May 09, 2006

Horse 545 - Been There, Done That

Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour. - John 4:4-6

Many of you will recognise this as the opening to a rather famous story about Jesus' encounter with the Samaritan woman. You may have even heard of the implications of living water and all sorts of other things from the passage. I'd like to tell you something which I thought about that I doubt a lot of people have looked at these rather "boring" verses.

The first thing I take note of is that He had to go through Samaria. Cultural differences aside, we get the impression that a Jewish pushcart probably wouldn't have gone through, so he would have had to walk. Now obviously being the sixth hour or about Midday, it probably would have been very hot. So what was His response to this? There was a well, he was tired and thristy and so decided to take a rest.

We know that Jesus being Jewish would have observed the Sabbath, but because he had to walk through Samaria, we can probably assume that this wasn't one of those days. We often think of Jesus as a rubber ball type person, bouncing around the place, and all too often we forget that He actually was one of us.

He got tired and thirsty, sometimes I bet He was driven bonkers by the 12 and wanted to be alone, we know that on occasion that he got angry, and even in the garden of Gethsemane He prayed that if there was some other way that He wanted to know what it was. And this from the Messiah?

There isn't anything "wrong" with being tired. There's nothing "wrong" with wanting to take a rest occasionally; it may very be an opportunity for ministry, but more likely not. Also bear in mind that a rest is simply that. The refuge island in the middle of a highway is not the other side of the road, it's merely a resting point.

It's nice to find comfort in the fact that if I'm tired or cranky because of too much work, or people who will invariably drive me bonkers, that Christ has already been here, done that.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet was without sin. - Hebrews 4:15

More than this, in His own experience of temptation the Lord has fully shared with us our struggle with sin. He knows what it is like to have to fight sin in the same arena with us with only the weapons we have. He has lived inside our skin. When He represents us before God, therefore, we can trust Him to "do it right", because He knows what it is like to be us.

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