My Lent reading plan led me to John 4:1-42 yesterday. This chapter captures the story of Jesus meeting the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. Some of the things noted after reading yesterday included: Jesus went on purpose to Samaria (vs. 4), he placed himself in her path (vs. 6), he crossed all cultural boundaries to interact with her (vs. 9), he does not withhold his good gifts from her, regardless of her character (vs. 26), his “food” is on the eternal soul before him (vs. 34, 36). These are all remarkable in their own right. You and I could consider, ponder, meditate on these truths and find rich applications for our lives. This portion of scripture was so rich, it lured me back again today. This time, two words captured me that went completely unnoticed a day ago.
John 4:6 says, “… Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well…” Jesus was on his way from Galilee to Judea and he makes a purposeful stop in Samaria. He is being nourished by the will he shares with his father — keeping focused on eternity, focused on the souls of men and women. Even with his clear direction and superior purpose, he grows weary.
Jesus is tired.
Jesus’s labor is hard and heavy and he is exhausted.
Jesus walked this earth fully human, his weariness is a reminder.
What is it that has you weary today? The grind of the school week, the burden of a hard relationship, the overwhelming responsibility of parenting, or threat of a never-ending to do list? Read John 4:6 again and allow the truth that Jesus wearied bring you comfort. Jesus understands how you feel. Worn out, buried under the burden, drained, at your end. Take a seat, friend. Take a seat by Jesus as he sat by the well. Sit with him.
Often I feel consumed by the weight of expectations. Some others place on me, most I place on myself. When I read these four words this morning, “Jesus, therefore, being wearied (vs 6),” I was stunned and comforted all in the same breath. My Savior grew weary from doing good. As we read the remainder of the chapter, we hear Jesus declare that “(his) work is to do the will of him who sent me (vs 34).” He goes on to remind that when we seek “the things above (Col 3:2), described here as the whitened harvest, we are “gathering fruit for eternal life (vs 36).”
So I sit. Next to Jesus. Go ahead, pull up a chair beside us. And, ask…..am I weary from pursuing the things of the world? If so, may we relinquish those burdens, stop chasing after the wind, the approval of others, the desire to accumulate all the things. Or, are we weary from our pursuit of the things above? Is there a heaviness to doing the work that God has placed in your heart, to continue to seek the souls of your teenagers when the only response is push back, the monotony of showing grace to unbelieving friends or family? These, friend, among so many other works of righteousness, can wear us down but they do not have to wear us out.
It’s okay to sit with Jesus and ask him to divvy up these answers for you. Ask him which pursuits to lay down and which is aligned with the will of our father. For those aligned with his will, ask him, just as I am today, to produce in you afresh the “fountain of living water springing up into everlasting life (vs. 14)” Engaging in the work God has laid before us, investing in the lives of others, even pausing to reset our own eyes and hearts on eternity takes a toll. Yes, the struggle may be real. But, the struggle is also worth it.
Consider also: 1 John 2:15-17, Matthew 11:28, Colossian 3:1-3