An Unlikely Encounter, An Unexpected Result

September 1st, 2017

RG AUDIO 090117


John 4:1-15

What an odd encounter, in John 4, between Jesus, an itinerant Jewish rabbi, and a Samaritan woman. Jews and Samaritans despised each other. They were rivals in an ancient debate over which group was the true people of God. In addition, this woman was an outcast in her own community. She came to the well at midday, probably hoping no one was there.

However, there sat Jesus asking her for a drink of water. It was an outlandish request. Rabbis were very careful about dealings with women–women who were not from their own families and certainly all sinful women. Such encounters held the potential for ritual defilement and could destroy a rabbi’s reputation and authority. Yet, it was a risk Jesus was willing to take.

When the woman balked at Jesus’ request, He told her of a resource He had of “living (fresh) water.” This water would become “a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” All this proved true in the Samaritan woman’s life, but not in the way she expected.

Jesus is still waiting in unexpected places to encounter unlikely people and offer His lavish grace.

Author: Duane Brush

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