Jacob’s well—-a place to go or a place to avoid? For Jesus, it was a place to go and ask for a cool drink after a tiring journey on foot. He was alone and saw a Samaritan woman with an empty cistern about to draw water. As the Son of Man, he would become thirsty like you and me and the circumstances brought a divine appointment for her to experience living water through his personal inquiry.
In his day, research shows that when a man asked a woman for a drink of water, it could imply much more than a simple and kind beverage service. But she was trying to avoid others in the noonday heat. She had enough past husbands, and I think that she most likely did not want to have another.
In contrast, I wonder if Jacob did indeed meet his beloved Rachel at this very well (Genesis 29:1-14)? The custom showed it was where you went to water your flock or socialize and find your future wife:
“The incipient symbolism of the romantic meeting at the well is easy to see: the arrival of the man from a distant land represents the “otherness” of the relationship, the drawing of the water establishes a bond…” says Enslinger in his “The Wooing of the Woman at the Well..”.
After an exchange of discovery, the Samaritan woman is the one who receives the tall cool drink of satisfaction from Jesus, the long awaited Messiah— salvation through becoming known to her Savior. This fulfillment comes from a deep well that sweetly quenches the thirst of any parched mouth. And despite culture and past, Jesus’ unconventional way lands him at Jacob’s well, a place the disciples had learned to stay clear of.
Jesus doesn’t avoid sinners, however. Quite the opposite. He proposes to them, bids them to come to him, the waiting bridegroom. He initiates conversation with you at the places he deems to do so, bringing joy and salvation to the one who receives Him.
The Samaritan woman didn’t know then, but later Jesus would thirst again, to the extent of not being quenched when He hung on the cross to fully take away her sin and yours (Psalm 69:19-21, John 19:28). Like her, you can worship in spirit and in truth and tell others what Jesus has done for you. So take a cool drink or plunge deeply into the fountain of living water with Him. He waits for you in hope that his Bride, the church, will never thirst again.
PRAY: Our consummate Jesus, we praise You for the fulfillment at Jacob’s well of the revelation of You, the Messiah Christ! You are the Bridegroom we sinners have longed for and need. We want to know You more and be known by You. Move us to not avoid people but instead to go to those who so desperately thirst. Amen