When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) John 4:7-9
We’ve all heard someone say, “imagine what it’s like to walk a mile in their shoes.” Reading Scripture is the ultimate practice in imagining what it’s like to walk in another person’s shoes. As readers, we are called not just to hear the text from our perspective but to begin to think and listen as if we were ancient people hearing this text for the first time.
For John’s readers, this story probably reminded them of a few other stories that they had already heard. In the Old Testament there were several stories about men meeting women at wells. All of those stories ended in marriage. As they listened they probably thought, “Oh, I know this story!” John is a master storyteller and he uses that interest to draw his listeners in, but then he throws them a twist.
This story doesn’t end the way they expect, with a marriage. Instead, Jesus moves the conversation past the woman’s complicated relationship with marriage (she has been married 5 times and is now with another man) to things of eternity. Both the reader and this woman are caught off guard by this conversation. Everything about it is unexpected.
Isn’t that how life in the kingdom is, though? It’s full of unexpected truths. I guess you could say that we should expect the unexpected when we are in relationship with Jesus. Take a moment to ask the Holy Spirit to give you eyes to see the unexpected moments in your day. Ask him to reveal himself in those moments and to use you to bring unexpected kindness to those around you.
By Aaron Bjorklund