16. He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”
17. “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her,
“You are right when you say you have no husband.
18. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have
is not your husband, What you have just said is quite true.”
19. “Sir,” The woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet
20. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the
place we must worship is Jerusalem.”
21. Jesus declared, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will
worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.
22. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know,
for salvation is from the Jews.
23. Yet a time is coming when the true worshippers will worship will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.
24. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”
25. The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming.
When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
26. Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.”
27. Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?”
28. Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town
and said to the people,
29. “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?”
Reflection by Darlene Wagner
Christ’s overarching message here is the breaking of all divisions. This seemingly contradicts his message in Luke 12:51: “Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.” Did Christ intend to cause division, or is division a natural, human response to his outrageous inclusiveness? Perhaps, Christ claimed to cause division precisely because of rebellion against his inclusiveness. Anyhow, Christ’s actions here in John chapter 4 speak to his true mission: tearing down the walls of division. He breaks the wall between Orthodox Jews and Samaritan Jews. He breaks the wall between men and women. He even breaks the wall between people who live “moral” versus “promiscuous” lifestyles. Life in Christ (as opposed to mere belief) tears down walls and builds bridges across divisions. Even during a time of pandemic with its essential social distancing, Christ’s compassion will unite us.
Dear Lord Christ, Thank you for your compassion which breaks all barriers!
I will sing of your radical inclusiveness forever!
Let aloof and privileged mortals scoff — for they too
Shall be included among the humble folk whom they exclude.
I praise you Lord Christ, for your words of compassion are eternal!