“Be careful if you make a woman cry, because God counts her tears. The woman came out of a man’s ribs. Not from his feet to be walked on, not from his head to be superior, but from his side to be equal, under the arm to be protected, and next to the heart to be loved.” (Matthew Henry).
If ever there was a woman in the Bible who had been trodden on, discarded time and time again and ostracised, it was the woman at the well in Samaria (John 4:6-4:29). She was from first century Israel where the vast majority of women were little more than slaves. They were excluded from the spiritual centre of their culture and were totally dependent on the male of the household for their economic well-being.
Here was a woman who had been married 5 times. Because in those times a woman couldn’t divorce her husband, she most likely had been rejected and abandoned by her husbands. Going through one divorce is devastating enough, but 5 times? On top of that her current partner hadn’t married her, for whatever reason. She had been marginalised which is why she hadn’t gone for her water in the cool of the day with the other women.
And there, at the well, she met Jesus. Jesus didn’t shun her, a woman. Jesus didn’t judge her, an outcast. Jesus didn’t snub her, a Samaritan. Jesus didn’t fear scandal by talking to an unchaperoned woman. No, Jesus actually sought her help by asking for water and then proceeded to engage her in an amazing conversation. What a radical approach in an era of sexism, legalism and racism! Jesus had defied every cultural norm to demonstrate extraordinary love and appreciation to this woman.
Jesus saw the heart and soul of that broken and hurting woman and drew her into His kingdom. Jesus wants to protect women and draw them close to His heart to be loved.
Jesus wants to draw you close to His heart, also. Furthermore, Jesus values you so much that He died for you.