Summary: When a way of life conforms to worldly standards, thereby destroying one's family as well as oneself, it's time to quit pretending everything's okay and to get right with God via a spiritual encounter with God's Son the Savior.
THE WOMAN AT THE WELL: THIRST-QUENCHING FAITH
The Festival of Mardi Gras held in the Crescent City each year brings out the worst in partygoers who wear masks to conceal their identity. The mask we are told emboldens many revelers to do what they ordinarily would be ashamed of.
There was a time when the Salvation Army challenged the hypocrites to a higher standard of behavior by posting all around the city large signs which read: “God sees behind your mask”.
Our Lord is not blinded by pretense. He knows what’s in the hearts and lives of everyone. His desire for His disciples is that they (we) spread the Good News by sharing what the Lord has done for them (us) personally.
A close encounter with Jesus challenges sinners to see --- our sinful selves compared to His righteousness . . . Jesus as the Messiah sent to show God’s love for sinners . . . our need to repent and accept Jesus as Savior and Lord.
Such an encounter was recorded by John in his Gospel to make this point: Regardless of past behavior, sinful lifestyle, failure to measure up to God’s goal of righteousness – one’s life can be changed from bad to good by the Lord God – John 4:10-18 . . . John 4:28-30 . . .
In people of my acquaintance through the years there was revealed sooner or later a deep desire (longing) that manifested itself in some form of dissatisfaction.
Even the ancient theologian St. Augustine talked and wrote about “hearts being restless until they rest in Thee, O Lord”.
As mature Christians “resting in the Lord” --- we have grown to realize this fundamental truth about human nature: Deep in the human heart there is indeed a “thirst” for something which we know that only Jesus Christ can satisfy.
We also know that the Lord our God put it there - on purpose . . . sent His Son on purpose . . . told Jesus to go through Samaria on purpose. John wrote, “He needs to (He must) go through Samaria” – no casual comment.
Jesus was needed there -Jacob’s Well - at that time . . . when a certain Samaritan woman came alone to draw from the well.
Once again - and please write it on the chalkboard of your mind -“God works in and through all things for good” to those who love and trust Him . . . who ought to . . . who once loved and trusted Him but fell by the wayside . . .
In this situation which occurred not by accident we see our Lord’s true character – always mingling with folks from all walks of life everywhere he went, ministering to them, but, mincing no words as He spoke the truth in love. In this situation:
See His humanity - weary from travelling on foot; hungry, but sent His Disciples to get food while he rested; thirsty from the arid desert humidity like any human being would be. And what a place to sit down and rest awhile! Jacob’s well!
See His accessibility - not too tired to engage in conversation with a sinner, most likely an embarrassment to orthodox religious leaders, given her situation and circumstances.
See His amiability - not too proud to become friendly with, and ask for a drink of water from, a total stranger!
See His acceptability (His willingness to talk to) a Samaritan whose kinfolks had been historically despised by Jews . . . a woman - never to be acknowledged by a rabbi, let alone spoken to, in public . . . an outcast - ostracized by her own folks.
To John’s 1st century readers, an amazing story! “Here was the Son of God tired and weary and thirsty. Here was the holiest of men listening with understanding to a sorry story. Here was Jesus breaking through the barriers of nationality and orthodox Jewish custom. Here is the beginning of the universality of the gospel. Here is God so loving the world, not in theory, but in reality." (adapted from William Barclay)
Applied to the 21st century, a story to be emulated! Acknowledge our humanity . . . make known our accessibility . . . demonstrate our amiability . . . practice our acceptability of whoever will confront a sinful lifestyle, change ways of thinking, conform to God’s will.
For, you see: Linked to our Lord’s acceptability is His teaching ability . . . Jesus progressed from acknowledging a stranger to simply asking for a drink of water to engaging in conversation to breaking through barriers in order to teach a timeless truth about the gift of God – eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Jesus worked in this situation in which He a Jew and she a Samaritan were brought together by the will of God, to reach and teach a sinner the most valuable lesson ever taught: The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, the Savior and the Lord of all who repent - believe - receive.