Saturday 03 March 2012

Bible Book:
John

"A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, 'Give me a drink.'" (v. 7)

John 4:1-26 Saturday 3 March 2012

Background

When Jesus was tired he had the sense to sit down, and to askfor a drink when he was thirsty.

Remarkably, in the midst of all the discussions around ritualcleansing and uncleanness (see Johnchapters 2-4), Jesus is shown in the company of a woman ofanother faith asking for a drink.

Jesus shows no prejudice. He reflects an attitude of honesty andhumility.

It is not he but the woman who expresses questions around prejudiceand purity - 'You are a Jew. I am a Samaritan. How can you ask mefor a drink?'

In reply, Jesus talks about the "living water" (v. 10) he can give:"The water that I will give will become in them a spring of watergushing up to eternal life" (v. 14). These words point to the giftof new and transformed life Jesus offers, later described as'abundant life' (John 10:10).

The woman appeals to Jesus: "Sir, give me this water so that I maynever be thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water" (v.15).

The Johannine Christian community (ie the first recipients ofJohn's Gospel)underline their confidence that religious ritual(symbolised by water vessels in chapters 2 and 4) is not the sourceof nourishing abundant life. Rather it is Jesus himself.

This passage also includes a discussion on worship: "God is Spirit,and those who worship him must worship in the spirit and truth" (v.24).

The woman, having declared Jesus a prophet, then says "I know thatMessiah is coming" (v. 25), only for Jesus to declare: "I am he,the one who is speaking to you" (v. 26).

The thirsty, tired man, asking for a drink, is the Messiah andoffers the fullness of life.

To Ponder

How do you rest and refresh yourself?

Where do you find it easiest to worship? Why?

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