In John’s gospel, we learn of Jesus’ encounter with a Samaritan woman. Making his way from Judea to Galilee, passing through the city of Sychar, Jesus stops at Jacob’s well and asks a Samaritan woman for a drink. This was an unexpected ask because Jews generally did not share things in common with Samaritans, much less women.
Flabbergasted, she asked, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” Breaking the boundaries of religion and cultural bias, Jesus continues with his longest dialogue recorded in all of scripture, explaining that living water comes from Jesus alone, proclaiming, “The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.”
Here is Jesus at noon on a hot Judean countryside with a female Samaritan, part Jew, part Gentile, and typically disliked by both because Samaritans were neither fully Jew nor Gentile, intentionally revealing himself to someone we might not expect to witness for Jesus. Over the course of this dialogue, Jesus reveals himself as prophet, living water, and the Messiah. Recalling intimate details about the woman’s life, Jesus affirms that he is from God, transcending place and time.
During the course of this dialogue, Jesus said that the hour was now here when worshiping and experiencing God would no longer be confined to a temple in Jerusalem or a mountainside. This was incredibly significant because historically, Jews and Samaritans disagreed on the proper place to worship. Samaritans celebrated festival days on Mount Gerizim, and Jews held Jerusalem as the center of worship. Once again redefining religious and cultural standards, Jesus breaks the bonds of finite time and place of worship with immediate access to a boundless and infinite God made possible through the gift of the Spirit.
What does life look like for you when the spring of water nourishing your soul finds its deepest source in Jesus, and Jesus alone? Jesus offers the only holy water that can truly satisfy.
May we keep Breathing in Christ together,
Deacon Marsha Roscoe