Having been in Africa recently really brings alive the Scriptures for me. Nothing much has changed over the centuries in some rural parts of Africa. Clothing may have changed as well as some forms of transport. One of the biggest changes is that people have mobile telephones even in remote rural areas. It is very cheap to have one of these phones. But farming practices are still the same as they have been for millennia! So when we come to the account of Jesus sitting by the side of a water well it is easy for me to picture this. I have seen one and know exactly what happens at these sites. It is almost a ‘social event’ as people, mostly women, come to fetch water for the farms and their family.
Today we go to a very famous and historic well – Jacob’s Well. There is much significance about this site. It was here that Jacob met his future wife Rachel although it would be many years before he would her in his arms! This well had served the Israelites with life sustaining water for thousands of years. For centuries tourists have come to this site and cast pebbles into the well until Greek Catholics brought the site and put it under guard.
What happened at Jacob’s Well when Jesus came hot, tired and thirsty is remarkable. Jesus broke with tradition and culture as He often did. Jesus was certainly controversial, radical and despised political correctness! Here at this well He actually spoke to a Samaritan, and not only a Samaritan, but a woman. And this is not all … this woman had a sordid history and was living in sin! Yet, with this woman, Jesus declares exactly who He is. Staggering in my book! The Jews hated the Samaritans and vice versa. No rabbi worth his salt ever spoke to a woman outside of his family. But Jesus is so different. During His discourse with her He reveals that He is the Messiah! He is the one who can provide living water for all who come to Him … even a sinful Samaritan woman.
Whilst the disciples were worrying about food Jesus was going about sharing the good news of the gospel with the ‘enemy’. And the result … the woman’s whole village came to Jesus to see the Messiah. They listened to Him and believed in Him. God has a heart for all nations and tribes! God has a heart for people who are deep in sin. It is our task to share this great truth with others regardless who they are and what they have done