Becoming the Well In the Place of Thirst and Need

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel account of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ as written by John Mark. More specifically, today’s passage is found in verses twenty-four of thirty of the seventh chapter. When you come to this particular passage of scripture you will find Jesus feting into a region that wasn’t necessarily in the realm and sphere of where He would normally travel and journey. In the fourth chapter of the New Testament gospel of John you will find another example of Jesus traveling into the region of Samaria, which was yet another region and area that wasn’t normally where Jesus would have traveled. In fact, when you read the fourth chapter of the New Testament gospel of John you will find it written and recorded how Jesus must need travel and pass through the region of Samaria, and yet scripture is unclear as to exactly why Jesus needed to travel through a region that was largely Abe marginally avoided by Jews during that time. In fact, most Jews deliberately and intentionally chose not to have dealings with the samaritans, for they viewed them as essentially being half breeds and not of the true stock and lineage of the nation and people of Israel. What is so incredibly interesting about this passage of scripture is that John writes and records how Jesus must needs travel through the region of Samaria, and while it isn’t specifically mentioned within the gospel of John we can deduce that the reason Jesus needed to pass through this particular region was to encounter the woman He met at the well. Scripture records that after His disciples had gone into the city in order that they might buy meat to eat, Jesus found a well and sat down at the well. Naturally wells were used by those who would come with their buckets and their pitchers in order that they might draw forth water from the well in order to use it for everyday living. There is not a doubt in my mind that not only was Jesus intentional when passing through and traveling into the region of Samaria, but He was also deliberate and intentional about sitting down at that particular well. In fact, I might even state that Jesus was deliberate and intentional with the timing of sitting down at that well knowing full well that this woman would come from her town and village to draw forth water from this well. I can’t help but believe within my heart that everything about this journey to and into the region of Samaria was deliberate and intentional and there was absolutely no coincidence to it whatsoever.

As I consider that which is found in the seventh chapter of the New Testament gospel of John Mark I cant help but consider the fact that Jesus entering into the region and coasts of Tyre and Sidon was also deliberate and intentional. It’s actually quite interesting to think about and consider Jesus choosing to journey into the coasts of tyre and Sidon, for when soeaking unto His disciples He instructed them to go unto the lost sheep of Israel—essentially staying away from and remaining outside of the regions and lands of what would be considered Gentile territory. When Jesus instructed His disciples to go forth and preach the gospel concerning the kingdom of heaven, and even to heal the sick and cast out demons He instructed them to journey within the borders of Israel—within the borders of Judaea and it’s cities, towns and villages. What makes Jesus’ journey into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon so incredibly unique and interesting is that it took Jesus outside of the borders of Judaea and its cities, towns and villages and journeying into a place that was completely separate and outside of where He would normally travel and journey. What’s more, is that when you read this particular passage of scripture you will find it written and recorded that when Jesus entered into the coasts of these two cities He desired that no man know about it. When Jesus entered into the coasts of these two cities He wanted to remain hidden and concealed within them. Essentially, Jesus didn’t want to be known as being present within the region, but wanted to remain secluded and set apart from those which were present within these two cities. This is actually quite interesting when you take the time to consider it, for not only did Jesus enter into a place where she would normally not travel and journey, but He also desired that she would remain hidden and concealed and that no man would know that He was present within the house. There is not a doubt in my mind that everything Jesus did was deliberate and intentional, and yet with that being said and with that being the case I can’t help but wonder why He would choose to enter into a place such as the coasts of tyre and Sidon, and then to choose to remain hidden and concealed within the house where He had entered and chosen to make His abode. Why would Jesus choose to enter into the coasts of these two cities, and then to choose to remain hidden and concealed from those who were present in the midst of the cities? What was necessary about Jesus remaining hidden rather than being revealed and manifested among the people?

I am convinced that in order for us to truly understand that which is found in these seven verses it is absolutely necessary that we consider both what is found within this passage of Scripture, as well as that which is found in the fourth chapter of the New Testament gospel of John. I know that I already alluded to the events which took place and transpired in the New Testament gospel of John, however, I feel it absolutely imperative for this study, and what I believe the Spirit of the Lord is speaking from these verses to present it to you in full. If you begin reading with and from the first verse of the fourth chapter of the New Testament gospel of John you will find the following words written concerning Jesus and His journey into and through the region of the Samaritans. Consider if you will that which is found within this particular chapter of the gospel of John beginning with the first verse of the chapter:

“When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, (Though Jesus Himself baptized not, but His disciples,) He left Judaea, 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 Samaritan’s. 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. The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: for thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this. Mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. The woman saith unto Him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when He is come, He will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am He. And upon this came His disciples, and marvel led that He talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? Or, Why talkest thou with her? The woman then left her water pot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? Then they went out of the city, and came unto Him…And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on Him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that I ever did. So when the Samaritans were come unto Him, they besought Him that He would tarry with them: and He abode there two days. And many more believed because of His own word; and said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard Him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world” (John 4:1-30, 39-42).

Within this particular portion of Scripture, not only do we find that Jesus must needs and had great need to journey into and journey through the region of Samaria, but we also find Him journeying to a specific town called Sychar. What’s more, is that it wasn’t merely necessary for Jesus to journey into and through the region of Samaria, but it was also necessary for Jesus to enter into this particular village, and to sit down at the exact well which He had found. There is not a doubt in my mind that Jesus knew exactly what He was doing when He passed through the region of Samaria, and Jesus knew exactly what He was doing when he entered into the town of Sychar, and even when He sat down at the well. In fact, there is not a doubt in my mind that the whole purpose for Jesus entering into the region of the Samaritans, and for even choosing to sit down at this specific well was for the sake of this single woman who had met Him at the well. SURPRISED AT THE WELL! SURPRISED IN THE PLACE OF THIRST! It actually truly amazes me that there at this well—there at this place of thirst and need—this woman would find so much more than what she had previously found when coming unto this well. Undoubtedly this woman had journeyed to this well time and time again in order that she might draw water from the well, and yet on this particular occasion she came unto the well and found a man sitting down at the well. Not only was there a man who was sitting down at the well, but the man who was sitting down at the well was a Jew. Imagine her surprise and shock when not only was there a man sitting down at the well, not only was there a Jewish man sitting down at the well, but the man who was sitting at the well would actually engage her in conversation. This Jewish man whom she had never met before—much less even heard anything about—was already sitting there at the well as if He was deliberately and intentionally waiting for her. In fact, wouldn’t it be just like Jesus to enter into the region of the Samaritans, and to sit down at this particular well in order that he might be perfectly positioned to encounter this woman at the well? Wouldn’t it be just like Jesus to sit down at this well in order that he might already be there waiting for this woman when she arrived with her water pot to draw water from the well? I can’t help but have the strong sense within my heart and spirit that Jesus deliberately and intentionally chose to sit down at this specific well in order that He might wait for and meet this woman who would come with her water pot to draw forth water from the well. There is not only a doubt in my mind that Jesus made sure to arrive at the well before this woman would arrive with her water pot in order that He might already be in the place of ministry waiting for her.

As surely as I believe this woman was surprised in the place of thirst and need, I also believe that Jesus the Christ came unto the well and arrived there before this woman in order that He might position Himself there when she arrived. There is not a doubt in my mind that Jesus entered into and sat down in that place of thirst and need in order that He might encounter a woman and her thirst. It is clear from this particular encounter that this woman came to this well with a physical and natural thirst, for as the conversation progressed we find her speaking unto Jesus and asking Him to give her to drink of the water He spoke of that she might never thirst again. It is quite clear from reading this passage of Scripture that this woman came unto this well in order that she might find that which her physical being longed for—mainly and namely water to satisfy the thirst that was inside her. Oh, I absolutely love how Jesus not only met her in the place of thirst and need, but Jesus also surprised her in that very place. Not only did Jesus surprise her in that place of thirst and need, but Jesus also surprised her by offering her something far greater than what she had previously experienced. I am absolutely and wonderfully convinced that when Jesus encountered this woman at the well, He sought to offer her something far different from that which she had previously experienced, and that which she had previously tasted within her life. It is quite clear from reading this passage that this woman was one who was seeking and searching for something, for this woman had had five husbands, and the man with whom she presently had dealings with was not her husband. Scripture is unclear how old this woman was, nor is Scripture clear how long she was married to each of her husbands, nor even how long she had been with the man she was presently with. What Scripture is clear about is that this woman had had five husbands, and the man with whom she presently had dealings with was not her husband—a reality which indicates that she was clearly looking for something that was far beyond what she had experienced. In fact, it might very well be said that with each new man and with each new husband this woman was seeking and searching for something she hadn’t experienced and found before. It’s almost as if there was a certain expectation and anticipation within the heart of this woman that with each new man she would find that which was lacking and that which was missing in her previous relationship and within her previous experience. There at the well—there in the place of thirst and need—Jesus the Christ exposed and drew forth that which was truly present within this woman’s heart and life. There at the well—instead of this woman drawing water forth from the well—she herself was the well, and Jesus was drawing forth from her, while at the same time offering her that which her heart and would desperately yearned and longed for.

One thing I absolutely love about this passage of Scripture is that while it was true this woman came to the well to draw forth water from the midst of it, she had absolutely no clue and no idea that she herself would become the well from which Jesus Himself would draw from. It almost seems that with each new sentence and with each new statement and question, Jesus was thrusting the water pot into the depths of her soul in order that He might draw forth that which desperately needed to be exposed, healed, and made whole. What do you do when you come to the well fully expecting to draw forth water from the midst of it, and instead of drawing water from the well, you find that you yourself have become the well and Jesus is actually drawing from that which is inside of you? It’s worth noting that there at this well—after this woman had finished talking and speaking with Jesus, and after He had declared unto her that He was indeed and was in fact the Messiah, she actually left her water pot. This is quite interesting, for not only did she leave her water pot, but she didn’t even draw water from the well. Imagine coming unto the well with your water pot fully intending and fully expecting to draw forth water from the well, and instead of drawing forth water from the well you have such an incredible encounter that causes you to leave your water pot, and not even draw forth any water. The one thing that truly amazes me about this particular passage is that Jesus Himself caused this woman to become the well from which He would draw that which mattered most out of her. There at the well Jesus would draw forth the thirst and the need that was present within the very depths of this woman’s heart and soul—a reality which was particularly and especially revealed when Jesus invited her to call her husband. It was with this statement where Jesus was exposing the tremendous need and the tremendous longing that was present within this woman’s heart, for she was clearly seeking and clearly searching for something. You don’t marry five men, and then enter into a relationship with a sixth man and not be desperately seeking and searching for something. You don’t allow yourself to become vulnerable, intimate, and actively engaged with six men within the course of your life and not be searching for something which you hadn’t experienced before. There is something about this encounter that demonstrates the awesome and tremendous reality that in the place of our thirst and need Jesus desires to cause us to become a well where He can expose and bring forth that which is found buried and perhaps even concealed within the very depths of our hearts and soul. It is there in the place of thirst and need where Jesus causes us to become wells in order that He might draw forth from us our thirst, our longings, our needs, and that which we yearn for and desperately desire. It is there in the place of natural thirst and need Jesus seeks to transform us into the well in order that He might draw and pull forth that which we might otherwise be reluctant and hesitant to reveal. It was there at this well Jesus would be able to bring to light the fact that this woman had had five husbands, and the man whom she was presently with was not her husband—a reality which reveals that she was in fact seeking and searching for something that was far greater and far beyond what she had experienced before.

When you read the seventh chapter of the New Testament gospel which John Mark wrote you will find Jesus going into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and entering into a house. What’s more, is that when we read this passage of Scripture we find that having entered into the house, Jesus would not have any man know it. Essentially, that which Jesus desired was to enter into this house and not have anyone know that he was in fact present within the house. What I absolutely love about this passage is that on the one hand it states that Jesus would not have any man know that he was in the house, but on the other hand it states that Jesus could not be hid. Oh, how absolutely wonderful and how absolutely incredible it is to think about and consider the fact that although Jesus desired that no man would know that He was present within the house, He simply could not be hid. The question we need to ask ourselves is why could Jesus not be hidden. Why was it that Jesus could not be concealed within this house and not be present within it without any man knowing that He was present within it? The interesting thing about this question is that Mark actually writes and records for us the answer to this question, for Mark writes and records that the reason Jesus could not be hidden within the house was because there was a certain woman whose young daughter had an unclean spirit. What’s more, is that Mark writes and records that this certain woman who had a young daughter with an unclean spirit heard about and heard concerning Jesus, and came and fell at His feet. Please don’t miss and please don’t lose sight of that which is found within this passage of Scripture, for it presents us with something that is absolutely incredible, and something that is absolutely wonderful—something that might very well be easy to miss and easy to overlook. As you read this passage of Scripture you will find that it was this woman’s need that caused Jesus to be brought forth and manifested in the light. Jesus Himself entered into the house and desired that he might be hidden and might not be known, and yet it was this woman’s need which caused Jesus to be brought forth from the shadows in order that she might make her petition and request of Him. How absolutely wonderful and how absolutely remarkable it is to think about and consider that this woman’s need—this woman’s young daughter who had an unclean spirit—was that which caused Jesus to be brought from the shadows and into the light in order that she might make her petition and request of Him. How truly awesome it is to think about the fact that Jesus who is in fact the light of the world sought to remain in the shadows, and sought to remain hidden and concealed, and yet it was the need of this woman which caused Him to be brought forth from the shadows and into the light.

As I sit here this morning I can’t help but think about and consider the fact that there are times in our lives when it is our need which causes Jesus to be manifested in an even greater way than He previously was. I am sitting here this morning and I can’t help but think about and consider the fact that there are times within our lives when our need is so great, and our need is so pressing upon our hearts and souls that it causes Jesus to be manifested in a way that He previously would not have been revealed and manifested. I can’t help but think about and consider the fact that more often than not it is our need which causes Jesus to be revealed and manifested in a way He previously wouldn’t have been, for it is our need which draws and brings forth the presence, the person and power of Jesus. A similar account and encounter is found in the second chapter of the New Testament gospel of John when you find Jesus and His disciples at a wedding in Cana together with His mother. It’s in this particular passage where you will find Jesus declaring unto His mother that His hour and His time had not yet come. Despite the fact that His hour and His time had not yet come, Jesus nonetheless chose to perform His first miracle and His first sign and wonder among men at a wedding when the wine ran out. How interesting it is to think about the fact that Jesus’ first miracle came immediately on the heels of His stating that His hour had not yet come, and was one of transformation as He would turn and transform water into wine. When Jesus would have chosen to not yet be manifested, and perhaps even not to perform a public work among men, the need for wine would cause Jesus to allow Himself to be manifested at a wedding—at place of celebration, at a place of ceremony, at a place of covenant and in a place of commitment. Consider if you will that which is found in the second chapter of the New Testament gospel of John:

And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: and both Jesus was called, and His disciples to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto Him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six water pots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the water pots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And He saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which draw the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, and saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and His disciples believed on Him” (John 2:1-11).

The more I read and the more I consider the words and text that is found in the seventh chapter of the New Testament gospel of Mark, the more I am struck with and by the fact that while it was the woman’s need that caused Jesus to be brought forth from the shadows into the light, and to be manifested, it was her response to Him that caused her need to actually be met. If you read and study this passage of Scripture you will find that Jesus would be hid, but couldn’t be hid because of this woman’s need. This woman had heard of Jesus, and this woman had heard how Jesus was present within the house, and she came unto Him falling at His feet and worshipping Him. When Jesus would be hidden and concealed, it was this woman’s need that would cause Him to be brought forth and manifested there in the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. With this being said, we must recognize that while it was this woman’s need that caused Jesus to become manifested and revealed there in those coasts, it was her response to Jesus that caused Him to meet her need. Consider if you will that which is found in this passage of Scripture beginning with the twenty-fourth verse of the seventh chapter:

“And from thence He arose, and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and entered into an house, and would have no man knew it: but He could not be hid. For a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of Him, and came and fell at His feet: the woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that He would cast forth the devil out of her daughter. But Jesus saith unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs. And she answered and said unto Him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs. And He said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter. And when she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed” (Mark 7:24-30).

I absolutely love this particular passage of Scripture, for not only do we find this woman’s need causing Jesus to be revealed and manifested, but we find her response to Jesus’ words as the catalyst for her young daughter to be delivered and set free from the unclean spirit which tormented and oppressed her. It was this woman’s need which caused Jesus to be brought forth out of the shadows and into the light, yet it would be this woman’s response and her words which she spoke unto Jesus which would actually cause her need to be met. Please pay close attention to this, for we would think that it would be the need alone that would cause this woman’s need to be met, however, it wasn’t the need of this woman that caused her need to be met. It was her need which captured the attention of Jesus and caused Jesus to be revealed and manifested in the house, but it was her response to Jesus that actually caused her need to be met. It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize and understand this, for there are times when we think and when we believe that it is our need alone that causes Jesus to be brought forth and manifested, and even cause our need to be met. The truth of the matter is that this simply isn’t the case, and this simply isn’t reality. There are times when our need alone isn’t enough, for it is also our response to Jesus that actually causes our need to be met. You will notice that when this woman first expressed her need to Jesus, He didn’t immediately respond by declaring unto her—either that He would go with her unto her daughter, or even that the devil was gone out of her daughter. It wasn’t until this woman chose to respond to Jesus’ words that her need was actually met. The question we must allow ourselves to be confronted with when we read this particular passage of Scripture is how we are choosing to respond to Jesus when He speaks to us—even when He might speak unto us something that we don’t like, or something we don’t want to hear. I am sure this woman didn’t want to hear Jesus speak and declare unto her that the needs of the children of Israel needed to be met first, and then the needs of the Gentiles be met. This woman wasn’t willing to accept that which Jesus had spoken and declared unto her, and it was how she chose to respond to Jesus that actually caused her need to be met, and her daughter to be set free and delivered from that which oppressed and tormented her.

If there is one thing we must take away from this particular passage, it is centered upon the singular reality of how we choose to respond to Jesus when He speaks unto us—even when we hear something we don’t like or want to hear. How do we respond to Jesus when He might give us an answer we don’t like, or when He speaks unto us something we have no interest or desire in hearing? I am convinced that how we choose to respond to Jesus may very well be the difference between our need being met, and our need going unmet and unfulfilled. The woman at the well chose to respond to Jesus there in the place of thirst and need, and chose to allow herself to become the well in order that Jesus might draw forth from her that which was found in the very depths of her heart and soul, and as a result—not only did she believe on the Messiah, but the entire village where she was from came out to Jesus and believed based on hearing His word. The ultimate question we must ask ourselves on this day is whether or not we are willing to allow ourselves to become that well, and allow Jesus to draw forth from our well that which is found in the very depths of our heart and soul in order that He might satisfy the innermost longings and desires of our heart and soul. Oh that we would become wells which Jesus can draw forth the very depths of our heart and soul—wells in which Jesus can pull forth the very desires, the very longings, the very yearnings, and that which we are seeking and searching for. The question we must ask ourselves is whether or not we will allow ourselves to become wells which Jesus might draw from in order that He might throughly and completely satisfy the deepest longings and desires of our heart. Are we willing to allow ourselves to become wells before the Lord in order that He might draw and pull forth that which needs to be revealed, that which needs to be exposed, that which needs to be healed, and that which needs to be made whole and restored? Are we willing to allow ourselves to become wells in order that what is inside us—perhaps even that which we have tried hiding and concealing—might be brought forth, might be brought into the light, and might be touched and transformed by the very Spirit of the living God? Oh that we would make the conscious and deliberate decision to become wells before and in the presence of the Lord in order that He might draw forth that which we would otherwise choose to keep hidden and concealed—perhaps even from Him, and perhaps even from those around us in this world. Oh that we would allow ourselves to become wells in the presence of the Lord in order that Jesus might draw forth and extract the deepest longings and desires of our heart in order that we might be satisfied completely and thoroughly.

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