Anglican Morning Devotion, 14 January 2022 Anno Domini
a ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her? 28The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, 29Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? 30Then they went out of the city, and came unto him. 31In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. 32But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. 33Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? 34Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. 35Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. 36And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. 37And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. 38 I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours. 39And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did. 40So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days. 41And many more believed because of his own word; 42And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.” (John 4:27-42; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
One may not, at first reading, be impressed with the gentle strains of the Epiphany Season that is the undercurrent of this text today of the Woman at Jacob’s Well. The Samaritan people were revulsed by the Jews and considered a mixed race. But the visitation of Jesus to Sychar opens the door wide to the graces of God, not only to the Gentiles, but also to the diverse races of people everywhere according to His mighty benefits of mercy and grace. He is the Savior of the World to those of faith.
The text today concludes the Lord’s encounter with the Samaritan Woman at the Well. She came seeking water at the bottom of a seventy-foot hole in the ground, and left in possession of that which she had not dared to seek – the Water of Life from the very heights of Heaven.
There are a number of salient points brought to light by these events by the Well. First, God will approach us in the everyday walks of life. He is not concerned about our past, but what we may become in future years under His grace and guidance. Secondly, we do not preach down to those around us who, like we once were, know not the truth of the Gospel. We also learn that others around us may criticize us for reaching out to the ‘wrong’ prospects. This is clearly demonstrated by the disciples’ question to the Lord concerning His talking openly with this fallen woman: “Why talkest thou with her?”
Thirdly, we learn that in the conversion of a single soul, a great harvest may ensue. Many souls in Sychar came to the knowledge of the truth and salvation as a result of the woman’s experience at the Well. The woman was well known as an adulteress in the village of Sychar. She was the object of scorn and shame, especially among the gossipers of the village. It was for this reason, obviously, that she came when there would be no other women drawing water – the noon day hour. I learned when living in the Middle East for many years that the accustomed hour for the women to gather at the wells of the city’s gates is always in the cool of the day (evening).
Fourthly, we learn that with the endowment of faith, spiritual authority is imputed to the believer. The reception of grace and faith conveys believable credibility. This woman of ill repute returned to the streets of Sychar a new creation in Christ. The evidence of this change is demonstrated by the fact that many of the city believed the woman’s testimony and upon the Lord in whom she believed: “And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did.” The believer is a changed person, not only in the heart, but also in the outward perception of others. She who was once shunned, is now believed! When we are received into the fellowship of faith, we have a new authority and credibility – and it shows! Many more came to Christ when they were prompted by the woman “Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?” We are not only responsible for our living testimony, but also to invite others to come to Christ personally to know Him intimately.
Fifthly, and last of all, we learn that the Bread of Life is more urgently important than any other consideration of the soul. The sowing of the wheat is of equal reward to the harvesting thereof. The unseen Bread to which the Lord referred was of far greater importance than the physical bread that the disciples had purchased. “I have meat to eat that ye know not of. 33Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? 34Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.”(John 4:32-34) So is our meat and bread to do the will of Him who has called us to such a glorious salvation.