I picked up a Bible today (it happens! No lightning bolts either!) and opened to a random page. And it occurred to me that, just as your average citizen has as much chance of predicting the stock market as a broker, that I could find meaning in this book as well as a concordance or a preacher. I mean, that’s why we got Martin Luther – so we can screw up this ancient text along with the priests.
Anyway, despite being raised a middle-class heathen, I have always had a fascination with this book. Most people do not like to do Bible study with me, since I spend the entire time asking silly questions like “Why is that guy named Beazlethorp?” So I will just have to study this on my blog (don’t worry, I’ll go back to other meaningful things, like hellish children’s shows, next time).
The Samaritan Woman
This is a story from the Old Testament’s sequel, the New Testament, in which God has a kid who tries to save the world and all sorts of predictably bad stuff comes of it. This particular story has Jesus taking a load off by a well owned by a Samaritan woman. Now I’d heard of Samaritans (there was a good one) but I wasn’t sure what they were, so I turned to my library research skills and picked this up from Wikipedia: “Based on the Samaritan Torah, Samaritans claim their worship is the true religion of the ancient Israelites prior to the Babylonian Exile, preserved by those who remained in the Land of Israel, as opposed to Judaism, which they assert is a related but altered and amended religion brought back by those returning from exile.”
Got that? Me neither. Moving on.
Jesus says “Gimmie some water.” Sheesh, Jesus, didn’t Mary teach you to say please? Were ya born in a barn? No matter, she’s way ruder back to him. She says, “No way, cause you’re a Jew and we Samaritans don’t deal with you.” Ah, random prejudice! Now Jesus, being God’s son with awesome super powers, could do one of three things at this point:
A) smite the crap out of her
B) teach her about God and stuff
C) ignore her. I mean, it’s a woman.
Jesus, being Jesus, decides to tell her about God. But tells her in his usual way –with riddles. He has to get his jollies somehow. So Jesus says, “Well your water is not so great, my water is living water. And if you drink it, you’ll get eternal life.” Which makes one wonder why he asked for water in the first place. Well, she thinks that sounds pretty cool, so she asks for some of his water. And Jesus tells her to get her husband, and when she fibs to him, he points out that she’s had five husbands. Oh, oh, Jesus googled stalked her! But she’s impressed and says “You must be a prophet! Any idea when that Messiah guy is coming?” And Jesus – looking all cool – is all, “Yeah, that’s me, pretty much.”
Then the Disciples (I like to call them the 12 Stooges) show up and want to know why he’s talking to a girl. And the girl goes into the village to tell everybody how he knew all this stuff about her, and wondering if he’s the Messiah or just a stalker. Then we’re back to the disciples, and they’re trying to get Jesus to eat something (great, this is going to be like the water thing again, right?) Bingo. He tells them he has food they don’t know about. Nanner.
So the disciples, who keep in mind KNOW he talks in riddles, take it literally and ask “Hey, did you give him food? No way, did you?” And Jesus, after slapping them each on the back of the head (it doesn’t say this, but I’m thinking it had to happen), says “My food is to do the will of him who sent me.” Well, did he will you to have a sandwich? I could just imagine going out to eat with him. “I’ll have a living water and the will of God. To go.” Anyway, he goes on to talk about reaping and harvesting and stuff, because apparently the writers have ADD and totally forgot about the rude well woman. And Jesus never did get a lousy drink.
So that’s the story of the Samaritan woman at the well. The meaning of it is to be nice and give someone water, cause you never know, it might be the Messiah, and he might want to tell you a long, confusing story. I think.