Published on March 16, 2014
The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.”
5 So He came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of land that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there. Jesus, tired from His journey, sat down there at the well. It was about noon. 7 A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” 8 His disciples had gone into the town to buy food. 9 The Samaritan woman said to Him, “How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?” (For Jews use nothing in common with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God and who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water.” 11 (The woman) said to Him, “Sir, you do not even have a bucket and the cistern is deep; where then can you get this living water? Catholic Lectionary. 2009. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us this cistern and drank from it himself with his children and his flocks?” 13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; 14 but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Go call your husband and come back.” 17 The woman answered and said to Him, “I do not have a husband.” Jesus answered her, “You are right in saying, ‘I do not have a husband.’ 18 For you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true.” Catholic Lectionary. 2009. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
19 The woman said to Him, “Sir, I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain; but you people say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Believe me, woman, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You people worship what you do not understand; we worship what we understand, because salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth; and indeed the Father seeks such people to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in Spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to Him, “I know that the Messiah is coming, the one called the Anointed; when He comes, He will tell us everything.”
26 Jesus said to her, “I am He, the one who is speaking with you.” 27 At that moment His disciples returned, and were amazed that He was talking with a woman, but still no one said, “What are you looking for?” or “Why are you talking with her?” 28 The woman left her water jar and went into the town and said to the people, 29 “Come see a man who told me everything I have done. Could he possibly be the Messiah?” 30 They went out of the town and came to Him. 31 Meanwhile, the disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat.” 32 But He said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.” 33 So the disciples said to one another, “Could someone have brought him something to eat?”
34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of the one who sent me and to finish His work. 35 Do you not say, ‘In four months the harvest will be here’? I tell you, look up and see the fields ripe for the harvest. 36 The reaper is already receiving his payment and gathering crops for eternal life, so that the sower and reaper can rejoice together. 37 For here the saying is verified that ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap what you have not worked for; others have done the work, and you are sharing the fruits of their work.” 39 Many of the Samaritans of that town began to believe in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me everything I have done.”
40 When the Samaritans came to Him, they invited Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. 41 Many more began to believe in Him because of His word, 42 and they said to the woman, “We no longer believe because of your word; for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the savior of the world.”
The Jews viewed the Samaritans as half breeds after the Assyrians invaded, captured and intermarried with them. The Samaritans had also gone against God’s law and took on the Assyrian idol worship. Because of this they were viewed as worse than Gentiles because they had turned their backs on the religion of their fathers, intermarried with pagans, and adopted idol worship. The Samaritan woman speaks of “Jacob’s Well,” and wells are where most eligible women can be found in the morning and the evening. It was the custom for a young woman to go to the well and draw water for the family. The Samaritan woman had gone to the well at mid-day probably to avoid the rest of the local women because they would have looked down on her because of her life style.
Notice that Jesus begins the conversation with the woman which in itself is a break with the cultural norms of the day and yet a demonstration of His desire to reach out and save those considered lost by the Jews. When Jesus asks her to supply Him with a drink it is still another shocking event because to drink from a Samaritans jar would make a person ceremonially unclean. The term “living water,” has a double meaning, literally it means fresh spring water and spiritually it would mean the Holy Spirit who dwells in all of us. The living water that Jesus is speaking about can be found in Isaiah 12:3, “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. (cf. Isaiah 44:3; 55:1- 3). Worshiping on this mountain is a reference to the alters built there by Abraham and Jacob and also refers to the temple the Samaritans built on Mt. Gerizim.
That Temple was perceived as a threat to dominance of the Temple in Jerusalem and was destroyed in 128 B.C. Despite the destruction of the Samaritans’ temple they continued to offer worship at the top of Mount Gerizim. “the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. Jesus is telling her that worship can happen anywhere and people won’t have to travel to a physical location in order to worship. Jesus makes still another uncommon statement by identifying Himself as the Messiah before returning to the physical realm of sowing and reaping or harvesting. In the literal world sowing and harvesting take place at different times.
In the spiritual sense Jesus ushered in the end-time, the harvest of believers, at a time the Samaritan woman is sowing the seeds of faith in her community. Even now the townspeople are gathering to go out and meet Jesus for themselves. Let us not forget that the Samaritan woman had committed the sin of fornication but Jesus met her with outstretched arms. He wasn’t judgmental, he was accepting of her, while not condoning her sin. As a result of His non- judgmental attitude she brought others to Him.
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