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A place where Jesus actually stood
Jesus Christ reaching out to accept the well water offered to Him by the Samaritan woman in this image from the Bible Videos series. - photo by Jerry Johnston
Holy Week is upon us, and that means the sheep of the Good Shepherd are flocking to Jerusalem once again.

Theyll visit the place where he was born (or where somebody, somewhere thought he might have been born).

Theyll stop by the upper room where he broke bread with his disciples (or at least a room that kind of looks like the upper room).

Theyll walk the Via Dolorosa and stop where Jesus fell (or maybe didnt) on his way to Calvary.

And theyll see the Holy Tomb (or, rather, a tomb similar to the tomb that may or may not have been holy).

The truth is, scholars debate the true holiness of just about every holy site in Israel.

Yet there is one place where scholars, scientists and spiritual leaders all agree is a place where Jesus certainly stood.

And the site is not even in Jerusalem. Not in Nazareth. Not in Bethlehem.

Its in ancient Samaria.

It is the well Jacobs Well where Jesus met the woman and told her he was lifes living water.

The location of Jacobs Well is pretty specific in the New Testament, and the current well has been known as Jacobs Well for eons. According to the story, when Joseph returned from Egypt, Jacob gave him land in the area and had a well dug. Tradition also says that Joseph is buried somewhere on the property. Whats more, legend says Joseph had his remains mummified, like the Egyptians. That means we could actually dig him up and look him in the eyes or at least the eye sockets.

Of course, now we are drifting to the might-a-been side of ledger again.

Whether the well was really Jacobs doesnt matter because it is almost surely the well that the Jews of the era revered as Jacobs Well.

And that has some interesting implications.

It means, for example, if you visit the well you can actually do what the old church solo says: Walk today where Jesus walked.

Walk around the well and your footprints will fall into the very footsteps of Jesus. His apostles were with him at the well, which means you will also be walking where Peter, James and John walked, too. You may even be walking in the footsteps of Judas (be careful with that one).

If I make it to the Holy Land, Jacob's Well will probably be a "must see."

I think one reason it intrigues me is Im taken by the fact that the well is where Jesus referred to himself as "living water."

Water is free. And you can have as much as you like.

You can use water to cleanse wounds, to refresh your soul, to mix with mud and make building blocks, or you can simply pour it over things to make them grow.

For Christians, Jesus is indeed like water.

On the cross, he said, I thirst. That showed him to be truly human.

At Jacobs Well he promised eternal happiness, which showed him to truly divine.

And that paradox sits at the heart of his message.

It also sits at the heart of Holy Week.

To borrow a line from Christmas: At Eastertide, the dual nature of Jesus is the reason for the season.

It's why his claims have endured for 2,000 years.

It's also why the streets of Jerusalem will fill with lost sheep over the next few days.
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