Finding Your Samaritan Woman

January 27, 2012


There is an account in Scripture that always grabs my attention. There are so many parts to this account that are just unlikely to happen. Well when we throw Jesus into the mix it is not unlikely but had it happened to anyone else it would have been.

The strangeness starts at the beginning. Jesus and his disciples are walking through Samaria. If you do not understand why that is weird let me quickly explain. See, Jesus and his followers were Jewish. They were all from the people of Israel. They were God’s chosen people. One of the main goals they had was to remain clean. This included not eating certain meats, not touching those who were extremely sick or dead, as well as not mingling with those who did those thing.

A Gentile was anyone who was not a Jew. So where does that put a Samaritan? A Samaritan was a mixture of the two. Their descendants intermarried and the Jews hated them even more than they hated Gentiles. In fact they hated them so much usually Jews would walk around Samaria to get where they were going, even though walking straight through was shorter and faster.

But Jesus does not do that. He took His disciples straight through. His disciples have got to be wondering if Jesus knew what He was doing!

Well in the middle of the day, they stop to rest. The disciples then go into the market to see if they can get something to eat, but Jesus stays by the well. Then a Samaritan woman comes out.

Now we already showed Jews did not like Samaritans but also in that time women were thought of to be of a lower class than men. So husbands and wives may talk but most men and women did not speak in public, especially just to make small chit chat.

But Jesus looks at her and asks, “Give Me a drink.” (John 4:7). The woman is a bit taken back by this. She wonders why a Jewish man would talk with her. Then Jesus starts talking to her about living water that he can offer her. He tells her that she would never thirst again.

Well that intrigues the woman and she asks Jesus to give her that water. So Jesus tells her to go get her husband.

Oh…

She confesses that she has none. Jesus tells her she is right (which I’m sure she thought was weird). Then He says she has had 5 husbands and is now living with a man who is not her husband.

Wait, Jesus is not only talking with a Samaritan woman but one who has been married 5 times and is living in sin?! Even nobody in her society would talk with her, at least not nicely. That’s why she was at the well in the middle of the day. Nobody came to draw water in the heat of the day, so she could come without having to hear the abuse of everyone around her.

There are so many points in this story that I have not mentioned (if you want to check it out turn your Bibles to John 4). I have decided to stick with just one.

Jesus gave us an example of what He desires for us.

I’m sure that you know someone that nobody else will talk to. It may be that they are disfigured and it makes you uncomfortable. Maybe it’s that they are in a different “class.” Perhaps it is because they smell funny or they are annoying.

You may think that you are not causing any harm by just staying out of the situation. That person will be just fine right? At least you are not joining in while everyone is poking fun.

But Jesus does not only not make fun of her; Jesus engages in a conversation and shows her love. He could have just ignored her and not added to her guilt. But instead He met the situation head on and spoke truth, lovingly, into her life.

I bet there is somebody in your life that you could do this to. In fact it has crossed your mind but you just push the thought out because it is too crazy. But Jesus called us to be a bit crazy. We are to be so different than the world that when we do something people scratch their heads in wonder.

So take a step of faith, and speak truth, in love, to your Samaritan woman.

 

 

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