Come to the well
George Methodist Church
8am and 10am
Sunday 25th October 2020
To have someone who really takes care and listens to you is a very big gift in this world. I think that through this covid time we are learning how important it is to care and sometimes we get it right and other times not, but what I do know is that every morning I have an opportunity to sit with and talk to the Lord about intimate things in my life and he is there listening and responding to me. I do not feel judged but rather deeply loved and freed into wanting to be a better person and heard.
For many people this is an important step forward in being released from the burdens of the past and finding yourself refreshed by living water and enable to be the best person you can possibly be.
The call is to come to the well and then discover some of the powerful pictures and lessons we can learn from Jesus in being there for others.
This is exactly what Jesus did with the woman at the well and I want to share the story with you today because I believe that many of us are still caught up in past hurts,sins,guilt and an attitude towards others that also needs to be dealt with which keeps us from moving forward.
Paul says to the Romans 8: 8 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
Jesus also says this in Matthew 11:28-30 The MessageOpen menu
28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
I am going to now show you a portion from the Chosen when Jesus encounters the Woman at the Well. Watch video and link : https://youtu.be/el7dzoNV3IY
- The Geography of the area – two different routes – one for the Jews and another for the Gentiles. Jacob’s well THERE is not a district in the Land of Promise’ which presents a scene more fair or rich than the plain of Samaria (the modern El Mukhna). As we stand on the summit of the ridge, on the way from Shiloh, the eye travels over the wide sweep, extending more than seven miles northward, till it rests on the twin heights of Gerizim and Ebal, which enclose the valley of Shechem. Following the straight olive-shaded road from the south, to where a spur of Gerizim, jutting south-east, forms the Vale of Shechem, we stand by that Well of Jacob’ to which so many sacred memories attach. Here, in the parcel of ground’ afterwards given to Joseph,  which Jacob had brought from the people of the land, the patriarch had, at great labour and cost, sunk a well through the limestone rock. At present it is partially filled with rubbish and stones, but originally it must have gone down about 150 feet.  as the whole district abounds in springs, the object of the patriarch must have been to avoid occasion of strife with the Amorite herdsmen around. That well marks the boundary of the Great Plain, or rather its extensions bear other names. To the left (westwards), between Gerizim (on the south) and Ebal (on the north), winds the valley of olive-clad Shechem, the modern Nablus, though that town is not in view from the Well of Sychar.
- The Samaritans – The Samaritans (/səˈmærɪtənz/; Samaritan Hebrew: ࠔࠠࠌࠝࠓࠩࠉࠌ, translit. Shamerim (שַמֶרִים, ‘Guardians/Keepers/Watchers (of the Torah)’; Arabic: السامريون, al-Sāmiriyyūn) are an ethnoreligious group originating from the Israelites (or Hebrews) of the Ancient Near East.Ancestrally, Samaritans claim descent from the tribe of Ephraim and tribe of Manasseh (two sons of Joseph) as well as from the Levites,The Samaritans are adherents of Samaritanism, a religion closely related to Judaism. Samaritans believe that their worship, which is based on the Samaritan Pentateuch, is the true religion of the ancient Israelites from before the Babylonian captivity, preserved by those who remained in the Land of Israel, as opposed to Judaism, which they see as a related but altered and amended religion, brought back by those returning from the Babylonian Captivity. The Samaritans believe that Mount Gerizim was the original Holy Place of Israel from the time that Joshua conquered Canaan. The major issue between Jews and Samaritans has always been the location of the Chosen Place to worship God: The Temple Mount of Moriah in Jerusalem according to Judaism or Mount Gerizim according to Samaritanism.Once a large community, the Samaritan population appears to have shrunk significantly in the wake of the bloody suppression of the Samaritan Revolts (mainly in 529 CE and 555 CE) against the Byzantine Empire. Conversion to Christianity under the Byzantines also reduced their numbers. Conversions to Islam took place as well, and by the mid–Middle Ages, Benjamin of Tudela estimated only around 1,900 Samaritans remained in Palestine and Syria.The present-day population has been consistently divided between Qiryat Luza on Mount Gerizim and the city of Holon, just outside Tel Aviv. Most Samaritans in Holon and Qiryat Luza today speak Hebrew and Arabic. Jews do not associate with Samaritans.
- It’s midday and Jesus has sat down at the well without the disciples as they had gone into the town of Sychar. They are travelling from Gallilee to Jerusalem and why on this route not taken by the Jews. A Roman route also dangerous to the Jews for fear of them as well as the area of Samaria was not safe for Jews due to the lengthy battles they had had between each other. The Samaritan’s would have not tolerated Jews in their area. It also says such a lot about the timing of this in that most of the woman would have gone to get their water in the early hours of the morning when it was cooler but due to the rejection that she may have experienced from the other woman due to her situation,she was on her own, but Jesus knew this and was there to be with her. I am aware that there are sometimes deep and genuine times when we have fallen and failed in life or been rejected by others because of what they assume to have happened. It’s a hard time and people will avoid you or look at you in a certain way. Jesus is sitting in the heat of the moment and in the heat of the day to meet with you.How many times had she come to this well with all of the challenges in her heart and then to find a Jewish man there would have been difficult.
- Will you give me a drink? – these are profound words from the heart of Jesus because he knew how loaded with thoughts she would have been as he asked the question. The dialogue continues with her knowing that Jesus had nothing to draw water with and that in providing him with water and him drinking with her by Jewish law he would be defiling himself and her as the feelings and law was mutual between the two of them.
- Living water – it’s interesting that she still hasen’t got it and even jokes with Jesus about the fact that if she drinks this living water then she won’t have to keep coming back to the well at noon !!! Our father Jacob – the link and Jesus knowing this is still happy to engage with her even with her questioning and sarcasm. I love this kind of raw authentic human who is not afraid to speak her mind.
- Go and call your husband – Jesus asks her this question knowing full well that she is with a man who is not married to her and that she has had 5 previous husbands. In Mark by the way Jesus has a good go at men who think that by writing a note they can just divorce their wives and move on. He challenges the status quo about this and is not making a statement about whether or not one should marry after getting divorced but rather about the manner in which men were abusive. Matthew 19:8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. The deeper thing here is what we need to see rather than to argue as to whether or not one is able to remarry after divorce etc.., is that she realises that there is something very deep and spiritual happening at that well. “I can see that you are a prophet”. She recognises his schmeka – authority. It is a powerful moment when prophetically the Lord speaks thru you to another soul. There are times in ministry when I have seen someone weep as I might just say what the Holy Spirit gives me as a word of Knowledge around a certain issue that I may not know. He never condemns her by the way but rather -sits,listens,hears,frees,gives living water.
- Two mountains (I have already shared about these mountains) but a little bit more on this.The enormous religious divides were not only between Jews and Gentiles but also between different families of Jews. In the church today we still find these major divides and Jesus wants to cut right through them in saying that it’s not about this mountain or that,or who has the right doctrine or not but rather about the worshippers
- Worshipping in Spirit and in Truth We need to ask ourselves as to what kind of a worshipper we are and when we have experienced the deep love of our Lord we do not worship out of a sense of duty but out of a deep sense of understanding who we are in Christ and the rawnesss of our humanity brings us into a vulnerable place of worship and allows us to be free to worship with those who we may thin are different than ourselves. Frans Mandla on the Marathon route. Brought up by an Afrikaans family and originally from Mocambique. As we ran together there was a deep sense of harmony and unity and praise together for our surroundings and we worshiped out there in the mountains and gave thanks together without thinking about our differences. If we are going to see a new South Africa we are as a church going to have to do a lot of work to get back to that place again Senkal has not helped us at all on either side !!!
- She knew the Messiah was coming – I find this quite profound that she knew that the Messiah was coming and it tells us about her deep connection to Judaism though misunderstood.
- IAM HE – wow what a moment for her and in that moment she is completely restored healed and filled with that living water. Jesus doesn’t wait for her to go back and sort all her stuff out, he heals her and reinstates her right there at the well. COME TO THE WELL. He is not giving her a whole lists of do’s and don’ts but rather again water that certainly will quench her spiritual thirst and she drinks it.
- She forgets her jar and runs back up the mountain as an apostlos a sent one with such excitement,joy and liberty that she had been freed up. It’s a glorious moment in the story as she would have confronted her accusers and everyone else in the village and she invites them to.
- COME AND SEE -Oh wow what a testimony of power and evangelism at it’s best. Don’t just take my word on it but rather see for yourselves. I want to say that there is a world out there that is desperate for healing and restoration and an invitation to COME AND SEE and I trust that what they will see is the loving caring Jesus that met us at our darkest loneliest and most rejected,possibly saddest moment and gave us life. Jesus food is to restore the Kingdom and he is about his business even now. The fields are white unto harvest – a powerful picture for us today – covid has given us enormous opportunites to really be the church that he has called us to be and we need to respond friends today. We need to be the hands and feet of Jesus drawing others to the well of water that quenches their spiritual thirst. It’s time for us friends.
- THE FIELDS ARE WHITE UNTO HARVEST IT’S TIME TO BE IN THE FIELDS !!!