I will admit that as I begin this teaching that, I feel inadequate to attempt to present this to you. Why? Because I have attempted several times to teach this without much success. The material content of this teaching is so against traditional teaching that very few have every been able to grasp or accept all or part of it. I’ve tried to write an outline several times and structure some form of thought process to no avail. So it is that I will rely totally on the Holy Spirit to guide us through this.
I will get to the how this came about but first, let me get to the why this came about. This is a teaching about the woman at the well found in John chapter 4 but, the subject is you and me. Why do we feed on negative gossip about someone? Why are we quick to share dirt that we may know to be fact or not? Why is it that one negative comment can destroy the abundant goodness one possess? If we are honest with ourselves we must acknowledge the teaching put forth by Jesus in Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good, and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. Its amazing to me how quick we are to judge someone on what appears to be or what we are taught without a study of the facts. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m all about judging and calling sin, sin. I think we need to judge as the word teaches, righteous judgement, which means in a right way, using God’s word as the standard. So many times judgement is made by ” what I think” in place of “what I know.”
Of course I will throw myself on the chopping block for the sake of an example. I once entered a Waffle house about 2 am after a trip on the Gulf of Mexico. My deckhand and I went there to have coffee. Upon entering I noticed two men sitting in a booth side by side. Their posture and attitude indicated to me that they were gay. I was disgusted by their blatant display. A third man returned to the booth and sat across from them then left. After he left these two men, they never changed seating positions. This totally confirmed in my mind my first impressions. When we exited I looked down at them in disgust to only see a severely worn out Bible. This Bible was so worn out it was missing the cover, table of contents and the first three chapters of Genesis. I made a comment about the Bible and one them looked at me and smiled then said, “well, you know how it is.” In the next three hours the oldest one shared things about God and His kingdom I had never heard before and have never forgotten.. I never saw them again. To this date I believe they were angels. Why did I think this way when I first saw them? Jesus said it was evil treasure in my heart.
In this teaching you will have to decide, whether you will continue to believe evil about this woman at the well or you will believe the good presented by the scriptures and the Holy Spirit. Its very important to recall all the teachings and sermons you have heard about this woman. Read John chapter 4, verses 1 -42, this is important. I myself have heard,” there ya go, she’s one of those women, you know the kind, real friendly to the men!” “Can’t get enough sex, five husbands and shacking up with a guy now.” John A. Darby calls her, “shameful.” Kenneth Boa of bible.org says, “We discover she does not have the best reputation in town. Her own people regarded her as an immoral person.” What verse is he reading and how did he get the thoughts of “her own people” from this text ? Bob Deffinbaugh of bible.org says.” She is guilty of sexual immorality.” Bob then compares the woman at the well to the woman caught in the act of adultery of John chap 8, calling them both,” loose women.” Deffinbaugh goes on to say, “She isn’t even married this time but just living with (or sleeping with) a man, perhaps another woman’s husband. This woman has been passed around by some of the male population of Sychar.” My question is,” where does a person get all this from such a limited text?” Oliver B. Greene writes pertaining to this woman’s five husbands, “she had more than likely divorced these five men or perhaps they divorced her for reasons of adultery.” Oliver does speculate the she is an adulteress. Why does he choose this negative degrading form of speculation? Could it be coming from evil treasure ? Oliver then goes on to write, “this is a wicked woman, an notorious sinner as man looks upon sinners.” Oliver states, twice Jesus commended her because she had confessed her sin of adultery. Where in this text is adultery even mentioned as in John chap 8? We don’t see adultery mentioned at all in John chap 4. The mouth speaks from the abundance of the heart.
How did this teaching come about? I had heard several hundred sermons and teachings on bad characteristics that this woman possessed. Sitting in church one Sunday morning the preacher was hammering on the immoral adulteress lifestyle of this woman. The Holy Spirit came to me and ask me, “how does he know this?” When the Holy Spirit asks a question like this I’m slow to answer, I think it through. So, I replied, “well, its in the Bible I’m sure.” The Holy Spirit then said, “really, where?” So I began this study we are in now.
In part two the Holy Spirit will destroy the traditional teaching that most, if not everyone has taken to be the gospel. You will see a different side of this woman never presented. Instead of an immoral, adulteress, a wicked notorious sinner you will see virtues totally opposite. Virtues such as kindness, respectful, religious, honest, faith-filled, beautiful, humble, believable, honest with peace in her spirit. When most people choose to present an adulteress, I choose to present abstinence. Using the same text that thousands of people have used to persecute this woman, with the help of the Holy Spirit you will see a different woman with her dignity restored.
Part two to follow within the week. Stay tuned and tell a friend.