It seems like Jesus is moving around to avoid big clashes with the powers that be. Instead he is out among the people in a kind of Hit and Run mode. No secret his disciples were baptizing and He was there and lots of people were showing up. But then He moves. He is definitely not concerned about man made boundaries crossing right through Samarian territory and stopping for lunch.
We all know the 6th hour, when the woman came to the well, was not the usual time for respectable women to handle this chore. After Jesus speaks to her about her life, you find out she has some socially unacceptable laundry. Jesus is not concerned about this but He does make it known to her that He knows all about it. You just can’t hide from God though we might hope keeping our dirty secrets might make us more acceptable. Jesus knocked that wall down right away. That was not going to be some kind of excuse.
Jesus was just striking up a conversation with a person He was interested in. (I mean “how hard is that?” to see another as someone who is interesting and worth my time.)
This lady was not uninformed in spite of her sketchy life style. She knew Jews avoided Samaritans; she knew the history of the well; she knew there was a dispute about where people should worship God; she believed a Messiah was coming. They bounced from topic to topic with her questions/comments and His answers until He just tells her – “I am the one who is telling you all things. By your own definition I am the Messiah.”
This must have been pretty startling since she left her water jar and headed back to town. Funny she didn’t go home to her so called husband or to some safe friend to think this over. She headed for town to tell whoever was there. There was this definition of the Christ in her culture and this guy nailed it! So much for propriety – this was way too big! She was on a mission.
Now while the woman is having this miracle moment, the disciples return. They “marvel” at the fact Jesus is talking to “that kind of person” but they probably know Jesus is a little “out there” at times so they hang back. When the woman is gone they saunter up to fulfill their immediate task – let’s have lunch! They are totally uninterested in the woman and oblivious to what has happened to and for her.
So, Jesus declares a “teaching moment”. Guys I’m not even hungry anymore. Do you have any idea how rewarding, exciting and filling it is to do the work of My Father? Look around! The fruit is practically falling off the trees. You hardly have to work to reap it… you still get to enter into the reward of the labor. This is some glorious day, huh?!
And it was. Lots of Samaritans in the town believed in Jesus because of the woman’s personal testimony which was basically, “he told me all that I ever did.” They invited Jesus to stay a few days, which he did and a bunch more people believed because of “his word.” These declared, “…this is indeed the Savior of the world.”
He is not offended that I am a mess, unworthy; don’t fit in or anything like that. He is instead interested in me – personally interested in just sitting down on the side of the well and talking with me. I have value to Him. He is going to listen and answer and accept. He is like that to everyone, without exception.
Do I have any idea how rewarding, exciting and filling it is to do the work of My Father? To be in on the sowing or the reaping? Do I realize it is as easy as telling my story?
About the World?
There are many, many people who are hungry to hear the Gospel. They have a picture of what it might look like to them. My story might just fit their picture. Maybe God has sown the “pictures” and then he sends out the “right stories” to connect the dots back to Him. That’s way cool!