John 4:6–7 …so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour. A woman from Samaria came to draw water.
During Jesus’ time, wells of water were situated off the beaten path to avoid pollution from dust and debris busy roads were prone to. The women of Sychar, a city in Samaria, would walk to the outskirts of the city to Jacob’s Well with their jars; fill them with water, then return to their homes to pour it into a much larger jar for household use. If the woman had servants, they would join her with their jars to fill the household reservoir more quickly. Otherwise, a woman in a household alone would have to travel back and forth to the well; slowly filling her larger jar at home a little at a time. The women would perform this task early in the morning to avoid the brutal afternoon sun. As they worked together, they talked, laughed, shared stories and gave advice as many homemakers are in the habit of doing. By the sixth hour, or by noon time, water-gathering was complete with each woman returning to her home to manage the rest of her daily chores safely in the shade.
Not this particular woman of Samaria. She arrives at the well with her jar during the hottest part of the day. There were no servant girls to help her. No neighbors to lend a hand. She shared no stories, received nor gave advice. She enjoyed no laughter and no chatter to make the task lighter. It seemed her regular routine. Perhaps she avoided the stares and snickers of the other women. “How many husbands has she had? Can you tell which child belongs to which man? She’s not even married to the one she lives with now; despicable!” While the women of the city may have peered from their comfortable homes, watching this notorious woman gathering water alone, not one offered friendship or help.
Much to her surprise and wonder on this sunny day, she is offered more than just help with water from the earthen cistern she frequented. This appointed day she is offered LIVING water to satisfy her thirsty soul by none other than the Messiah himself! While the other women avoided her, He did not. In spite of their dividing cultures, He sat and spoke with her. Even when the disciples arrived, obviously perturbed at this meeting, He was undeterred from His conversation with her. He came to this well, on this day, at this hour to meet HER and to offer her eternal life.
Is there someone in our lives we have allowed to wander in the blistering sun alone? Have we gathered together with some and excluded others? Or perhaps we’ve pretended not to notice the isolated or recluse? If we call ourselves Christians (essentially: “little Christ”), we must be like Jesus. We must avail ourselves to divine appointments with the outcasts of the world. We must carefully guard against borders or exclusions, even within our inner-circle of family or friends. Today, may we commit to breaking out of our comfort-zone and seek to reach the parched and weary people in this dry and thirsty world. It is our turn to meet someone at one of the many empty wells in this world and tell them about our Living Water; our Jesus!
1 Thessalonians 3:12 and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you,