Thoughts on the Passage
Jesus and the Samaritan woman is a long story so we will look at it in five parts. Starting today.
It starts with Jesus leaving the place where His disciples are baptising people. He is along the Jordan River, and the place He wants to go is due north. Jesus is going to the town of Capernaum, and it is located on the Sea of Galilee – where the river Jordan flows from. The right way to get to Capernaum is to walk north along the road that runs beside the Jordan river. Jesus does not do that. He goes south and west into the hill country of Samaria. The Jews despise the Samaritans and refuse to go through their land. Jesus does the opposite; He goes out of His way to walk through Samaria.
There in the hill country of Samaria, Jesus stops at a well around midday. A woman comes out to get some water and Jesus asks her to give Him a drink. There are three special things about this:
First, women of the village would get their water early in the morning when the temperature was not hot – midday is a bad time to try and haul water in the heat of the Middle East. No, this woman was going when no other women were around because she did not want to be with the other women. She was willing to go when the weather was hot rather than get water when the other women did it.
Second, Jesus was a man asking a woman for water – that was a bad thing to do culturally. Men did not do that – rabbis for sure would never do that.
Third, He is a Jew, and she is a Samaritan. Jewish rabbi men would never ask anything of a Samaritan woman.
The woman is incredibly confused by the request. She wants to be alone. She does not want a Jewish man to ask her any questions. It catches her by surprise. However, Jesus came for just this kind of meeting. We do not know if He knew this woman would be here, or if He went because He wanted to connect with the Samaritan people – she just happened to be the one that He met. It is likely the second reason. However, the Spirit of God was leading Him, and He ended up where He needed to be at just the right time. God brought Jesus and a needy woman together.
Remember that when you are brought into contact with needy people. It may be something that the Spirit of God arranged. Not every needy person is like this woman, but it is always important to find out.
Before you go about your day today, ask God to direct your steps. God may take you in directions that you think are wrong – but He is leading. Do not be afraid to ask God to bring the RIGHT kind of needy people into your path. There are needy people, and then there are needy people who will listen. Ask God for these special people.
Time to Pray
Father, will I go south and west when I know I should go north? Will I listen to Your Spirit so well, that I will go where I would not normally go – to meet people I would not be comfortable meeting? Would I go into a community that needs you, but it is hard to connect with them? I know it would be very difficult for me to do this. I see Jesus doing this a lot because He took time to listen to You. Help me today to listen carefully – and then follow Your leading. It will be a great day if I do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.