On April 12, we started our new sermon series on Women in the Bible by looking at the interaction Jesus has with a Samaritan woman beside a well (John 4:1-42, NRSV). Removing lenses of formality, competition, or assumptions about the woman’s circumstances – and swapping them for a lens of playfulness and of personal engagement, the conversation that takes place between Jesus and the woman becomes lively, spirited, intense and tender.
What if Jesus is really quite witty, and what if the woman is brilliant too? They sound more like characters from The West Wing in Aaron Sorkin’s signature banter-style dialogue:
In John 4, the Greek verb oida (to know, to see, to understand, to know how to) is used six times. The woman and Jesus banter back and forth about who knows what about whom, and in verse 25 she lands on paydirt: “I KNOW THIS. The Messiah is coming and he will explain everything to us.” Jesus is THRILLED to hear her say so. “That’s ME! You get it! The point is not what you know but that you know me, that you trust me, that your bottom line IS ME. Attagirl!” She responds by returning to her town and inviting people to come and see this man for themselves, who eventually trust Christ as well.
Do you KNOW Jesus in your guts? Have you dived into a conversation with a stranger, not knowing the outcome, and found yourself spun around, dancing? Have you let Jesus burn through your layers of what you know and what you don’t know, through the layers you use to protect yourself from being hurt again? Have you let Jesus see you at your most vulnerable – and have you heard Jesus name you as lovable? Do you know that Jesus delights in you – feels full from spending time with you?
If any of those answers were ‘no,’ what would be different if you did? If any of those answers were ‘yes,’ what came next?
for further reflection:
what do you KNOW? what do you WANT to know?
what (seemingly) innocuous question might God be asking you today? how might you respond to God?
what vulnerable place in your heart can Jesus see now?
what comes next?