Since we studied John's gospel last year, this passage will be familiar to us, but I hope we can find some more nuggets here that will be used by the Spirit to make us more like our Savior. Let's dive in, shall we?
We don't know her name; we don't know how old she was, or what she looked like. But we know that this woman holds a very distinctive place in the life and ministry of Jesus. She is the person who "holds the record" for the longest one-on-one conversation with our Savior. She is also the first one to hear Him admit that He is the Messiah.
The last time that we paused at this passage, we discussed "broken wells" and the places that people search, trying to fill the void in their lives that only God can fill. They may try alcohol or drugs, they may try immoral relationships, they may try piling up wealth and grabbing for power. None of these can satisfy like our Lord can.
As we study the unnamed Samaritan woman, we notice again that she was making her trip at an unusual time of day: most of the women would come to the well to gather the water for their day, in the cool of the morning. I'm sure that it was a time when happy greetings were exchanged, pats on tummies where babies were growing, and even a little town gossip would be whispered. It was those whispers that our heroine wished to avoid.
Yes, she came to the well at noon, at the hottest time of the day. Imagine the heat of summer in a rocky, sandy place. A few trees might shade the town well, but everywhere the heat is making the air shimmer and we can see imaginary oases as we gaze out across the land. In this heat, Jesus has sent His disciples for food, and He is resting beside the well.
He's quite a rule breaker here, isn't He? (Grin) He speaks to the woman as she carefully lowers her earthenware jug from her shoulder to the ledge at the mouth of the well.
Jews "aren't supposed" to talk to Samaritans. In fact, other rabbis would have taken the long way around, to avoid going through Samaria at all. But Jesus had a divine appointment with this lady.
Men "aren't supposed" to talk to women without their husbands being present. But Jesus knew her history as well as her present situation.
Rabbis "aren't supposed" to talk to women who have shady reputations. But Jesus wanted to offer her more than the water she would draw from Jacob's well.
We'll talk more about this next time.....come back and study with us, if you will!