Jesus and the disciples took the short cut to Galilee. It saved them a seven-day walk. Timing is a critical factor in the moving of the Holy Spirit. God is timely. In the setup between Jesus and the Samaritan woman God knew her habits. She went to the well at a certain time each day to avoid the harassment of those who knew her dirty secrets. Samaria had plenty of them!
Ages before, Samaritans had cherry picked scriptures to their own liking. Their faith was fickle! Their compromised faith was a mixture of truth and personal preferences, most of their own making. They were hybrid-Jews. When the devout Jews returned from exile and were rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem, Samaritans offered to help. Jerusalem Jews rejected their offer. Samaritans were like unwanted step-children, discarded in-laws, unwanted.
With such hostility between the Jews of Jerusalem and the Samaritans it is no wonder the Samaritan woman chides Jesus for breaking cultural protocol. Reread her words in verse 9a: “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, A Samaritan woman?” Annoyed at His audacity, she shuts Him down. Engaging her, He extends the gift He is to her broken world:
“IF YOU KNEW THE GIFT OF GOD, AND WHO IT IS WHO SAYS TO YOU, ‘GIVE ME A DRINK,’ YOU WOULD HAVE ASKED HIM, AND HE WOULD HAVE GIVEN YOU LIVING WATER.” John 4:10
“You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep.” Then curiously, she asks: “Where do you get that living water?” Jesus draws her in to Him and touches that deep hurt within her. His words are handpicked by His Father. The conversation races to the water Jesus offers that we know as a “fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” When she asked Jesus for this water, He touches the forbidden nerve of her past: “Go, call your husband and come here.” Now every memory of her failed life explodes on the big screen of her past!
Ever allowed the Holy Spirit to unravel your past life and expose your hidden secrets so He can gift you with peace beyond your understanding? Have you ever represented Jesus in such a timely conversation? Today, are you willing to take an unconventional path to connect with a cultural outcast? Jesus’ nourishment thrived in such moments (Verse 34).
What if the lethargic condition of the Church could be remedied by a people willing to go out of bounds to share the gift of Jesus with the unlikely? How do we come to the place where we are willing to be led by the Holy Spirit to fulfill Kingdom mandates to the “Samaritans” of our day? How do we defeat the clutches of darkness and extend ourselves to free the power of His Kingdom within us? Or are we more comfortable being nourished by a religion that denies the power God has planted within us? Are we willing to serve the same God that rocked the planet 2,000 years ago? How do we get started? Where is your starting place?