A Women’s Voice for all to Hear

Presently, when a woman of Samaria came along to draw water, Jesus said to her, Give Me a drink… The Samaritan woman said to Him, How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan [and a] woman, for a drink? —For the Jews have nothing to do with the Samaritans)— Then the woman left her water jar and went away to the town. And she began telling the people. (John 4:7,9,28, AMPC)

Thursday is Ladies Day at Links Daily Devotional. No, we aren’t writing solely to our female readership, but the author of our Thursday devotions is usually a woman. It’s one small way we honor the growing participation of female Links Fellowships across the country.

Jesus loved to honor women, too. In his Gospel, John told a story of when Jesus traveled from Jerusalem to Galilee. Instead of taking the typical route east of Samaria, Jesus felt “he had to pass through Samaria” (John 4:4, ESV). I have come to appreciate this story for many reasons, more recently gaining a deeper sense of the account from the Samaritan woman’s perspective.

In the first century (and still today), it was uncommon for a Jew to travel through Samaria. A mutual antagonism ran deep. Not for Jesus—he had to. The Greek gives the picture that it was necessary, a must. Jesus intentionally went through Samaria to meet this woman at Jacob’s well.

Jesus “sat down [to rest] by the well” (verse 6). The Greek rendering for by is upon or on. Jesus wasn’t just near the well; he was touching it in such a way that the woman would have to engage him. A Jewish man talking to a Samaritan woman… cultural betrayal. A disruption for this woman.

I am also struck by the dialogue between Jesus and the woman. Jesus made a direct request: “Give me a drink.” Her response was cloaked in religiosity. But Jesus flipped his request and drew her toward him, “If you had only known and had recognized God’s gift and Who this is that is saying to you, Give Me a drink, you would have asked Him [instead] and He would have given you living water” (v. 10). She wanted to remain emotionally distant, but Jesus offered her relationship.

Jesus pursued her again, “Go, call your husband and come back here. The woman answered, I have no husband” (vv. 16-17). Jesus affirmed her honesty. Although she was still hesitant, she began to hear and see Jesus. Could he be the Messiah?

She left her water jar (her burden) and went away to the town, telling the people, “Come, see a Man Who has told me everything I ever did! Can this be [is this not] the Christ? [Must not this be the Messiah, the Anointed One?]” (v. 29). Jesus eased her burden, and by her testimony others came to witness him.

Jesus is intentional. Jesus is disruptive. Jesus is relational. Jesus carries our burdens. Is this the Jesus you know?

Tracy Hanson
May 14, 2020
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