I hit John 4 today. One of the coolest stories. I love this one. Here, Jesus leaves Judea, because the Pharisees are beginning to get Him on their radar. I don’t think it’s out of fear, I wonder if He was worried they would try to buddy up to Him, to pull Him into their system. They seemed to respect John, and He was replacing John. Either way, He leaves town.
On His way home, He swings through Samaria. He could have went around Samaria, and avoided the people all together. The most religious did. But He chose to go through the middle, and because of that finds Himself at the well in the middle of the day. The woman He meets is at the well at an off time. Women came in the morning or evening, but she came in the middle around noon. At first we don’t know why, but it comes out later that she’s been married and divorced several times, and is living with a guy who isn’t her husband. She apparently was difficult to get along with. You can see in how she goes back and forth with Jesus that she is strong and opinionated. Not the norm for that time. She doesn’t seem to care.
But how Jesus responds to her is the kicker. He loves her from the start. He breaks every social barrier possible with her, and doesn’t care either. I think that’s why He likes her. She isn’t afraid to do what she sees as best. Unfortunately, it’s all been wasted on the wrong pursuits up until the time of the story.
Notice that the disciples are already used to Jesus doing crazy stunts like this. They don’t ask what He’s doing. They just step back when they return. She runs off so excited that she leaves the water jar, the reason she was there, behind.
Jesus makes a statement about how these people are ready for change. The forgotten, the outcast, the less. They are bursting with a desire to change, He says. “The fields are white for harvest”. It’s proven when the woman tells everyone her story, and they believe Jesus without even meeting Him (vs. 39). Then even more believe in Him once they spend time with Him (vs. 41). It’s beautiful. They are bursting with a desire for God.
I pray that today I might see those who everyone overlooks, and bring them to Jesus. Not to my belief systems, my church, or my theology. But to Jesus. He can carry the conversation from there.