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John10 – the woman in the midday sun (1)

So, when Jesus knew that the Pharisees heard that Jesus makes and baptises more disciples than John (although Jesus himself was not baptizing, but his disciples), he left Judea and came away again into Galilee. In fact it was necessary for him to come across through Samaria. So he comes into a town of Samaria stated “Sychar” close to the space that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. In fact Jacob’s well was there, so Jesus, laboured from the journey, in this way was sitting down upon the well. It was about the sixth hour. A woman from Samaria comes to draw water. Jesus states to her, “Give me to drink” because his disciples had come away into the town in order that they may buy provisions.) So the woman from Samaria states to him, “How do you - being a Judean - ask to drink from me - being a Samaritan woman?” Because Judeans do not associate with Samaritans.
The dispute about cleansing is over. This next incident in John’s first century eye witness biography is in Samaria – a territory and people then regarded by the Jews as totally beyond the pale. No wonder “Samaria” is mentioned five times. No wonder the woman is taken aback when Jesus speaks to her.

The antagonism between Jerusalem (south) and Samaria (north) was both religious and social. The south regarded the north as, unlike them, having worshipped other Gods for centuries, having done evil, having remained unrepentant and having been punished by the true God. It was noon. 

Jesus answered and said to her, “If you had discerned the gift of God and who it is who states to you, ‘Give me to drink,’ you may have asked him, and he may have given you living water.” The woman states to him, “Lord, you have no bucket and the shaft is deep. So, from where do you have this living water? You are not greater than our father Jacob who gave us the shaft and drank from it himself, and his sons and his livestock?”

This man from Jerusalem offers “living water” to  this woman from Samaria!? As a “gift”? Available to her merely by asking!? Who can this be?

‘Fear not that your life will come to an end, but rather that it shall never have had a beginning.’ (J H Newman, 1801-1890)
Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone drinking from this water will thirst again. In fact the one who may drink of the water which I myself will give to him will never thirst into eternity, but the water which I will give to him will come to be in him a well of water springing up into eternal life.” The woman states to him, “Lord, give me this water, in order that I may not thirst nor come-through within to draw!”

What a gift! “Never thirst into eternity.” “In her a well of water springing up into eternal life.” What’s not to like?

‘Eternal life does not begin with death; it begins with faith.’ (Samuel Shoemaker, preacher and broadcaster, 1893-1963)
He stated to her, “Go away! Call your male and come within!” The woman answered and said to him, “I do not have a male.” Jesus stated to her, “You have said rightly that, ‘I do not have a male,’ because you have had five males, and he whom you have now is not your male; this true thing you have said.” The woman states to him, “Lord, I observe that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you all state that in Jerusalem is the place where it is necessary to worship.” 

Her internal problem is identified by this man’s second request to her. Her internal problem is readily brought into the midday sun through one of its symptoms – her men folk. In a desperate attempt to cover that internal guilt this dear woman shows that she had turned to religion to deal with it. Did that suffice? Will it suffice in the eyes of this Jewish man?

Jesus states to her, “Believe me, woman, that an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you all worship the Father. You worship what you have not discerned. We ourselves worship what we have discerned, in that salvation is from the Judeans. But an hour is coming—and is right now —when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth and because the Father also seeks such ones worshipping him. God a spirit, and it is necessary for those worshipping him to worship in spirit and truth.” 

Religion – irrespective of whether it is in Jerusalem or Samaria – doesn’t count an iota in Jesus’ eyes. “Worship” must be “in spirit and in truth”. But who should be worshipped? Jesus said that “salvation is from the Jews”. He was “from the Jews”. Who was it who “stated “to her, “Give me to drink”? What was this “gift of God”? What was this “well of water springing up into eternal life”? From whom can I get it today?

The woman states to him, “I have discerned that Messiah is coming” (the one stated “Christ”); “when that one may come, he will announce all in all amogst us.”  Jesus stated to her, “I myself - the one speaking to you - am.” 
Sinner Syvret

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