In contemporary terms, our Lord has two strikes against Him that could hinder him from sharing the truth of salvation with the woman at the well. He is a Jew; she is a Samaritan. He is a man; she is a woman. There seems to be no common ground, no reason to talk, and nothing to agree upon. In spite of this, our Lord succeeds in getting this woman’s attention, not by telling her something she needs to know (at first), but by asking her for a drink of water.
She has something He needs—water.
In asking her for a drink of water, Jesus catches this woman completely off guard. Jews did not share eating or drinking utensils with Samaritans. The woman cannot help but inquire of Jesus as to why He would ask the unthinkable.
Our Lord’s willingness to cast aside cultural barriers captured this woman’s attention.
7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?”
8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?
12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the welland drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”
13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again,
14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”
17 “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband.
18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
I must admit I have come to view the “woman at the well” differently than I once did. The “woman at the well” is a woman whose sins are apparent, but she has not sinned alone. This story also call our attention to the sins of the men of this city who used this woman and deserted her.
My religious eyes used to look upon her with condemnation. But when I look upon her with Christ-like eyes, I feel compassion. Compassion is what I believe Jesus was moved by as He broke some religious "rules" in order to offer her a drink from the well that never runs dry.
How about you?
How do you look upon people?
With condemnation? With judgement? With preconceived conclusions about who they are by what they look like, their gender, race, ethnicity, lifestyle choices, places they hang out and with whom they hang?
Notice that Jesus approached this woman, asking to drink from the same cup as that of a sinner. He didn't go to the synagogue or a Christian or Jewish home to eat or drink. He was so comfortable (perhaps more so) around sinners that He was willing to approach one and ask her to share a drink with Him. At that moment, it's like they were equal--both thirsty--the sinner and the divine. That's our Lord!
Remove from me the natural inclination to judge others,
Forgive me for making conclusions about people I didn't even know,
Help me see people the way you see them,
Forgive me for being judgmental at times,
Help me love like you love,
In Jesus' name. Amen.
I hope in the days ahead you will find opportunities to approach people with a genuine--not judgemental--heart, a heart that is interested in getting to know them and leading them to drink from the water that will satisfy their thirst forever.
Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see,
Everything that I keep missing,
Give your love for humanity.
Give me your arms for the broken-hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach.
Give me Your heart for the ones forgotten.
Give me Your eyes so I can see.
I've been there a million times
A couple million lives
Just moving past me by, I swear I never thought that I was wrong
But I wanna second glance so give me a second chance
To see the way you've seen the people all along
~Give Me Your Eyes by Brandon Heath