- Sr Siobhán
Jesus reveals His messianic identity
Sunday Week Three
Reading: John 4: 5-27
“He came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near a 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. A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, ‘Give me a drink.’ (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, ‘How is it that you a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria? (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, “Give me a drink,” you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.’ The woman said to him, ‘Sir you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?’ Jesus said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.’ The woman said to him, ‘Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.’
Jesus said to her, ‘Go, call your husband, and come back.’ The woman answered him, ‘I have no husband.’ Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, “I have no husband”; for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true!’ The woman said to him, ‘Sir, I see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshipped on this mountain, but you say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem.’ Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.’ The woman said to him, ‘I know the Messiah is coming’ (who is called Christ). When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us.’ Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one who is speaking to you.’
In this encounter we see the humanity of Jesus when he acknowledges his need for rest and refreshment. ‘Jesus tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well.’ When a Samaritan woman came to the well, Jesus reached out and spoke to her; a counter-cultural act at that time. Jews did not speak to Samaritans and men did not usually initiate conversation with women. Jesus wishes to reach into the heart and life of this woman and uses the context of their meeting to do so; Jesus said to her, ‘Give me a drink.’ She reminds him that the well is deep and that he does not have a bucket to receive the water that she thinks he desires. He recognises her search for deep intimacy when he makes known to her, the many broken relationships that she has suffered. He wishes to reach into the core of her soul and offer her healing and deep inner peace. He invites her to drink deeply from the springs of living spiritual water that he offers her. He then reveals his Messianic identity to her.
Jesus has used the most ordinary circumstances to reach into her soul and to heal her. He desires that both she and I make known to him the deepest longings of our hearts so that he may fill that longing. He is not put off by her chequered history; I am consoled by this because I know that at times my ‘sins are like scarlet’ (Isaiah 1:18) and I desire the healing, cleansing power of God so ‘that they shall be like snow’ (Isaiah 1:18). Cleansed and make whole, we will have a deep inner freedom to worship him in spirit and in truth. We are then able to witness to his healing love and draw others to the ‘springs of living water’ that he wishes to offer to all people. When my prayer is authentic, I ask myself the following questions: Do I go to Jesus when I am spiritually tired, thirsty, or in need of renewal and refreshment? Do I sincerely search for the truth of who God is in my life at this time on my journey? What blocks me from recognising Jesus speaking to me? Do I believe that Jesus can use other people to draw me closer to Himself? What are ‘my husbands’ that get in the way of an authentic relationship with Jesus?
Cleanse my heart O God of all sin that draws me away from you.
Fill me with your living water that I may rejoice;
May I draw people to you that we may as one worship you in spirit and truth,
this day and every day,
O living Son of God, Amen.