It all began with Jesus going to a place a Rabbi doesn’t go. Jesus came to Samaria, a region despised by the Jewish people of the day. Samaria was a reminder of the exile of God’s people in an oppressed land for centuries. Gone was the united kingdom under King David. God’s people would be divided and carried away to Babylon and Assyria, ruled by leaders who did not know or worship the God of heaven. The Assyrians began to intermarry with the Jewish in captivity and the Samaritan people began. To the Jews of Jesus’ day, the Samaritans were the outcast, despised, and no longer part of God’s chosen people. Though many of the Samaritans worshipped the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, they were not welcomed among the Jews. The Jewish people would walk way out of their way in order not to be in the presence or the shadow of a Samaritan, least of all speak to one. And certainly, a religious Rabbi wouldn’t dare look upon one.
The Samaritans were a lost people, unwelcomed, unclean, and unwanted.
However, Jesus goes to Samaria.
Jesus is often found among the unwelcomed, unclean, and unwanted.
Jesus comes to Jacob’s Well. He sits and is tired from the journey. It’s the middle of the day when women don’t come to fetch water. But a Samaritan woman comes. Is it because she isn’t even welcome among her own? Is she hiding? Is she trying to be as unnoticed as possible?
Jesus is often finding those who are unnoticed.
Jesus does the unthinkable. He speaks to her. He asks her for a drink of water. She wonders why this Jew is speaking to her, being a Samaritan AND a woman. And a woman with a past and present that would not be considered “good”. Jesus wastes no time and lets her know He has so much to offer her. Living water. Eternal Life. Himself.
He exposes her shame but instead of condemnation He shows her Himself, the Messiah and tears down anything that separates her from knowing and worshipping the Father. She would become a true worshipper, in spirit and truth.
A Samaritan. A Woman. A Sinner. The unnamed Samaritan woman becomes the greatest messenger to her people about Jesus. Many believed because of the word of the woman. (see vs. 39)
Jesus is often using the unexpected.
We are all the Samaritan woman. We know what it’s like to be unwelcomed, unclean, and unwanted. We have felt unnoticed. We hide and manage the shame. We try to be as undercover as possible. We go from thing to thing and person to person to try and find what we desperately want – acceptance.
We wonder if it’s possible to show up exactly as we are and feel accepted exactly as we are.
Where is it possible? With whom is it possible?
Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman invites us to come and see it IS possible. The One who knows us completely, past, present, and future tells us to come and see that He accepts us as we are. He is the One who accepts and therefore no one can reject. He meets us at our deepest need and satisfies our deepest longing. He then sends us into a world who is longing as much as we are and asks us to invite other to come and see. Come and see Jesus.
Jesus is sitting at the well of your heart. He’s looking at you and telling you He knows you completely and loves you eternally.
He’s the One your heart has been longing for.
Mary Quillin is a city-girl-turned-country-girl in her new life in North Dakota. She has been married to her hubby for 16 years and has 3 wonderfully, different kids who have begun their teen years (and she would appreciate all the prayers as possible on that note). After many years in full time ministry, Mary is learning how to show up and daily discover the journey of being available for whatever Jesus leads her to. She spends her days trying to build a welcoming shabby chic home in the heartland of North Dakota while learning to write and run.