In The Heat Of The Day

One day Jesus has to travel from Judea to Galilee and He decides to travel through Samaria, as we can read in John 4:4-6                                                                                                                Now He (Jesus) had to go through Samaria. So He came to a town called Sychar, near the plot of the ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as He was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.

In fact, Jews avoid travelling through Samaria. But Jesus has a purpose to go there and we may wonder why. What could possibly be of such importance to Him that He has to go there? By the time He arrives at His place of destination, He is tired and needs to take a rest. John takes notice of the time: it is the sixth hour. Or to put it in our language: it is 12 o’clock midday. No doubt, it is hot at this time of the day and He will be thirsty. Moreover, He will be hungry for He sends His twelve disciples into town to get something to eat for lunch as we can read a little later on. However, there does not seem to be anyone around who is in need of His ministry. How strange. Perhaps Jesus has made a mistake, or at least a miscalculation as far as the time is concerned, for everyone knows that 12 o’clock midday is the hottest hour of the day and no one will come to the well at that time of the day. But then, surprisingly, someone does come to the well. Who can that be? Let’s read John 4:7-8 to find out

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give Me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food)

(Samaritan woman) “I am that Samaritan woman who was approached by this Jewish man. I did not expect to find Him at the well for it was 12 ‘o’clock midday, the hottest time of the day (John 4:6). No one wants to be out at that time of the day. Unfortunately for me, I had no choice because people of my town looked down on me, gossiped about me behind my back so I had to go to the well when I knew none of the other women would be there to draw water since they will go to the well either in the early morning or in the evening (John 4:7).You can imagine, I was, therefore, very surprised to see this Jewish man there. I was even more surprised when He began to talk to me for Jewish people consider Samaritan people, like myself, unclean. Moreover, I am a Samaritan woman and a Jewish man would never talk to a woman in public, not even to a Jewish woman…. But this Man did…. He asked me for a cup of water (John 4:7). I was quite taken aback by His request and told Him so (John 4:9). However, my words did not stop Him from talking to me for He continued His conversation and began, in fact, to talk about living water (John 4:10).That sounded like a wonderful offer for it might mean I never needed to return to this well, especially since I have to come back every day in the middle of the day. I asked if He could give me this water (John 4:11-15). That is when the conversation changed because He asked me to call my husband (John 4:16)….That was a very painful request for the truth is, I have no husband since I am not married to the man I am living with (John 4:17). Before that I was married five times…. I did not want to tell this Jewish Man the sad details of my life so I only shared with Him that I did not have a husband, which was true… To my shock the Man then told me that, yes, I was right in that I did not have a husband…But He continued by revealing to me that He knew all about my past five marriages as well as my present arrangement with someone who is not my husband (John 4:18). I wondered if He was a Prophet (John 4:19). Perhaps He could answer my many questions about where we should worship (John 4:20). So I asked Him and He explained to me that worship is not about a particular place but about worshipping in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:21-24). His answer gave me courage to begin talking to Him about the coming Messiah (John 4:25). His next answer was astonishing for He said, “I who speak to you am He.” I was talking to the long awaited Messiah!! And He knew all about my past but He did not reject me. Instead, I sensed that He loved me. I had never been loved by a man before but I knew that this Man loved me. We were then interrupted by a group of 12 men, who looked like they were His disciples. They looked at me with questioning eyes but did not say anything (John 4:27). I did not stay around any longer for I could not wait to tell everyone in town what had happened. So I ran to the town square as quickly as I could. I even forgot to bring my jar with water with me (John 428). Once I got back to the town, I shared what had happened to me and for the first time in my life everyone listened to me…. And many accepted Jesus as their Saviour because of my words to them (John 4:29, 39). Isn’t that wonderful? Jesus has turned my life around and I am so grateful to Him.”

Jesus chose a sinful Samaritan woman to save her whole town. Isn’t that amazing? He looked beyond her sinful lifestyle and saw a heart that longed to get to know Him. He knew that once she had been set free to serve Him, she would serve Him with all her heart and all her strength for His glory.

He wants to use you too. You are not too young or too old or too insignificant for God to play a role in His Kingdom. The question is: Are you willing to be used by Him? He will help you. He will equip you for the task that He has for you. All you need to do is to be willing, just like this woman was. The moment she received the revelation that Jesus was her Messiah, she went to her town to share that Good News with all the people of the town regardless of the way they had treated her in the past. The past was the past, a new day had begun. So it was for her and so it will be for you. Whatever you have experienced in the past, leave it there in the past and move into your future with Jesus, as the Apostle Paul explains in Philippians 3:13-14                                                                                                                                                                 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do, forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the price for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Jesus loves you beyond what you know and wants you to share with others His love for you and for them which He has shown you by dying on the Cross for you, as you can read in John 3:16-17                                                                                                                                                    For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.

So, make a decision today to do whatever He lays on your heart to do. And then go and do it, just as the Samaritan woman did when she told others in her town what Jesus had done for her.

We will next look at the story of a man who was blind from birth, but then he met Jesus and his life completely changed.

A Handful Of Mud