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Desperate For Love
Streams of living water in a Scottish burn Photo: Peter Hodge
Dying For A Drink JOHN 4:1-15
It was a blazing hot day and Jesus was weary and desperate for a drink as he approached the Samaritan village of Sychar (near modern Nablus).
Going through Samaria for Jesus was like a Jew trying to go through Gaza nowadays - you only did so if it was unavoidable, because the Jews and Samaritans hated one another. Jesus was heading for Galilee and the shortest route was through Samaria. But he was also on mission for God to save the lost sheep, including Samaritans, so a divine appointment awaited him in Sychar.
A Divine Appointment With A Desperate Woman
Only someone who was desperate went out in the midday sun in Sychar. The noonday heat was a time for resting, so it was highly unusual for a woman to be going to fetch water at midday. Jesus was sitting beside the well, when the woman approached with her water pot. She wasn't expecting to see anyone there at that time, far less a Jewish rabbi, so she was taken aback when he, a Jew, asked her for a drink.
Notice how evasive she was - she had learned to avoid letting people get close to her, because she had been hurt so often. And yet, as with so many folk addicted to sex, she could not break the cycle. She had had one partner after another - five in fact - and was onto her sixth, still hoping against hope she would find someone to love her. Maybe this time she would find true love. But that apparently chance encounter, which was in fact a divine appointment, was about to be the turning-point to her life of lust in search of real love. For as she parried the questions of this Jewish rabbi, she found her deepest longings being laid bare before her.
“Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But whoever drinks the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” (vv13-14)