Word reached Jesus that He was on the Pharisees’ radar; they had found out that Jesus was making more disciples than even John the Baptist. These people were being baptized, too, although Jesus’ disciples were the ones performing the baptisms, not Jesus personally. So He left Judea, in order to return to Galilee, where He had grown up.
As He travelled, Jesus went through the territory of Samaria, eventually coming to the village of Sychar. Even two thousand years ago, that land had a rich history; this village was near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph, and the well there was called Jacob’s well. It was nearly noontime, and Jesus, weary from the long journey, sat beside the well to rest. His disciples went on into the village to purchase some food, so Jesus was alone at the well.
Before long, a local woman arrived at the well to draw water. Jesus asked her, “Please, give me a drink.”
It is easy to read through the Gospels, one thrilling miracle after another, beautiful parables and profound teachings, and forget the fact that, although Jesus was Son of God with divine powers and wisdom, He was also Son of man, a human being with all of our limitations. In this story, John reminds us of this fact. Jesus was wearied from His journey, and in need of a drink.
When you think about it, in the Realm from which Jesus came to earth, He did not need to walk anywhere. The Spirit, He said, is like the wind; you hear its sound, but cannot tell where it comes from or where it goes. We get a glimpse of this from the book of Acts, where Philip, bringing the Ethiopian eunuch up out of the water from his baptism, was snatched away by the Spirit of God, next to be seen at the town of Azotus.
But when He came to earth, Jesus took on our limitations as men. He walked where He needed to go, becoming weary and thirsty. When He was forty days in the wilderness, He became hungry; He refused to use His divine power to make food for Himself. He was moved by human emotions– compassion, grief, anger–, but He never allowed these emotions to rule over Him. He lived as the perfect man, enduring our limitations, experiencing every temptation, yet remained faithful and sinless and victorious through them all.