- Contrast of the lowly Samaritan woman and the high born Rabbi
- The non-discriminatory Messiah
- Messiah of the downcast
- Scandalous love, mercy, and graciousness
- Transforming people who are moral failures into righteous ones
- The One who is Greater than father Jacob
- The well of living water that springs up to Eternal Life
Contrast of the lowly Samaritan woman and the high born Rabbi:
וַתָּבֹא אִשָּׁה שֹׁמְרוֹנִית לִשְׁאָב־מָיִם וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלֶיהָ יֵשׁוּעַ תְּנִי־נָא לִי לִשְׁתּוֹת׃ כִּי תַלְמִידָיו הָלְכוּ הָעִירָה לִקְנוֹת אֹכֶל׃ וַתֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו הָאִשָּׁה הַשֹּׁמְרוֹנִית הֵן יְהוּדִי אַתָּה וְאֵיכָכָה תִּשְׁאַל מִמֶּנִּי לִשְׁתּוֹת וְאָנֹכִי אִשָּׁה שֹׁמְרוֹנִית כִּי־לֹא יִתְעָרְבוּ הַיְּהוּדִים עִם־הַשֹּׁמְרוֹנִים׃ וַיַּעַן יֵשׁוּעַ וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלֶיהָ לוּ יָדַעַתְּ אֶת־מַתַּת הָאֱלֹהִים וּמִי זֶה הָאֹמֵר אֵלַיִךְ תְּנִי־נָא לִי לִשְׁתּוֹת כִּי עַתָּה שָׁאַלְתְּ מִמֶּנּוּ וְנָתַן לָךְ מַיִם חַיִּים׃ וַתֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו הָאִשָּׁה אֲדֹנִי כְּלִי אֵין־לְךָ לִשְׁאָב־בּוֹ וְהַבְּאֵר עֲמֻקָּה וּמֵאַיִן לְךָ מַיִם חַיִּים׃ הֲֲגָדוֹל אַתָּה מִיַּעֲקֹב אָבִינוּ אֲשֶׁר נָתַן־לָנוּ אֶת־הַבְּאֵר הַזֹּאת וַיֵּשְׁתְּ מִמֶּנָּה הוּא וּבָנָיו וּבְעִירוֹ׃ וַיַּעַן יֵשׁוּעַ וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלֶיהָ כָּל־הַשֹּׁתֶה מִן־הַמַּיִם הָאֵלֶּה יָשׁוּב וְיִצְמָא׃ וַאֲשֶׁר יִשְׁתֶּה מִן־הַמַּיִם אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי נֹתֵן לוֹ לֹא יִצְמָא לְעוֹלָם כִּי הַמַּיִם אֲשֶׁר אֶתֶּן־לוֹ יִהְיוּ בְקִרְבּוֹ לִמְקוֹר מַיִם נֹבְעִים לְחַיֵּי הָעוֹלָם׃
A Shomroni woman came to draw water, and Yeshua said to her, “Please give me a drink.” For his disciples had gone to the town to buy food. The Shomroni woman said to him, “Look, you are a Yehudi. How is it that you ask me for a drink, since I am a Shomroni woman?” For the Yehudim (Jews) do you not mingle with the Shomronim (Samaritans). Yeshua answered and said to her, “If you only knew the gift of Adonai and who is saying to you, ‘Please give me a drink’! For then you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water!” The woman said to him, “My master, you do not have a vessel in which to draw the water, and the well is deep. So where will you get living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob who gave us this well, from which he and his sons and his livestock drink?” Yeshua answered and said to her, “All that drink this water will return and become thirsty. But whoever drinks from the water that I give him will never become thirsty, because the water that I will give him will become within him a source of water flowing to eternal life.”
The lowly Samaritan woman is seen in sharp contrast to Rabbi Nicodemus, the high ranking member of the Sanhedrin who only a short while before had discussed with the Messiah the subject of spiritual regeneration (rebirth). The religious leader was seeking; she was indifferent. He was a highly respected ruler of his people; she was an outcast. He was serious and respectful; she was casual and flippant. He was formerly trained in religious matters; she was ignorant. He was a person of the highest moral reputation; she was a person of the lowest moral reputation. He was a man (no doubt) of one wife; she was a woman of several husbands (the narrative later indicates “five”). He was a high born Jew; she was a despised mixed-race Samaritan.
The non-discriminatory Messiah:
Yet, the non-racist, gracious to us ‘all’ Messiah equally loves both of these two incredibly different persons. For although He is most royal Himself, in His human ancestry He is Messiah ben David, the physical heir to the throne of David, and as Messiah ben Elohim He is assigned by Adonai the ruler over all creation (cf. Psalm 2): Nevertheless, Messiah is the “Savior of all the people of the World.” Therefore, Messiah is no ‘respecter’ of persons. Adonai requires that His Son, His Beloved Son, love all men, women, and children the same (perfectly). For this Divine reason, the Savior of the World cannot discriminate between Jew or Samaritan (or Gentile), so that now there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male or female. For we are all called to be as One person (One Israel and Commonwealth of Israel; i.e. one redeemed humanity) according to the teaching of Abraham (lit. the “Father of a Multitude of Nations”), the father of our faith, and the Messiah, the Savior of the entire World!
Messiah of the downcast:
וַתָּבֹא אִשָּׁה שֹׁמְרוֹנִית לִשְׁאָב־מָיִם וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלֶיהָ יֵשׁוּעַ תְּנִי־נָא לִי לִשְׁתּוֹת׃ כִּי תַלְמִידָיו הָלְכוּ הָעִירָה לִקְנוֹת אֹכֶל׃
There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. The Salvation of Adonai (Yeshua) said to her, “Give Me a drink.” For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.
Messiah’s disciples were in the city of Sychar buying food while the Messiah did a revolutionary thing (for the time and culture He was ministering in): He (the holiest and most righteous of all men) spoke alone to a “Samaritan woman” who was of known immoral reputation. For all the hyper-emphasis religionists put on appearances please note:
The real Messiah is the Messiah of the downcast.
Holiness to Him is engaging, helping and healing people; not isolating, segregating, and condemning them. The Son of Man did not come to condemn but to “seek and to save” those who are lost. He came to call the unrighteous of humanity to Teshuvah. He came to call us to return to Adonai and be “forgiven” and “healed.”
It was a shock for the Samaritan woman to be approached by a Jewish man and be asked for a drink of water. The racial prejudices of that time did not allow for public conversation between (non-closely related) men and women, between Jews and Samaritans. A private conversation initiated by a male stranger with a married woman, especially a woman with a questionable past, was forbidden; that Yeshua was a renown Rabbi made this private encounter all the more scandalous.
Scandalous love, mercy, and graciousness:
Radical love and radical mercy and graciousness (inspired and endorsed by Adonai) are always scandalous. There is no other way to help those who have fallen down than to stoop down to where they are and give them a hand up. How else can anyone of high moral character and reputation really help the downcast and those who are immoral and of low reputation? The Messiah taught us to not only love our brethren and friends but to love strangers and even our known enemies. How radical is that? Love is messy. Mercy and grace are often a dirty, frustrating, even dangerous business.
In the eyes of the foolish (the secular and religious zealots of the world) just fraternizing with the ignorant and impure masses of our world is a gross, despicable act against the Holy One (or whatever substitute secular philosophy or ‘absolute’ concern it is that they ‘worship’). Yet to Messiah what is really the most offensive and despicable acts committed against the Holy One (and of humanity in general) is when those of us who are “strong” refuse to help (love, be compassionate, give a helping hand to) the “weak.”
In the royal encounter and dialogue of the Holy One with the immoral and profane Samaritan woman we discover that Adonai is the Lover of all humankind and not just the orthodox. The Rabbi of rabbis stooped down from the lofty heights of His own perfect piety and made Himself a common man, a lowly, thirsty peasant in need of the only thing of value that this woman still had it in her power to give—-the water from Jacob’s well.
Transforming people who are moral failures into righteous ones:
Remarkably, this simple, ordinary personal request did an extraordinary thing: It elevated the Samaritan woman to the immeasurably high social status of the Righteous One. Rightfully so the surprised woman could not understand how this could be.
וַתֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו הָאִשָּׁה הַשֹּׁמְרוֹנִית הֵן יְהוּדִי אַתָּה וְאֵיכָכָה תִּשְׁאַל מִמֶּנִּי לִשְׁתּוֹת וְאָנֹכִי אִשָּׁה שֹׁמְרוֹנִית כִּי־לֹא יִתְעָרְבוּ הַיְּהוּדִים עִם־הַשֹּׁמְרוֹנִים׃ וַיַּעַן יֵשׁוּעַ וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלֶיהָ לוּ יָדַעַתְּ אֶת־מַתַּת הָאֱלֹהִים וּמִי זֶה הָאֹמֵר אֵלַיִךְ תְּנִי־נָא לִי לִשְׁתּוֹת כִּי עַתָּה שָׁאַלְתְּ מִמֶּנּוּ וְנָתַן לָךְ מַיִם חַיִּים׃
Therefore the Samaritan woman said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Yeshua (the Messiah) answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of Adonai, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”
The woman must be very confused and distressed about now. She has to be asking herself: “What is the gift of Adonai?” “Who is this Strange Jewish man who is inappropriately socializing with me?” “What is this living water that He says I need?” “If He has a plenteous supply of His own water why is it He asking me to supply Him with the water I have just drawn from the public well of Jacob?”
וַתֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו הָאִשָּׁה אֲדֹנִי כְּלִי אֵין־לְךָ לִשְׁאָב־בּוֹ וְהַבְּאֵר עֲמֻקָּה וּמֵאַיִן לְךָ מַיִם חַיִּים׃ הֲֲגָדוֹל אַתָּה מִיַּעֲקֹב אָבִינוּ אֲשֶׁר נָתַן־לָנוּ אֶת־הַבְּאֵר הַזֹּאת וַיֵּשְׁתְּ מִמֶּנָּה הוּא וּבָנָיו וּבְעִירוֹ׃
She said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water? You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?”
The woman misunderstood. She replied in a manner that indicated she believed that the Messiah was only referring to the water which was drawn from the depths of Jacob’s well; a well that she believed completely belonged to the Samaritan people and not the Yehudim. She has determined that the only sense she can make out of this strange man’s speech is that He possesses no means to draw the water with of His own, so He wants her assistance, the temporary use of one of her own water containers so that He might draw the water from Jacob’s well Himself. She then resorts to her ethnic and religious pride when she rhetorically claims Jacob was the father of the Samaritan people and that he specifically left this well of his to her people. So, rhetorically she asks: “Who does this strange Jewish man think He is to claim to me that the well of Jacob (and its living water) is His personal property and not the property of me and my people the Samaritans?
The One who is Greater than father Jacob:
וַיַּעַן יֵשׁוּעַ וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלֶיהָ כָּל־הַשֹּׁתֶה מִן־הַמַּיִם הָאֵלֶּה יָשׁוּב וְיִצְמָא׃ וַאֲשֶׁר יִשְׁתֶּה מִן־הַמַּיִם אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי נֹתֵן לוֹ לֹא יִצְמָא לְעוֹלָם כִּי הַמַּיִם אֲשֶׁר אֶתֶּן־לוֹ יִהְיוּ בְקִרְבּוֹ לִמְקוֹר מַיִם נֹבְעִים לְחַיֵּי הָעוֹלָם׃
Yeshua (the Messiah, the Salvation of Adonai) answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”
The irony is that in truth the Messiah is greater than Jacob and He does possess a living water of a different kind (the Life of the Spirit of Holiness) that is infinitely more valuable (that provides eternal nourishment) than that of the water of Jacob’s well (that provides temporal nourishment).
Yeshua (the Messiah) answered and said to her:
עָנָה יֵשׁוּעַ וְאָמַר לָהּ: “כָּל הַשּׁוֹתֶה מִן הַמַּיִם הָאֵלֶּה יִצְמָא שׁוּב, אֲבָל הַשּׁוֹתֶה מִן הַמַּיִם אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי אֶתֵּן לוֹ לֹא יִצְמָא לְעוֹלָם; הַמַּיִם שֶׁאֶתֵּן לוֹ יִהְיוּ בּוֹ לִמְקוֹר מַיִם נוֹבְעִים לְחַיֵּי עוֹלָם.”פ
“Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”
The well of living water that springs up to Eternal Life:
ובו נחלתכם גם אתם; שכן בשמעכם את דבר האמת, את בשורת ישועתכם, ובהאמינכם בו, נחתמתם גם אתם ברוח ההבטחה, רוח הקדש, אשר היא ערבון לנחלתנו עד לפדית הקנין, לתהלת כבודו. פ
And in Him, you too belong; for in hearing the truth, the besorah of your salvation, and believing in it, you have also been sealed in the Spirit of the Promise, the Spirit of the Holy One, which is the guarantee of our inheritance until our redemption, to His glory.
The Master reveals to the woman that the (physical) water from Father Jacob’s well will satisfy her bodily thirst for a short time but the (spiritual) water that He will provide her will satiate her thirst for all her life, and for all eternity. This water of a higher quality that only He (the personified Salvation of Adonai) possesses is of a different kind (spiritual kind) of life-giving water. This miraculous water makes of one “a well (inner spring) of water springing up to eternal life.”
The inner spring that the Master was referring to is the Presence of the Spirit of Holiness and therefore of His living works; which is the meaning of running water (as opposed to the dead works of our own self-life, absent the Spirit; which is the meaning of static water). It is the Spirit of Promise (רוח ההבטחה), the Spirit of the Holy One (רוח הקדש), who is the One who brings the call of His salvation to us.
The Spirit of the Holy One is the Evangelist of us all. The Holy One is the One Who regenerates us with His life. He regenerates our thirsty spirits and souls with His wonderful works of grace (chen-חֵן), mercy-compassion (rachamim-רחמים), and loving-kindness (checed-חֶסֶד).