Saturday 26 October 2013

John 4:1-26 - Living water

< Previous | Index | Next >

On the way back to Galilee, Jesus meets the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well. With the disciples busy shopping, a most amazing conversation takes place. (John 14:1-26)

The normal times to draw water are when it's cool, early morning and late evening. This woman is at the well at midday, probably because she doesn't care to meet the other village women. Jesus asks for a drink thereby breaking all sorts of taboos.

Talking to a woman alone was bad enough, and the fact she's Samaritan makes it even worse. Samaritans were ritually unclean to Jews, so technically, drinking from her jar would make Jesus unclean too. It's just not what any self-respecting Jewish rabbi would do. Self-respect - did Jesus have self-respect? I suggest he did not, at least in the sense we usually think of it. He is always other-centred, never self-centred.

Living water is flowing water (rivers of living water, a spring of water welling up). Still water, such as well water, was not regarded as living water. And Jesus brings a word of knowledge for he always knew what was in a person (John 2:25). The woman now knows he's a prophet.

Then there's a discussion about the most fundamental difference between Jew and Samaritan. Jews worshipped in the Temple, Samaritans on a local mountain. Jesus says that this isn't important, it's not where we worship that counts, but how we worship. [Tweet it!]

She mentions the Messiah who 'will explain everything'. The One who has just explained everything says he is the Messiah. How extraordinary that perhaps the deepest, clearest and most self-revealing conversation Jesus has with another person is with a Samaritan woman! Anyone who thinks that race or gender matters to Jesus should put this conversation in their pipe and smoke it. And what does not matter to him will not matter to anyone who truly follows him.

We see the fundamental nature of Jesus very clearly indeed in these verses. Soak them up, dwell on them, read the passage through again and again. Pray that you will become more and more and more like Jesus in your own thinking and living. There are also very useful hints here on how to approach people in the world. Show them compassion, ask them to meet your need, pique their curiosity, and reveal the Messiah's nature.

< Previous | Index | Next >

No comments:

Post a Comment

Web Analytics