An Encounter at Jacob’s Well

On His way to Galilee, Jesus went through Samaria to a city called Sychar, near land given by Jacob to Joseph, his son. Jacob’s well was there, and being wearied from His journey, Jesus sat down by the well before His traveling would be done.

While His disciples went away into the city to get food, Jesus asked a woman of Samaria there to give Him a drink that day. How He, a Jew, could ask a Samaritan woman for a drink was her immediate question, and she wondered what He would say.

“If you knew the gift of God and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,'” He said, “you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” She noted that He had nothing to draw up water with and the well was deep, so where could He have gotten such to have brought her?

She asked if He considered Himself greater than their father, Jacob, whose well it had been, but which was later left to them. Jesus said that though she drank from Jacob’s well, she’d thirst many times more; but the water He could give would keep her from ever thirsting again.

This Samaritan woman must have believed He possessed some special water, for she asked Him to give to her of that kind. Then Jesus revealed personal things about her life that could only have been known by One with divine knowledge in His mind.

At that, she said she perceived He was a prophet and raised the question of where the worship of God should best be done. Jesus said the important thing was how people should worship, which would be “in spirit and in truth,” or by hearts that were truly “won.”

He said that God, the Father, seeks people with such a heart to worship Him and that she’d worshiped what she didn’t really know. He told her that salvation was of the Jews. Though she was a Samaritan and He a Jew, He was reaching out as a friend to her and not a foe.

The woman from Samaria said she agreed that the Messiah would come and would reveal to the world all things. Then Jesus said, “I who speak to you am He,” declaring He was (is) the One from whom the fountain of water to everlasting life springs.

Amazed, she left her water jug to make her way back to the city, telling the men of how He’d known all the pages in her life’s book. “Could this be the Christ?” she was inquiring and told them that they should really go out for themselves to hear and take a look.

In the meantime, Jesus’ disciples had returned with the food they’d gone to get, and urged that He should partake with them and eat. But Jesus said He had food of which they didn’t know–to do the will of His Father; working to win the lost to God was His
bread and meat.

He said the “fields” were white unto harvest! Then came out to hear Him many who’d been alerted by this “woman at the well’s” own story. And by hearing the Lord Himself, the life-giving “water” continued to flow greatly, as it still does to all today…to God be the glory!

P. A. Oltrogge

(from John, chapter 4)

“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Revelation 22:17 KJV

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