So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour. A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.”
– John 4:5-7
In their book, Evangelism Is . . .: How to Share Jesus with Passion and Confidence, Dave Earley and David Wheeler discuss in one chapter how Jesus took the time to show love, care, and concern to the woman at the well. Now Jesus was a Jew and the woman was a Samaritan. They had nothing in common. Jesus was supposed to look down on her. They were supposed to avoid one another. But Jesus cared nothing about how talking with the woman made Him look to others. He threw hate out the window. He started a conversation with her.
Dave Earley and David Wheeler write: ”In those days Jews would not speak to Samaritans, but Jesus broke the ethnic barrier to speak with her. In those days religious men would not speak with women, but Jesus crossed the gender barrier to share with her. In those days, godly men did not speak with sinful women – and as we shall see, this woman had quite a reputation – but Jesus spoke to her. This obviously made a deep impression on this woman that Jesus would break down the wall of prejudice to speak to her.”
As in Jesus’ time, we have wells in our day too. And there are people around them. They may not be physical places where water is drawn. And the people probably aren’t Samaritans. The well may be a table at your school cafeteria or the sideline bench in soccer practice or the waiting area at the hair salon. And the people are probably the emos and goths we love to hate, the geeks and nerds we make fun of, the bullies we avoid, the loners we ignore, and the popular mean girl we adore.
All these people have something in common with the Samaritan woman at the well. They are repeatedly drawing something to quench their thirst temporarily and know nothing of the One who can bring them eternal satisfaction. It may not be water that fills their well. It is probably something worse, like drugs or cutting or binge eating or inflicting pain on others. You may have nothing in common with them. But don’t care about how others will see you if you stop and talk with them.
Cut the hate. Tear down the barriers. Start a conversation. Be Jesus to the people at the wells.