John 4:27-30

When we enter the world, we’re expected to follow certain roles and are told such things as “boys will be boys” and “big girls don’t cry.” Before we even know what it is we are born to do, we receive assigned parts to which we are supposed to conform. No blank slates, we are marked up even before we leave the womb. We are signed up to participate before we know the rules of the game. 

I wonder if the Samaritan woman even blinks when the disciples return with food in hand. She sees their stunned expressions, the glances they exchange, the drop of their jaws. None of them say aloud what all of them are thinking: “Jesus, why are you talking to this woman? What does she want?”

This person at the well is not only female—she’s a Samaritan. For the disciples, those descriptors should be the end of the conversation. Certainly, nothing more is left to say. 

But Jesus has already said a mouthful, and the Samaritan woman is not about to keep quiet about it. She drops her water jar and kicks off a citywide revival. She now knows her place—and it is everywhere. 

Jesus changes the rules. When has he changed the rules for you?


How have certain gender norms affected my relationship with Jesus? What conversations might I be missing because my society’s “rules” got in the way?


God, thank you for the example of Jesus, who breaks those rules that break the people you love. Thank you for his determination to forge a new way by talking to the woman at the well. Thank you that he will do the same for me. Amen.

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