Prayer (5 minutes):
- Pray for humility. Ask God to open your heart to the beautiful story we’re going to read together over the coming days.
- Ask God to reveal areas of pride or self-inflicted stress in your life.
- Humble yourself before Him. Ask Him for the faith and humility to trust Him with your dreams and worries.
Scripture (5 minutes): John 4:1-6 (ESV)
Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), he left Judea and departed again for Galilee.
And he had to pass through Samaria. So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour.
Meditation (5 minutes): Re-read the short passage above 3x.
This is story of Jesus with the Woman at the Well is one of my favorite stories in all of the Bible.
The passage is gritty with details and overflowing with the love and compassion that Jesus emanated as a human being while He was on earth. For context, He’s been working in and around Judea and He begins to feel rumblings that trouble is brewing with the religious people in the city.
Instead of proving a point, “making His mark”, or taking over the city (all which would’ve been entirely appropriate for Him to do) He decides to make a graceful exit and continue to spread His message elsewhere.
This feels like the opposite thing of what I’d be compelled to do. He has all the power in the world, and the absolute right to tell these religious leaders where they can shove their concerns about Him. Yet, it’s not yet the time for Him to directly engage or confront them. That time would come as He drew nearer to His death. So, instead He walks away in humility. He takes the high road. He keeps His focus above the inevitably annoying faces, people, and names whom He likely would’ve loved to put in their place.
So foreign to me.
Regardless, we find out that not only was He moving on without a fight; He hadn’t been personally baptizing anyone (the primary concern of the religious people) anyway. Again, I have to say – this would not be in my nature.
Jesus was growing this underground popularity and could’ve easily cashed in on a little well-earned PR by personally baptizing folks and enjoying the celebrity that comes with that.
Instead, He empowered His team to become leaders themselves. He gave them opportunities to impact the lives of the new disciples flowing in everyday. Further, He avoided making anyone feel “greater than” other believers simply because they had been baptized by Jesus Himself.
He was a brilliant leader and lover of the people who followed Him.
Finally, the passage ends by telling us that Jesus was weary. He’s exhausted from His travels, from the work, from the people that were surrounding Him 24/7. I love this for two reasons. First, it shows just how human Jesus truly was. He struggled with the same weariness and exhaustion we deal with as 21st century Americans – and He remained perfectly focused on the purpose that brought Him to the earth. Secondly, it shows just how much energy and refreshment He enjoyed by meeting and conversing with the lost souls whom He worked with.
Because the lady He meets next is in desperate need of His help, though she has no idea what she’s about to encounter…. (how do you like that for a cliff hanger). 🙂 See you tomorrow!