I’m putting a hold on my fruits of the Spirit for a moment. I am too excited to talk about that because of what I read today with Lilli. I’m helping her through the gospel of John. We read about the Woman of Samaria.
As we began to read, the Bible talked about Jesus meeting the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. I knew, from so many times before, that the mention of Jacob’s well was significant. Why? Because the Bible doesn’t just drop random facts on the reader. If it’s mentioned, there’s a reason. And Jacob’s well is only mentioned once in the NT.
Unfortunately, not one person I have talked to about the Bible had ever mentioned the importance of Jacob’s well. The well had run dry, so to speak. Not in my 43 years of in and out of church, in and out of the Bible, in and out of Bible discussions, in and out of Sunday School, Bible studies, life groups, Sunday sermons, etc. did anyone ever mention the significance of Jacob’s well. And I’ve read the story of the woman at the well many times. Today, I knew to ask what happened at Jacob’s well. Why did he meet this woman at this spot?
Jacob’s Well. Really important! If you Google that, Jacob’s well is a definite landmark. So, go all the way back to the OT and you’ll find that Jacob built an ALTAR at the well. HUH?! An altar. WOW!
Guess what Jesus was talking to the woman about? Yeah, he’s talking about her 5 husbands AND how he’s the Son of God AND living water and all that stuff. BUT! he is also talking to her about, “You know how the Jewish priests tell you that you have to worship in Jerusalem? Yeah, well the Son of God, the CHRIST, ME! I am telling you, you can worship anywhere, anytime if you worship God in Spirit and truth.” AND he’s telling her this at the ALTAR and well that belonged to Jacob. A forefather of the Israelites. Who was later named “Israel” instead of Jacob.
Why did Jacob build an altar at the well?
Genesis 35:7 NLT “Jacob built an altar there and named the place El-bethel (which means “God of Bethel”), because God had appeared to him there when he was fleeing from his brother, Esau.”
The most important part of this verse for this point…God had appeared to him! God revealed himself to Jacob. And Jesus, all these years later, revealed himself to the woman. He told her who he was. WOW!
Jesus didn’t tell Bob at the local fruit market. He told a Samaritan WOMAN, a person he shouldn’t even have a conversation with, a person who had 5 husbands and was living with a man, at a significant Jewish landmark that depicts the perfect summation of what Jesus was saying. JESUS: We, you and I, can worship at this well, in this moment, if we believe in the truth and Spirit of God.
That woman believed that he was the Son of God. She knew who she was talking to because he told her, a perfect stranger, how many men she had been with. And I’m sure that this conversation with Jesus changed her whole life.
Another thing, the well was also called Jacob’s Fountain. And Jesus is there at the well, the fountain, talking to this woman about the living water that springs up and never runs dry. And that well, Jacob’s well, is deep. And so is Christ’s love, truth and Spirit. I am just blown away at the deep meaning of the Bible.
The Bible doesn’t fall apart when you dig deep, it becomes more and more clear. The Bible is so good. The words are so good. The themes and history and stories and love in the Bible will last forever. The word of God will stand forever. Because it’s true. There is truth there. And love there. You just have to dig deep and that well will spring up inside you. When I read the Bible, I can’t read it aloud for very long because I burst into tears when I hear the love of Christ pouring out. When I hear the truth of what it says. The Bible touches my heart so deeply that I can’t keep it in. That is hearing God’s voice and connecting deeply to Him. I am so thankful for understanding and the depth of connection I feel at 43 because I didn’t understand at 6 or 16 or 26.
AND we can worship anywhere, anytime. At church, in the street, in our bedrooms, with our husbands and wives, with total strangers, on a bus, at the park, at work, standing on our heads. We can access a relationship with God whenever we want and wherever we go. We can praise and worship him from any spot in the world. That is a revolution that we take for granted.
The Samaritan woman was told she had to make her way to Jerusalem to worship and Christ turned that notion on its head. This is exactly why Christ did not come through the Jewish temple and priesthood to establish his kingdom. The priests would have kept him in Jerusalem and hidden him away. Instead, he came through John the Baptist and established his kingdom, his church through the people in the wild, on the outskirts of the holy city. Jesus wasn’t meant to be hidden away, he was brought to the people, to bring us salvation and to set us free from the law. He was brought to those who desperately needed him and needed to hear his message.
The next time you read the Bible, look a little deeper and it might blow your mind. Google that stuff! Context is everything.