Key Text: John 4:4-42.
Jesus was human and weary from a long day of traveling and teaching with his disciples. This shows us that we should not neglect our physical needs in spiritual service. Jacob’s Well can be seen today, many tourists have commented on how it is has been neglected over the centuries, but recently it has been enclosed for protection. In the 3rd century, the mother of Constantine financed a chapel to be built over it, but in the 1100s, it was destroyed by Muslims. It is amazing that such a landmark documented as the place where Jesus proclaimed His Messiahship, is not the center of money-making souvenirs. Do you believe God may be maintaining it’s humble estate to ensure we get the message of His Messiahship being divine Servanthood in supplying spiritual water? Paul proclaimed that everyone that becomes a Christian, is made to drink of the Spirit, 1Cor. 12:12-13 & Jon. 4:4-6. We can not live by bread alone, Mt. 4:4.
Jesus asking a Samaritan woman for a drink is almost shocking, since there was a social barrier between them that was about 600 years old. Stemming from when the Jews had denied the Samaritan’s any share in helping to re-build the Temple in Jerusalem during Ezra’s day. In 128BC, the Jews had destroyed the new Temple of the Samaritans in Gerizim. Speaking while alone in a public place with each other, is not what they were accustomed to within or across the sexes. Christians should imitate Jesus in ignoring racial/gender barriers, for one reason, expressing our faith in God’s gift and sharing it! 4:10. It is God’s will and our duty to give thanks always in every situation, 1Ths. 5.17. Why? Because God gives Himself freely as water from the well, and so should we!
The well water of Jesus which turns into a fountain (v13-14) for eternity is experienced only by the Christian who grows in discipleship, because the refreshment that comes from this water is like fruit that takes time to grow. Indeed, the fruit of the Holy Spirit takes time to grow in changing our human love into God’s love, and every human affection & virtue mentioned in Gal. 5:22-23, is gradually nurtured into a divine attribute from the heart of God into our own. John later proclaims twice in the Revelation 7:17 & 21:6 that God still does give to all believers an eternal fountain of refreshing water. What exactly is it? What did the woman need most? Forgiveness and a relationship with her Father, not another husband! Her true Father in Jesus would be to her a God that was free of space & time and not to be localized in Temples, (Ac. 7:48). She was learning that just as physical excellence raises humans above beasts, that spiritual excellence raises God above humanity. The gracious and miraculous insight Jesus rendered upon her heart was proof that God’s power was gracious and forgiving, this was her first taste of the water of life!
When we taste of this water, especially when we are made to drink of it (1Cor. 12:12-13), it should motivate us, like the Samaritan Woman. God desires and looks for people who will love (worship) Him in spirit & truth. This means to daily, show our thankfulness in service and praise, genuinely from our heart. To have an affinity with God in our praise. This text is not a proof-text for biblical public worship being scriptural, rather, it should be esteemed in our heart as a goal for serving Him daily. His word is truth, and instructs us in our motive for worship, not necessarily our every step in methods of worship, v24.
The first recorded proclamation Jesus made of His Messiahship is to a woman, v26. Why? Because the Samaritans would not be likely to take him by force and make him a King, (Jn. 6:15). Even to His disciple Peter who would become the leader of the apostles, He waits much later to proclaim His Messiahship to him, Mt. 16:16.