Summary: The Samaritan woman found water from Jesus, the man at the well. She told all the people in town to come to see Jesus. If we have received water from the man at the well, we need to tell others.
The Man At The Well
From our Sunday School days, many of us can remember the familiar story of the woman at the well. Some of us can remember the bare facts of her story. We can remember that she was a woman of Samaria, and that the Jews had nothing to do with the Samaritans since they were a half breed people, descendents from people brought into the land after the tribes of the North had been led off into captivity by the Assyrians. We remember how she encountered Jesus at the well, and some of the things that resulted from that conversation.
But today we are not going to focus specifically on the woman at the well, but on the man at the well. If there had not been a man at the well, we would not have heard of the woman at the well. Jesus is the man at the well. Let us look at this passage chiefly from the perspective of Jesus, the man at the well.
Jesus and his disciples were in Judea around Jerusalem. But now they are going back home up to Galilee in the North. Jerusalem is in the south of the land; Galilee is in the North. It is interesting that verse 3 in our passage says that they had to go through Samaria. This is significant because most Jews who journeyed from Judea to Galilee would bypass Samaria and take a longer route to get to Galilee, although the Samaritan route was the shorter. Because of their disdain and dislike for the Samaritans the Jews would take a longer route. They would go out of their way just to avoid coming in contact with the Samaritans. In fact, I can imagine some of the disciples might have reminded Jesus that Jews normally avoided going through Samaria.
But Jesus never goes out of his way to avoid anyone. He may go out of his way to meet someone. But he never goes out of his way to avoid someone. Jesus had to go through Samaria because he sensed that someone there needed him. Sometimes we will go out of our way to avoid coming in contact with someone. So when we see them coming we will go the other way. We may say that she talks too long and I don’t have time to be bothered with her today.
But Jesus always has time to be concerned about us. If we need him, he is always there. Or we may say that person gets on my last nerve. I can’t be bothered with him today. We feel better off if we just avoid them. But nobody is too difficult for Jesus to get along with. Nobody gets on his nerves. He comes right where you are. He is always available.
Sometimes we may do things that disturb Jesus. But those things don’t prevent him from coming to our aid. He looks beyond our faults and sees our needs.
So he and the disciples get to the well in a town of Samaria called Sychar. Jesus stays at the well while the disciples go into town to buy some food. The Bible says Jesus was weary, so he stopped by the well to rest. Jesus is the man at the well.
We need to remember that although Jesus was divine, the Son of God, God in the flesh, he was also human, completely human as well as completely divine. In his humanity he could be weary and tired. Jesus knows all about the human experience. That’s why we can relate to him, and he can relate to us. He knows every thing we are going through. He has been there and done that himself. Jesus knows all about us.
But while he was at the well and after the disciples had gone to town to buy food, here comes a Samaritan woman to the well to draw some water. I would like for us to notice that Jesus was already at the well when the woman came. He didn’t meet the woman at the well. She met him at the well. Jesus is already at the wells of our need. When we get to the difficult places in life we find that Jesus is already there. Sometimes we sing the song that asks for Jesus to come by here. But in reality, Jesus Christ has already come by here. He is right there waiting for us as we come to him with our needs and our concerns. Jesus is the man who is already at the well. We don’t need to wait from him to come; he is already there.
But now Jesus strikes up a conversation with the woman. He says, “Give me water to drink.” We might ask the question as to why Jesus asked the woman to give him some water. The simple physical answer would be that he was thirsty. But there is more to this than meets the eye. It was unusual for a Jew, especially a rabbi, to talk freely to a woman. This woman had two strikes against her. She was a woman and then she was a Samaritan woman. In fact, the woman herself remarks at how unusual this is.