"Before we get to make the same amount of money as men, our God sees us as equal. I think that makes Jesus a bit of a feminist."
In this episode of That'll Preach, Jacqui Lewis reflects on Jesus’s encounter with the Samaritan woman (John 4.5–42). How can we read Jesus’s interactions with women as evidence that God sees us all as equal?
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I'm Jacqui Lewis, the senior minister of Middle Collegiate Chruch, and you're listening to That'll Preach—a show that's one part sermon prep and one part devotional. And the next episode starts right now. Here we go!
Today we're going to be reflecting on John 4, verses 5 through 42. This is the story about Jesus coming to a Samaritan city, thirsty. A Samaritan woman is drawing water out of a well, and Jesus needs a drink; she reminds him about how he’s breaking the rules—that boundary crossing son of a God, breaking the rules.
And then they have a little conversation about what kind of water this is. Jesus talks about how everyone who drinks of this water will never be thirsty again, and she wants it. And in the conversation Jesus ends up telling her everything about her business. He knows all of her business.
Why is this text important in Women’s History Month? I think it’s fascinating how much character study we get from Jesus, who I’ve taken to call Yeshua, because of his conversations with people. And his interactions with women—I mean, think about it. There’s that woman caught in adultery. There’s Mary Magdalene at the resurrection.
And then there’s this Samaritan woman. Helping us to clarify who Jesus is, a guy who will cross the borders to get a drink and then offer something so amazing to a regular woman, a person who is on the borders of her culture because of her femininity, because of her gender, but also because of her Samaritan status—you know, those mix-raced folks.
What is happening right here is that Jesus’s interaction actually gives her more than he asks for. She receives living water, an opportunity for life, and more abundant life. In Jesus, we see god leading us where we are—even those of us who society sees as less than—and giving us more than we can ask or imagine.
What do you need from God today? No matter where you’re sitting in the world, women listening, God sees you; knows you; loves you. Before we get to make the same amount of money as men, our God sees us as equal. I think that makes Jesus a bit of a feminist. How about you?