Summary: Jesus sees people in a way that we do not. Often times our opinions of others are completely based on what we see on the outside. Jesus has this way of looking into a person’s heart and seeing what they can really do. Often we see Him using unusable pe
August 5, 2007
The Living Water
I want you to open up your bibles to John chapter 4. We are going to spend the next two weeks looking at this chapter. For in this chapter there are two characteristics of Jesus that John will paint for us. We will look at one this week, and one next week.
While you are doing that I want to tell you a word. When I tell you this word, I want to see what you picture. Ready? Prejudice. When I said that how many pictured a racial prejudice like the one that was very common in our country from its foundation? Even if you are not prejudice yourself, which I hope you are not, that is a common picture of a prejudice from history. Another example would be the Nazis. Thanks to Hitler they had a prejudice against the Jews. Here’s another one: Samaritans. Before the Germans ever hated the Jews, the Jews hated the Samaritans. They were a half Jewish, unclean group that were utterly detestable to the honorable Jewish people. The Jews and the Samaritans had a sort of blood-crips relationship. Most of them hate each other.
Now Jesus was on his way back to Galilee from Judea. Most Jews when making this journey would go through Perea. This would require crossing over the Jordan river on a journey that was considerably longer than taking a more direct route that lead through Samaria. However this longer route avoided the potential for ceremonial defilement by coming in contact with the Samaritans and a certain threat of violence due to the racial tensions between the two groups. When one gang heads through another gangs territory the results may not be good. Another picture of this would be two countries at war. If America was at war with France, you likely would not want to be an American passing through France. There would be a difinate risk that the French might take their anger towards America out on you, even if you have nothing to do with the war. So it was not necessarily wise for a Jewish person to travel through a Samaritan area. But Jesus did.
It is unclear why Jesus chose to take this route. Verse 4 tells us that Jesus ‘had’ to take this road. Perhaps he was in a hurry to get back and didn’t want to waste the time, but then of course he does spend two days in Samaria, perhaps he wants to avoid the Jews in Perea or even Herod, or perhaps he has to go through this region because of divine appointment. Perhaps Jesus meeting this woman at a well was not mere coincidence but predestination. Either way Jesus ends up heading through Samaria on his journey back to Galilee.
Jn 4:5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jn 4:6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
Jewish days started at sunrise, which would be around 6:00 a.m. which means when Jesus and his boys arrive it is around noon. So they arrive at the hottest part of the day. The sun is out at well Palestine and its local surrounding parts are not known for their cool weather and comfortable conditions. It is a desert. So the hottest part of the day is REALLY HOT. In Death Valley California it can get up to 134 degrees during the day.
Jn 4:7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” Jn 4:8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) Jn 4:9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans. )
Here comes a woman to draw water from the well. The story is pretty well known, Jesus and the woman at the well. But here is a question: why is this woman coming to get water during the hottest part of the day? Syncar, the town she was from is about ¼ a mile from Jacobs well. This woman is not coming with a little pitcher to fill up to take back home for something to drink. She is coming to get the water for her house for the day. Now you know a full pitcher can be heavy if you have to carry it a long ways. ¼ a mile is a long way to carry a pitcher. But she needs more than that. She needs water for cleaning, washing, drinking, and perhaps even bathing. She needs a whole lot of water. This would be a large amount of water that she wanted to get, at least a good sized bucket. So why does she arrive at noon? One of the hottest hours of the day…in the desert? To do this grueling work? Think about it. If you would let that marinade for a minute we will come back to a little later. Why would this woman come to do some of her hardest work, during the hottest part of the day when all of the other women would come to get water in the morning?