“He (Jesus) left Judea and departed again to Galilee. But He needed to go through Samaria. So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, ‘Give Me a drink.’ For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.
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.
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.’…
And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, ‘He told me all that I ever did.’ So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. And many more believed because of His own word.”
John 4: 3-10, 39-41
When you got saved, I bet it was unexpected. I bet you were going about your life, doing what you do, and Jesus stepped into your world, revealed His love and power, and changed the whole course of your life.
That’s exactly what happened with the Samaritan woman in John 4.
Jesus stepped into her world as she went about her life, in the same way that He steps into ours.
John 4:4 says Jesus needed to go through Samaria.
There were three possible routes, and any good Jew would take one of the others; but Jesus needed to go there. He knew He would meet a woman and change a village with His great love that day. Nothing would stop Him - not the prejudices of the day, not the hunger in his belly, not the religious customs of not associating with such sinners. Nothing.
His love compelled Him that He had to go through Samaria to meet that woman.
Today Jesus still purposes to meet us at the wells we run to. Sure, most of us have running water (I spent quite a bit of time without it, and so I very much appreciate it!!), but the wells we run to for satisfaction and fulfillment, or to numb our pain, are limitless. For some it is perfectionism, for others relationships, and for others substances or food. There is a growing epidemic in the area of New York where I grew up of heroin use amongst young people. Overdoses are on the rise. People have no hope and so they run to these broken cisterns for fulfillment, finding only heartache and pain. This terrible drug is killing our youth. But Jesus sees them and He desires to go by their wells and reveal His love for them. Will you be His mouthpiece?
Jesus doesn’t care about following the politically correct rules of any culture. He doesn’t abide by traditions and stereotypes. He is driven to reach us by His great love. And that love acts and takes the initiative to search us out.
The woman at the well wasn’t searching for Jesus, but He saw her in her pain and came to her. I wasn’t searching for Him when He revealed Himself to me, either. Were you?
God sought us out.
Can I encourage you today to do the same where God has placed you, to take the initiative and act? There are people hurting and desperate right in your own neighborhood. Will you be the one to put love into action and reach out to them? You never know, it could change a person’s eternal destination, and maybe even a whole village or community.
I challenge you today to step outside of your comfort zone, your cultural norms even, and stretch out your hands to those who are hurting and broken. Go in the strength of the Lord, go with His love as your anthem and His Spirit as your guide.
Put the love of God into action in your world and watch life come where there was only death.