Today’s selected reading continues in the Old Testament gospel account of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ as written and recorded by the apostle John. More specifically, today’s passage is found in verses twenty-seven through thirty-eight of the fourth chapter. When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find the account of the woman whom Jesus met at the well in Samaria continuing. As you continue reading within the fourth chapter of the New Testament gospel of John you will find that this encounter which took place at Jacob’s well in the city of Sychar in Samaria was not simply about this woman as an individual, but it would continue and extend beyond that well to the city of Sychar itself. If you pick up and begin reading with and from the twenty-seventh verse of the fourth chapter you will find that while Jesus was still talking with this woman at the well in Samaria His disciples returned unto Him and marveled that He talked with her. Despite the fact that His disciples returned to find Jesus talking with this woman, there was not a single disciple who asked Him what He was seeking, or why He was speaking with her. Upcoming coming to the following verse—verse twenty-eight—you will find that after the disciples had returned to find Jesus speaking with this woman, the woman left her water pot, and went her way into the city in order that she might convey something very specific unto them. I have to admit that it’s quite astonishing and remarkable that the woman initially came to this well in Samaria in order that she might draw water from it, and yet after an encounter with Jesus the Christ there at the well, she left her water pot behind her as she returned into the city to speak with the men who were there. Please don’t miss the tremendous significance and importance of this single piece of information, for it’s absolutely amazing how one single encounter between Jesus and this woman so radially and completely transformed her that she forgot about her earthly need and was focused on the spiritual need that was present within her heart and soul. LEAVING EARTHLY NEED BEHIND TO PURSUE A SPIRITUAL NEED! It’s worth noting and pointing out that this woman made her way to this well—perhaps as she had done every other day at this very time without expecting anything different or anything out of the ordinary—only to find someone at the well. I would dare say that this woman might have even been surprised to find Jesus sitting there at the well when she arrived, and we know for a fact that she was taken back and surprised that Jesus would even speak with her since she was a woman, and since Jews had no relations with Samaritans because most Jews viewed them as being half-breeds and not having any part of the inheritance of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
As I sit here this morning I can’t help but wonder if this woman wasn’t a stranger to meeting men at the well, for if you read the passage in its entirety you will find that when Jesus instructed the woman to go and call her husband, she responded by saying she had no husband. Jesus immediately responded to her statement by declaring unto her that she was correct in saying that she had no husband, for she has had five husbands, and the man whom she is now with was not her husband. There is a part of me that can’t help but wonder if Jesus didn’t specifically choose this well because it was perhaps at this well where she met each of the five men whom she married and had as husbands, and perhaps even the man she was currently with. When you read what the apostle John wrote concerning this woman leaving her water pot behind in order that she might return to the city, you will find that when she went her way into the city she spoke to the men and declared unto them concerning a man who told her all the things which she ever did. Now, it might very well be possible that this word “men” doesn’t actually mean men as a specific gender which we know, but perhaps an overall word that encompasses both men and women. If you read these words literally, you might very well take this word to mean exactly what it says and suggests in the passage—men as it pertains to the male gender. The reason I even take the time to mention and speak about this is because I can’t help but wonder if Jesus deliberately and intentionally chose this well—not only because it was the place where this woman would regularly visit in order that she might draw water, but also because it was a place she went in order to satisfy a different desire within her life. Is it possible that Jesus chose to meet this woman at the well because the well not only represented a place of physical thirst and physical need, but also a place of physical need and desire. Is it possible that it was at this well where physical need and physical desire converged in one single place for this woman, and it was precisely because of what the well represented for this woman Jesus sought to meet her in that very place? I am sitting here this morning and I can’t help but get the strong sense within my heart and spirit that this well represented more than just physical need and the need for water—not only to drink, but also to cook, to bathe, and to wash with—and would also represent a place of physical desire and longing, as this woman might have gone to the well in order that she might satisfy a different longing and desire within her being.
What if Jesus not only makes haste to meet us in a very specific place within our routine, but what if He also chooses to make haste to meet us in that place where our physical need and physical desire converge? What if within and during the course of our lives, and even throughout and during the course of our days Jesus makes haste in order that He might find us in the place where we not only go to satisfy our physical need, but also where we go to satisfy our physical desire? I read the account of this woman at the well with Jesus the Christ and I can’t help but get the strong sense that this woman came to this well perhaps completely unaware of the encounter that awaited her there at the well, but perhaps this has happened before in times perhaps. Perhaps this woman came to this well daily and regularly, and there were certain men who knew of her journey to the well, and they made it a point to insert themselves into her routine in order that they might engage in relationship with her. Perhaps it’s possible that each of the men whom this woman married and had as husbands met her at this very well, and it was at this very place where this woman engaged in relationship and encounters with different men. Perhaps this woman had gone to the well so frequently and so often that there were certain men who knew that she would be there, and every when she would be there, and made it a point to meet her at the well. Is it possible that when Jesus asked this woman for a drink, it was a line the men whom she encountered at the well used themselves when speaking with her. Is it possible that each of the five men whom this woman had as husbands encountered her at the well and asked the same thing when they encountered and experienced her? What if when Jesus asked this woman to give Him to drink, it wasn’t a line or phrase which was used at that very place for the first time, but was something which this woman had heard countless times before? I can’t help but get the strong sense that when Jesus asked this woman to give her a drink, He wasn’t simply inviting her into an exchange and dialogue about physical thirst, but it was also inviting her into a dialogue that would even translate into physical desire. There is a part of me that can’t help but wonder if when Jesus asked this woman to give Him to drink, it wasn’t a line and phrase which was used with her previously by certain men whom she encountered there at the well. It’s possible that this woman had journeyed and traveled to this well countless times in order to draw water from the well that she might satisfy her own physical need and longing, and yet she would find herself interacting with men who desired that they might have a relationship with her. It’s possible that this woman had journeyed to the well many times in order that she might draw water for herself, and in the process of drawing water for herself, she found herself experiencing and encountering physical desire and longing in the place of physical need.
The more I sit here and read the words which are found within this passage, the more I am convinced that Jesus was very surgical and methodical with the words which He spoke. When we read the gospel accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ, we must recognize and understand that there was never any coincidence in any words which He spoke to those individuals whom He encountered, for Jesus was deliberate and intentional with the words which He spoke to those He encountered. When Jesus met and encountered this woman at the well and asked her to give Him to drink—those words and that request weren’t by accident, and weren’t random, but were intended to be very strategic and intentional within this woman’s life and routine. In fact, is it possible that when this woman heard Jesus’ request to give Him a drink her mind didn’t go back to her previous five husbands, and perhaps even how she might have met them. Of course we recognize and understand that nowhere in this passage does it suggest that this woman met her previous five husbands at the well, nor even that she met the man she was with at the well, but one has to wonder at the intentionality of the words which Jesus spoke unto this woman there at the well. Upon first meeting and encountering this woman at the well Jesus didn’t immediately begin speaking to her regarding spiritual truths, but began speaking to and with her about physical need and physical thirst. The encounter which took place between Jesus and this woman at the well didn’t begin with Jesus speaking with her about living water, but rather with Jesus making one single and simple request of and from her—give me to drink. In all reality, I can’t help but see a tremendous significance in the request Jesus made to this woman to give Him to drink, for His request was not only a request to give Him a physical drink from the well which was before them, but was a request that touched at the very heart and soul of this woman. I firmly believe that the request which Jesus made to this woman to give Him to drink also touched the realm and arena of this woman giving Him to drink from the well that was present within her heart and soul. It would be very easy to read the words found within this passage and consider them purely in terms of physical thirst and physical need, however, I am convinced that we must look beyond the physical need and beyond the physical realm and into the spiritual realm. If Jesus took and transitioned the conversation between Himself and this woman from merely being in the physical realm and into the spiritual realm and into the spiritual realm, then it would naturally hold true and mean that when we read the words found within this passage we must understand to extend beyond the physical realm and into the spiritual and unseen realm of the heart and soul.
As I read the words which are written and recorded within this passage I can’t help but be absolutely captivated with and by the fact that Jesus asked this woman to give Him to drink—not only because that phrase might very well have been a phrase which other men had used with her, but also because Jesus was asking for more than just a physical drink of water. I read the account of Jesus with this woman and I read it in such a way that His request to give Him to drink was about more than drawing water from the well which was before them, and touched the well that was found to be present within her own heart and soul. When Jesus asked this woman to give Him to drink—it is very possible that Jesus was inviting this woman to give Him to drink from the deep recesses of her own heart and soul, for that was what Jesus was most concerned with. While I do believe that Jesus might very well have been thirsty from His journey to Samaria from Judaea, and while I do believe the journey was long and arduous considering He was weary upon arrival, I do not believe for one moment that Jesus was concerned with physical water and physical thirst as much as He was concerned about an even greater need and an even greater desire within the life of this woman. There is not a doubt in my mind that when we read the words which are contained within this passage we must recognize and understand that Jesus’ request of this woman to give Him to drink was not only an invitation to enter into a dialogue and conversation with Him, but was also an invitation for this woman to enter into something much deeper than she was perhaps expecting when she journeyed to the well on this particular day. Jesus’ request from this woman to give Him to drink was an invitation to this woman to give Him to drink from the recesses of her own heart and soul, and to allow Him to draw from that which was present within her. There at the well—while this woman had every intention to draw water from the well in order that she might fill her water pot and return home—she would find herself giving Jesus more than she was perhaps anticipating and expecting. I firmly believe that there at the well, Jesus was inviting this woman to give Him to drink from the deep recesses and deep catacombs of her heart and soul, in order that He might draw what He desired out of her. In fact, if you read the entire encounter which took place between Jesus and this woman you will find that not only did it touch the relationship between Jews and Samaritans, not only did it touch the idea of physical thirst, but it also touched the idea of relationships as well. Pause for a moment and consider how in such a short period of time Jesus was able to draw so much out of and so much from this woman, and all by simply asking her to give Him to drink. Jesus made one single and one simple request—to give Him to drink—and that single request opened up the door for this woman to enter into a conversation and dialogue with one whom she originally and initially did not even know the identity of.
I sit here this morning and I can’t help be drawn into this dialogue and conversation between Jesus and this woman at Jacob’s well in the city of Sychar, for as I have previously written—I believe that Jesus made haste in order to make sure that He was at the well for the sixth hour in order that He might be at the well waiting for this single woman. There is not a doubt in my mind that Jesus journeyed from Judaea into Galilee—and needed to travel through Samaria—in order that He might make it to this well for and by this specific time. WHEN GOD KEEPS A SCHEDULE! The words which I find within this passage of Scripture bring me face to face with the awesome and tremendous reality that it is possible that the living God can at times keep a schedule and make haste in order that He might be waiting for us in certain and specific places. Of course we know and understand that one of the attributes of the divine and triune Godhead which Jesus laid aside when taking on the form of human flesh was that of omnipresence and being in all places all times. When Jesus took on the form of human flesh He gave us this divine attribute and was not only bound by time and space, but He was also bound by only being able to be in one place at a single time. With that knowledge and with that understanding it’s even more intriguing and captivating to think that Jesus would choose to be in this particular place at this particular time for this single woman who wasn’t even a Jew. Jesus left Judaea and journeyed to Galilee, but needed to journey through Samaria in order that He might arrive at this well within this city at this specific time so He could wait for, meet and encounter this woman. Pause for a moment and consider that tremendous reality, for when you truly take the time to think about it, it has the ability to completely and utterly transform your thinking of Jesus the Christ, and even the Holy Spirit and the Father who is in heaven. To think that Jesus not only left Judaea to journey through Samaria, but even came to a specific city, and sat down at a specific well, at a specific time, in order that he might be there when this woman arrived is absolutely stunning and breathtaking. How absolutely wonderful and powerful it is when you think about this awesome and incredible reality, for Jesus deliberately and internally chose to journey to this well in order that he might be there waiting for this woman to arrive at her usual time during the day. There is not a doubt in my mind that the time which Jesus chose to make sure He was at the well was in direct relation to when this woman came to the well to draw water from the midst of it. I believe with all my heart that Jesus deliberately and intentionally sought to travel to this well in order that He might be there waiting for this woman—perhaps even as other men might have done in times past within this woman’s life.
The account of the woman at the well is truly one that is remarkable to think about, for when Jesus asked this woman to give Him to drink, I firmly believe that those words weren’t merely words she heard before from previous men whom she had encountered at the well, but those words were also an invitation for this woman to give Jesus something even greater and even deeper than simply physical and natural water. When Jesus asked this woman to give Him to drink, He wasn’t merely inviting her to give Him to drink from the water that was in the well, but to give Him something much deeper and much greater—namely, to allow Him to draw from the well that was her heart and soul. When other men whom she met at the well might have asked for her to give them to drink with ulterior and different motives, Jesus sought to draw from the inner recesses of this woman’s heart and soul—those places of longing, desire and need—in order that he might effectively minister unto her. It was based on that single request to give Him to drink that an entire conversation opened up with this woman which would not only touch the relationship Jews and Samaritans had with each other (or the lack thereof), but it would also touch worship, and personal relationships. If there is one thing we must recognize and understand when reading and studying the accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ, it’s that He was a master in speaking with men and women, and knew how to draw and pull out of men and women that which would enable Him to speak directly to those whom he encountered. Jesus needed to journey through Samaria, and needed to enter into this specific city, and stop at this specific well at this specific time in order that he might arrive just on time to wait for this woman to arrive. WHEN JESUS WAITS FOR YOU TO SHOW UP! It is actually quite remarkable and astonishing to think about and consider the fact that Jesus not only showed up in order that he might interact with and meet this woman, but He showed up before she even arrived and got there in order that He might wait for her. THE GOD WHO WAITS FOR YOU! THE GOD WHO WAITS FOR YOU TO SHOW UP! Jesus didn’t’ merely journey to this city of Sychar and to this well, but He actually journeyed to Sychar in Samaria in order that He might come to this specific well at this specific time during the day in order that He might wait for this woman to arrive and show up. What’s more, is that there is not a doubt in my mind that Jesus knew this woman would show up and in His omniscience knew exactly when this woman would arrive, and at what time during the day. Not only would Jesus have known that this woman would have shown up, but Jesus would have also known at what time this woman have shown up, and it was based on that knowledge that would cause Him to arrive at the well at just the right time to wait for her when she arrived. How absolutely powerful it is to think about and consider that reality, and to think about a God who is willing to meet us in the place of routine and schedule in order that He might encounter us.
THE PLACE OF PHYSICAL NEED AND PHYSICAL DESIRE! As I sit here this morning and think about and consider the account of this woman at the well, I can’t help but be drawn into the reality that this well represented more than just a place of physical need for this woman, but it might also have represented a place of physical desire as well. I can’t help but think about and consider the reality that it was at this very well where this woman would come in order to satisfy her physical need for water to drink, to cook with, to bathe with, and even to wash with, and at times even found physical desire met in this very place. Is it possible that it was there at this well where this woman met at least one or more of the men whom she married and had as husbands? Is it possible that this woman visited this well frequently, and it was at this well where she would engage in countless exchanges with other men? This woman was clearly taken back by the fact that Jesus being a Jew would speak with her a Samaritan, but I would dare say that she perhaps wasn’t taken back and at all surprised by a man speaking with her at this well. This woman’s experience might very well have been that of coming to this well to draw water and finding certain men who would either find her there, or would meet here there and would come on to her. Is it possible that this woman might not have been taken back simply by the fact that Jesus was a Jew and chose to speak with her as a Samaritan, but also because Jesus didn’t come on to her like other men did and might have. Though it was true that Jesus was waiting for this woman at the well after having journeyed from Judaea, He wasn’t waiting at the well like other men had done previously. Jesus was waiting at the well for this woman to show up and arrive in order that he might speak directly to her so He could not only touch and transform her, but also the entire city of Sychar. If you continue reading this passage you will find that this woman initially and originally arrived with her water pot which she intended on filling and returning home, yet after her encounter with Jesus which so confounded her that she left her water pot behind and returned to the city to declare unto the men concerning a man who had told her all the things which she had ever done. This woman who had previously had five husbands and was not with one who wasn’t her husband returned to the city and told all the men within the city that there was a man at the well who had told her all the things she had ever done, and even asked them whether or not this was the Christ and Messiah whom they were waiting for and expecting. How absolutely incredible it is to think about and consider the fact that even though Jews and Samaritans had minimal dealings with each other, the Samaritans still seemed to be waiting for the Messiah and Christ to appear and manifest Himself in their midst. The words which this woman spoke unto Jesus while at the well not only suggested that the Samaritans were waiting for and expecting the Messiah, but the words which she spoke unto the men of the city seemed to suggest that even in Samaria there was an expectation of and for the Messiah to come.
I absolutely love how this interaction between the woman and Jesus there at the well in Samaria would ultimately culminate in the declaration of Jesus that He who spoke with her was the Messiah whom she had been waiting for and expecting. I love how the conversation—one which began with a request to give Him to drink—would ultimately and inevitably transition to the place where the woman would speak about the expectation of the Messiah who was to come, and Jesus declaring and revealing unto her that he was the Messiah whom they were looking for and expecting. It’s worth noting that when Simon Peter declared unto Jesus that He was the Christ and the Son of the living God, Jesus instructed them to tell no man that He was the Christ. When Jesus was a transfigured atop the mountain of transfiguration (possibly Mount Hermon), He declared unto Peter, James and John not to tell anyone what had happened until after he was raised from he dead. What’s more, is that there were times when demons and unclean spirits would speak of their knowledge that Jesus was the Christ and the Son of the living God, and He would command them to be silenced and not speak forth concerning who He was. When this woman in Samaria suggested that the Messiah comes which would be called the Christ, Jesus did not hesitate in declaring unto her that He was in fact the Messiah. Pause for a moment and consider this reality—the reality that Jesus revealed Himself to this woman that He was the Messiah and the Christ whom they were waiting for and expecting. Consider also that when this woman returned into the city to speak with the men of the city, she spoke unto them—not only concerning a man who had told her all the things she had done, but also that this man who spoke with her might indeed and might in fact be the Christ. How absolutely wonderful it is to think about and consider that even though the Jews and Samaritans had very minimal (if any) dealings with each other, the Samaritans were expecting and anticipating the Messiah to arrive and teach and show them all things. When the woman brought up and mentioned the reality that the Messiah would come, Jesus wasted absolutely no time and did not hesitate in declaring unto her that He who spoke with her was in fact the Messiah whom she spoke of and was expecting. I absolutely love the fact that this interaction which would begin with Jesus speaking unto the woman about giving Him to drink would transition to one about living water, one that would speak about worship, and one that would ultimately end with Jesus speaking unto her about Him being the Messiah whom she was expecting and anticipating. Oh how wonderful and powerful it is to think about and consider this awesome and incredible reality of Jesus speaking unto the woman concerning spiritual thirst and spiritual need, and how spiritual need and thirst ultimately lead to the same place—to the Messiah.
SPIRITUAL NEED AND SPIRITUAL THIRST LEADS TO ONE PLACE! WHEN SPIRITUAL THIRST LEADS TO THE WELL OF THE MESSIAH! WHEN SPIRITUAL NEED LEADS TO THE WELL OF THE MESSIAH! This encounter between the woman and Jesus might have began with physical need for water, but it would ultimately and eventually transition to a completely different well that would be before her—namely, the well that was the Messiah and the Christ. In all reality, I would dare say that there were essentially three distinct and three different wells which were found to be present on this particular occasion and occurrence. There was the natural and physical well—Jacob’s well—which this woman journeyed to to draw water from, and which Jesus would sit down upon and wait for her. There was the well of this woman’s heart and soul, which Jesus would seek to draw from in order that He might finally bring her to the ultimate and final well. The third and final well that was found to be present at this earthly and natural well was the well of the Messiah where the Messiah would speak unto her concerning worship of the Father. I find it absolutely fascinating that there at the well this woman would not only encounter the well of her own heart and soul, but she would also encounter the well that was found in the person of Jesus the Christ. This woman came to this earthly and natural well in order that she might draw forth water for herself, and yet she would find herself drawing from the well within her own heart and soul, and ultimately coming face to face with the well that was the Messiah. If there is one thing we must recognize and understand concerning this particular encounter, it’s that what began with physical thirst would ultimately lead to and reveal spiritual thirst and spiritual desire, and would lead to the well that is the person and presence of the Messiah and Christ. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this awesome and incredible reality, for the earthly and natural well which Jesus met and encountered this woman at would reveal and expose the well that was found to be present within her own heart and soul, and would reveal and expose an even greater thirst and desire within her. Perhaps this woman wasn’t even aware of the spiritual thirst that existed within her heart and soul, and yet through a conversation with Jesus the Christ, she came face to face with the thirst that was present within her own heart and soul. There is not a doubt in my mind that this woman having had five husbands and now being with a man who wasn’t her husband was searching for something, and after six different men had not yet found it. It’s interesting to note that not only did Jesus find this woman at the sixth hour, but Jesus also found this woman on the sixth man. As you read this passage you will find Jesus meeting this woman around the sixth hour of the day, and he even met her while she was on the sixth man whom she had allowed access into her life and access to her. Please pay close attention to this, for in the natural this woman was coming to the well in order to satisfy a physical thirst, and also in the natural this woman was looking and searching for something which she obviously didn’t find and hadn’t found given her being with six different men. It might very well be said that this encounter at the well was a divine intervention of Jesus in and of this woman’s life in order that He might reveal and expose the inner longing and desire within her heart and soul, and to reveal unto her that which she had been searching for the whole time. What’s more, is that Jesus needed to bring her to the place of realizing what she was searching for—not only in terms of water, but also in terms of relationship, love and affection—by speaking unto her concerning her previous relationships. It was the simple fact that she had allowed herself to be with six different men that revealed the tremendous reality that this woman was certainly and most definitely searching for something. When Jesus encountered this woman at the well He exposed the reality that she was searching for something, and in that place of searching He would reveal Himself. OH that we would read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and that we would come face to face with that which we are searching and longing for, and that we would allow the Messiah reveal Himself unto us and completely transform our lives.