We’ve all asked that question before; it’s what happens when you walk into a room, pause, and can’t for the life of you remember why you’re there.
Would you believe me if I told you I want to do that more often?
I was reading about the woman from Samaria and her trip to the well. Drawing water was a daily chore for her. She’d haul a heavy water jug to the well, fill it with heavier water, then haul it back. And she did so at the uncommon time of noon, ostensibly to go unnoticed and unbothered.
Imagine her surprise and dismay to find a Jewish Man sitting at the well.
There was no love lost between the Jews and the Samaritans, and this Jew had the audacity to sit at her well and ask her for water.
Maybe the thought, “Who does this guy think He is?!” crossed her mind. “You are a Jew,” she told Him, also pointing out that He had nothing to draw water with.
All she offered Him were excuses. In exchange, He offered her living water.
We do this so often. We go about our lives and try to complete our chores and when Jesus asks us for something, we shut Him down with a list of excuses.
Though she doubted His offer of living water at first, she soon asked for some. Why? So she wouldn’t have to go draw water anymore.
Talk about missing the bigger picture. Despite the claims this Man is making, her thoughts were still focused on why she was there: to get water.
Jesus confronts this misplaced priority by convicting her of her sins and calling her out as an adulteress. But even this doesn’t get her on track.
“Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.”
That’s her answer. Honestly, what does that have to do with the price of tea in China? But I do the same thing all the time.
When Jesus asks me to do something, and I’m busy with my chores, I give Him excuses.
When He makes me promises that seem too good to be true, I doubt His word.
And when He convicts me of my sin, I look around desperately for something to distract from them.
We see this distraction technique a lot in our couture today. When confronted with our faults and sins, we are very quick to point the finger at those who are being judgmental, intolerant, sexist, greedy, etc. But our actions are our own, and we don’t get to share the blame.
After the excuses and the doubts and dodging the bullet, I’d have given up on this woman. I so often expect God to give up on me.
And He never does.
Instead, He calls us to worship.
“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.”
None of that woman’s sins disqualified her from the call to worship. The opportunity to come before the King and praise Him was still hers, in spite of all her sins. Jesus was still calling her to follow Him.
And she finally did. I love verse 28a because it’s one of those tiny details that are so easily missed yet are so crucial.
“The woman then left her waterpot,”
When I meet with Jesus, I’m often burdened with what I think I need. I’ll make excuses and doubt His word and focus on what brought me to the well. Then, after an all too brief conversation, I’ll take my water jug and go.
But one conversation with Jesus changed this woman’s life. His invitation to worship had her so excited that she completely forgot what had brought her to the well in the first place.
Our conversations with Jesus should always end that way: With us leaving our burdens and needs with Him and entering into worship.
I want my conversations with the Lord to end with my priorities in order, and my focus on worshiping Him, no matter what brought me to the well in the first place.