Fresh Reading – John 4

For those of us who have read the Bible a lot, it is hard to avoid following old thought patterns.  a good example is the Woman at the Well in John 4.  You know that one, even Peter, Paul and Mary had a song about her!  (“Jesus met the woman at the well…”)

Anyway, it is interesting for two things – “Living water” is water that is freely flowing in a stream or from a spring.  “Fresh Read” is about living not stagnant reading.

Also, I had always heard that the woman was at the well in mid day out of being ostracized by her community (but does it say that?).  I had heard that she brought up the issue of the temple to divert Jesus from a personal conversation about her life.

But is that necessarily so?  sure, in the middle of an uncomfortable conversation about your life, try bring up politics (“Do you prefer Obama or Clinton?”) or sports (“Will the Cubs choke again?) and you are most likely saved from probing questions.

but what if the woman only know of a spirituality that came through buildings, such as the temple in Jerusalem or the one the Samaritans had in Mt. Gerazim.  Then maybe her question shows that she was perceiving that Jesus was talking about something other than well water, but about an authentic spirituality.  Is it possible that she was seeking, as best she could?

It would seem she does progress from missing the point about the water, to bringing out her (supposedly estranged) neighbors to meet Jesus.

What do you think?

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