Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman is proof that God’s redemptive mission was always intended to be worldwide. The forgiveness of sins and eternal life in God’s blessed presence has always been meant for men and women from every nation and people. Just as Andrew was portrayed as bringing people to Jesus, so now the woman from Samaria runs to urge her own people to come to Jesus.
It is not an accident that the woman’s evangelistic zeal is connected so closely to Jesus words concerning worship and the Father’s seeking true worshipers. In his book Let the Nations Be Glad, John Piper writes, “Missions exist because worship doesn’t…” The goal of redemption is to gather a vast multitude of the redeemed who will join the chorus of God’s praise. The woman’s witness to her neighbors in Sychar is one of the earliest manifestations of this mission in the New Testament.
The shock experienced by the disciples over Jesus’ conversing with someone who was both a Samaritan and a woman should be a sober reminder of just how easily our petty prejudices turn our hearts cold toward those God is pressing us to reach. Jesus ignored the food the disciples brought him and instead called them to lift up their eyes to see the field of people all around them which was ready for harvest. Jesus came to complete the work begun long ago to gather the nations before the Lord in one everlasting holy nation, a kingdom of priests. And that day in the town of Sychar the mission went forward as many Samaritans believed in Jesus because of the witness of the woman who left her jar behind and drank from the water of life.