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Well Spring of Life
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Well-Spring of Life
Water is necessary to life. We need it from birth to death. We cannot survive without it and yet many countries have so little of it while others abound with it. I think of Lake Ontario in Canada where one can see water stretching for miles as far as the eye can see and the Niagara Falls that border Canada and the U.S. gushing tons and tons of water every nano-second of the day and night. A well is like an oasis in dry and desert regions and it not only serves as a means of refreshing thirsty and tired souls but as a stop for persons to congregate and share experiences.
Jesus, the creator of everything in heaven and on earth, the rock from which all bounties flow, the omniscient One, sets His mind to capture a soul and so a city and thereafter a people and lays the course of history. He has a vision of a woman whose life needs transforming and so makes His way to a town in Samaria and sits and waits while his disciples go to buy food. When Jesus was just twelve years of age and was scolded for remaining behind in the temple, He questioned His parents, Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?” (John 2:49). Although, as a human being He is tired and thirsty, yet His divinity allows Him to see one who is captive to Satan’s manipulations. The woman arrives at the well at a time she expects no one to be there. Not only is she surprised to find a stranger there but more so that the stranger asks her for a drink of water, taking her aback. She answers, “How is it that thou, being a Jew, asketh drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.” (John 4: 9). They do not speak to women, even more so to those of another race. No show of superiority did Jesus exhibit to this woman. By asking her for a drink he displayed an attitude of equality rather than one that He, being a Jew, could not drink from her vessel.
Christ has repeatedly shown us in the Scriptures that He came to break down the barriers of prejudice against gender, status, race and false doctrines. He heals the sick regardless of wealth or lack of it. He illustrates His thinking by relating the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10: 30-37 when he was asked ‘Who is my neighbour?” He sets the captives free by freeing the enslaved of the demons that possess them.
The woman’s interest is further aroused as Jesus tells her that if she knew the gift of God and who it is that asks a drink of her, and she would have asked Him, He would have given her “living water”. Not understanding, she queries the fact that the well is deep and His not having anything to draw water from the well and His ability to draw this “living water”. He tells her that the water from the well will not satisfy her as she will thirst again, but the water He will give will spring up into everlasting life. Her interest piques so that she asks Him to give her that water so she would not thirst or come again to draw from the well. She takes Jesus’ words literally, not realizing that He is speaking of the Holy Spirit that gives the water of life. Rev. 21:6 “I will give him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.” She was not in search of God. Her lifestyle distanced her from embarking on a spiritual journey. However, she thinks how great will be her relief to refrain from having to come to the well as there is always the fear of scornful looks and maybe snide remarks. Jesus did not let her immoral life preclude His speaking to her or the fact that she is a woman and a Samaritan, but took the opportunity to give her life new meaning, a new birth.
The turning point has reached for her as Jesus then bids her to call her husband. She is certainly taken aback and crafts her answer in such a way that she does not appear to be telling an untruth. She says that she has no husband. She desires to keep her immoral life from this Stranger. Jesus counters with a truth she felt He could not have known: He tells her that she is correct in that she has had five husbands and the one she was currently living with was not her own. She then perceives Him to be a prophet, and tells Him that she knows when Messiah comes He will tell them all things, and on His own admission, “I that speak unto thee am he.”, the Messiah, who is called Christ, to whom she was referring who will come and tell them all things.
The woman’s encounter with Jesus is a life-transforming experience for her. This revelation about herself from a stranger, a Jew, who admits that He is the Messiah, overpowers her mind. An incipient faith is creeping in on her as He moves the conversation on. She leaves her waterpot behind and flees to tell her countrymen, “Come, see a man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” The people then came out of the city to see Him.
At the same time the disciples, returning from their errand in the city to buy food, are taken aback to see Jesus talking to a woman, a Samaritan, and encourages Him to eat, knowing that He must be hungry. Jesus, is seeing what the disciples are unable to see at that moment – a group of Samaritans coming towards Him. He answers His disciples, “I have meat to eat that ye know not of.” “My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work.” (John 4:34)
Jesus tells the disciples to look and see “the fields are already white for harvest.” John 4:35. The harvest is there, for the woman has sown the seed by going to the people of Sychar to tell of this man who ‘told her all she had ever done’. The men of Sychar are approaching as the disciples are returning. Many of the Samaritans believed because of what the woman told them and after obeying their request for Jesus to stay with them, more of them believed when He stayed with them for two days. Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.”
How ironical that the people of Samaria heard Him for only a short time and believed that He was the Messiah and the Chief Priests and Scribes among whom He lived questioned His authenticity and His authority. The woman’s faith has propelled a whole town to believe in the only One who can save them. Our faith too, can draw others to Jesus by relaying the message of love, by living a life that conforms with His teachings and by obeying His commandments for He said in John 14:15, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”
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12 Feb 2015
I love how Jesus drew her to the life giving water, himself. She had looked for love everywhere else and finally she was whole and complete in Him.
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