Read: John 4:1-42
Reflect: Jesus met the serial adulteress. If there was TikTok in His time, this would be trending news. Jesus was exhausted and sitting on the edge of the village well. The sun was beating down. Often Jesus had dined with tax collectors and sinners, but here He extended Himself beyond the religious, social and economic barriers of the time. He befriended a woman, an outcast who repeatedly made wrong choices and had born the price. Jesus loves outcasts.
the prodigal daughter
One commentator calls this event the Gospel of John’s version of the prodigal son, but this is with the prodigal daughter. Everything valued in this culture she had lost – her good name, reputation, stable home and loving family. She received a flood of contempt from those who knew her.
not in the “good people” section
I remember years ago traveling to the Deep South and saw 2 different signs over the water fountains at a garage. One said “White” and the other said “Colored”. I had no clue what the 2nd sign meant, except that I did wonder what color the water was. In John 4, we could group the individuals into the “Good People” and “People Who Can Only Obtain Their Water In the Middle of the Day So That They Won’t Contaminate the Good People”. This woman was not in the “Good People” section. In fact, because she was a woman, she was on a rung further down the social scale.
drowning was imminent, yet jesus sought her
Yet, Jesus specifically sought her out. He went out of His way to have a conversation, just with her. Why? Because the God of the Universe loved this woman deeply. God wanted to have a relationship, despite all the barriers blocking such a possibility. It was no surprise to Jesus that this woman was unclean, impure and heretical. The Jews considered the Samaritans as half-breeds. Years previously, the Jews in this region had intermarried with the heathens and produced a religion which was a curious mix of paganism and Judaism. Yet, God still sought out this Samaritan woman. She was “everyman” (her name is never mentioned). She stands for each of us who have succeeded in getting deeply lost under the oceans of life; drowning is imminent. Jesus sought her.
the most unlikely person in the village
She was the most unlikely person for Jesus to seek out in a village of people who were all hated by the Jews. All her confusion about the encounter, all her attempts to divert the conversation elsewhere, all her sin, Jesus met head on. He engaged in friendship with her. The Savior Who could be anywhere else in the world, sought to be with the broken. As a result, Many more believed because of His word; and they were saying to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One truly is the Savior of the world.” (John 4:41-42)
Jesus calls us to minister to the broken, the most hated, the unlikeliest people to receive the message. So, whether you are a man, a woman, or a “half-breed”, the God of the Universe wants to talk to you. Sit down…this may take awhile.