In general there are “Big picture people” and there are those who “Miss the forest because of the trees.” In my few years of ministry I have found that most are “Details people” when it comes to the things about which one truly cares. There is a small, seemingly insignificant detail recorded in Jesus’ meeting with a Samaritan woman in The Gospel of John. Jesus has had just spoken with an unnamed woman about living water and worshiping God in spirit and truth. The disciples show up astonished, and probably a bit taken aback at Jesus’ disregard of culture and common decency. In fact, the disciples are left speechless when they see the two of them together at a well, Jacob’s well, no doubt—a place of betrothal! Before the disciples can gather their thoughts, John tells us that the woman left her water jar at the well and went back to the city (John 4:28). This detail seems to be a narrative gloss of little importance, until one realizes that this small gesture is a total affirmation of Jesus’ offering of living water.
Why should she leave her water jar behind? Isn’t this the very reason she traveled to the center of town? In truth, she no longer needs a vessel for well water because she has been offered water which will never run dry. We can certainly
Jesus came to renarrate and transform this ancient symbol of chaos into a symbol of blessing through baptism and the offering of living water. After Jesus life, suffering, death, and resurrection, we now see water and the Spirit as cleansing and inviting. Oh, we could spend lots of time wading in the water which God troubles for our salvation, as the old Negro spiritual proclaims, but I would like you to think of the jar.
How is it that you are daily carrying “earthly water,” so to