Read an excerpt from the Introduction of Debra N. Stopforth’s book,
Mary and the Woman of Samaria, a Parallel
Unless otherwise noted, Scripture quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible.
Actually, aren’t there more women of the Bible who met their husbands at a well? Rebekah met Eliezer at a well, at the request of Abraham for his son, Isaac; Rachel met Jacob at a well; Asenath met Joseph in a throne room where there would have been a well or some form of water since the pharaoh’s palace was on the Nile; and Zipporah met Moses at a well, so why not Mary and the Holy Spirit at the request of God the Father for His Son, Jesus Christ? If we count all of them there are five and these five were destined to belong to each other through the union of marriage. The same as all who believe in Jesus are destined to belong to Him one day through the union of marriage as the bride of Christ. We could also look at it like this: Mary/Israel and God the Father, through the Holy Spirit, gave birth to the Son of God/Jesus who would marry the believers, the Woman of Samaria/Church.
I have tried to show this in the chart in this book. You see, it would not make sense if Mary wasn’t at a well, because if all the other women were at a well, then Mary would have to be at one, too. God uses a pattern of design:
Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount [Hebrews 8:5].
If God gave a specific pattern to Moses in the design of the tabernacle, wouldn’t that show us that He does use a specific pattern for each of His designs?
Another example would be babies. In my family, we just had two babies born to us, babies Noah and Reece Ryder. First, baby Noah was born. He had five fingers and five toes on each hand and foot, and when baby Reece Ryder was born he also had five fingers and five toes on each hand and foot. My mother told me that when I was born, the first thing she did was to see if I had all my fingers and toes. How did she know how many fingers and toes to look for? She must have known there was a pattern God uses for fingers and toes.
Does God also use a pattern of design to create the universe as He does the Word of God, the Bible? I say, yes, He does. Einstein was trying to figure this out with astrophysics but he discovered that astrophysics doesn’t match up to the quantum world. Physicists today are trying to unify these two worlds, and some think they have with the discovery of strings. NOVA aired a very interesting series called “The Elegant Universe” presenting the discovery of eleven dimensions. These dimensions are here, but we realize only four of them, the three spatial, forward and backward, left and right, up and down, and time.
When Jesus walked into the room where the disciples were after His resurrection, it was as if He came from nowhere. He had become free of time and space and could come and go as He pleased in these other dimensions.
Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace beunto you. And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord [John 20:19-20].
Another thing I learned from “The Elegant Universe” was that the physicists argued over the fact there were too many string theories, five to be exact, and Ed Witten came along and seemed to resolve it. He said that five string theories were too many. He wanted to get rid of some of them, so he said the strings were five different ways of looking at the same thing, as in a wall of mirrors.
In my chart, there are five women of the well and five betrothed husbands. These also are a mirror of one image, the bride of Christ with Jesus—five different ways of looking at the same thing—one truth leading to another truth. God designed the Bible, which is the very Word of God, the same way he designed the universe: with the same pattern of design He uses for baby fingers and toes.
Every time I look at the chart I see new things, even now, after many years, I still see new truths. You see, since the chart is a reflection of truth as in a wall of mirrors, you, as a believer, are also part of that truth reflected in the chart.
In this book, Mary represents Israel, the bride of God the Father, and the Woman of Samaria represents the Gentiles, the soon-to-be bride of Jesus Christ, the Son, still future tense, only to come true at the rapture of the church. God does not live in time and space like we do, so God sees us already raptured and already His bride, as if it has already happened, kind of like the Greek aorist tense—past/complete, has taken place, has been accomplished, and He views it as completed in fact.
Jesus, the Son of God, appeared to both women at His First Coming, and both women believed in Him at His First Coming. Even though these women are very different from each other, one a Jewish virgin and the other a Gentile who had five marriages and living with a man who was not her husband, these women were very much alike. Jesus sees us all the same. We are all born of Adam, and we have all sinned.
Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God [Romans 3:22-23].
So through one man, Adam, we have all sinned, but now through one man, Jesus, we can live free from sin.
But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many [Rom 5:15].
But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive [I Cor 15:20-22].
Looking a little more closely at these women, I discovered their lives paralleled each other: Mary in the Gospel of Luke, beginning with Luke 1:18 and ending with Luke 1:80, and the Woman of Samaria in the Gospel of John, beginning with John 3:34 and ending with John 5:9. All verses in the Gospel of Luke and the Gospel of John are in consecutive order telling the story of these two women in a parallel which will show in types and shadows the rapture of the church, tribulation, Second Advent and Millennial reign.
What is a parallel? One of the first parallels I ever discovered was found in the books in the Old Testament of Esther and Daniel. I remembered that the “king could not sleep” in both books, so I found the verses and put them together as follows:
KING COULD NOT SLEEP—KING . . . SLEEP WENT FROM HIM
On that night the king could not sleep; and he gave orders to bring the book of memorable deeds, the chronicles, and they were read before the king [Esther 6:1 ESV].
Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of musick brought before him: and his sleep went from him [Daniel 6:18].
I ended up matching more than these two verses together in Esther and Daniel and it turned out that these two Biblical events were almost identical in their meaning, but don’t take my word for it, look at them together sometime on your own and see what you discover.
NOVA. “The Elegant Universe,” NOVA website, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/physics/elegant-universe-dimensions.html (accessed April 10, 2011).