Jesus was in the middle of a three day walk when He came to Jacob's well in Samaria. This was not a well which water percolates up from, but one in which the water was over 100 feet down. It was the hottest part of the day and the likelihood was that everyone had already been to fetch their water needs for the day. The disciples had gone off into a Samaritan town (the barriers were coming down for them!!) and out of the heat came a lone woman. Her actions at this time of day and the fact that she had walked from a village which had its own water clearly demonstrated that she was an outcast. A gently inquisitive stranger was the ideal person for this woman to unburden herself to. We see here the expertise of Jesus in breaking down age-old barriers. Not only is this person a Samaritan and Jews were forbidden to speak with them, but she was a woman and Jewish Rabbis did not speak to women in public. There were those called 'the bruised and bleeding Pharisees' because they would shut their eyes when they saw a woman and so walked into walls! I would encourage you to read this Gospel looking at what respect Jesus gave to women, who were mainly treated as child-bearers, not much above slaves. This conversation follows exactly the same pattern as the one with Nicodemus and this was Jesus' usual way of teaching.... 1. Jesus makes a statement 2. The statement is misunderstood. 3. Jesus remakes the statement more clearly. 4. It is still misunderstood. 5. Jesus compels the person with whom He is speaking to discover and face the truth themselves. The conversation may appear abstruse to us, but the woman would have clearly understood eventually the truth concerning spiritual water. Throughout the Old Testament there are references to it: Isaiah 12 v 3; Psalm 42 v 1; Isaiah 55 v 1; Zechariah 13 v 1 and 14 v 8 and so on. Jesus offers this living water to all who will come to Him. Have you turned to Him and experienced this water bubbling up from within you? Our poor selves cannot save us, but Jesus can and will do so freely!
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