A Meeting at a Well
Meeting at a Well
In the gospel of John, chapter 4, verses 5 – 26, we see Jesus meet a woman at a well and ask her for a drink of water, telling this woman about her messy life, then revealing He’s the Messiah. That’s nice Jesus. You’re thirsty and you’d like a drink. Even the Christ needs to be hydrated. And why not tell people who You are finally. But that’s not all these simple lines reveal.
Things wrong with this picture:
- Jesus, a Jewish man, was speaking to a Samaritan. The Samaritans and Jews were like the Jets and Sharks from West Side Story. The Jewish people believed that the Samaritans were impure because of their history. Centuries ago when northern Israel was captured by the Assyrians, they began to intermarry and have children. This led the Jewish people to not consider them as actually Jewish. Yet, here Jesus is; not only walking through their town, but speaking to one.
- Jesus was speaking to a woman. If it wasn’t bad enough that He was talking to someone considered impure and an outcast, He was speaking to a woman. Regardless of what people group you identified with, during this time, women were seen as less than a full person. It was not respectable for a man to be seen talking publicly with a woman he was not related to.
- This woman clearly had a past and was not someone people wanted to associate with. Scripture notes that it was the “sixth hour”. This means it most likely was noon. The highest point of the sun and the hottest point of the day. Women typically went to collect water from the well in the morning before it got too hot. Why would this Samaritan woman wait until the afternoon to fetch water from the well? Did she sleep in or did she hate standing in line? Based on culture, she was there by herself at that time because she didn’t want to be seen. The town must have had less than desirable opinions of her, causing her to get her water when no one would be there.
With that cultural knowledge, you look at this encounter in a different way. Jesus wasn’t just stopping to stop, but He was proving a point. Jesus was showing that He came for those that would not be voted “Most Likely to Get Saved”. If your past looks anything like mine (messy), then this should give you hope. No social status, past experience, gender, or race can separate you from God’s love. He will stop on His journey to find you at your own well of shame to meet you right where you are.
I’m so glad I didn’t have to clean myself up first, but Jesus met me in the middle of my mess and He did the cleaning up. All I had to do was believe He is who He said He is, which is Christ, the One God sent to save us.