Sunday 19 March 2017

Bible Book:

“Jesus said to her, ‘Go, call your husband, and come back.’ The woman answered him, ‘I have no husband.’” (vv. 16-17a)

John 4:5-42 Sunday 19 March 2017

Psalm: Psalm95


Much is made of the miracles that we're told Jesusperformed - turning water into wine, feeding the 5,000, making theblind see - astonishing feats of transformation. These things standout to us as the hallmarks of a truly extraordinary life. And it'svery easy to overlook the less unusual elements of Jesus' ministry- the more humdrum features - like the fact that wherever Jesuswent he spoke with people. When Jesus speaks with people, thingschange: their minds change, their hearts burn within them, healingcomes through a word or a command - they walk away from theencounter transformed. These transformations were no lessmiraculous or significant than those that defied the laws ofnature.

Today's passage is one such conversation. Jesus istravelling through Samaria and stops for refreshment at the well,where he meets a woman who, frankly, nobody wants to know or evenbe around - let alone speak with. And the thing I love about theexchange between Jesus and the Samaritan woman is that it startsoff really stroppy. There's animosity from the start - she says:"Who are you, to ask me for a drink?" (verse 9) and he effectivelyresponds that if only she knew who he was, she would be seeking hishelp (verse 10). It goes from bad to worse - she begins to mockhim: "Sir, you don't even have a bucket!" (verse 11).

And the banter continues in this manner untilJesus says "Go, call your husband," and she responds that she hasno such thing. And it's at this point that things change - Jesusreveals to the woman that he sees her, he knows her and heunderstands who she is - why she's visiting this well when no oneelse is around, why she's an outcast from her own community. Andthat changes everything. She stops mucking about and asks theserious question of who is this man that's standing in front ofher. She rushes away, calling to anyone that will hear, "Come andsee! Come and see a man who told me everything I've ever done!" (v.29). A transformational conversation - all arising from the simplerequest for a drink.

To Ponder

  • Can you recall a conversation in your life that has beentransformative or significant? What made it so powerful?
  • Conversation is such an integral part of daily life that wedon't often think about the role it plays in our formation asindividuals and communities. How might you use the conversationsyou have today and throughout this week to build up those with whomyou meet?
  • What words have power for you? Are they positive or negative?How do you use them in relation to yourself and others?
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