This week’s gospel lesson is from John 4 …the woman at the well. Jesus chooses to go through Samaria on is way to Jerusalem. He was breaking down a wall just by going through this land because the Jews and the Samaritans were spiritual enemies. The disciples went to town to get lunch, but Jesus sat by the well and waited. Jesus waited for a person who needed the walls of her heart to be broken down.
Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John— although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.
Now he had to go through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.
7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.[a])
10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”
13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”
17 “I have no husband,” she replied.
Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”
27 Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?”
28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” 30 They came out of the town and made their way toward him. JOHN 4
This woman was just doing what she did everyday. She came alone to the well to draw water.
She wasn’t expecting to have her life changed.
She wasn’t expecting the walls of her heart to be knocked down by LOVE.
What about you? What walls are around your heart these days? Walls that have been built because of fear, bitterness, anger or exhaustion. Walls built because you don’t feel loved or honored, or accepted as you are.
There are NO WALLS around the well of God’s love!
What walls have you built around other people? Maybe the people who don’t believe as you do, or look like you or vote like you….Are there walls you have built around these people that prevent you from seeing God’s image in them?
What places do you refuse to visit or go to because of these walls? How might Jesus be inviting you to go sit by the well and love the people who are there?
Jesus sees this Samaritan woman, really sees her and values who she is even in her brokenness . Jesus loves her and invites her to change and see things differently.
How is Jesus inviting us to see things differently today?
How can you know and believe Jesus really sees who you are and knows all you ever did but loves you anyway?
In the midst of everything, Jesus wont leave us thirsty.
Jesus wants to provide us with living water in the wilderness…in the desert of lent,
Jesus won’t leave us with the thick walls around our hearts.
In the Desert /wilderness of where you are, whether in peace or in crisis.
God is providing water. Jesus is knocking down walls that separate us from him and from each other!
We need to go to the well.
And Draw water like we always do.
Jesus is waiting for us to show up!
What will it take for you to show up at the well?
We celebrated International Women’s Day this week. So today I celebrate the first evangelist! The Samaritan Woman at the Well! I love that Jesus reveals himself as Messiah to her FIRST! A woman! And not a Jewish woman, but a Samaritan woman! Now that’s breaking down lots of cultural walls! There are NO WALLS at the Well!
ART: Jesus and the Samaritan Woman
by Jorge Cocco 2017
In the last few days of his life, Jesus moved from garden to garden from suffering to resurrection.
Join Christine Sine for a Lent retreat that reflects on this journey and prepares for the challenging week that follows Palm Sunday.