The Woman at the Well

As the various posts on this segment demonstrate, we bring various and contrasting interpretations to the scripture. Happy are we if we understand and accept that contrasting interpretations may be equally valid. The Bible has been called the Living Word, which means to me that God speaks variously through the Bible to his various children. The beauty of this kind of blogging is that each of us hopefully have our minds and spirits stretched and broadened through the contributions of each participant.

Two facets of this story strike me as especially significant. A careful student immediately perceives the metaphoric dimension of water– this being the third appearance in John. Later we will read of Jesus quoting Isaiah 58:11 as “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” John goes on pointing out that Jesus was speaking of the spirit. (I love that pungent phrase, “out of his belly”; only in the King Jim.)

The other facet that most impresses me, as I’ve already pointed out in previous comments, is the clue that Jesus speaks to us all, not just the Jews, and includes us in his family. For me that means that he speaks to the Moslems (they in fact recognize him and may give him more credit than most Christians do), the Buddhists and all the others. We will read in 10:16 “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” Praise the Lord.

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2 responses

  1. Thank you Larry for this wonderful post. It is delightful that we can all bring rich and varied dialogue to these beautiful passages. As you mentioned, the clue that Jesus speaks to us all is the essence of the universality of Spirit. No borders, no boundaries, no divisions between class and culture. All means all. This message is there for us, clearer than ever, when we break through these barriers of separateness and ego.m

  2. I like the ecumenical interpretation — I’ve always heard that those outside the fold were the Christians, the non-Jews. Your view is much more broad and makes much more sense.

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