At that time, Jesus cometh therefore to a city of Samaria, which is called Sichar, near the land which Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well. It was about the sixth hour.
There cometh a woman of Samaria, to draw water. Jesus saith to her: “Give me to drink.” For his disciples were gone into the city to buy meats. Then that Samaritan woman saith to him: “How dost thou, being a Jew; ask of me to drink, who am a Samaritan woman? For the Jews do not communicate with the Samaritans.” Jesus answered and said to her: “If thou didst know the gift of God and who he is that saith to thee: Give me to drink; thou perhaps wouldst have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.”
The woman saith to him: “Sir, thou hast nothing wherein to draw, and the well is deep. From whence then hast thou living water? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank thereof, himself and his children and his cattle?” Jesus answered and said to her: “Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: but he that shall drink of the water that I will give him shall not thirst for ever. But the water that I will give him shall become in him a fountain of water, springing up into life everlasting.”
The woman said to him: “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come hither to draw.” Jesus saith to her: “Go, call thy husband, and come hither.” The woman answered and said: “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her: “Thou hast said well: I have no husband. For thou hast had five husbands: and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband. This, thou hast said truly.”
The woman saith to him: “Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers adored on this mountain: and you say that at Jerusalem is the place where men must adore.” Jesus saith to her: “Woman, believe me that the hour cometh, when you shall neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, adore the Father. You adore that which you know not: we adore that which we know. For salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh and now is, when the true adorers shall adore the Father in spirit and in truth. For the Father also seeketh such to adore him. God is a spirit: and they that adore him must adore him in spirit and in truth.” The woman saith to him: “I know that the Messias cometh (who is called Christ): therefore, when he is come, he will tell us all things.” Jesus saith to her: “I am he, who am speaking with thee.”
And immediately his disciples came. And they wondered that he talked with the woman. Yet no man said: “What seekest thou?” Or: “Why talkest thou with her?” The woman therefore left her water pot and went her way into the city and saith to the men there: “Come, and see a man who has told me all things whatsoever I have done. Is not he the Christ?” They went therefore out of the city and came unto him.
In the mean time, the disciples prayed him, saying: “Rabbi, eat.” But he said to them: “I have meat to eat which you know not.” The disciples therefore said one to another: “Hath any man brought him to eat?” Jesus saith to them: “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, that I may perfect his work. Do not you say: There are yet four months, and then the harvest cometh? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes, and see the countries. For they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages and gathereth fruit unto life everlasting: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. For in this is the saying true: ‘That it is one man that soweth, and it is another that reapeth.’ I have sent you to reap that in which you did not labour. Others have laboured: and you have entered into their labours.”
Now of that city many of the Samaritans believed in him, for the word of the woman giving testimony: “He told me all things whatsoever I have done.” So when the Samaritans were come to him, they desired that he would tarry there. And he abode there two days. And many more believed in him, because of his own word. And they said to the woman: “We now believe, not for thy saying: for we ourselves have heard him and know that this is indeed the Saviour of the world.” John 4:5-52
The other day, I was called out for not taking responsibility for someone else’s actions.
I know, right?
In the course of this individual’s choices they made some mistakes in allowing certain things to occur because they profited from doing so. Or so they thought. The return on the investment didn’t show up, and it’s likely going to end up being a big mess for them.
So they called me and asked me to get them out of the situation. And I refused. And they got very angry, and called me out for not doing enough.
My response was to remind them that at the end of the day, they’d made their bed and now they were going to have to lay in it. I simply presented the truth back in a way that was understandable. And once they realized that I knew the full story of what’d happened (that they’d broken the rules and were now frustrated with bad results), they changed the subject, then they became very nice, very passive, and ended the interaction.
The truth really scares people because of their relationship with it. When Jesus calls out the woman at the well, she knows she’s been caught. Perhaps when Jesus asks her for water, he’s testing her to see her metal. Every day we have a choice in how we work our relationship with the truth. When I was growing up, I have a very bad relationship with the truth. I lied excessively–mainly because I was ashamed of who I was, I was ashamed of where I came from and wanted people to see me as valuable, as lovable. What ended up happening was the opposite. People saw me as what I was, a liar, someone who couldn’t be trusted, and quite possibly, a neurotic! And I may still try to live up to being slightly neurotic! 🙂
Accepting that we all tell lies doesn’t make it ok. Accepting that other people agree to accept a lie, or a bend of the truth, doesn’t make it ok. Seeking consent and permission to bend the truth, or bend a situation, doesn’t make it ok.
Conversely, we can’t be surprised if in the course of our lives if we knowingly accept/practice expecting benefits when we know full well there are potentials for uncomfortable consequences. If I smoke for 25 years and then am told by my doctor that I have lung cancer, I don’t have the right to be surprised at that unless I’d been completely deluding myself.
In the same light, we can’t expect to stand up for issues of social justice and expect no resistance from the people who benefit from the imbalance of power.
If we love, if we practice radical love in our lives at every opportunity, the end results can only be radical love in return. This might take more effort, and the results might take lifetimes to see, but it requires someone to start the emotion into motion.