Jesus met a woman at the well in Samaria. I wonder whether you’ve ever puzzled, as I have, about what made her change so dramatically after that meeting? She’s come to fetch water from the well at a time when she can be pretty certain she won’t see anyone else. It seems like a deliberate strategy to avoid meeting the other women who would have come crowding along together first thing in the morning.
But at the well she meets Jesus. This must have been a shock. But there’s something so disarming about him. He’s desperately tired and thirsty. He’s sitting down in the shade of the well and asks her to give Him a drink. How could she refuse such a request? It’s no more usual for a man to be sitting there asking her for a drink than it is for her to be there, alone, at the well, at this time of day giving Him one.
I’ve no idea whether Jesus knew He was going to meet this lady. But as they meet, something of her desperate need and brokenness touches Him. He puts aside His own thirst and weariness, and begins to reach out to her. He talks to her about the living water He has to offer her, water that quenches the deep thirsty longing inside her. And something in this lady’s dried- up, parched, rejected self finds His offer so tempting that she doesn’t want to end the conversation.
She talks about religion and where to worship. Perhaps she wants to deflect the conversation from her own issues, but Jesus is willing to talk with her and He also reveals that He knows about her anyway. The villagers knew the public facts – like the five failed marriages. But I believe Jesus saw the pain and the abuse, the way she’d been treated, and her crushed spirit. He saw her.
Next, she’s off to the village: “This is a man who knows everything about me!” she tells them. Where’s her fear gone? Where’s her shame? What’s happened to her?
This story speaks to me about Jesus’ love. The woman who was despised by her community found affirmation and honour when Jesus met her. He didn’t condemn. He totally accepted her, and she felt totally safe with Him.
Prayer: Jesus, Messiah. Thank You that You never condemn me or shame me. Thank You that You know all about me, every last detail, and You love with an overwhelming love and total acceptance, just as I am. Thank You that I can be absolutely safe with You. Thank You that You set me free from shame. Amen.
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