The I Am and Jacob’s Well
DISCIPLESHIP SPRING 2018
By Gabriel Perea John 4 and the story of Jesus’s interaction with the woman at the well, also known as the story of the Samaritan woman, is well-known to many of us and perfectly captures the character of Jesus. Today, we can read this chapter and try to glean elements of Jesus’s way of making disciples. As we read this account, John reveals that Jesus was wearied and stopped at a popular gathering place called Jacob’s well (verses 5-6). Here we see the first key element in making disciples. Through a clear understanding of mission and divine insight, Jesus understood all that could be gained by utilizing the necessary instrument of social platforms for the kingdom of God. Jesus knew that at some point throughout the day or week, this was the gathering place for just about everybody in town. After all, the well is where mingling, jokes, gossip, and political commentary happened amongst the peoples of that town. Therefore, in reading this passage, one can see divine intentionality when approaching social gathering platforms. At the well, the townsfolk would share about all kind of things. And as much as the Savior was interested in the life of everyone in that town, He did not appear in the morning or the afternoon as was common.
We read that Jesus goes to the well at the sixth hour or noon (verse 6). Here, we see an indefensible gospel strategy. By purpose, Jesus doesn’t go when the crowds are the largest, perhaps to not be distracted or enraptured by all the noise of conversation. He had journeyed to this place to have an encounter with one person, a Samaritan woman, at the time that best served her; a time that she had either selected or had been forced to adopt. Like many who are hurting today, they will go on social media and various social platforms and post things at times when others may not be aware or paying attention. Also, the Samaritan woman wasn’t a person who needed to show up with the rest of the crowds. She didn’t need to go to the well and share what was happening in her life, because it was already known to everyone. Her life was filled with hurt, pain, tears, betrayal, bad faith, and even mistrust of the religious establishment. Familial support, matrimonial companionship, and spiritual guidance, and social acceptance had all failed her and left her empty. Such is the case of many potential disciples in our congregations, assemblies, and spiritual networks. They are searching for something to make them feel whole and fulfilled. They are those who, often
accidentally, fall through the ecclesiastical cracks. Sometimes, by fault of sin in their life or by prolonged condemnation and judgment in the spiritual community, they feel that they have no place amongst the public community of believers. Jesus understands that the primary and most significant element in making life-long disciples is for individuals to know Him. The Samaritan woman, in the portion of the story covered here, has yet to discover who is talking to her. The I Am has yet to reveal who He is and what He has to offer.