“Will you give me a drink?” (John 4:7-9) If Jesus was in the wrong place – Samaria, and He was there at the wrong time – around noon, then in verse 7 He is certainly asking the wrong question. When Jesus asked the Samaritan woman for a drink He was in essence asking her for something which would immediately render Him ceremonially unclean.
Is it any wonder that she responds as she does in verse 9, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” Was this Jewish man actually so thirsty that He would risk His acceptance within His religious community for a drink of water? She couldn’t quit figure it out.
Whatever else this says about Jesus, it tells us that this woman was more important to Him than ceremonies or rituals. You see, she thought that Jesus’ mission in life, as a Jew, was to keep the rules of Judaism, but Jesus the truth. He had not come to keep rules but to usher in a kingdom within which the significance of titles, heritage, and times and places of worship (John 4:19-20) give way to the Spirit and the Truth of who God is.
In this moment Jesus affirms the fact that this woman is an image bearer of the Almighty. With this simple yet radical request Jesus tells her that in His eyes she is more than a heretical half-breed, more than a second-class citizen, more than the town tramp. With this question Jesus tells her that she matters more to Him than His “religion” does.
Today as you journey through this life don’t look away from the eyes of the hurting. Consider the scandalous example of Jesus and love the unlovely. Stop being so sanitized and love the sinner more than you love your religion! After all, it’s not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick, (Matthew 9:12-13) right?