Have you ever felt lonely? Depressed? Isolated? Unwanted? I think I can safely say that at some point, we all have. We have all been made fun of or just felt unwelcomed in some way or another. For the Samaritan woman however, this was at a way of life.
She was a minority. Samaritans were fiercely hated by Jews. The Tyndale Bible says about relations among the two groups: “All marriage between the groups was therefore forbidden, and social relations were greatly restricted. With such proscribed separation, it is not surprising that any interaction between the two groups was strained. The mere term Samaritan was one of contempt on the lips of Jews, and among some scribes it possibly would not even be uttered.” Samaritans were despised because they were Jews that began marrying and mixing with other races hundreds of years ago. They were no longer “pure bred” Jews considered them unclean to the point that they avoided them and never went to their side of town. Furthermore, she’d had 5 husbands (talk about searching for “the one”) and was living with yet another man at the time. She was looked down upon in every context—political, religious, and social. It’s no wonder that she was living searching for love in all the wrong places, living an empty life that she didn’t fully enjoy.
So when she met this Jew at the well, it was all very symbolic. They were at Jacob’s well, which was named after the last common ancestor of both the Jews and the Samaritans. Jacob was one of the great Old Testament leaders that brought water to the people by building this well. By giving her Living Water (a symbol for a new life in Christ) rather than physical water, Jesus bridged the gap between the two groups who had experienced centuries of enmity, and furthermore, he mended the pieces of her broken heart. Jesus changed her life, giving her hope to believe that God is real and that he can bring her out of an unfulfilling life if she would just accept his unfailing love and surrender herself to “worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23).
The Samaritan woman is an archetype for a person who needs Christ (aka all of us!). Like the Samaritan woman, we need to realize that God’s redemptive love is all we need to get by. I’ve always loved this story, but after a very trying weekend, this message speaks to me even more. The fact that Jesus went into territory uncharted by Jews to show some love to one woman, gives me hope that he can and will do the same for me when I call on his name and that he will continue to do so as long as I worship him in spirit and in truth.
Watch the video below! It’s a POWERFUL monologue with a modern day interpretation about the woman at the well!
Merciful Mondays: Jael
“For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon you or destroy you or forget the solemn covenant he made with your ancestors.” Deuteronomy 4:31