Photo by Valentin Lacoste on Unsplash

“And He had to pass through Samaria. So He came to a city of Samaria called Sychar, near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph; and Jacob’s well was there. So Jesus, being wearied from His journey, was sitting thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour. There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Therefore the Samaritan woman said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.)  Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

She said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water?  You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?” Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”

The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty nor come all the way here to draw.” He said to her, “Go, call your husband and come here.” The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have correctly said, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly.” The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.  Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.”

Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”  The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.”  Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.” John 4: 4-26 NASB


Why did they call it Jacob’s well? Was it simply, because Jacob dug it? The Samaritan woman thought and strongly believed so. She proceeded to tell Jesus about his ancestry! Are you greater that than our father Jacob who gave us this well, and drank of it himself, as well as his sons and livestock? ( John 4: 12 NKJV) She who is famously referred to in Sunday School stories as the Woman at the Well. When, in fact, it was Jesus who was first at the well on this occasion. He was sitting by the well, when the woman came onto the scene. Perhaps, she should have be more accurately described as the woman who came to the well : )

She came to the well to quench her thirst. She came to the well under the heat of day, to also quench another type of thirst – the thirsty tongues wagging for stories about her for her five- times- married- now- cohabiting status! In Jewish time, the sixth hour would have been noon, a very hot part of the day in her part of the world. She presumably chose this time to avoid as many people as possible at the well. She approached Jacob’s well which a long time before had been dug, by another soul in need of refreshing. She queried Jesus, you have nothing to draw the water with, the well is deep, where do you get that water and yet you are standing here promising to give me living water? I can imagine her firing off the series of questions, smugly thinking to herself, now I’ve got him!

Little did she know, she was talking to a Well sitting upon a well. Without batting an eyelid, Jesus answers her, whoever drinks of the water I shall give will never thirst, that water will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.

In effect, Jesus was saying Woman, make no mistake, what I can do is not limited by what you see. You see nothing in my hands to draw with, but I am going to create a well within you so that what satisfies you doesn’t come from outside of you but within you. I am the well of living water. I am the source of this well. Nothing was made that was made without me. At a time, the waters of this well quenched Jacob’s thirst, his sons and his livestock, but I have moved on. I am changing the location of your supplies and the satisfaction of your thirst from physical to spiritual, from a specified location to an eternal source. Yes, Jacob’s well was enough for a time, but the days are coming and are now here, when the true wells will be the ones that cannot be seen by physical eyes.

Maybe you can remember Jacob’s wells of provision in your own lives as you read this. Don’t get hung up on them. No matter how long they have provided refreshing, Jesus is set to reveal new sources of refreshments as you meet with Him in the secret place of prayer and worship.

Maybe it’s been a while since you stopped and had a conversation with Jesus. Amidst the hustle and bustle called life what truly matters to you has been swallowed up in the busy every day. Perhaps you have never had a heart to heart talk with Jesus, consider this your invitation!

Keep this in mind though about Jacob’s- well-invitations , it isn’t the place where you come to keep up appearances. It’s where you tell Jesus the way it is. No pretences, no cover ups, no alternative facts. As revealed by His answer to the Samaritan woman, there is nothing that He doesn’t know already! And his offer of living water stands whether you are a Samaritan woman or not : )


Thanks for reading.

Emi x