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The meaning of the woman at the well

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Throughout the gospels in the New Testament, there are many stories about encounters between Jesus and seemingly random people. I often study these scriptures and sometimes, commentaries in an attempt to extract meaning from these brief exchanges. One of the encounters is between Jesus and a Samaritan woman, who is often referred to as the woman at the well. The disciples seem to have disappeared for a while and so Jesus goes to the well by himself to get a drink of water. There he encounters a woman with whom he has an unusual conversation.

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SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Jesus and the Woman at the Well. John Chapter 4 Bible Movie

The Woman at the Well: How Transformation Happens

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Fools miss the sublime truths of Holy Scripture. Outside the Catholic Church, there are none who understand it properly.

Inside the Church, there are precious few that see in it a deep and strong assertion of the truths of the Faith they profess.

Still fewer are those who live the lessons disclosed in it. This article, which relies heavily on the commentaries of insightful Catholics — members of the Church Militant or Triumphant — is an attempt to bring those outside the Church in, and those inside to a fuller appreciation of how and to what depth this account is an affirmation of their Faith. This article is organized according to the following outline.

We choose this method to show how the account can be read and meditated on at many different levels and from different angles. The two Apologetics sections will show how these verses in St. Our Lord and the Samaritan woman had their conversation, as recorded in St. The reason for this journey was to avoid the Pharisees, whose suspicions were aroused by the fact that His disciples were baptizing and attracting many followers — even more than St.

John the Baptist had. At about noon one day, He arrived wearily at a well in a town called Sichar. There He found a woman whom He asked for some water. Since the disciples had gone off to buy something to eat, Jesus was alone with the woman. She expressed surprise that a Jew — for apparently she could tell He was a Jew — would dare speak with her, a Samaritan woman. Aside from the fact that private conversations between unwed men and women were not considered proper at that time and in that place nor should they be , there was the additional fact that Samaritans and Jews rather despised each other.

It would be as if an Armenian asked a Turk for a drink, or an Arab an Israeli. Then Our Lord says something puzzling, telling the woman that, if she knew who He was, she would ask Him for living water, and He would give it to her. When she noted that He had nothing for taking water from the very deep well, He simply affirmed the excellence of His water and how those who drink it never thirst again. She expressed an interest, for such a thing would save her the drudgery of coming to the well daily to draw.

Before agreeing to give her the water, Jesus told her to get her husband, ostensibly so that He might give it to both of them. The woman, who was an adulteress, confessed that she had no husband. At this admission, Jesus told her that she had had five husbands and was then living with a man who was not even her husband.

In response, Jesus addressed not only the issue of which was the true Faith — the Jewish or Samaritan — but showed how the entire ancient alliance was to be superseded. 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. At that moment the disciples arrived with the food. The woman, probably still reeling at the profundity of the revelations just given her, left her waterpot behind and went to tell the townspeople about Jesus. Surprised somewhat at their Master for speaking to such a woman, the disciples dared not question Him, but instead invited Him to eat.

To this request He replied with a lesson on doing the will of God. He then taught them that the harvest of souls — which is the will of God — was about to begin, at which point a crowd of Samaritans arrived on the scene.

They begged Him to stay with them, which He did, preaching to them for two days. In order to appreciate the episode of the woman at the well, it helps to know some history.

To begin with, the Samaritans were utterly despised by the Jews. This is relatively common knowledge, and is easily gleaned by even a surface glance at the Gospels. In the episode of the cure of the ten lepers recorded by St. Samaria itself was the capital of the schismatic Northern Kingdom. Its history is recorded in 3 Kings, Chapters eleven and twelve. In order to keep his people from departing him and frequenting the true temple in Jerusalem, Jeroboam set up an alternative religion in his kingdom: a blasphemous cult of idol worship.

Despite the infidelity of Jeroboam and others, there were still true believers who lived in the Northern Kingdom, and even authentic prophets.

In about , the Assyrians invaded the homeland of the ten tribes and scattered them among their other conquered peoples. So as to keep their conquered provinces subject, the Assyrians would move the inhabitants of one nation to another. Thus, with the removal of most of the people of the ten tribes, came an influx of Chanaanites, Syrians, Cutheans, Arabs, and other gentiles, who brought with them their idols and their contemptible religious cults, some of which included child sacrifice.

But these mongrels — the product of Assyrian social engineering — also included the God of Israel as a subject of their worship. The general region of the Northern Kingdom eventually came to be known by the name of one of its chief cities: Samaria.

If the Jews detested the Samaritans, the feeling was mutual. After that, the Samaritans, by intrigue, attempted to stop the building of the Temple. We get a taste of Samaritan bigotry in an incident recorded in the Gospels Lk. They would not receive Our Lord simply because He was traveling to Jerusalem.

Like the Moslems, the Samaritans considered themselves the true heirs to the religion of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Though they violated many of its precepts, they reverenced the five books of Moses, the Pentateuch, as Holy Scripture. In fact, they justified their temple on Mount Garizim by the fact that this mount was the mount of blessings mentioned at the time of Moses and Josue Dt. Sichem was also the land that Jacob willed to Joseph, whose last will it was that his bones be carried there from Egypt.

There are several passages here that prove Catholic claims over Protestant objections. The first has to do with the silly notion of Sola Scriptura. To get to Galilee from Judea, Samaria was unavoidable.

Is it impossible for God to make Himself disappear from one place and reappear in another? Yet there are places where Scripture contains equally plain statements that Protestants interpret to refute Catholic practices or beliefs:. Certainly Protestants do not claim the charism of infallibility to interpret these passages without any possibility of the slightest error ; therefore, they must admit that they could be wrong in asserting such passages as proofs against Catholicism.

And if they could be wrong in their Biblical objections to Catholicism, then Sola Scriptura is hogwash.

The next argument we come to is a bit deeper, yet it is nonetheless a valid support for certain Catholic truths over Protestant errors.

The work of the Father He who sent Jesus is to be finished, perfected, or brought to completion by Jesus. Let the reader stop here to appreciate two things. Now, the Father is God. Clearly, as the sacred Humanity of Jesus is true humanity, and not a lying phantom, then His work as Redeemer was at the same time the work of God and Man.

We non-divine humans cannot possibly add to the work of God. 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. Our Lord, likening the salvation of souls — His work — to the work of the harvest, tells the Apostles that they are soon to enter into the labors of others.

Those others were, in the common opinion, the prophets, priests, teachers, and the other just of the Old Testament, who prepared the Jews for the coming of Jesus. They will reap — this is work. And to complete the teaching by an example, St. It fits in a pattern that we may observe elsewhere in Scripture, especially in the Gospel of St.

In participating, they both work out their own salvation and help others to achieve salvation. This obliterates the absurd notion of some Protestants that believers have no active role in their salvation.

To the Liberal Catholic, the Faith is not unique; it is one way among many to achieve salvation. The heresy of the Liberal manifests itself in many ways, one of them being an effeminate type of compromise with false religion. This sinful attitude cannot be backed up by one word of Scripture. In His dealings with a woman of a false religion, Jesus shows Himself to be kind and loving; and also, without any contradiction, condemning of false religion.

Of course, this statement would be offensive to the Jews, too. Our Lord told them in many ways how much greater He was than the saints of the Old Testament cf.

The following chapter of St. But the difference between the Old and New Testaments, while great, is chiefly that the one was a preparation and the other its fulfillment.

They formed two different dispensations of the same one true religion. The same could not be said of the religion of the Samaritans: Jesus clearly regards it as a false religion. King Ashurbanipal of Assyria ca. The Samaritans have made up a god of their own design by accommodating the God of Israel to their false worship. He has revealed Himself to them, while the Samaritans reject His authentic revelations. Further, to offer acceptable adoration, those who adore must do so in spirit and in truth.

Each man must believe the truth i. This is all the more condemning of Liberalism when one takes into account the fact that the Samaritans did not completely reject the Old Testament. As we said earlier in the article, they accepted the five books of Moses as authentic. Further, they had explicit faith in the coming of the Messias. Further, Our Lord teaches us that salvation is a commodity offered exclusively by the true religion.

John 4:1-26 : The Samaritan Woman at the Well

Augustine here reflects on the famous conversation in the Gospel of John between Jesus and the Samaritan woman who came to draw water from the well. He sees her as a symbol for the Gentiles who are called to conversion and faith and who are promised the gift of the Holy Spirit in abundance. A woman came. She is a symbol of the Church not yet made righteous. Righteousness follows from the conversation.

By Rev. John Trigilio, Jr. Kenneth Brighenti.

Advanced Search. Kulish, Vietnamese Xhosa. Study the Inner Meaning. Jesus therefore, being wearied wearied with his journey, sat sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth sixth hour hour. Jesus said said unto her, Thou hast well said said , I have no husband:.

The Woman at the Well

When Jesus speaks with the Samaritan woman in John , is the passage about her husbands literal, or symbolic of the five different tribes that were settled in her town? The Samaritan woman, unlike other individuals who speak with Jesus in the Gospel of John, is never named. Some interpreters have taken this anonymity as an invitation to view her as an abstraction, a symbol of Samaria itself. If she is a symbol, the thinking goes, then surely her five husbands could represent the five locations in Samaria that settlers are supposed to have been brought according to 2Kings This approach treats the Samaritan woman as a mere allegory. This view gains traction when we look at the heavy symbolism in the story. Readers of the Jewish or, for that matter, the Samaritan scriptures would know that when a man and a woman meet at a well, a wedding usually follows.

4 Amazing Things We Can Learn from the Woman at the Well

Question: "What can we learn from the woman at the well? This was an extraordinary woman. She was a Samaritan , a race of people that the Jews utterly despised as having no claim on their God, and she was an outcast and looked down upon by her own people. However, this woman was ostracized and marked as immoral, an unmarried woman living openly with the sixth in a series of men.

If you are a Christian, you have probably heard of the Samaritan woman at the well. She is talked about in the gospel of John

When Assyria carried away the northern kingdom of Israel in BC , not every citizen was taken. Many remaining Israelites married into the people whom the king of Assyria resettled in the area 2 Kings 17; 2 Chron. Because of this, many new identities emerged. The majority of Jews were essentially racist toward Samaritan society because of its religious practices and ethnic descent.

Woman at the Well: A Story of a Loving God

The story of the woman at the well John has as much direct discussion of human labor as any story in John; but one has to draw deeply to taste it all. This motif permeates the Gospel: the crowds repeatedly show an inability to transcend everyday concerns and address the spiritual aspects of life. They do not see how Jesus can offer them his body as bread John They think they know where he is from Nazareth, John , but they fail to see where he is really from heaven ; and they are equally ignorant as to where he is going John

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: What Do We Learn about Jesus in His Encounter with the Woman at the Well?

The story of the woman at the well is one of the most well known in the Bible; many Christians can easily tell a summary of it. On its surface, the story chronicles ethnic prejudice and a woman shunned by her community. But take look deeper, and you'll realize it reveals a great deal about Jesus' character. Above all, the story, which unfolds in John , suggests that Jesus is a loving and accepting God, and we should follow his example. The story begins as Jesus and his disciples travel from Jerusalem in the south to Galilee in the north.

Bad Girls of the Bible: The Woman at the Well

Fools miss the sublime truths of Holy Scripture. Outside the Catholic Church, there are none who understand it properly. Inside the Church, there are precious few that see in it a deep and strong assertion of the truths of the Faith they profess. Still fewer are those who live the lessons disclosed in it. This article, which relies heavily on the commentaries of insightful Catholics — members of the Church Militant or Triumphant — is an attempt to bring those outside the Church in, and those inside to a fuller appreciation of how and to what depth this account is an affirmation of their Faith.

Dec 17, - In order to appreciate the episode of the woman at the well, it helps to know some history. To begin with The meaning is essentially the same.

The Samaritan woman at the well is a figure from the Gospel of John , in John — The woman appears in John 4 :4—42, However below is John — But he had to go through Samaria.

Spiritual Rebirth: The Samaritan Woman at the Well

This Sunday, the Third Sunday of Lent, we will hear in the Gospel the story of the encounter and conversation of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well. I invite you to think about the thirst of Jesus and the thirst of the woman in the Gospel, representing also our thirst, the thirst of our souls. On the surface, Jesus was naturally thirsty.

Samaritan woman at the well

Categories: Bad Girls of the Bible , Blog. Not this girl. A moment of relief during the heat of the day. He sat.

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Who Was The Woman at the Well?

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In Truth and Charity: The woman at the well

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Comments: 1
  1. Nagrel

    Very amusing piece

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