Third Sunday in Lent (Mar 19th)

Pastor's Summary of John 4:5-42

Jesus enters Samaria en route from Judea to Galilee. Exhausted by the heat, Jesus rests; his disciples go for food. Rabbis did not speak to strange women in public and Jews considered Samaritans ritually unclean, so the woman is surprised by Jesus' request. Jesus answers her: if you knew that God gives to those who ask ("the gift of God") and that I am his agent, you would be the one asking for a drink, "and he would have give you living water". she misunderstands, thinking that he asks for bubbly spring water. (A legend about Jacob: for him water rose to the top of this well and overflowed.) are you counting on such a miracle for "you have no bucket". This water was good enough for Jacob, so are you greater than him? Jesus contrasts the well water with "water gushing up to eternal life". (In John, living water is the vehicle fo the gift of the Spirit in baptism.) While she still doesn't understand, she at least now asks. Since Jesus shows that he has insight, she sees him as " a prophet". and can therefore resolve a religious dispute: the common ancestors of the two peoples worshipped on Mount Gerizim ("This mountain",) but Jews claim that the only proper worship site is Jerusalem. Jesus replies "the hour" of God's intervention in the world "is coming"; then cultic sites will be irrelevant. Samaritans, by accepting only part of the Bible, denied themselves access to the part of God's end-time plans given through the prophets ("what you do not know";) "Jews" are at least on the right track.  The time is both "coming" here" to worship God spiritually, discerning "truth", the reality revealed in Jesus. God is "spirit", life-giving power. She decides to wait to understand until the "Messiah" comes, but Jesus tells her: "I am he". In her haste to tell others about this amazing man, she leaves her "water jar" behind. Come, she says, judge for yourselves! Jesus tells his disciples that the food that sustains his life is obeying the Father and completing his task. There is no time for delay for God's harvest, "gathering fruit fo eternal life" conversion to Christ is ready now. Others have already begun to sow, have preached good news. Meanwhile, after hearing the woman's witness, many hear for themselves and come to belief in Christ. Jesus is "truly the Savior of the world".