“The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. . . Then they went out of the city, and came unto him. . . And many more believed because of his own word;” (John 4:15,30,41)
There were a lot of thirsty people near Jacob’s well that day.
First was the Lord Jesus, who had been walking for several hours. He was tired, hot, and ready for a drink of cool water. Presumably, the disciples were just as eager to relieve their dry throats. The woman of Samaria, who came out for water in the heat of the day, was undoubtedly thirsty too.
But all of this thirst was merely physical. There was in the region a much more significant thirst. Just a stone’s throw away was a whole city full of men who were waiting for and hoping to see the Messiah. Their thirst was spiritual.
Our Master was fully aware of this when, early that morning, he made the odd decision to head north, straight through Samaritan country. If He did so without warning, I can imagine the questioning glances that shot back and forth between the disciples. That was disgraceful territory, full of the descendants of compromisers and pagans. Yet, the Lord moved out with a determined step and with some unspoken purpose in mind.
As the twelve went into a town to buy food, the Savior sat and waited for the lonely, discouraged woman who was due at the well near mid-day. When she appeared, He requested a drink, which immediately provoked a conversation concerning ancient animosities between Jews and Samaritans.
However, the wise Master soon steered the conversation to more important matters, and within minutes had laid bare her horrible thirst.
For years, she had been searching for love and acceptance and peace.Five different times she had joined herself in marriage to men whom she expected would bring her true happiness. Finally, drained of any expectations of marital bliss, she junked the wedding and simply started living with the sixth one. Only that didn’t help either. Her life remained dry, miserable, and dead. In the barren soil of that heart, the Man of God now planted a seed of hope.
She hastily left her water pot and rushed back to the city. She knew a bunch of thirsty men in town; men who were slaves to sin, but still convinced of the need to worship the coming Messiah. They just had to meet this Stranger!
And so, the Lord knocked on their door, through the words of a wretched lady. She was nobody special. She was just a worldly, cynical woman of Sicar. But when faced with her sin, she was honest and humble about it. Because of her testimony, three days later Jesus left behind a crowd whose terrible thirst of soul He had quenched.
How many times do we march right past the wells along our path without taking any interest in the individuals who, underneath the shiny surface of a modern look, are parched and thirsty for answers?
Dear Father, often I have been silent about You both in actions and speech. For many around me, I may be the closest one in Your family they will ever meet. Please help me reach out to boldly show them that You are the true God, and that You came to die for their redemption. Amen.