Are we W O N D E R Teachers?
I admire a strong woman. I admire a strong man. Equally, I admire a strong teacher. Passionate about what they do and eager to learn themselves, strong teachers get the job done for their students, but, more importantly, for the Lord.
And yet, sometimes, strong teachers don’t even realize the strength they possess. In my opinion, the woman at the well, in John chapter four, was the owner of great strength that was yet to be released until she encountered Jesus.
Let’s put on our spirit eyes and think about it together, dear teachers, by taking an omniscient view of the story (which God so graciously allows us to do) from the time she met our Savior until after she met and spent time with Him. I hope you see where I’m going with this!
John 4 English Standard Version (ESV) Jesus and the Woman of Samaria
4 Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John 2 (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), 3 he left Judea and departed again for Galilee. 4 And he had to pass through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour.[a]
7 A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” 8 (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.)9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.[b] The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” 17 The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” 19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet.20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”
27 Just then his disciples came back. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you seek?” or, “Why are you talking with her?” 28 So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” 30 They went out of the town and were coming to him.
31 Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” 32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” 33 So the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?” 34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. 35 Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. 36 Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. 37 For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”
39 Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of his word.42 They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.”
Look at how the power – the electricity – generated from the living water which Jesus offered her changed that Samaritan town! Look at how many people’s lives were forever transformed that day – all because one woman (picture a teacher) took the vision and told others.
My take away from this character study of the woman at the well is this: we are like dried up wells when we don’t spend time with Jesus.
It reminds me of the steady, small spring feeding the lake on our farm in Alabama. Due to the last few years of drought in the South, the spring stopped flowing – just plain dried up down deep. Thankfully though, the Lord has replenished our region with an abundance of rain this year and the spring is slowly, but surely, coming back to life and refilling the lake once again.
Also, I think of the Hoover Dam holding back all that water from the Colorado River until those towering turbines release it downstream generating a massive amount of power in the region… that’s the type of power the living water of Jesus unleashed in the woman at the well. That’s what I picture when I think of her story. She got the job done after her encounter with the omnipotent Savior of the world. Our stories should be one in the same – as she got the job done for the Lord and her town, we get the job done for the Lord and our students.
By spending time at The Well, we know our sin is forgiven. We know He fills us with His word. We know He fills us with His Spirit too, which, in turn, feeds the power grid of our classroom with passion and love. As it changed those Samaritans, so too it will change our students. Let’s be like the woman at the well and GO TELL! Amen? AMEN!
Furthermore, when we abide at The Well everyday, dear teachers, it will make all the difference between just being a teacher and instead transform us into the WONDER teacher God wants us to be.
Next time, we will take a look at the letter O. So, I’ll leave you wondering about whom we will be discussing until then! 😉 God bless you and stay devoted. See you next week here at Devotions for Teachers. Blessings to you and your students.