Wearied with the Journey
“Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.” (John 4:6)
Are you weary? Weary with the trials and temptations that vex your soul? Weary with the warfare raging in your heart? Weary with sin? Are you weary with labor and toil? Weary with the heavy burden you carry? Weary with this world? Are you weary with the journey, tired, worn out, beat down, exhausted? If you are the words of John 4:6 should be distinctly meaningful to you. — “Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with His journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.”
What a picture we have before us! Here is our great Savior, the Lord of Glory, the Son of God, that One Who came to seek and save that which was lost, that One Who lived to do His Father’s will, “wearied with His journey.” When we are weary and heavy laden, we are hereby encouraged to look to Him. The Lord Jesus Christ was, as a man, as our Savior, wearied with His journey, as He sat upon Jacob’s well.
What does this mean? Why is this fact recorded? What does the Spirit of God intend for us to learn from the fact that our Savior was tired, weary, beat down, exhausted from the toil and burden of His journey? Obviously, this fact is not recorded to reveal some weakness in our Savior’s character. But this event in the life of our Redeemer was and is intended to teach us that our dear Savior is a real man, a man touched with the feeling of our infirmities.
A Real Man
First, we see here how truly human the Lord Jesus Christ is. The Apostle John, more than any other of the gospel writers, wrote his gospel narrative to show the divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is John, above all others, who shows us that Jesus the man is God the Son, the second person of the holy Trinity (John 1:1-3; 1 John 5:7).
Yet, it is John who seems to go out of his way to show us the real humanity of Christ. Many today, who claim to believe in Christ, deny His true and absolute deity. But in John’s day many who claimed to believe in Christ denied His real humanity. And multitudes today lose much benefit to their souls, because they fail to grasp the reality of our Savior’s humanity.
He who is our Redeemer must be both God and man in one glorious person. None but a perfect man could suffer the wrath and judgment of God for man’s sin as our Substitute. None but God could satisfy the infinite wrath and justice of God to put away man’s sin. That God-man, our Substitute, is Jesus Christ, Who died, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God.
“God was manifest in the flesh.” — “The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” — We repeat those statements of Scripture with ease. But I am sure we have not yet begun to grasp the reality and fulness of our Savior’s manhood. We seem to have more difficulty grasping the real humanity of Christ than we do in grasping the glorious godhead of our Savior. I know that I do.
When I read in the Bible that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Creator, Sustainer, and Governor of all things, I have no problem at all in saying, “Amen, my Savior is my God.” Yet, I must confess to my shame that, when I read that He was tempted of the devil, that He was troubled in his soul, and that He was weary as a man, my first inclination is to try to explain away the reality of His temptations, troubles, and weariness. In doing so, I dishonor Him whom most I long to honor in all things. The humanity of Christ is every bit as necessary to our salvation as His deity, and every bit as comforting.
The fact that our Savior sat upon Jacob’s well as a man wearied with His journey is intended to minister comfort to His people, and is intended to encourage sinners to trust Him. Our Savior’s divinity did not, in any way or to any degree, diminish His capacity for suffering as a man.
You might ask, “Why is it that He who raised the dead, multiplied the loaves and fishes, and turned water into wine for the benefit of multitudes did not perform a miracle for Himself?” That is a good question.
When He was hungry after forty days of fasting, and Satan tempted Him to turn the stones into bread, He certainly could have done so with the greatest of ease. Without question, the water in Jacob’s well would have gushed out of the ground to quench the thirst of the Son of God and relieve His weariness had He simply willed it. But our Lord Jesus Christ came not to be ministered unto (even by creation), but to minister and to give His life a ransom for many.
If He would be our Savior, if He would stand to His own bond as our Surety, if He would put away sin as our Substitute, it was absolutely necessary that the Lord Jesus Christ endure all the consequences of sin. — “It behoved Him in all things to be made like unto his brethren.” From the moment He became flesh, the curse of the fall began to fall upon the Lord of Life and Glory.
Though He knew no sin, did no sin, and was altogether holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners, our blessed Savior experienced all the frailties and infirmities of fallen humanity, which are the result of sin. He experienced all the calamities to which human life is exposed in this world. Our Redeemer was pricked with all the thorns and thistles the earth is made to bring forth to man. He was, at last, brought to the dust of death by his Father, just as He said He must be in Psalm 22:15. These were the conditions to which the Redeemer subjected Himself in the days of His flesh, when He was made sin for us who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.
Our Savior’s whole life was a life of weariness, sorrows, and affliction. He was exposed to all the common miseries of humanity. He knew all the needs you can know in this world of woe, all the sorrows and all the pains. The man Christ Jesus felt in Himself every groan He heard from suffering men; and, as the prophet spoke of Him, He “Himself bare our sicknesses, and carried our sorrows” (Isaiah 53:4; Matthew 8:17). Therefore, we are told by God Holy Spirit that our Savior, “being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well.”
This weariness was a real weariness. The word “wearied” tells us that our Savior was tired; but wearied is a much stronger word than “tired.” This word, “wearied,” means tired, sick, worn out, exhausted, beat down, burdened. Our Savior was “wearied!” He was weary with fatigue, from His journey. He was weary with care for the souls of men. He was weary with the burden of His heart, the burden He carried throughout the days of His flesh, the fact that soon He must be made sin to put away sin. This weariness was real, more real than any of us can imagine.
Yet, this was a voluntary weariness. This was a part of the curse he had come to remove. I repeat, the consequences of Adam’s fall, the consequences of sin, seized upon Him as a man, from the moment that He came forth from the womb, saying, “Lo! I come to do thy will, O my God” (Isaiah 53:4; Matthew 8:17; Hebrews 2:10, 17-18; 4:15-16; 7:24-26).
Child of God, when weariness seems to overwhelm you, look up to Christ. What an example He has given us. Though wearied more than any man, His weariness did not prevent Him from continuing in His journey. Weariness did not prevent Him from pushing forward in His work. Weariness did not keep Him from doing his Father’s will. Weariness did not keep Him from serving the needs of a poor, eternity bound sinner.
Was he wearied with His journey through this world as Jehovah’s Servant? He truly was. Yet, He turned not back. So let me be found faithful to the end, though often wearied in the journey. Was He wearied with His journey? He truly was. So let me never grumble about mine. Was He wearied with His journey, having no place to rest His head? He truly was. So let me not repine if I find the world treating me as an outcast. Was He wearied with His journey, though rich, yet for my sake condescending to be poor, though the Lord of Life and Glory, yet “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;” subjecting Himself to hunger, and thirst, and weariness, and affliction, tempted, and buffeted, and despised; yea, “a worm, and no man, a reproach of men, and the outcast of the people”? He truly was. Spirit of God, grant me grace in every trying circumstance of life, as oft as I am weary of the journey appointed me in this world, to behold my blessed Lord “Jesus being wearied with His journey, (as) He sat thus on the well!”
Wearied with Sin
However, I have no doubt that this text was written by the finger of God to teach us more. It was given to give us something more than a proof of our Savior’s humanity. It was given to give us more than an example to follow. Great as these things are, there is more. — Our Lord Jesus Christ is a Savior wearied by man’s sin and unbelief.
We may be indifferent to sin. Unbelief may seem to be a little, insignificant thing to us. But sin and unbelief are not matters of insignificance and indifference to God. Our text shows us a picture of the Son of God “wearied with His journey,” His journey through this world as the Savior of the world.
The Son of God is wearied with our sin (Isaiah 43:24). He declares, — “Thou hast bought Me no sweet cane with money, neither hast thou filled Me with the fat of thy sacrifices: but thou hast made Me to serve with thy sins, thou hast wearied Me with thine iniquities.” He says, — “Behold, I am pressed under you, as a cart is pressed that is full of sheaves” (Amos 2:13).
The Lord of Glory is thoroughly wearied with man’s religion, too (Isaiah 1:10-15). Religious formality, ceremonialism, and ritualism are as nauseating to the holy Lord God as fornication, adultery, and homosexuality. In fact, those are the very things to which He compares all Christless, faithless, religious activity in the first chapter of Isaiah (Isaiah 1:10-15; 57:11; Psalm 78:36).
Sinners who persist in rebellion and unbelief, who stop their ears against the Gospel and shut their eyes against the light, shoving God out of their way as they run madly on to hell, weary Him by resisting the Holy Ghost. Yes, I am fully aware that the grace of God is irresistible (Psalms 65:4; 110:3). How I thank God for that fact! Were it not for irresistible grace, none of us would ever be saved. Yet, the Word of God holds sinners accountable. God holds men responsible for resisting His Spirit. — “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye!” — “And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man” (Acts 7:51; Genesis 6:3).
Perhaps you are thinking, “If grace is irresistible, if all God’s elect are sure to be saved, if man’s will, or decision, or choice has nothing to do with his salvation, how can you say that men resist the Holy Ghost?” Understand the Scriptures: Man’s will, man’s choice, man’s decision has absolutely nothing to do with salvation; but has everything to do with damnation! Just as Israel provoked the Lord for forty years in the wilderness, those who hear, but refuse to believe the Gospel of Christ provoke His wrath. Just as the Israelites perished in the wilderness because of unbelief, because the Word preached to them did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in Christ, just as Israel could not enter into the land of promise, because of unbelief, those who believe not, who refuse the counsel of God shall perish under the wrath of God, because of their own, willful, deliberate, chosen, decided unbelief! It is man’s will that will carry him to hell at last, unless God himself intervenes (Proverbs 29:1; 1:23-31). “He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy” (Proverbs 29:1). Therefore the Lord God says…
“Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.” (Proverbs 1:23-31)
A Weary Sinner
This wearied Savior came to this specific place, at this specific time, to save a weary sinner. It is this same Christ, the wearied Savior, Who calls sinners to come to Him in the most gracious, tender words imaginable. He says, — “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
Yet, no sinner will ever, of his own accord, come to Christ. Therefore, at the appointed time of love, the Son of God must needs go to the place where He will meet the object of His mercy, love, and grace to fetch His chosen to Himself.
Here is the Christ of God waiting to save a weary sinner, who had wearied Him with her sin! I do not suggest that this woman was spiritually weary with her sin; but weary she was. No one ever lived such a life as she lived who did not soon become weary with it.
Look away, in your mind’s eye, to that little spot outside Sychar in Samaria. What do you see in the picture drawn here by the Spirit of God? — “Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.”
Let me tell you what I see in this scene. As I behold the Son of God, sitting thus on Jacob’s well. I see the Lord of Glory waiting to be gracious (Isaiah 30:18). His prophet declares, — “Therefore will the LORD wait, that He may be gracious unto you, and therefore will He be exalted, that He may have mercy upon you” (Isaiah 30:18). Do you not see him? There He is waiting for a sinner, a specific sinner, waiting to save, waiting to bless!
I see here a God willing to save. How can anyone doubt Christ’s willingness to save? How can any question the fact that He who is God, the God against whom we have sinned from our youth up, against whom we sin with every breath we draw, is that God of whom the prophet says, “He delighteth in mercy”? See the Son of God sitting yonder wearied, yet waiting on Jacob’s well, because He is a God willing to save! He was watching for her. He had come there to save her. And save her he did. Yes, He was wearied; but as soon as the woman for whom He had come was present, His weariness seemed to vanish. He was enlivened by the very appearance of the object of His everlasting love.
A Satisfied Redeemer
Let me show you one more thing. — That which refreshed and revived our wearied Savior that day in Samaria, and that which now satisfies the travail of His soul is the salvation of sinners. When the disciples came back from town, the Lord Jesus was still sitting at the well. But, He was no longer thirsty. He seems not to have been weary at all. In fact, He appears to have been refreshed, revived and completely satisfied (John 4:26-32).
“Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he. And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her? The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? Then they went out of the city, and came unto him. In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of.”
The Master had said to her, “Give Me to drink.” And she did. She did not dip her water pot into the well; but she gave Him the water He was seeking. As soon as the Lord Jesus made Himself known to her, she believed Him. She was what He had come to get; and He was satisfied. It is written, “He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied: by His knowledge shall my righteous Servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities” (Isaiah 53:11).
“Hallelujah! What a Savior!”
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