Prepare to Listen. Quietly pause and prepare to receive the Word. When ready, pray: Lead me in your truth, and teach me.
Prayerfully Read John 4:7-15
7A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, ‘Give me a drink’. 8(His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) 9The Samaritan woman said to him, ‘How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?’ (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.) 10Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, “Give me a drink”, you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.’ 11The woman said to him, ‘Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?’ 13Jesus said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.’ 15The woman said to him, ‘Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.’
The sermons I heard on John 4 never encouraged me to think favorably about the Samaritan woman. When I finally put aside what I’d so often been told and read this chapter as a beginner, with a clear mind, I was drawn to this unnamed woman’s courage and depth.
The story begins with Jesus’ command, “You, give me a drink” (you is inferred in the original Greek.) The lesson today ends with the woman, at Jesus’ invitation, commanding him, “Sir, you [also implied] give me this water.”
She took a brave step to approach the well that day. A lone Jewish male and a lone Samaritan woman, anything could happen. Jews, as John states (v9), had little respect for Samaritans. She took a chance, ignored Jesus, and approached the well. When he commanded her, instead of obeying, she boldly questioned his motive. Jesus graciously (and contrary to social norms of his day) engaged this woman in dialogue. And even invited her to command him (women never commanded men), to give her living water. Don’t just ask. Command! She was thirsty, not for literal water, but for truth and healing, as her conversation suggests. She wanted living water; took him at his word and commanded him to give it to her. We can presume he did.
What are some things in the story that you’re wondering about? Hear Jesus’ invitation to command him as directed to you. What do you think you’d say?
Respond to Jesus
Lord Jesus you were very gracious and patient with the Samaritan woman. You put yourself at her command. It amazes me and again I stand in awe before you, asking for Living Water for today for myself and for the thirsty around me. Amen.
Go live obediently in the world. Be bold and accept Jesus invitation to command him.
Reflection on Scripture has been a constant in my life ever since I can remember. Reflecting on Jesus in the Gospels has become a necessity to get Jesus right. Join me in reading John to see Jesus more clearly this Lent.