There can be many points of bias that one can have in spiritual seeking whether they are honest skeptics or even a cynic. If one looks at doubt and inquiry in encounters with Christ there is something to be appreciated on the marginalized from society. Some think that by the group they belong to or what they have done that Jesus as Savior need not apply. It would be almost like a given that a message like a goodness cannot be projected “down to” the marginalized. Case in point to be seen below in one woman who felt unworthy of Jesus’ friendship and attention.
A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” His disciples had gone into the town to buy food. The Samaritan woman said to him, “How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?” (For Jews use nothing in common with Samaritans.) Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God and who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you do not even have a bucket and the well is deep; where then can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us this well and drank from it himself with his children and his flocks?” Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.”
Jesus said to her, “Go call your husband and come back.” The woman answered and said to him, “I do not have a husband.” Jesus answered her, “You are right in saying, ‘I do not have a husband.’ For you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true.” (John 4:7-18).
First is the invitation
A woman of Samaria came …”“How can you, a Jew…?”— We are full in this world with socially based assumptions. A radical part of the good news of Jesus sees the marginalized especially to be proposed with grace that transcends barriers.
you do not even have a bucket and the well is deep; where then can you get this living water?— Here is a part of the dialogue where they are sort of speaking past each other. The woman thinks only by a natural terms but Jesus speaks first in spiritual life. But he will speak to her natural life too.
Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.—
This is a baby step to conversion. She is taking a step that Jesus can do something life changing and knows it is beyond physical circumstances. The key term “living” in the spiritual dimension can be defined analogously by biology. Defining life includes eating, growing and reproducing. For this life to dwell and overflow means that she can be touched by the life of Jesus and that this life can extend through her to others. Later that day this seems to play out in receiving, growing in and proclaiming who Jesus is.
I do not have a husband— This is a moral turning point in being encountered by Jesus. As a person or a group gets engaged with the gospel it should be known that the message of God’s kingdom, though of grace, puts our lifestyle on trial. In a post-Christian culture the rhetoric gets only better and better at putting objective moral values on trial. Yet, the Christian Church of the 1st century was known to be “the pillar and foundation of truth” (1 Timothy 3:15). Objective moral truth is often put on trial, albeit wrongfully. However, truth is exclusive and counter-cultural to someone and stands the test of time. Anyone facing a block to obedience in sin will stay in the “sweet spot” that we like to hide in.
But her gradual increase in her faith emerging in the encounter that is good. She did not yet know all of Jesus’ capabilities and could have lied. She could have said that her “husband” was away on a trip. What is implied is the beginnings of confessing how messed up her life has become. She is starting to slowly rip the band-aid off. But Jesus picks up the pace. Especially in our honesty, we are even more open for the same to happen to us which is ultimately for our own good. If we come to faith in Jesus, can learn to trust him. If we trust him on those things that make sense with a repentant heart, then we are open to his spiritual blessings in mystery. Jesus loves to unfold some of those mysteries of the kingdom to the simple and repentant of heart.