For most of us, I think we are totally unappreciative of the absolute hatred that the Jews had for the Samaritans. The Jews saw them as racially mixed, and as spiritually apostate. At the time of Jesus, Israel was divided into three regions. The north was Galilee, and the south was Judea. Sandwiched in between was Samaria. In traveling from the north to the south, most Jews traveled out of the way to go around Samaria. If they had to travel through Samaria, they would carry their own utensils and plates to eat from, for fear of being contaminated by the “uncleaness” of the Samaritans.
In Jesus’ day, a man would not speak to a woman in public. So great was the fear of temptation on the part of some Pharisees, they would not even look at a woman. Women were not valued, but treated as inferior to men. Everything about John 4 is surprising. The scripture says that Jesus had to travel through Samaria. If He were like most of His day, He could travel around. But He chose to go through, because He had a divine appointment.
He stopped at Jacob’s well, near the village of Sychar. He sent all of the disciples to get lunch in the village. (How many disciples does it take to fetch lunch?) But he was sitting there alone, by the well, in the heat of the day. Why? Because He was there to rescue a woman. A woman that had been broken by life. A woman that had sought her security and peace in men. A woman that was married five times, and now living with a man she was not married to.
She traveled everyday to the well in the heat of the day because no one wanted to be associated with her.Day after day she would make the mile or so hike out of town to the well, and draw water for a man who did not love her enough to marry her.
So what is one person worth? Jesus, by His life, said, “One person is worth me emptying myself of divine privilege and putting on human flesh. One person is worth me traveling to a place to meet someone who is lost and broken. One person is worth me risking my reputation by talking to a sinful, immoral woman, alone. One person is worth the scorching heat of the day. One person is worth me facing all temptation and never sinning, and then willingly going to a cross.
One person, an immoral woman that no one else will have anything to do with, is worth me taking all her sin, all her shame, all her guilt, on myself and dying on a cross so that I might give her all of my righteousness. Jesus said, “I will give you living water. I will give you that which will cleanse you of your sins, fill the empty void in your life, restore your dignity, and give you value.” Jesus did all that for the woman at the well. And He did all of that for me. He did all of that for you, too.