Note: This series is written as a first-person narrative in order to present Jesus in the context he walked with the unknown disciple that narrates presenting my thoughts and sparking more thoughts with his questions. Enjoy.
Jesus heard that the Pharisees were trying to cause trouble between him and John. We left Judea to them as Jesus decided to head back home to Galilee. I don’t know why he had to go through Samaria. The three days it took to cut through it were three too many.
You see, Samaria is full of heretics and Gentiles–non-Jews–who insist that Moses said we were to worship at Gerazim rather than Jerusalem. King John Hyracanus conquered their country and destroyed their temple about 200 years earlier. Even now as we walked, some Samaritans were insulting us as we pass by. The feeling is mutual.
We got to Sychar, near Jacob’s well, at noon. Jesus was tired and wanted to rest. He sent us to get food, but I wasn’t going to go enter a Samaritan town. I just went a short distance and rested out of sight.
Then I heard Jesus say, “Will you give me a drink?” I peeked. He was talking to a Samaritan woman! Why was she alone at noon? Everyone is out of the sun now, I thought, she must be an outcast to not come here with the other women in the morning. I continued watching.
“You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?”
Doesn’t he know she’s unclean? Everything Samaritan women touch is unclean.
Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
“Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”
One thing I had in common with this woman is we’re both confused. Living water is usually flowing water, but…Jesus is a rabbi. Rabbis love their riddles and wordplay.
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
He’s teaching her, I realize. Ears perked, my interest rose. She said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
The well is about a mile from the village, I remembered.
Jesus told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”
“I have no husband,” she replied.
No husband? I look closer, no head covering. Married women usually have their heads covered.
Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
Only a prophet could know that she had five husbands. Something was wrong with her. Were they all dead or did they divorce her? Now she’s living in sin.
Looking uncomfortable, she deflects, “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
“Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
She can’t worship our God, she’s a Samaritan! But Jesus said she would. What’s going on here? He’s including her…he’ll talk to anyone about the kingdom of God. He’s even being as nice to her as he is to us.
Even she must be important.
The woman said, “I know that Messiah is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”
He hasn’t even told us that. Wait till the others get back to hear this! Will they believe me when I tell them?