"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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The Woman at the Well
John 4:1-42 Commentary
by Lindsey S. Jodrey
As I write this, I’m cleaning toddler fingerprints off of my glasses. Smudgy lenses make for an awful experience, don’t they?
When viewed through smudgy lenses, things are unclear; you might miss important details in a document; you might miss the beauty of a picture.
For some biblical stories, we have a smudgy set of lenses -- preconceived notions and ideas that we bring with us that can cloud our perception. The story of the Samaritan Woman at the Well is a smudgy-lens story. So before we dive in, I’d like to try and clean off some smudges.
What this story is not
A “shady lady” goes to a well in the middle of the day because her bad reputation has made her an outcast from society. Jesus, the hero, calls out her sinful lifestyle and offers her living water. Convicted and moved, she repents, converts, and is washed clean.
What this story just might be
A woman -- strong, smart, and savvy despite her vulnerable location in the world -- becomes an example of someone who crosses boundaries to encounter Jesus in a real way. Refusing easy answers, her exchange with Jesus presents a powerful image ...
| Bible Text
2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
2020-21 Worship Resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL304: The Woman at the Well
February 04, 2018
This is the podcast for John 4:1-42, the Narrative Lectionary reading for Feb. 4, 2018, featuring Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Karoline Lewis. Podcast recorded at Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minn.