It is said that Christianity begins with a sense of sin. And this sense of sin engulfs us when we encounter Jesus Christ, at some point, at the least expected moment, down the road in our journey of life.
This sudden encounter exposes our life in the spotlight of God's truth, and we are shaken awake to the fact that it is not at all pleasing to the Lord. This is the great moment of salvation, and it is at this moment that arises from the depths of our heart, a thirst for something that only Jesus Christ can satisfy.
Jesus' encounter with the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well was wholly unexpected for her, but not for the Lord, for He was doing His Father's will - seeking out one who was groping in sinful darkness, and offering the light of God's truth to guide her back home (see Jn 4: 3 - 30).
Since the Samaritan woman came to Jacob's well, which was well outside the city limits, and at noon, the hottest part of the day, it is obvious that she was not allowed at the city well, and therefore, a moral outcast among the other city women.
The disciples had gone into the Samaritan city for food, but Jesus tarried at the well, for He had already set the time and place for the encounter with the Samaritan woman. It was not a thirst for water from Jacob's well that held Him there, for He had nothing with which to draw water from the deep well, but it was a thirst of a Good Shepherd for bringing home a lost sheep.
Although Samaritans and Jews were in a state of enmity, the very fact that the woman responded to Jesus in conversation, indicates that she, maybe for the first time in a long while, seemed to have found someone who was kind, compassionate, and not critical about her.
But, Jesus' initial statements were taken literally by the woman, because her sinful life blinded her to the spiritual truths He voiced. So, Jesus suddenly brings the woman to her senses by saying, "Go, call your husband, and come back." The woman is jolted with shock and forced to acknowledge the immorality of her life.
And when Jesus finally reveals to her that He was the long awaited Messiah, she forgets her status, leaves behind her water jar, and dashes back to the city to tell the Good News to the city dwellers.
We all spend a life time accumulating money, properties, houses, cars, and all other things that afford us a grand lifestyle, but during all this time when we are acquiring temporal goods, God is working in our life to lead us to our encounter with Jesus at Jacob's well. And when we encounter Him there, we will forsake all these temporal treasures, like the Samaritan woman's water jar, and make haste to spread the Good News.
Let us allow the Holy Spirit to open up our hearts to God's truths when we encounter Jesus at our Jacob's well, so that living waters spring up within us once again.