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Know God in a Year #50 Favor for an Outcast

When Jesus hears about the Pharisees stirring up jealousy, he and his few disciples leave Judea and go to Galilee. He “needs” to go through Samaria to meet someone, and avoid dissension.

In the beautiful valley of Shechem is a well, the pride of the people, built by Jacob. Jesus is thirsty, tired, hot, and hungry after walking all morning. It’s noon, so his friends offer to go into the city and buy food while he rests.

This they will do, but no other reason would get them to converse with a Samaritan. Jews and Samaritans hate each other–a feud over identity and the place of worship dating over a thousand years.

Jesus rests by the well, the heat of the sun and the inaccessible cool water intensifying his thirst. He has nothing with which to draw water.  He who created water is dependent on another’s kindness for a drink!*

Fortunately, a woman comes to draw water. (Most women come in the cool of the morning or evening–for friendship. Her timing suggests her unpopularity, or shame.) She pretends not to notice him, and as she prepares to leave, Jesus asks for a drink.

Easterners call water “the gift of God”, and no one refuses it to another. She intends to comply, but is so surprised when she looks at Jesus, that first she has to ask,

“How can you, a man and a Jew, ask me for a drink?” A divine appointment, set up by God and shown to Jesus early that morning, because God sees honest hearts, and He is not prejudiced.**

John 4:1-9   *John 1:1-3   **John 5:20, Isaiah 50:4

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