19 March 2017
“Jesus said to her, ‘Go, call your husband, and come back.’ The woman answered him, ‘I have no husband.’” (vv. 16-17a)
Much is made of the miracles that we're told Jesus
performed - turning water into wine, feeding the 5,000, making the
blind see - astonishing feats of transformation. These things stand
out to us as the hallmarks of a truly extraordinary life. And it's
very easy to overlook the less unusual elements of Jesus' ministry
- the more humdrum features - like the fact that wherever Jesus
went he spoke with people. When Jesus speaks with people, things
change: their minds change, their hearts burn within them, healing
comes through a word or a command - they walk away from the
encounter transformed. These transformations were no less
miraculous or significant than those that defied the laws of
Today's passage is one such conversation. Jesus is
travelling through Samaria and stops for refreshment at the well,
where he meets a woman who, frankly, nobody wants to know or even
be around - let alone speak with. And the thing I love about the
exchange between Jesus and the Samaritan woman is that it starts
off really stroppy. There's animosity from the start - she says:
"Who are you, to ask me for a drink?" (verse 9) and he effectively
responds that if only she knew who he was, she would be seeking his
help (verse 10). It goes from bad to worse - she begins to mock
him: "Sir, you don't even have a bucket!" (verse 11).
And the banter continues in this manner until
Jesus says "Go, call your husband," and she responds that she has
no such thing. And it's at this point that things change - Jesus
reveals to the woman that he sees her, he knows her and he
understands who she is - why she's visiting this well when no one
else is around, why she's an outcast from her own community. And
that changes everything. She stops mucking about and asks the
serious question of who is this man that's standing in front of
her. She rushes away, calling to anyone that will hear, "Come and
see! Come and see a man who told me everything I've ever done!" (v.
29). A transformational conversation - all arising from the simple
request for a drink.
- Can you recall a conversation in your life that has been
transformative or significant? What made it so powerful?
- Conversation is such an integral part of daily life that we
don't often think about the role it plays in our formation as
individuals and communities. How might you use the conversations
you have today and throughout this week to build up those with whom
- What words have power for you? Are they positive or negative?
How do you use them in relation to yourself and others?
Bible notes author: Anna Drew
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