John 4:6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon. (NIV)
Every now and then, we come across verses in the Gospels that reveal this simple truth: Jesus was not superhuman. In today’s verse, we read that Jesus was tired from the journey. He had walked many miles with His disciples to reach this part of Samaria and needed to rest for a while. The noon day sun was beating down on Him and the disciples had left Him on His own. As usual, they were hungry and had gone looking for food, instead of finding a way to get Jesus some water to refresh Him. Jesus was weak and weary which lets us know just how human He actually was.
His rescuer is a Samaritan woman of ill-repute and the whole event becomes an opportunity of changing her life, as well as for some people in the local community. It’s a remarkable story of salvation and has been eloquently preached about for centuries, but we should always be aware that it begins with Jesus at one of His weakest moments – He is exhausted and thirsty.
Perhaps this story is also part of a prophetic journey. At the end of His life, Christ will be exhausted after walking through the streets of Jerusalem carrying His Cross. His disciples will have abandoned Him again and when He is nailed down, His thirst will be unquenchable. It will also be a moment of salvation, this time for the whole world. His would-be rescuers – His mother and other women – will not be able to do anything for Him. His exhaustion will be extremely painful and His thirst will rage on till He dies, proving once again that Jesus was not superhuman.
For us, knowing how human Jesus was, can give us hope, especially during times of weakness, low-energy, and exhaustion. It means that Christ truly understands our circumstances for He has also faced similar experiences. If He was superhuman, our problems and burdens would be alien to Him. However, because Jesus was truly a human being, He knows exactly what suffering, pain, and discomfort involve, so we can confidently pray to Him for help, guidance, and support, in any and every situation we face.
Point to ponder
What am I currently enduring? How can Christ help me?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, God wisely sent You to Earth to become like us in order to experience human frailty and weakness, infirmity and pain. You embraced our human condition completely so that You could redeem us fully. Thank You for Your empathy; thank You for Your sacrifice. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. You can read the church website at www.erinpresbyterian.org. You may also send John an email with questions or feedback to Traqair@aol.com.
Today’s image is one of John’s Psalm drawings, based on Psalm 17. If you would like to view a larger version, please click this link: Psalm17.