Friday, July 6, 2012

The Woman at Jacob's Well

Draw From My Well
The Woman at Jacob’s Well
John 4:3-14
He left Judæa, and departed again into Galilee.  And he must needs go through Samaria.  Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.
There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.  ( For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.)  Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.  Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.  
The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?  Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?  Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
Several roads led from Judea to Galilee and Jesus, having a divine appointment in meeting the Samaritan woman, would choose the shortest route through the heart of Samaria. Even with strong animosity between the Jews and the Samaritans since the nation of Israel split politically after Solomon’s rule, Jesus took the road leading to Sychar’s well. Though Jesus was God, He also was flesh and suffered physical limitations in His humanity. He needed a rest and of course, a drink from the well.
The women of the city usually came in groups to collect water, either earlier in the day or much later, to avoid the heat of the sun. The Samaritan woman coming at noon or the sixth hour to the well, meant she was most likely publicly shunned and therefore, isolated from the other women. It was the custom of the land that a Jewish man did not speak to a woman in public let alone a Samaritan woman or to ask her for a drink. Jesus broke both social customs, first, by talking to a Samaritan and then speaking to a Samaritan woman–––this was a breach in rigid social tradition. (Rabbi’s were religious leaders and they were not to hold conversations with women of ill repute.)
When Jesus asked for a drink from the well, the Samaritan woman was taken back and said, “How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.” And Jesus replied, “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. Whoever drinks from this well will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give them will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”  The water from the well was dead water, most likely rain water, far from pure and more suited for sheep than for people. Water was common, everyday stuff, but living water? What a concept! The Lord’s words were full of mystery, wonder and intrigue capturing her attention.
The woman, like Nicodemus in chapter 3:4, didn’t realize that Jesus was talking about her spiritual needs, she was thinking she could avoid her frequent trips to Jacob’s well and escape the raised eyebrows of her neighbors by drinking in this living water. It was her physical thirst that put her in the path of the Messiah leading her to a spiritual quenching of her soul. The woman at the well was thirstier than she realized and went away from that well with her spiritual cup full and running over.
Thought: If you are a Christian, what are you thirsty for, spiritually? Have you been searching for something other than the living water Christ offers? The Lord knows us intimately and knows our every need. Is there some sin in your life that keeps you from refreshing yourself in the living water of Christ? Wise is the woman who, when her sins are revealed, confesses, repents, and rejoices in the knowledge that even though Jesus sees through her smoke screen, He loves her completely showering her with His grace. Live at the well that never does run dry.

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