4 Jesus had to go through Samaria. 5 He came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, which was near the land Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there. Jesus was tired from his journey, so he sat down at the well. It was about noon.
7 A Samaritan woman came to the well to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me some water to drink.” 8 His disciples had gone into the city to buy him some food.
9 The Samaritan woman asked, “Why do you, a Jewish man, ask for something to drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” (Jews and Samaritans didn’t associate with each other.)
10 Jesus responded, “If you recognized God’s gift and who is saying to you, ‘Give me some water to drink,’ you would be asking him and he would give you living water.”
11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you don’t have a bucket and the well is deep. Where would you get this living water? 12 You aren’t greater than our father Jacob, are you? He gave this well to us, and he drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.”
13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks from the water that I will give will never be thirsty again. The water that I give will become in those who drink it a spring of water that bubbles up into eternal life.”
15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will never be thirsty and will never need to come here to draw water!”
In Jesus’ day, Jews looked down on Samaritans, even hated them. Though the shortest route from Jerusalem to Galilee was through Samaria, most Jews going north or south would travel through Perea, east of the Jordan River, to avoid the Samaritans. Jesus did not physically have to go through Samaria. He purposely made a spiritual choice to go through Samaria. In going through Samaria, stopping and drinking from Jacob’s well, he was directly defying the enmity between Jews and Samaritans. Jesus was challenging an injustice of his day.
- Today’s reading is full of lessons. At its heart, it is about two important matters—1) bearing witness to God’s undeniable longing for peace among God’s children, and 2) water, the life-giving, soul-cleansing, peace-making, world-changing water that bubbles out from the one who made us, the inner thirst-quenching spiritual water that produces eternal life. Where in your daily living do you see injustice? What are you doing to bear witness to God’s work by deliberately going out of your way to confront the injustice you see?
- Jesus offered the Samaritan woman water that quenches thirst forever. The woman likely confused the living water Jesus offered with a natural spring of flowing water that would keep her from coming to the well so often. She at first wanted to escape the labor; Jesus wanted her to embrace the water within. Do you just want Jesus' living water to make your life easier or simpler? Or do you want living water to make you whole so that the world might see Jesus in you?
Recall. Some of the most difficult times in our lives can often be the times that we find that we are closest to God. Reflect on how you experienced God in a difficult time and how you might be able to share a word of hope with someone who is struggling.
- When was a difficult time in my life?
- How did I experience God during this time?
Lord Jesus, keep me from chasing convenience and an easier life. Guide me to your work, no matter how hard, that I may bear witness to your love for humanity. Make me willing to go out of my way for the sake of the world. Amen.
Donna Karlen serves in Communications at Church of the Resurrection by creating and managing social media content.