Have you ever felt excluded from a group?
Back in Jesus’ day, there was a pecking order. Men were in charge of things. Strict Jewish men would pray a prayer every morning thanking God that they were not an animal or a woman. At the same time, Jewish people and the Samaritan people really didn’t get on either – the Jewish people believed they were right and that the Samaritans were wrong, all to do with worship. Finally, purity and sexual morals were considered very important, and if you had strayed in that area and not kept to the ways that you should have done, then you would be rejected by the rest of society and gossiped about.
So this woman really doesn’t have much going for her by the standards of the day. Normally the women would gather the water earlier on, but she has come alone in the heat of the day because the others have rejected her. But despite all this, Jesus doesn’t reject her. He tells her that he can give her living water which would mean that they would never be thirsty again, because this water would bring them eternal life.
Here he isn’t talking about physical water, but using it as a picture to tell us that when we know Jesus, our souls will not need anything – in him and only in him can we be truly satisfied.
He doesn’t condone the number of husbands she has had (although some people argue that they probably left her rather than the other way round so it wasn’t her fault), but gradually and slowly he reveals himself to her. The disciples don’t really understand it, but the woman goes and tells the whole village – even those who have rejected her, and through her story about the man at the well, the whole village came to see Jesus for themselves.
Lord Jesus, we thank you that in you we can be truly satisfied. Thank you for the gift of eternal life that you give us. We pray that we wouldn’t exclude anyone today. Amen.
Is there anyone you know who has been excluded from a group? How can you make them feel a part of things?