A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink." (John 4:7 NRSV)
Jesus and his disciples were in Samaria. You already know how the Jews felt about the Samaritans. The Samaritans mixed their worship of Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob with various pagan rituals, so they were seen as unclean by the Jews. For a truly religious Jew to approach a Samaritan was unthinkable.

Jesus and his disciples came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon. Jesus' disciples had gone into the city to buy food.

A Samaritan woman came to draw water. It was a bit unusual her coming to the well at noon, the hottest part of the day. Most women drew water early in the morning when it was cooler. In fact, the drawing of water at the community well was a time of socializing for the women. This suggests that perhaps the Samaritan woman was trying to avoid contact with other people. Her appearance at the well at this hour was unusual.

Jesus' behavior toward the Samaritan woman was unusual--in fact, it was unthinkable. This poor woman had two strikes against her--she was a Samaritan and she was a woman. These were two strong cultural taboos. Yet Jesus asked her for a drink.

Are you willing to ask for a drink of water that will never end?

Dear God, give me a dose of your living water that will never end. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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