Jesus encounters a woman at the well. Not any ole’ woman. This lady carried some baggage. The kind of baggage that is not only visible to you personally, but also everyone in the near proximity. In fact, I don’t even know how she got out of bed to drag herself to the well. I imagine she was in survivor mode–just barely putting one foot in front of the other. She had been married five times and was now living with a man who wasn’t her husband. Add to that, she was an outcast. A Samaritan viewed as an inferior by the Jews of that day. Most likely…not the kind of person you would pick to befriend. And yet, despite the social expectations, Jesus strikes up a conversation with her.
Would you give me a drink?
The woman, a bit startled, answers abruptly, “Why are you talking to me?” Seriously, who can blame her? She had to be a bit fed up with men. She had erected some walls to protect her heart. Nonetheless, Jesus responds graciously,
“If you knew the generosity of God and who I am, you would be asking me for a drink, and I would give you fresh, living water.” John 4:10
When we look at this woman, we tend to see damaged goods. A woman who has made mistakes, lived a hard life and had a heart-breaking story to tell. Jesus, however, sees beyond her rusty exterior. He sees tremendous beauty inside, waiting to be awakened to eternity. We see a battered, weary woman. Jesus sees a thirsty, needy soul. We see visible, gut-wrenching sin. Jesus sees grace that freely abounds. It is here at the well that Jesus opens up relational space for the thirsty woman to occupy.
Stepping outside of social hierarchy, Jesus is unafraid to confront the social normalities. I absolutely adore…no love…that Jesus talked to her. He had no reason to. It certainly was unexpected for a man to acknowledge a woman. Much less a Samaritan with a tainted past. However, Jesus didn’t care what others thought of him. He was always willing to step outside of the box to reach the lost, lonely and neglected.
Jesus gives this woman exactly what she needs…a drink of living water. Maybe it is time for you to go to the well. When was the last time you took a drink?
The living water will never run dry. It is always available, free of charge. When our lives crash into unmerited grace, we will overflow with extreme joy. There is no life beyond Christ’s redemption.