The beginning of the interaction with the woman from the well is a fascinating one. There are intricacies of Grace that speak volumes to the way I should approach others thirsting for it. 

*Side note: I realize there are many doctrines that can be exposed from this passage. The following view of the John 4:7-15 passage is done simply by looking through the lens of Grace... as with everything else at 

v7. A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” 8. (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) 

- These are Christ's first words to her
- He is proactive in establishing contact
- He joins her in what she is doing
- He talks to her even if there are a million reasons not to

v9. The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 

- The woman reacts normally (see why here)
- She questions the interaction, the request itself
- She brings up the obvious racial and gender differences between the two

v10. Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 

- Jesus goes beyond the physical question and answers a spiritual question she did not ask
- He looks to her spiritual needs, not her physical ones
- He immediately begins by describing ... Grace!
-- As a gift from God
-- As himself being the provider of this great gift
-- As something that is readily given following a simple, honest request

- It's amazing to me that the Creator of the universe, the Sacrificial lamb, the three-times Holy God doesn't start with critical judgements, sin, hell, but starts with Grace.

v11. The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12. Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” 

- The physical and the spiritual clash in her mind 
-- She hears living water but does not see anything physical to draw it with
-- She takes the spiritual gift of living water and compares it to the physical well given by Jacob
- She questions Christ's credibility by comparing His worth to Jacob, the patriarch
- She doesn't understand Christ's initial description of Grace

v13. Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14. but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 

- He is patient with her and listens to her questions
- He doesn't interrupt or belittle her
- He doesn't go into heavy doctrines or theology
- He acknowledges that she is struggling with the physical and spiritual differences
- He repeats and completes the description of Grace (again, forgoing judgement)
-- He is the giver of this gift
-- The gift is different from everything else that exists
-- The gift is all-satisfying
-- The gift transforms from within
-- The gift brings eternal life
-- Accepting the gift once means one never has to ask for it again

- He vulgarises what living water means to her
- He personalises the message to how it could meet her precise need

v15. The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.” 

- She realises the need for such a gift
- She still believes that it is something physical and not spiritual

Oh that I should have the wisdom in my witnessing to start with Grace and to listen patiently to their needs.

In the following part of this amazing interaction, Jesus, full of Grace and Truth, considers the sin in her life.
This is the second of a multi-part part series about the interaction Christ had with the woman at the well in John 4. It is a rich, intense, inspiring, deep and profound story with many lessons on Grace. (First part here)

Before we look at the actual interaction, I thought it important to explore the vast chasm of hatred between the Jews and the Samaritans. Here was Jesus, a Jewish rabbi, talking to a Samaritan woman of ill-repute at a well. 
John 4: 7 A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” 8 For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. 
9 Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. 

It was a mind-boggling portrait of contrasts. Even the Samaritan herself and and John underscore the magnitude of it in John 4:9.

Why did they have no dealings ? What was the history there ? Where did the profound hatred come from ? Turns out, it's quite deep-seeded.

The year was 772 B.C. Hoshea, Isreal's last king, was an evil king who had made a tribute pact with Assyria. He then betrayed Assyria by sending the tribute money to Egypt, essentially declaring war on Assyria. 

'The king of Assyria invaded the entire land, marched against Samaria and laid siege to it for three years. In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria (the capital of Israel at the time) and deported the Israelites to Assyria. He settled them in Halah, in Gozan on the Harbor River and in the towns of the Medes.' (2 Kings 17:5-6)

'The very poor were allowed to remain behind in the land of Israel. Foreigners from Babylon and surrounding territories were brought to the devastated region, and these intermarried with the Israelites which had been left behind. To this mixed population was given the name Samaritans (after Samaria, the metropolis, founded by Omri). The colonists from foreign lands were not pleased with conditions as they found them. They found the country overrun by wild beasts, and they correctly ascribed this plague to the displeasure of Jehovah whom they had offended. They begged their monarch to send them an Israelitish priest, who would teach them “the law of the god of the land.” 

And so it came about that an adulterated Judaism was grafted on the pagan cult. When a remnant of the Jews returned to the land of the fathers (chiefly, but not exclusively, from those who had been deported in the Babylonian Exile of 586 B.C.), built the altar of burnt-offering, and laid the foundation of the temple, jealous Samaritans and their allies interrupted the work (Ezra 3 and 4). The reason for this was that they had been refused permission to cooperate in the work of rebuilding. They had asked:
“Let us build with you; for we seek your God, as you do; and we sacrifice unto him since the days of Esar-haddon king of Assyria, who brought us up hither.”

The answer which they had received was as follows:
“You have nothing to do with us in building a house unto our God.” Having received this blunt refusal, the Samaritans hated the Jews (cf. also Neh. 4:1, 2) and subsequently built their own temple on Mt. Gerizim. This was destroyed by one of the Maccabean rulers, John Hyrcanus, about the year 128 B.C. The worshipers, however, continued to offer their adorations on the summit of the hill where the sacred edifice had stood. They do so even today. At Passover the entire community leaves home and camps on top of Gerizim where, when the full moon rises, the highpriest intones the prayers, and the slaughterers cut the throats of the lambs just as they did many, many centuries ago. Of the Old Testament they accept only the five books of Moses. ' (Bible Commentary)

For a Jew, being called a Samaritan was the worst insult to recieve (Lu. 9:53). Permanent walls of bitterness had been erected from both sides. The hatred was deep, historical, intense and very real. 

And yet, Christ's grace broke down all those man - made fortresses. It didn't matter that He was a man and she was a woman (sexism). It didn't matter that He was a teacher and she had a disgusting reputation (elitism). It didn't matter that He was a Jew and she was a Samaritan, an oppressed minority, a 'mongrel Jew' as the Jews called them at the time (racism). It didn't matter that He believed in the whole Torah and she only had heard of the Pentateuch (religionism). It didn't matter that He asked to drink from an impure vase (legalism). 

It didn't matter. None of it did.

All that mattered was that she was desperately thirsty for Grace and Truth and He wanted to give her an eternal drink. What's more... He went to die on the cross for her.

There are therefore NO excuses to write ANYONE off for anyone who seeks to emulate Christ. As long as there is breath, there is hope for Grace to be demonstrated and accepted.

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