16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” 17 The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” 19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”
Changing the Subject
The Samaritan women gets pressed about her own condition and she doesn’t want to go there. It is possible to see her changing the conversation in order to defend herself. The point might be that if the leadership of Israel and Samaria argue over where people should worship, how can anyone have authority to tell her what she should be doing with her life? She then continues in a coherent vein by saying that it’ll all be sorted out when Messiah comes. Busted! “I am he,” responds Jesus.
Many people today look at religious disagreement and use it to change the subject away from religious claims. Look at ISIS in Syria and Iraq? These people are religious fanatics, so why get involved in questions of religion? Look at how many denominations there are. Surely that is a sign that church is messed up. However, Jesus cuts across these arguments about disagreement through the ages. The reality of his existence demands a response. Jesus walked the dusty roads of Samaria, Galilee and Judea and he taught the people. He revealed a kingdom of closeness with God and he proved that he had authority as the King of Heaven. Will we try and distract ourselves and others from the personal claims he makes on us or will we submit to his questions and insights?
So how are you growing through the difficulties that surround you? How have your past mistakes highlighted your need for Jesus? How is your life stagnant and stale and how does Jesus want to revitalize your relationship with him and show you the path forward?
You come to us and ask us to be taught by you. You use scripture, mentors, friends, family and circumstances. Help us not to deflect your touch on our lives by raising objections or changing the subject. Help us to be open to your work to give us strength in our circumstances and a will to grow.
- What does Jesus tell the woman about herself?
- How does she try and change the subject?
- What is Jesus’ purpose in this conversation?
- What is Jesus trying to tell you about yourself?
- How might you attempt to deflect his attempts to communicate through scripture, mentors, friends, family and circumstances?