Well, Well, Well
“With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.”
Isaiah 12:3 (ESV)
Wells were important in the Middle-East in sustaining life for communities. Not surprisingly they are mentioned throughout Scripture; for example Jacob’s well (Genesis 29:10) and David’s well (2 Samuel 23:15). Some notable events occurred at wells: The revelation of God to Hagar (Genesis 16:13-14); Rebekah’s encounter with Abraham’s servant (Genesis 24:16); and Joseph was thrown into a dry well (Genesis 37:24 CEV). Perhaps the most famous incident at a well occurred when Jesus had a dialogue with a Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well (John 4). There are many lessons that can be drawn out from this episode; here are three:
First, salvation is inclusive. Jesus went out of his way to speak with a Samaritan, when the Jews had no dealings with them (John 4:9), and not just any Samaritan but a woman to boot! The disciples were astonished that Jesus would talk to a woman in such a public place (verse 27); it was not the done thing. In this one act Jesus is showing that salvation is open to all people, no matter what their racial background or their gender. The Apostle Paul takes up this theme saying: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). Jesus is indeed the Saviour of the world (John 4:42)
Second, no sin is so big that it cannot be forgiven. This woman seemed to have a messed up life. She had already had five husbands and was now living with someone who wasn’t her husband (John 4 18) and yet this did not prevent her from having an encounter with Jesus, receiving his salvation and going away a changed woman. The Apostle John later remarked that God cleanses us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). No sin is beyond the reach of God’s grace.
Third, lasting satisfaction is only found in Jesus. We may get some temporary satisfaction from the things of this world, but they are only fleeting—they will pass away and so will the satisfaction. But Jesus provides living water so that we will never be thirsty again (John 4:14). He provides eternal satisfaction. King David seemed to grasp something of this when he wrote, “at your right hand are pleasures forevermore,” (Psalm 16:11) which, of course, is where Jesus is.
In meeting Jesus at Jacob’s well this Samaritan woman had certainly drawn from the well of salvation with great joy as she went off into the town and spread the word about Jesus (John 4:28-29). And well, well, well, many came to believe because of her testimony and her bringing them to see Jesus (verses 39-42).
How about us? Having drawn from the well of salvation can we share the message with joy? If so who knows what the results will be.
Father, thank you that there is a well of forgiveness for all people. May we lead others to drink from Christ’s satisfying water.
Study by Barry Robinson
Grace Communion International Central London
Mahatma Gandhi Hall
41 Fitzroy Square
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