““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. A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.”” John 4:6-7
At the well in the heat of the day (the sixth hour being about noon) – the Samaritan woman was trying to avoid people. She would have been the talk of the town. Back then, this was scandalous – 5 husbands and now with a man she wasn’t even married to. Now, it gets you a reality TV show. Have you ever been in the heat of the day without water somewhere hot? It isn’t pleasant. That was the journey she had to make every day as the alternative was far worse for her – facing the scorn and ridicule of society. But with Jesus, there isn’t condemnation. There is conversation. There is an invitation to have living water. There is grace. There is hope. There is love. There is a woman who has gone through 5 husbands and is now with another man outside of marriage, and from the Son of God comes an offer of eternal life. He knows the mess her heart has made, and He offers eternal life regardless. No matter what we have done, no matter what our past mistakes, Jesus is big enough to forgive. The cross covers all our sins
There were only two reasons for going for water at midday. Either you were a traveller, like Jesus, who had just arrived. Or you were avoiding people. This woman was a local, she was avoiding people. She didn’t want to be seen by the villagers. She didn’t want to have to endure their scornful mocking, their disdainful stares. She was an outcast. She was guilty of the ultimate taboo. She was an adulterous woman. She lived on the fringes of society. People wanted nothing to do with her.
Jesus went for water. He didn’t ignore the woman. He met her where she was. He didn’t wait for her to get her stuff together and make her heart right. He went looking for her in the heat of the midday sun while her heart was still a mess. He went to the unpleasant place of heat, because that is where the heart in need of a Saviour was – Jesus seeks out those who need Him. We don’t need to go looking for Him. We don’t need to please Him. The woman was just going about her daily task of getting water. Jesus sought her out and found her. Each year at Christmas we remember how God left His heavenly throne to come down to earth to seek out and rescue each one of us where we were, not waiting for us to satisfy His requirements first. He came to meet each one of us at the well at midday while our hearts were still a mess. We can have hope for our God comes to meet us while we are still struggling with sin and shame. We too must go out and share that hope with those around us who are outcast and ashamed, trying to get water from the well at midday when what they really need is the living water from our Saviour. We must be like Jesus and refuse to ignore them!