The Sexual Subtext in Jesus’ Encounter with the Samaritan Woman

June 25, 2012 — 8 Comments

Did you miss the sexual subtext in Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman? On the surface, the conversation is primarily about water and worship. Beneath the surface, however, there’s a great deal about sex and marriage.


Of course the topic of marriage is not entirely underground. There is that awkward moment when Jesus raises the issue of the woman’s marital status.

“Go call your husband and tell him to come here.”

“Ahhh… I have no husband.”

The subject, however, seems abrupt – out of place. It’s raised suddenly with no apparent connection to what precedes it. Nothing in the conversation suggests Jesus should be concerned with her marital status. And just as quickly as its raised its dropped. Not surprisingly the woman wants to run from the issue as fast as she can.

But what exactly does the woman’s marital issues have to do with her request for living water? Interpreters regard it as a chance for Jesus to reveal His power and expose the woman’s sin. Certainly he is doing that. But is there more? Here are four things most interpreters miss or just simply don’t want to talk about.

Wait! Who’s the Groom?

Jesus encounter with the woman by the well comes after John the Baptist calls Jesus the “bridegroom.” Now “bridegroom” is just a fancy biblical term for what we today call the groom. That’s right. Jesus, John says, is the man getting married! Read John 3:28-30:

You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him.’ The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. He must increase, but I must decrease.”

And this isn’t the first time Jesus has been described as the groom either. A chapter earlier, Jesus miraculous supply of wine at the wedding leads the headwaiter to tell the bridegroom that HE has supplied the best wine. Did you catch that? Jesus was the one that supplied the wine but the headwaiter attributes it to the bridegroom. There’s nothing wrong with that assumption. The groom was indeed responsible for the supply of wine. So Jesus in suppling the wine has acted as the bridegroom!

Okay. So if Jesus is the groom, who’s the bride?

“Here comes the br…” Wait. It’s the Samaritan woman.

Wink Wink. You Know, That Thing That Happens When Men Meet Women by Wells

Jesus conversation with the Samaritan woman is the longest dialogue between Jesus and a woman found in the New Testament. It’s safe to say that it’s pretty important. But what’s just as important is the way that John sets the scene and describes the action.

This isn’t the first time a man goes to a foreign land, sits down by a well of water, meets a girl and asks for a drink. In fact it happens quite a few times in the Old Testament with the same surprising result.

Continued here – The Thing That Happens When Men Meet Women By Wells

What do you think?

Matthew Scott Miller

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