>The Woman at the Well
>Nowhere in the Gospels does Jesus have an extended conversation with a woman except in the Gospel according to John and it is a powerful conversation at that. It is bold, unexpected, and is an illustration of the Kingdom of Heaven where all are equal, man and woman, Samaritan and Jew.
The story opens with Jesus stopping to rest at Jacob’s Well near Sychar. He’s tired and the Apostles have gone into town to find something to eat. A Samaritan woman comes to the well to draw water. As she goes about her business, Jesus says, “Give me a drink.” The woman is astounded for multiple reasons – first, a man speaks to her, second, he is a Jew and she is a Samaritan and they are adversaries going back centuries. One can only imagine what the woman is thinking. A strange man sits by the well and says he’s thirsty, yet he has no bowl, cup or bucket. She is bold enough to question Jesus, and he responds to her inquiries with the statement that if she knew of the water he was speaking of, she’d ask for it – and she does. Their conversation grows bolder, more meaningful and at one point Jesus admits to being the Messiah. The story continues with her running into town to tell the news that a man who knew everything about her was at the well – and he was the messiah.
Sometimes I feel like the Samaritan woman. I go about my business, I live on the perimeter of what we consider the norm of society, and sometimes these wonderful insights into life hit me, like a wave on a beach or a gust of morning wind. I want to run and tell everyone I know what I’ve learned, what I’m feeling, to invite others to experience for myself what I have experienced. I want them to drink from living water.
What I take from this Gospel, and I hope you as well, is that we are all part of the great cosmic scheme — Jesus chooses to reveal himself to the least likely of people in his society: an outsider and a woman. It doesn’t happen within the precincts of the Temple within the Holy of Holies, but at a well on a blistering hot afternoon when a Samaritan woman who has been married several times and is living with a man outside the norm of society comes up to the well to draw water. Jesus asks, “Give me a drink.”
I cry, “Jesus, give me some of that living water!”
Go forth in the name of Christ!
With God’s love and mine,