Your Wells of Sychar

 And he must needs go through Samaria.” John 4:4

In this passage Jesus is traveling from Judea to Galilee, which is several miles north. History tells us that the established route between the two towns was to the east, along the path of the Jordan River which takes you straight to the Sea of Galilee. However, Jesus does not take the established route. Instead, He chooses to take a more westerly route through Samaria, a place shunned by the Jew as a theological ghetto. Why does Jesus take the usually-avoided road through the land occupied by the despised Samaritans? Why is it that He “must needs go” this way? Because Jesus knew that in Samaria, there was a well called Jacob’s Well, where at the sixth hour, a woman would come by who was appointed from eternity past to meet with Christ. He “must needs go”.

Humanly speaking, John chapter 4 is full of common things. “And he must needs go through Samaria“. There was nothing in the meeting at Sychar’s well that could not be explained by natural things. There was no miracle in going through Samaria. He “must needs” go through Samaria. Geographically it was on his way to Galilee. There was no miracle in resting at the well. He “must needs” rest there, He was thirsty and wanted something to slate His thirst. There was no miracle in finding the Samaritan woman whom He saved. He “must needs” find her. She too was in need of water, and came to draw at a time in the day when she would not be bothered by any of the Samaritan villagers. The whole scene was pieced together by the unfolding of the regular threads of natural progression. Each separate event, before it happened, was predictable. Jesus went to Galilee, through Samaria, by a well, where he met a woman. Several seemingly insignificant pieces, formed a composite whole, all from the normal, the predictable, and the mundane. Yet when all the pieces were put together, something Divine occurred. In other words, there was more to the whole than all the separate parts. Each natural incident was the handmaiden to an end beyond itself. Something that could not be seen by any single piece. Three natural needs; weariness, thirst, and a visit, composed a supernatural result; they brought salvation into a soul, and into a city.

Reader, do not refuse to see the Lord in the small things in life because you can’t trace the divine links between them. Was Peter’s dream of the meat filled blanket from heaven less real because the vision came from hunger? No. The hunger and the dream were both God’s messengers to him. Remember by this verse, that often, a good treasure is hid in an earthen vessels. God often speaks to His children in pieces. In our passing through Samaria (as it were), in our thirst for water, in our coming to a well, in an unexpected visit; never say that the little things of life are insignificant. Christ will cleanse them all in the final mosaic. Eventually, on that great day, they will all be apart of the completed whole. For some, they will see old sins pass before them piece by piece to form a blackened storm cloud of secrets against them. But for those in Christ, as these pieces come together, many events you believe should be first, will be last, and many that seem last will be first. For the believer, dark valleys will become glorious mountains. Hours that seemed to be of no apparent value; moments that appeared to be of little consequence; actions that in their doing seemed but ripples in the stream, will be found to be the very tidal waves that led your life to Christ and heaven. Never neglect your wells of Sychar, dear soul. For where you seem to be drawing only earthly water, you may be partaking all the time of those living springs whereof they that taste, shall never thirst again.

Your servant in Christ,

Pastor Lewis


Different Gates

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A wall great and high . . . and twelve gates … on the east, three gates; on the north, three gates; on the south, three gates; and on the west, three gates.” Revelation 21:12

Dear reader,

The city of God seems to do two things in this passage; repel and invite. First, it has “a wall great and high” which seems to fence it from the outsider. Yet it also has twelve gates of entrance, as if it had no desire to keep any out. Is it an hard thing, or easy, to be a citizen of that city? To answer this question, we must look at both parts.

First, there is a wall from self will, self sacrifice, and self righteousness that separates the soul from this city. There is no entrance by works, no acceptance by deeds, no access by external religion. All closed to the works of man. But look at the diversity in the entrances represented by the gates. Twelve to be exact. The citizens of the City of God have all washed their robes in Christ; but they have not all washed at the same gate. Paul and Nathaniel could never have entered by the same way. Paul gave up his will with great struggle. He possessed a strong will, and the old life died hard by a blinding light. Yet Nathaniel yielded with little more than a sigh. He was born under the fig tree, and his heart was not lead by a storm. So will their gate-experience be the same? How can they be? They entered by different ways. Within the city they will tell of different experiences; Paul will praise the thorn, and Nathaniel will extol the fig tree.

Dear one, the City of our God has many gates for the twelve tribes of man. The Holy Temple of Christ has doors on every side. Some open to the rugged north, by the way of trouble. Some by the sunny south, led in quiet paths. Some have their entrance from the East, invited by the hope of morning. Some from the West, at life’s setting sun. Some have come in at Bethlehem’s gate; the meeting of heaven and earth. Some have entered at Calvary’s gate, drawn by the weight of sin. Some have found entrance at Olivet, others by Samaria; but they enter by the same Christ, caught by the open door for sin. Within this Holy City these diverse souls now unite. Outside the gates they quarreled, fought, and denied each others door. But within the several gates, each jewel is revealed and enlarged, until the single fragments make up the blended whole of the Crown of Christ.

Your Servant in Christ,

Pastor Lewis