Great Plains Daily Devotional for 2/17/2023: John 4:7-15

Today please be in prayer for

Winfield First UMC
Wichita East District
Winfield Grace UMC
Wichita East District
Winfield Grandview UMC
Wichita East District
Chaplain, Wichita Galicia Heart Hospital
Wichita West District

Today's Lectionary Text

John 4:7-15

A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.) 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.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.”

Today's Devotional

Editor's note: The following is part of a Lenten devotion booklet from Wichita University UMC, which will be on the church's website beginning Ash Wednesday:

Jesus had to have known about this unnamed Samaritan woman. Nobody comes to the well in the heat of the day unless there’s a reason. Had she no friends with whom to make a pleasant morning outing? Why was she alone? He knew the answers. 

Jesus was also alone, having sent his disciples into town to buy lunch. This well where tradition says the patriarch Jacob met his bride to be Rachel was a special place. Jesus was there to rest, but he was also thirsty. A Jew didn’t ask anything of a Samaritan, a man didn’t talk to a woman for that matter, and certainly wouldn’t use the same cup from which to drink. But where some would have seen challenges Jesus saw an opportunity. Rather than judging the woman by her obvious background and status, Jesus offered an invitation that broke down barriers: “Give me a drink.” Those words set off a lively discussion which quickly moved from water to living water, from heritage to faith.  

How often are we guilty of overlooking a stranger or even someone we know with the thought, “She’d never do that,” or “He wouldn’t be interested.” It might be someone new to the church – ”they need to get more comfortable before we ask them to do something.” Or it might be someone whose talents and gifts are unknown to us because we’ve never reached out to find out. In pursuing their response, we miss the opportunity. 

In Jesus’ simple request for water he issued an invitation. It could have backfired -- she could have screamed at him to go away, but she did not. In the sincerity of his words she heard an invitation she had never heard before, and it changed her life. Perhaps the few words we speak to one as yet unknown to us will also begin a life-changing process -- for the person we invite and for ourselves. 

-- Rev. Glenn Tombaugh 
Retired elder

Prayer for Reflection

Dear Lord, help us to see all of the people, especially those we might not first notice. Amen.


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