The Samaritan woman at the well was surprised when a Jewish man asked her to draw water from the well for him to drink.
In John 4 we read that Jesus went through Samaria on His way to Jerusalem as opposed to traveling around it. Most Jewish pilgrimages avoided Samaria…they would rather travel further than risk encountering a Samaritan.
When the Assyrian King exiled most of the Israelites he repopulated Israel’s capital, Samaria, with foreigners. Over the years the people intermarried with the remnants of remaining Jews. Their offspring were called Samaritans.
Mount Gerizim became the home of their temple with their own, adapted, worship practices. The Samaritans also had their own Pentateuch (the first five books of the Old Testament) in Aramaic, which differed from the Hebrew Pentateuch in places. Additionally, Samaritans didn’t accept the poetic and prophetic books of the Hebrew Scriptures.
When the Israelites returned from exile they had distain for the Samaritans as they did not view them as “true” or “pure” Jews.
Samaritans were considered “unclean”.
ENTER THE WOMAN AT THE WELL
Normally this woman would be shunned.
She had several strikes against her…a Samaritan, a woman, and a woman with a shady reputation.
She did not believe she was worthy.
It is interesting to note that there were wells closer to where she would have been living and normally women drew water in the cool of the day not at lunch time. She was probably wanting to avoid her townspeople.
Carrying all these burdens of shame she was surprised when Jesus asked her for a drink of water. Little did she know that she was in the presence of the Messiah.
Jesus’ love and acceptance of this woman is a beautiful depiction of His love and acceptance of each of us.
When He encounters us on the roadway we are not shunned, rather we are offered His living water, His love and His acceptance.
“…Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship.” (John 4:24a MSG)
So come to the Lord as you are, come to the well, and drink His living water.