Summoned by Name: A Look at Four Nameless Women in the Bible (Part 1)
We all have one. From the moment we took our first breath and were swaddled in our mother’s arms, we were given a name. An identity. Our name captures the uniqueness and individuality of who we are as people created in the image of an amazing God. Names in the Bible have always had powerful and significant meanings. We greatly admire the heroes of our faith who lived up to their extraordinary names.
People like Samuel (which means heard by God), Abraham (father of many), Sarah (princess), or Ruth (companion, friend, vision of beauty).
Many of these men and women of God left an astounding legacy of faith for us to follow. But what about those in Scripture whose names are not mentioned? What lessons can we learn from their lives?
This week I am launching a new series featuring four women whose names are not mentioned in the Bible, but left an eternal impression on the hearts of many.
We may not know their names, but they were never overlooked by our Savior. He knew each of their unique stories, just as He knows each of us intimately, and affectionately calls us His beloved.God knows each of us intimately, and affectionately calls us His beloved. Click To Tweet
Our first stop this week is to Jacob’s well in Samaria.
The scene opens with Jesus sitting beside a well.
Enter the Samaritan woman.
As she approaches the well to draw water, Jesus asks a head-turning question:
“Will you give me a drink?” (John 4:7)
Jesus knows this woman by name. But to her, he is a complete stranger. Not only was he a stranger, she realized that he was a Jewish man, which made her wonder why he spoke to her at all.
“You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (John 4:9)
The fact that Jesus spoke to not only a woman, but a Samaritan woman, let her know one thing:
She was seen.
We have all at times felt invisible. Whether we feel lost in a crowd or unseen within the walls of our own homes, we can know without a shadow of a doubt that our God sees us. He sees our pain. He sees every tear we cry and hears every prayer offered to the throne of grace.
The Samaritan woman was not only seen by Jesus…
She was known.
Jesus quickly moved from being a stranger in the eyes of this woman to a divine prophet when he spoke of the fact that the person she was living with was not her husband (John 4:17-18)
“Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. (vs 19)
Although Jesus shared specific details about her personal life, she was never condemned–and neither are we.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus… (Romans 8:1)
He knows our past. He knows of our shortcomings and mistakes. He knows all about the poor choices we’ve made in our youth. He knows our every thoughts–the good, the bad, and the downright ugly. Yet he does not reject us or brush us to the side. Instead he offers us, as he did the Samaritan woman, living water that washes away our sins and makes us clean and whole.
Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” (John 4:10)
Unbeknownst to this woman, she was standing in the presence of the God of the universe. Isn’t that true for us, too? Before we could even recognize the hand of God in our lives, He was already drawing us to Himself. This unnamed woman went to the well to draw water–but instead, her Savior was drawing her.
The Samaritan woman was seen. She was known. And she was loved.
Jesus loved this woman enough to meet her where she was; thirsty, at the edge of a well. He loved her enough to offer her living water that would quench her parched soul. Jesus loved us, and the entire world enough to taste death so that we can taste from the well of his refreshing well of life.Jesus tasted death so that we can taste from the well of eternal life. Click To Tweet
The Samaritan came to a well to draw water. When she left, her soul was overflowing with the love God. When she went to the well, Jesus was a stranger. When she left, he was Savior. Though her name is not mentioned in the passage, it is clear that Jesus summoned her into the Kingdom, where her name is written in the Lamb’s book of life (Revelation 21:27).
She was seen.
She was known.
She was loved.
And dear sister, the same is true for you. You are seen. You are known–and you are deeply loved. Never forget that He calls you by name, and may your soul be forever filled to the brim with the sweet, sparkling water of eternal life.
Feel free to download this visual reminder of your beautiful identity in Christ! (Just click on the images below!)
“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14)