No one said, “Why are you speaking with her?”
Have you ever had to ask a despised enemy for help? Even on a quick reading of this story the differences between Jesus with the Samaritan woman are obvious. She is a woman – Jesus a male in a patriarchal culture where women are unimportant. No one wants to associate too closely with this woman of questionable character presently on her sixth “husband”. In contrast, Jesus is so attractive that crowds are drawn to him. Then there are the ethnic and religious differences. Jews should not be speaking to Samaritans; the Jews were pure and the Samaritans contaminated because of mixed race and dubious religious practices.
So what on earth is Jesus doing? He never seems content to leave well enough alone. His disciples have taken on the task of getting him food. If he was patient for a few more minutes, they would be back, sparing him this embarrassing encounter.
But Jesus was planting his church. He was not afraid to ask this strange woman for help because she was not “strange” to him. He saw right through to her needy heart. By asking her for a drink he knew that the way would open for him to offer her something she desperately needed – a relationship with the great “I Am.”
Is there some lonely or despised person you need to enter into conversation with? That person needs a transforming relationship with God just as the Samaritan woman did. You and God may bring change to a whole community as they encounter the Saviour of the world for themselves.
Jesus, give us hearts sensitive to others, being vulnerable enough to meet them where they are and brave enough to introduce them to you. Amen
Gateway Covenant Church
Prince Albert, SK