

As best I can tell, this Samaritan woman, whose name we don’t even know, was the first person, (other than His disciples), to whom Jesus openly revealed His identity as Messiah—the long awaited One.

WOW! Three strikes against her but she was not out. Instead, Jesus elevated her to a level beyond her wildest imagination. 

What a marvelous occasion for Jesus to disclose some elements of His character. To name a few:

  • Jesus values men and women equally.
  • Jesus came to rescue people of all stations in life.
  •  Jesus is not prejudice regarding race or culture.
  • Jesus is willing to step outside culturally accepted traditions and rules to reach people. 
  •  Jesus is for the underdog.
  • Jesus loves the unlovable. 
  •  Jesus knows us better than we know ourselves.

It’s been said that the ground is level at the foot of the cross of Christ. How very true for this one, known as the woman at the well.

SO—ponder this—from what has Jesus lifted you? 
I’m pondering on that myself.

By the way—this is not the end of her story. We’ll continue next time.

Thanks for reading my post today. <> I hope it blessed you in some way. <> Type below if you to have something to say. <> Meanwhile, do have a Jesus-filled day!

©Connie Wohlford 2016


  1. There is always hope with Jesus! He who knows us perfectly loves us perfectly. Amazing.

    1. Yes, indeed. Thank God He doesn't give up on us. Thanks, Katy.

  2. God's grace always surprises me. I would love to marinate myself in His grace so I can give it more than I do.

    Heather Bock