February 5, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“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 noon. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, ‘Will you give me a drink?’ (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, ‘You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?’ (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)”—John 4:4–9 (NIV)
Have you ever had an appointment you couldn’t miss? Maybe it was a big job interview, a test, or an important doctor’s appointment. Whatever it was, I’m sure nothing was going to keep you from it! Today, we begin a multi-day examination of an appointment on Jesus’ itinerary with eternal implications for one woman, an entire town, and all of us!
World history tells us Jesus did not have to go through Samaria. In fact, because of the relationship between them, most Jews avoided the Samaritan route and went the long way around from Judea to Galilee. Jesus; however, had an appointment.
When He arrived at the well in Sychar around noon, He encountered a Samaritan woman. Two notable things: Women usually came to draw water 1) in company and 2) at a cooler time of day. This woman came alone because either 1) she didn’t want the company of others or 2) they didn’t want hers. So, she chose a time when no one would be there. In the coming days, we’ll learn more about this woman’s story.
Tired and thirsty from His journey, Jesus asks her for a drink. While Jesus’ request seems fairly unassuming by today’s standards, and would have been normal from a Gentile traveler, it surprised the Samaritan woman because Jesus was a Jew. Most Jews would never have asked a Samaritan person for something, especially not a Samaritan woman. Why? It would make them ritually unclean. Thus, Jesus’ request truly astonished and shocked her. But this is the very reason Jesus had to go through Samaria—to meet this woman.
In the coming days, we’ll get a deeper look at this appointment, but for today I want to leave you with this challenge: Be attuned and available to the Holy Spirit. Let Him lead you, because He has a few divine appointments on your life’s itinerary!
Sometimes, we wonder why God isn’t using us, but are we actually leaving room for Him to work in us? Are we leaving room for the Spirit to direct our steps, or are we so busy and consumed by what’s going on in our own lives? Have you ever felt the tug to take a certain route, speak to a certain stranger, or reach out to a friend and ignore it? Just maybe that’s the Spirit scheduling an appointment for you!
Being a disciple maker means leaving room in our schedules for the Spirit to work, to move us to action, and to direct us to fulfill His purpose. As strange as it sounds that means writing our schedules in pencil, not stone, and being okay with that. Why? Because we never know when the Spirit will move and lead, so we can’t be so rigid and immovable with our time.
Look at your schedule today. Is there any room at all for the Spirit to move you where you need to go?
Pause: When was the last time someone’s need interrupted your plans? How did you respond? Did you respond like Jesus, or did you see it as an inconvenience to your plans and an interruption to your schedule? In contrast, when have you interrupted others with your needs? How did they respond? How did their response make you feel?
Practice: Pray the Spirit will move you where you need to go to reach the people He’s calling you to reach. Pray the Lord would use you to accomplish His great plan and purpose, and then let Him work. Find times throughout the day to quiet your mind, to cut out distractions, and to tune your frequency to the Spirit’s so you can hear from Him. The more you do this, the easier it will be to recognize when the Lord is leading you to your “Jacob’s well” moments.
Pray: Father, I ask You to move in me and through me. I pray Your Spirit would guide me into divine appointments, that I may be open and available to Your direction, and that as those moments arise I may not shrink back but by Your Spirit walk in boldness to proclaim Your truth and the gospel of Your Son! Amen.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.