Once again, Jesus is led by the Spirit into the wilderness for a critical encounter. This time he meets not Satan, but a most unlikely angel. In the heat of the day, a messenger of God joins him for a life-giving exchange.
Tired from his journey, Jesus sits down at Jacob’s well, then realizes that he has no cup or bucket with which to draw water. The disciples have gone off to buy food and he is alone. But someone else is out in this desert heat, and she’s carrying a bucket. She may be the last person on earth Jesus wants to encounter, because not only is she a woman, she is a divorced woman. A woman with a shady past. A Samaritan. By custom, Rabbi Jesus ought not even speak with her in public, let alone drink from her Samaritan bucket.