John 4:9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
For some reason I like to pick the least likely scripture to journal on and write about it. I mean, who would pick John 4:9. Well, me I guess. Here Jesus is at Jacob’s well resting because he is tired. His disciples have gone to town for a food run. So here Jesus is, physically worn out and thirsty. Then she comes along, a Samaritan woman, to draw water from the well to take back to town. The well is deep of course so you need a bucket and a rope to get the water out. Jesus doesn’t have that. So he asks her for a drink. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, really. But the truth of the matter is that it was a big deal.
You see, Jesus was a Jew; the woman was a Samaritan. According to tradition, if a Jew drank out of a Samaritan’s water bucket it would make him ceremonially unclean. So what, you may say. What’s the big deal? Well, being ceremonially unclean was a big deal. Remember when you were in Kindergarten and kids of the opposite sex were considered ceremonially unclean. We didn’t call it that, of course. We called it the cooties. We were convinced of it too – girls had cooties. You were not to be touched by one. So the little girls would chase the boys around trying to touch them or give them a kiss just to gross them out. Those were good times… okay, I digress.
My point is that just like we were convinced that girls had cooties, the Jews were equally convinced that Samaritans had the spiritual cooties, so to speak. But Jesus didn’t really care about all that silliness. He didn’t care about the ceremoniousness of it all (is that even a real word?). What Jesus cared most about was reaching into her world. He cared most about a pathway to her heart. And He was willing to go into her world to get her. It’s an important picture for us to get, really. That while we have been “cleaned up” by Jesus, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t get any dirt on our Sunday clothes. We are called to the lost, the broken, the dirty, to those with spiritual cooties. I wonder if we would be willing to ask them for a drink? I wonder if we would be willing to look unclean in order to change their eternity?