The Woman at the Well

“…the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” Romans 6:23 (NIV)

Lowering my jar into the well I watched Him out of the corner of my eye. He seemed to be dozing, no doubt weary from His journey. It crossed my mind that He looked thirsty; could probably do with a drink. Hoisting the jar onto my head, I turned to leave. The Jew hadn’t opened His eyes. I was relieved. I didn’t want to talk to one of them . . .

It was not to be. He coughed, clearing His throat, and with a dry voice asked if I’d give Him a drink. I stepped back; had every intention of walking away, but couldn’t and didn’t. He needed me, you see. Men didn’t usually need me; they usually used or abused me. So I placed the jar on a rock and asked Him how He, a Jew, came to be asking a Samaritan woman for a drink. It was a fair question. Jews didn’t mix with Samaritans and, more importantly, I wanted to be sure He wasn’t trying to take advantage of me.

He took His time; measuring His words. “If you knew the generosity of God,” He said, “and who I am, you would be asking me for a drink, and I would give you fresh, living water.” He was no doubt confused. Maybe had a touch too much of the sun. He’d asked me for a drink and now He was offering a drink to me. How was He going to give me a drink when He didn’t have a jar to draw water out of the well? Was he crazy? I decided to humour Him, and asked how, without a jar, He planned on drawing water out of the well. Then, seeing a way to point out that the Jews weren’t as high and mighty as they thought they were, I asked, “Are you a better man than our ancestor Jacob, who dug this well and drank from it, he and his sons and livestock, and passed it down to us?”

He was undeterred by the hint of sarcasm in my voice. With just a touch of a smile at the corners of His lips, He said, “Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again. Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst—not ever. The water I give will be an endless spring of life.” I’d misjudged Him. These weren’t the words of a crazy man. He was making sense. With respect I said, “Sir, give me this water so I won’t get thirsty again; won’t have to draw water at this well again!”

We chatted on, about worship and the Spirit, and much more. He knew all about me. He cared, in ways that men had never cared for me. And I came to know and care about Him too . . . When the neighbours heard my story, they invited Him to stay. He bunked down at Abram’s place for a few days. Many spoke with Him. And before He moved on, they too drank the life giving water from His cup.

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