Summary: What would it be like to sit down with Jesus one on one? A woman at a well found out.
Woman at a Well
January 31, 2010
Series: One on One with the Master
Last week we started imagining what it would be like to sit down with Jesus one on one. We watched as Nicodemas met Jesus in the dark… and how Jesus brought him into the light. We said that meeting Jesus might be a little more uncomfortable than you might think, because He wasn’t one to beat around the bush! In fact, He had a way of knocking down the bush we’re trying to hide behind! Meeting Jesus would be a confrontation with TRUTH! Now, Jesus moves from meeting with one of the religious ‘in crowd’ to a woman who is an outsider. Here’s a woman who’s caught in a maze of tangled relationships. Hopeless, lonely and hurting… Jesus touches a spiritual nerve with her, and in the process we learn some amazing facts about who He is… (READ John 4: 1-30)
The 1st thing we learn is that Jesus is on a mission!
1. He’s on a MISSION:
Jesus came to seek and save the lost… but to do that He has to break down a lot of the barriers that we put up against God. Just like He said last week...”The light from heaven has come into the world, but we love darkness more than we love light! In fact, we hate the light because we want to sin in the darkness. We stay away from the light because we fear that our sins will be exposed and God will punish us.”
So we run…afraid of the light! This lady was a lot like all of us, and Jesus had to force her to face her indifference, her lust, her self-centeredness, her immorality and her own religious prejudice!
The story starts in John 4:1-3…READ vs.1-3 “Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard, “Jesus is baptizing and making more disciples than John” 2 (though Jesus himself didn’t baptize them—his disciples did). 3 So he left Judea to return to Galilee.” Look at what’s going on here… Jesus was leaving Judea (which was in the extreme S. of Israel) and taking off for Galilee (which was in the extreme N. end of Israel). Why? Because so many people were flocking to see him and it was stirring up opposition with the Jewish religious rulers. They already hated what John the Baptist was doing, and so you can imagine what they thought of Jesus! So Jesus takes off up North, (not because He’s afraid), but because He has work to do, and it’s not time for a confrontation… yet!
Now, on the way north, vs.4 tells us that… “He had to go through Samaria on the way.” Right smack in the middle of Judea and Galilee was Samaria. And the quickest way from one end of the country to the other was to go through Samaria. But you didn’t HAVE to go through Samaria… you could go around it if you wanted… it would take you an extra 3 days… but most Jews would rather take the extra 3 days. Why? Because they HATED the Samaritans! They didn’t want to have anything to do with them!
I’ll tell you why in a minute, but the fact is…Jesus didn’t HAVE to go through Samaria for geographical reasons… he could have gone around like every other self-respecting Jew. The reason John tells us that Jesus HAD to go through Samaria, was because He had a “divine appointment” at Jacobs Well! If he would have gotten there 10 minutes too soon, or 10 minutes too late, he would have missed it! But His schedule was perfect! Can you think of times where if you’d been just a little bit late or a little bit early, you would have missed a crucial turning point in your life? I can! I think about how if I had disobeyed God and not gone to the college God wanted me to go to, I would have missed my wife!
See, God’s timing is perfect and He has all kinds of “divine appointments” for you and me! God’s divine appointment with this woman happened (according to vs.6) at about the 6th hour. This would have been around 12:00 p.m. Vs.5 tells us that 5 Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well…”
Just outside the town of Sychar, the road to Samaria forks… one branch goes N. and the other goes W. It’s at this fork in the road that there’s an ancient well…called Jacob’s well. Centuries earlier Jacob had dug this well and it had been passed down to his family for centuries. Jesus is tired from his long journey and while he sits down to rest, his disciples go on into town to get some food. (vs.8). So he’s sitting there all alone when (vs. 7)… a Samaritan woman comes along to draw some water. The fact that it’s noon is a little bit suspicious because all the other women in town would come in the morning to get their water for the day. The “well” was like the public gathering place for women back then to share stories, catch up on the latest gossip and spend a little time fellowshipping with each other. But this lady didn’t go in the morning? Why not? Probably because (as we’ll soon find out), she was the focus of some of that town gossip!