Lenten Devotional // Day 19

Wednesday, March 23
LIVING WATER by Susan Brantley

John 4:1-26

Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was making more disciples and baptizing more than John (although Jesus’ disciples were baptizing, not Jesus himself).Therefore, he left Judea and went back to Galilee.
Jesus had to go through Samaria. He came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, which was near the land Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there. Jesus was tired from his journey, so he sat down at the well. It was about noon.
A Samaritan woman came to the well to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me some water to drink.” His disciples had gone into the city to buy him some food.
The Samaritan woman asked, “Why do you, a Jewish man, ask for something to drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” (Jews and Samaritans didn’t associate with each other.)
Jesus responded, “If you recognized God’s gift and who is saying to you, ‘Give me some water to drink,’ you would be asking him and he would give you living water.”
The woman said to him, “Sir, you don’t have a bucket and the well is deep. Where would you get this living water? You aren’t greater than our father Jacob, are you? He gave this well to us, and he drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.”
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks from the water that I will give will never be thirsty again. The water that I give will become in those who drink it a spring of water that bubbles up into eternal life.”
The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will never be thirsty and will never need to come here to draw water!”
Jesus said to her, “Go, get your husband, and come back here.”
The woman replied, “I don’t have a husband.”
“You are right to say, ‘I don’t have a husband,’” Jesus answered. “You’ve had five husbands, and the man you are with now isn’t your husband. You’ve spoken the truth.”
The woman said, “Sir, I see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshipped on this mountain, but you and your people say that it is necessary to worship in Jerusalem.”
Jesus said to her, “Believe me, woman, the time is coming when you and your people will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You and your people worship what you don’t know; we worship what we know because salvation is from the Jews. But the time is coming—and is here!—when true worshippers will worship in spirit and truth. The Father looks for those who worship him this way. God is spirit, and it is necessary to worship God in spirit and truth.”
The woman said, “I know that the Messiah is coming, the one who is called the Christ. When he comes, he will teach everything to us.”
Jesus said to her, “I Am—the one who speaks with you.”


Reflecting on this scripture, I am reminded of the humanity of Jesus. Jesus is exhausted from travel. He finds himself thirsty, tired, and alone. He asks the most unlikely person, not only is she a Samaritan woman, someone who is looked down upon culturally. He asks a woman who has been married five times and is living in an impure way. But Jesus still engages with her, accepting refreshment.
Jesus is willing to be vulnerable when seeking the kindness of a stranger and shows humility by engaging a Samaritan woman in conversation. Maybe it is then that the woman is open and willing to hear Jesus’ message of “living water”? In the end, it is the Samaritan woman who goes away having her thirst - to be fully known and loved -- quenched.

Question for Contemplation
Do you live your life in a spirit of openness, expecting to hear from and learn from those you encounter in your daily life?


God, help me to always see you in others.
Help me to be open to the chance of a life changing encounter. Amen

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