Lent 3 – Year A
The disciples of Jesus, those baptizing ones, had gone into Sychar, for they were feeling a little eleven-o-clock-ish. When they came back, they brought no one with them (and were still not strengthened enough to ask the questions on their hearts). Apparently they had not yet connected Jesus' "food" with food for the stomach and used their feeding opportunities to expand their hunger to compassionately connect with the "hunger" of others.
Contrast this with Photina (the traditional name for the Samaritan woman at the well) who was the post-modern of her time and who was able to raise leading, expansive, questions of her neighbors and brought many out to visit with and invite Jesus in. In 1:41, Andrew states, "We have found the Messiah" while here Photina says, "Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?" Are these evangelistic techniques simply a difference between male and female sensibilities, or the difference between how you speak to the privileged versus the unprivileged?
In some sense the visit to the well was her being led into the wilderness by the spirit, there encountering the "other" that allowed reflection upon present constructs and set a direction for reentering life from a changed perspective.
[Side note to self: Try tracking through John to see how the identity temptations were worked out in longer conversation blocks with people:
- "Here is the Lamb of God" and "Can anything good come from Nazareth" -- "If you are the Son of God"
- "Turn this water to wine" -- "Turn these stones to bread"
- "Stop making my Father's house a marketplace" -- "All the wealth of the world can be yours"
- "How dramatic does renewal have to be, rebirth?" -- "Jump now, reveal angels"
Do note the lack of rebuke Jesus gives Photina and how non-creedal her testimony. Does that give you permission to tell your insights based on your experience?