Of all the places I visited in Israel last year, my favorite was Jacob’s well—the spot where Jesus ministered to the Samaritan woman. The authenticity of many sites in the Holy Land are disputed, but nobody has any question about this famous well, which is located in the modern city of Nablus in the West Bank.
Now housed inside a Greek Orthodox church, the well is carved into solid rock. Visitors are allowed to lower a container down into the well, bring up water and drink it. I was fascinated by how long it took to retrieve the water. And when I poured some of it back into the well, I waited several seconds to hear a faint splash. This well is 131 feet deep—the equivalent of a nine-story building.
I was in awe. Jesus actually sat in that same spot where I was standing! And that was where he told the woman of Samaria in John 4:13-14: “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water that I shall give him will become in him a well of water springing up into eternal life.”
Jesus sat next to a deep well—a well that represented the faith of the Jewish patriarchs. Yet He told this woman that there was something more. Something better. Something deeper than she had ever imagined. Jacob’s well was deep, but Jesus calls us so much deeper. His words to the Samaritan woman made her thirstier and thirstier. And her decision to believe in the Messiah resulted in an entire village embracing faith in Him.
You may never visit Jacob’s well in Nablus, but He calls you to explore the depths of who He is. He is calling His church in this hour to leave the shallowness of superficial Christianity. Regardless of what you have experienced before, He offers more. He beckons you to go deeper.
The apostle Paul experienced miracles, received help from angels, heard the audible voice of Jesus and saw visions of the third heaven. Yet he wrote of “the unfathomable riches of Christ” in Ephesians 3:8b (NASB). The Greek word for “unfathomable” can also mean “untraceable” or “beyond comprehension.”
Paul used this same imagery when he prayed for the Ephesians that they would be able to comprehend “what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Eph. 3:18-19). Do you desire to experience this fullness? Do you want to increase your capacity to know Christ? Or are you satisfied to stay where you are?
God is stirring my soul these days. I relate to the psalmist who wrote, “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God” (Ps. 42:2a). And as his passion intensified, he said in verse 7: “Deep calls to deep at the noise of Your waterfalls; all Your waves and Your billows passed over me.” When we choose to go deeper, the journey will become more intense. Spiritual growth is not easy. We must press through all resistance.
How much labor was required to bore a well 131 feet deep into solid rock? I don’t know how many years or how much sweat was required, but I know the water didn’t spring up overnight. Salvation is free, but a deep relationship with Christ takes time—and many Christians give up and settle for a mediocre experience.
God is waiting for a response from you. I noticed recently that Jesus did not call Peter to walk on water until Peter first asked for the miracle. Peter said: “Lord, if it is You, bid me to come to You on the water” (Matt. 14:28b). Only then did Jesus say: “Come!”
Jesus wants you to walk on the waves with Him. He invites us all to experience a miraculous adventure of faith. But He waits for us to want it. Some of us are frightened by the waves, so we live in the perpetual comfort zone and never ask for more. We are scared of more. And too often, everyone around us looks perfectly comfortable.
Many decades ago, revivalist A.W. Tozer challenged American Christians to stoke the fires of spiritual passion. He wrote: “Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth. Acute desire must be present or there will be no manifestation of Christ to His people. He waits to be wanted. Too bad that with many of us He waits so long, so very long, in vain.”
I wonder what Tozer would think if he saw our level of spiritual hunger. Few believers today are willing to bore deep to discover the depths of God’s “more.” We are smug and satisfied. I dare you to get out of your boat today and say to Jesus: “Bid me to come to You on the water.” Leave your fear, complacency and selfishness behind and begin drinking from the depths.