Slowing Down – John 4
“4 Now he had to go through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.
7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)”
9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)” John 4:4-8 NIV
As we continue in John 4, we find verse 6 pointing out an interesting, but easily overlooked point. The Samaritan woman came to the well at noon. Why is this significant? In the Middle East, nobody wants to be outside at noon because it is too hot. The midday sun would burn 110-120 degrees!
Since the well was located about a mile outside the city, most women came to get water for the day early in the morning before the weather became too hot. Because this was a daily ritual, the well was also a social spot for the women to talk while they were filling their buckets before they went back to town.
Why did the Samaritan woman come by herself at noon? She had no friends. She was a loner. As we learned in the last devotion, Samaritans were already considered to be outcasts. This woman not only from an outcast culture, she was an outcast of the outcast society! We are going to see in the next devotion that she was not just a Samaritan woman, but a promiscuous and spiritually confused woman.
When she arrived with her empty jar, Jesus was hanging out by Himself on the side of the well baking in the noon-time sun. Jesus asked her for a drink.
By tradition, a rabbi would not speak to a woman in public, even his own wife. As such, Jesus’ request surprises the Samaritan woman. She responds, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” This is probably the first time she had heard a kind word from a Jewish man.
Here’s the application from this passage.
Jesus took the time to be kind to someone no one else was kind to. He was the Son of God, yet He had time to slow down and speak to a person in need. Who am I talking to and being kind to that’s out of the way and needs some kind words? Who am I speaking to that could damage my reputation? Who am I risking for today? John 4 reminds me to walk slower and more aware in my day of the people around me. There may be opportunities to speak life to others that I walk by because I am simply too busy.
Lord Jesus You are kind enough to stop to talk to someone in need. It’s been too long since I’ve stopped for a questionable person. Lord increase my heart to be more like Yours.
Ty Tamasaka is an author who hold a Master of Arts Degree from Pacific Rim Christian University in Christian Ministry He is a Bible teacher who loves to encourage people to enjoy Jesus’ grace and extend His Kingdom. Ty just released his new book More than a Conqueror: 5 Pathways to Personal Revival.