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Unnamed Woman: A Strong Witness

by The Rev. Elias Mburu

Jesus the tired Man, Jesus the Thirsty fellow, Jesus a great evangelist.

In Kenya the country where I was born, as I grew up I could see my mother, women and girls from the neighborhood go down to the river to fetch water with buckets every evening after school. I was unlucky one for I was brought up in a family of boys and for that reason I had to do some of “girls stuff’ as they would say like fetching water and cooking.

The story of the Samaritan woman reminds me of those times where water was a scarce commodity to find and we had to travel for distances to get some water for ourselves and also the livestock.

Here we get to see this story which is recorded as the longest conversation of Jesus in the bible.

At Jacob’s well, outside the town of Sychar, while His disciples have gone into

town to buy bread, Jesus encounters this Samaritan woman who comes to draw water. The barriers between them were greater than Mt. Gerizim which was standing tall behind them. Jesus is a man. She is a woman. Jesus is a Jew. She is a Samaritan. By gender, by race, by religion these two people are dramatically different, but Jesus has a way of breaking every barrier down. Today we see at Jacob’s well, they are two people in need of each other. Jesus needs a drink and has no bucket from which to draw water. This woman whose name we do not know was thirsty for living water.

The woman at the well was despised by her village, which was despised by the Judeans, whose ancestors had been humiliated by the Babylonians.

From generation to generation humiliation, resentment, and violence were passed down by people.

Then Jesus comes in and breaks the barrier. The woman was so much unqualified by the village neighbors but Jesus came in and qualified her. He shared the Gospel mindfully and patiently. He approaches the woman at the well by reminding her that he can offer the living water to her, he can change her situation, and he can make her a great witness who would go to the village later and tell people of the great compassion of the man at the well who told her all about her life. The woman however faces Jesus with lots of transparency and tells much about their disparity but that would not stop the mission of Jesus in her life.

Verse 6 tells us it was the 6th hour — high noon. Women do not come to draw water at high noon. It’s too hot. You get your water in the morning or evening. This was the time to socialize, catch up on the news, perpetuate the community gossip. All is fine when talk is cheap unless you are the subject of the rumor mills. Then it’s another matter. It hurts. It’s painful. It’s a problem. You’ve got to sense that somehow, some way this woman has finally given up coming at the normal time to draw her water. She comes at high noon when she is all alone. It just feels better to fetch your water alone. What’s going on here? She might be with no inner peace, reached the end of mockery, bore some pains, she was on trials: she was thirsty.

We do know that our peace is often forfeited, and there are pains we have to bear. We do know we have trials and temptations. Sometimes there seems to be trouble everywhere. We, too, are thirsty.

Sometimes we’ve felt that no one cares or understands us. We’ve looked for unconditional love and wound up brokenhearted. We’ve needed to be comforted and no one was there. The cares of this world have left us lonely and empty. Like the woman at the well we are seeking for things that do not satisfy. We are thirsty. Only the Lord can quench this thirsting of our souls. Somebody said a good mother listens to your problems until you are bored with them. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere, with whom I may think out loud without fear.”

Friends ask “How are you doing?” and then they stay around long enough for you

to answer them. And Jesus Christ is that kind of friend here. He shows empathy which makes the Samaritan woman a strong witness.

She went to the village and I can assure you it did not matter again her gender, Race, or character for Christ welcomed her and quenched her thirst, she is now a new creation and a witness and as Paul; says in Galatians 3:28 —

There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you

are all one in Jesus Christ.

Jesus here plays the role of a royal friend:-

A loyal friend laughs at your jokes when they are not so funny and sympathizes

with your problems when they are not so bad. Friends pick us up when we are

down. They hold us accountable when we run around. Friends offer help.

Friends give us hope. Friends come in when the world is going out. They ask

“How are you?” and wait for an answer. They are the people who know us best

and love us most. Are you thirsty for living water? Do you feel empty today? Could you use a filling that only Christ can give? The Samaritan woman is full, strong and a testimony: Today I invite you to make a prayer that: Fill my cup, Lord, fill it up, Come and quench this thirsting of my soul. Make me a witness who never despises, hates and is patience like the Samaritan woman.

Amen.

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