The whole purpose of Christianity hangs on two words ‘LOVE’ (The greatest commandment – Mt 22:36-40) and ‘GO’ (The great commission – Mt 28:19-20). Both of these were given by Jesus himself. Jesus was like no other teacher of his day, He practiced what he preached and it is clearly seen in Jn 4:1-45.
Jesus deliberately chooses to travel through Samaria though that is not the preferred way for the Jews to travel between Judea and Galilee due to the rivalry and strife between the Jews and Samaritans. The gift of salvation is for all people and that includes those who are opposed to God’s chosen people too. John seems to suggest that it was God’s plan for Jesus to go through Samaria by saying ‘now he had to go through Samaria’ (4:4). The call of every disciple of Christ is to be a witness for him starting from our home then to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). A true disciple must be willing to go wherever or to whomever the love reaches out to and that is exactly what Jesus did.
Jesus engages in a conversation with the woman on what she was there to do which was to draw water from the well. Jesus was the master of taking something that is natural and simple and using it to explain the supernatural and this isn’t the only time he has done this! There many other occasions in the gospels where he used something ordinary to explain the supernatural. Sinners didn’t find it difficult to talk to Jesus or engage in a conversation with Jesus! This is something that we all need to learn from the Master.
Jesus uses this conversation to address two issues that this woman was facing: First a moral issue. This woman had moral issue, she had had 5 husbands and the man that she was living with now was not her husband (4:18). Jewish teaching disapproved a woman having had more than 3 husbands and the fact that she has come to draw water in the mid-afternoon shows that she was socially isolated because historically the water-drawing took place either in the morning or at dusk in order to avoid the heat in the Mediterranean. The second is a spiritual issue. The woman diverts the conversation to a spiritual subject by referring to worship (4:19-14). Jesus explains that God is not limited to a geographical location or to a holy site and he is actually looking for true worshipers. He is interested in a relationship with people not in some religious duty.
Jesus was breaking the tradition here. First he not only goes to a place which all other Jews would normally avoid but staying there for 2 more days (4:40)! Secondly He was talking to a woman that even other women in her neighbour avoided. Rabbis would not normally speak to women in the public; it’s not the norm in Jewish culture! Even his own disciples were surprised that he was talking to a woman (4:27)! Jesus was not only willing to ‘Go’ but he was willing to ‘connect’ with the socially unacceptable. If we are not willing to connect but only go our obedience to the great commission will be purely a duty and not an act of love. Let Love ‘Go’ wherever it needs to go and break every barrier it needs to break so the heart of God can be revealed and ‘connected’ even to the socially unacceptable.