When I encounter Christ face to face, I hope I’ll be like the unnamed Samaritan woman and ask lots of questions. I certainly want to know why God allows bad things to happen to good people. Like a prosecuting attorney, I might ask why there are hurricanes, earthquakes, famines, pandemics, wildfires, and typhoons. Why is there cancer? Why were snakes created? Why are children sometimes abused? My questions are endless.
The Samaritan woman asks two significant questions in today’s passage. Responding to the gift Jesus describes in verse 10, she asks, “Where do you get that living water?” (v. 11). She would love to have it so she wouldn’t have to spend time and effort drawing daily from the well. It would be nice to never have a parched mouth again, too.
Then she asks, “Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob…” (v. 12). She wants this unusual Jewish man to explain why he says he can provide better water than the one who dug this well, which provides water each day for her entire community. Jesus distinguishes between a physical thirst for water and the kind of water that satisfies the soul, a spring of water gushing up to eternal life (v. 14). “Sir, give me this water,” she answers (v. 15), almost mirroring the immediate request Jesus made of her in verse 7. Somehow, she recognizes that Jesus is one who can answer her many questions and provide for her spiritual needs.
I think Jesus enjoys her good questions. I imagine he likes her
spunk. And I anticipate Christ being as patient with us about our
questions as he was with this bright, inquisitive woman at the well
who asks hers.
If you had a chance to talk with Jesus face to face like the woman at the well does, what questions would you ask?
God who gives us minds that think and ask questions, help us to trust you and the answers you offer us. Amen.