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The Scriptorium

Resting by Jacob's Well

Great men of God met their brides-to-be at wells.

The Gospel of John: John 4.1-15

Read and meditate on John 4.5, 6.
Jesus was a real Man, not a superman. He got hungry. He got angry. He became tired. Just like us, except without sin.

                                 5He came unto
a city there called Sychar, which was near
the plot of ground that Jacob on his dear
son Joseph had bestowed. 6Now Jacob’s well
was there. And Jesus, weary, sat a spell
beside the well. And it was almost noon.

- John 4.5, 6

1.  In John’s day, false teachers arose who wanted to guard the purity of God from any taint of human flesh. They insisted that Jesus didn’t really come in a human body; He only appeared to be human. That might have made sense to some people. But John would have none of this talk. He has these Docetics right in his sights both here and 1 John 1, as he makes the case for Jesus being a human being like the rest of us. Why does this matter so much? Complete this prayer: Lord Jesus, You became a Man, a true human person, just like me, so I know You understand…

2.  Jesus came to “a city of Samaria” while most Jews in His day would have nothing to do with the Samaritans. What does this tell us about Jesus? What does it suggest to us about seeking those who need His redeeming grace? Show me, Lord, the people You want me to…

3.  Great saints in Scripture sometimes met their brides by wells. Like Isaac did, through his servant (cf. Gen. 24), and like Jacob (Gen. 29) and Moses (Ex. 2). John witnessed so many situations in Jesus’ life that he couldn’t tell them all; he had to select those stories that he thought would have the most impact for his purpose (cf. John 20.30, 31). So here Jesus meets a woman at Jacob’s well. Why is this story important for John’s purposes? What does it recall or suggest? Thank You, Father, that You sent Your Son to make us His Bride and Your…

4.   John tells us that it was “about the sixth hour” when Jesus sat by the well. Noon. Heat of the day. Why would someone go out for water at such a time? How does this little detail add credibility to the story? Lord, as You sent this woman to Jesus, You are sending people to me every day. Help me to…

5.  We note that Jesus arrived at the well before the woman (v. 7). What do you suppose He was thinking as He sat there? Is it a good idea for us to think and pray about the people we might see each day? How would you do that? Bring together into one prayer the prayers you wrote from questions 1-4.

“Our Lord Jesus Christ came to the field that holy Jacob had left to his son, Joseph. I do not think that this field was left to Joseph as much as to Christ, whom holy Joseph the patriarch prefigured, for truly the sun and moon adore him, while all the stars bless him. For this reason the Lord came to this field in order that the Samaritans, who were longing to claim for themselves the inheritance of the patriarch of Israel, might recognize their owner and be converted to Christ who became the legitimate heir of the patriarch.” Caesarius of Arles (ca. 470-543 AD)

There can be no doubt that Jesus knew what He was doing when He decided to head north through Samaria. Are you as intentional in your Personal Mission Field as Jesus was in His?

Closing Prayer
Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
Let them exalt Him also in the assembly of the people,
And praise Him in the company of the elders.
He turns rivers into a wilderness,
And the watersprings into dry ground;
A fruitful land into barrenness,
For the wickedness of those who dwell in it.

Psalm 107.31-34

Psalm 107.33-38, 1-3 (Faithfulness: Great Is Thy Faithfulness)
You make the desert a river o’erflowing; You make a wasted life fruitful and strong!
You bless the hungry with fields for the sowing; bless and increase us who to You belong!
    Lord, for Your wondrous works, and for Your steadfast love,
    We give You thanks, we exalt Your great Name!
    We who from east and west, north and south gather,
    Boldly redemption in Christ we proclaim!

T. M. Moore

Visit The Ailbe Seminary, where our course, One in Twelve: Introduction to Christian Worldview, can show you how Jesus is central to all aspects of life in the world – and beyond! Our course is free, and you can study at your own pace, watching videos and using the free materials provided.

We are happy to offer each week’s Scriptorium studies in a free weekly PDF, suitable for personal or group use. You can download all the studies in our series on the Gospel of John by clicking here. Please prayerfully consider sharing with The Fellowship of Ailbe through your giving. You can contribute to The Fellowship by clicking the Contribute button at the website or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series IV a and b: John, edited by Joel C. Elowsky, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006. Verse translation of John by T. M. Moore.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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