Our Name “Jacob's Well”
Jesus was midway through a long journey to Galilee when He came upon Jacob’s Well, outside the city of Sychar. The Savior was very tired and very thirsty, so He stopped and rested and waited for someone to come along with a bucket that could draw Him water.
By God’s appointment, a Samaritan woman showed up during this off peak hour of the day. She came at this time because she had an immoral lifestyle and she wanted to avoid the shameful stares of the people from the city. Ironically, because this Samaritan Woman had devoted much of her life looking for love in other people, she came to Jacob’s Well alone, ashamed and thirsty.
Defying all racial, gender and moral discrimination of the time, Jesus surprised the woman by asking her for a drink. After denying the Christ a cup of water, Jesus said to the woman, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked Him and he would have given you living water.” (John 4:10) In this response, Jesus revealed that the woman was unaware of His identity, the gift He offered and her need of it. As Jesus and the Samaritan Woman engaged in conversation, it did not take her long to discover that Jesus was very different.
Although He had never met her, Jesus described the woman’s most shameful sin in detail, revealing that He understood the depth of her failings and the emptiness of her soul. Unlike every other man this woman had met, Jesus did not want to shame her, avoid her or take anything from her. To the contrary, Jesus wanted to give this woman the “living water” of eternal life by giving her Himself, a relationship that would never leave her thirsty. On that day, at Jacob’s Well, the Samaritan woman met the Savior of the world, and she trusted in Him and she found a new life in Christ.
Immediately after her encounter with Jesus, the Samaritan woman went back into her city and boldly brought Christ into life. Even though the woman came to Jacob’s Well embarrassed, she returned unashamed and boldly told everyone about Jesus and invited them to come and encounter Him for themselves. After going out to Jacob’s Well, the people of the city responded to the Samaritan woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this [Jesus] is indeed the Savior of the world” (John 4:42)
This account of Jacob’s Well paints a picture of what we desire this church plant to be. We would create opportunities for people to come, share their failings, have a real encounter with Jesus and find life in Christ. Furthermore, compelled by the Gospel, we would be a people that would take Christ into Life by spreading the good news of Jesus into all of our life and into all of our city. Finally, as the Samaritan woman did, we will invite the people of the city to come to Jacob’s Well so that they might join with us in encountering and worshiping Jesus.
Simply put, Jacob’s Well is a place where people can encounter Jesus.