By Patrick Hawthorne
For all of John chapter 4 please click here… https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=john+4&version=NKJV
5 So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour. 7 A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” 8 For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. (John 4 NKJV)
Moving further into the story, we find Jesus stopping to rest at Jacobs well. The time was around the sixth hour, which we would refer to as noon. I find this very interesting because it shows the humanity of Jesus. Like us, He too became tired. As one person said, whom I cannot recall, “The Word became flesh, but the Word was also Flesh.”
We must be careful with this bit of information to not read too much into the details. Most of the popular commentaries and teachings on this subject, say that the time occurred at the heat of the day on a hot summer day. Anyone who spends a great deal of time outside knows that typically the ninth hour, or three in the afternoon, is usually the hottest part of the day. Also, we have no clue what season of the year this was. We assume it was in the summer because people had been being baptized in earlier verses. However, this is all speculation. Therefore, I will just stick with the Word which says Jesus was tired after a good bit of walking.
7 A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” 8 For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.
Keeping with the historical content of this post, it is of importance to note that the noon hour was typically a period of rest. Contrary to belief, the Siesta is practiced by more than those of Mexico. Why is this information important? Firstly, Jesus was at the well at the time arranged by the Holy Spirit. Secondly, noon was not typically the time of day when a chore such as drawing water was done, especially by an obviously older woman.
Now, this is where we need to stop and address an issue that has been bothering me. Most teachings tell us that the woman went to the well at noon to avoid the crowd. The reasoning for this line of thought, as we will see in the next post, was because the woman was not living the most holy of lives. Therefore, the assertion is that she was a woman of ill repute who was avoiding the crowd because of low self-esteem.
While it is possible that they may be correct, it is still speculation. I could just as easily speculate that the woman was of an age where she did not enjoy being around all the younger maidens. Or, I could speculate that one of life’s little obstacles came up and she just did not have the opportunity to make the morning well run. We must be careful about not reading too much into the non-details.
9 Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.
Again, some would label the woman as having low self-esteem because of the way she is asking the question. I surmise that she may have a bit of a sarcastic side to her. Whatever the reasoning, the question is valid.
Going back to part 1 of this series, Jews and Samaritan’s were not on speaking terms. Essentially, the center of the feud boils down to each side believing that they maintained pure worship of God. The Samaritan’s believed that they were the true keepers of the Law, not the Jews. Also, the Samaritan’s believed that God should be worshiped on Mount Gerizim while the Jews believed He should be worshiped on Mount Zion.
10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”
At this point, it is apparent that Jesus knows this woman is His assignment. Furthermore, it is obvious, from the way He starts the conversation, that He is dealing with a person who has some knowledge of the Law.
In this verse Jesus says, “If you knew the gift…” I find the word ‘knew,’ very interesting. It is used in a sense of seeing as in, “I see what you mean.” In a manner, Jesus is saying, “If your spiritual eyes were open so that you could perceive the gift of God, and who it is who says to you…” What is the interesting part is that the woman uses the same verb in verse 25 to say, “I know (perceive) that Messiah is coming.” It appears from her choice of words that the woman’s interest in the coming of the Messiah was more than academic. She was in a state of expectancy; she was full of hope.
In the last post I alluded to there being a commonality between Joseph and this woman. I plan to explore this deeper but to give you a sample… Just as with Joseph, the woman at the well was chosen for a specific purpose. We can ascertain enough from this story that the woman had hope in the coming of Messiah. Also, like Joseph, even though her life was obviously filled with some really hard knocks, she never let go of her faith. Furthermore, as we will see in an upcoming post, just as Joseph was used to deliver the physically hungry, this woman was used to deliver the message of hope to the spiritually hungry. Until then, be blessed.