The Samaritan Woman at Jacob’s Well
A One-Act Play first performed at College Mennonite Church,
Goshen, IN, morning worship June 1, 1975.
To: Readers (or performers)
To help your understanding and reading, here are a few notes.
I find this story (John 4:4-42) to be a most rich one. Many interpretations of it have been inadequate or misleading. Hopefully, this creative drama will serve to correct and teach. For example, we need to understand that Jews and Samaritans knew intense conflict between them. Details of this conflict come through here, especially as the village women converse around the well, and as the disciples reveal their prejudice.
Many people approach biblical stories with a strong pro-Jewish view. Or else, they strongly negate them. While I do not negate Jewish perspective, I hope that we gain new respect for Samaritans including insight into how Jesus related with people loyal to different religions. Such awareness regards their understanding of the holy conveyed in Mount Gerizim. It honors the fact that Samaritans would not have used the names Messiah or Christ for the Prophet-to-come who they named Taheb. We often focus this story on living water. While the importance of that feature is not to be denied, comparable attention to place of worship and revolutionary inclusion are needed.
For seminary Independent Study credit with professor Orlando Schmidt, I studied this text, wrote the one-act drama, and saw through a memorized production of it for a morning worship service at College Mennonite Church, Goshen, IN on June 1 of 1975. Staging instructions have that church in mind; these can easily be adapted or ignored when reading the script. Friends Anna Kay Friesen and Stephen Shenk effectively played the prime roles; congregation members did a fine job with supportive roles. (Include several children to act but not speak.) The play can also be effectively read in groups.
Few readers or tellers of this story listen carefully to the Samaritan woman, her breadth of experience and informed belief. But Jesus recognized her depth. Interpreters have judged and discredited her multiple marriages without awareness of how they might have evolved through features of culture. Hopefully, serious, unbiased attention to this woman’s account and the fact that Jesus gifted her with his first self-revelation as “I AM” plus his support for her to “go and tell” others offers you new meaning.
“Talking with a woman. . . Can this be the Christ?”
Cast of Characters (in order of appearance or groupings)
Woman 1 Disciple 1 Young Disciple Samuel
Anna Jesus Disciple 2 Abimalech
Woman 2 James Mary Nathan
Sarah Magdalen Samaritan Woman (Sarah)
Stage directions appear within parentheses, in italics. (Samaritan village women enter, bowing to Mount Gerizim. Woman 1 at the well. Anna approaches from aisle B through audience, bowing to Mount Gerizim. They draw water while conversing. Dim, early morning.)
Woman 1: Shalom, Anna.
Anna: Shalom. Peace be upon you . . . Isn’t this day beginning hot?
Woman 1: I can see the dust thicken each day on the mat.
Anna: Just look at your feet.
(Enter Woman 2, Aisle B, bowing to Mount Gerizim.)
Anna: Shalom. Peace be upon you.
Woman 2: And upon your family.
Anna: You’re early today.
Woman 2: I’ve so much water to draw. It’s that time for Shem’s mother. And Hannah has five days yet before she’s purified.
Woman 1: You mean that babe is two months old already?
Woman 2: For Hannah, it seems like four. She was always so faithful at the Temple you know.
Anna: Maybe I shouldn’t say this, but remember that harlot we talked about yesterday? Silas said that she moved in with Rueben’s Samuel.
Woman 1: But they’re not legally married? My son’s not going over there anymore!
Anna: What does law mean to her, anyway. She knows that the law allows only three marriages.
Woman 2: Do you ever see her. . . . I wonder when she draws water . . . . Must be a lonely person.
Anna: Lonely? Certainly not for more men! Anyway, why should you care?
Woman 1: Here comes Sarah, with her tribe.
(Miscellaneous greetings. Enter 3 or 4 children and Sarah aisle B, bow to Mount Gerizim. Children play stick game, gulp a drink, bump filled jug, etc. during conversation.)
Woman 2: Sarah, you look tired and the day’s just beginning.
Sarah: Not mine. Abimalech’s leg is infected again. He had terrible pain most of the night. So, neither of us slept. I sent seven-year-old Daniel off with the herd. . . had only a chunk of bread for his lunch
Woman 2: That’s quite a task for a boy his age . . . Your Nathan is back, I hear.
Sarah: (Heavily, saddened) He’s a changed fellow. Jerusalem was no good for him. He even argues with his father now. . . . Says that we all might be wrong about Mount Gerizim.
Anna: Wrong about Mount Gerizim?
Woman 2: Those Jews. Why do they think that Jerusalem is the only place to worship?
Anna: Everyone knows that this is where Joshua and the people first worshipped.
Woman 2: Right here the tribes of Israel were first organized.
Sarah: Nathan makes fun of us when we bow to Mount Gerizim. He says it’s like worshipping an idol.
Anna: But we don’t worship the mountain itself. We worship, or bow to, the presence of God within the mountain. Make Nathan read our Samaritan scroll again—the one written by Aaron’s great grandson. I tremble whenever that sacred Pentateuch is unrolled.
Sarah: I wish it were that easy.
Woman 2: But some of our beliefs are shared in common with the Jews.
Woman 1: Sure—belief in God, in Moses, and the law. They don’t have a creed, though, like we do.
Woman 2: Then to those three features, we added a belief about Mount Gerizim . . . for good reason.
Sarah: What again is that reason? I need to know. Nathan thinks he’s so informed . . . Says only we have twisted things. Then he’s stone deaf about the way Jews have altered facts.
Anna: Well, in Deuteronomy the law demands that the people have a single place to worship. No special location was mentioned. Yet, scripture notes Shechem as the place where God’s name would be placed, which means that God would live there or be present.
Woman 2: Then Jews changed some texts to downplay our Mount.
Anna: Like Ezra. Why else did he transcribe the Pentateuch into Aramaic? To have a Jewish text ignore Mount Gerizim. And to separate us as peoples.
Woman 2: You know . . . those with power often are prejudiced. Stubborn like the donkeys we know . . . afraid that they might lose control.
Woman 1: That’s right. How people do keep others down, then justify doing so by quoting a scripture or law.
Sarah: Nathan asks: “Where was the law book found . . . about which Huldah prophesied? In the Jerusalem temple, not at Shechem.”
Woman 2: Was Nathan allowed inside the Temple?
Sarah: Of course not. None of us Samaritans are. But a couple of devout Jews talked all night with him. I’m afraid he believed most of what they said. . . . What they said about Jewish women he really liked.
Anna: What was that?
Sarah: Oh, that they’re kept ignorant of religious matters and the law. Jews wouldn’t approve our knowing what we’ve been discussing here.
Anna: Sounds like a good way to justify that women don’t want to know. . . . I suppose that Nathan wants to marry a Jew?
Sarah: God forbid!
Woman 2: I heard that Jews think that we Samaritans aren’t really Israelites. Why is that?
Woman 1: Because during captivity we intermarried with people brought into this area. As if no Jew has ever defiled himself that way!
Sarah: Oh, that reminds me. Nathan was really irked by one incident. About 25 years ago Samaritans scattered human bones all over the Temple. Defiling the sacred in that way, at Passover time, didn’t add to good will.
Anna: But that’s nothing compared to the way that Jews destroyed Mount Gerizim’s temple a hundred years earlier.
Woman 2: Tell me, just why should we be considered Gentiles?
Anna: We have the same heritage. Just like the Jews, we gained our religion from Moses.
Woman 1: But we expect a prophet-like-Moses rather than a king to restore what God intended in creation.
Anna: Yes, how we look forward to Taheb’s coming, the Savior of the world!
Woman 2: True . . . Interesting as this talk is, it doesn’t bake my bread.
Woman 1: With the heat of this day, shouldn’t take long for it to rise. Shalom.
Woman 2: Peace be upon you.
(Woman 1 and 2 exit aisle B, bowing to Mount Gerizim)
Sarah: Shalom. Thanks for your help. I feel like I can at least face Nathan again. . . . Children, let’s go. There’s work to be done. (Exit aisle A, bowing extensively.)
Anna: (To herself) That other woman still hasn’t come. I wonder too when she draws her water.
(Exit aisle B, bowing. Complete daylight—midday. Immediately enter Jesus and disciple group of four men and two women down rear aisle C, through audience.)
Disciple 1: We must be nearing Shechem. Wonder if we’ll have any trouble here.
Jesus: Likely not if we don’t provoke it . . . sometimes I wish we’d stir more up.
James: You’re still bothered by your long talk with Nicodemus, aren’t you? Give him time.
Jesus: Time? Why does he need so much? He may be a ruler, but he doesn’t know much about true authority. His leadership isn’t rooted in love.
Disciple 1: (Leaning on Jesus’ arm, smugly expressed.) Well, I’m glad to be your follower. We know your message. We see your compassion. Who among us would deny your kingdom? Nicodemus avoided coming to the light, but we never would.
Jesus: Weren’t you the one who wanted to avoid coming through Samaria?
Disciple 1: Who me? Well, I don’t want to be defiled. Just keeping the law. I know what purity is. So, I avoid what’s impure.
Magdalen: Can that very purity ever be misleading? . . .
Young Disciple: Hey! A well. Let’s drink. (Gets out flask. Disciples drink.)
Disciple 2: Master, is this one of Jacob’s? (Looking down into the well.) Sure is deep. Must have been dug for some large tribe. Or else they didn’t want to depend on the owners of nearby springs.
Young Disciple: If that’s Shechem in the valley, then we’re 30 miles from Jerusalem.
Disciple 1: If so, that means that Mount Gerizim is there on the left. Imagine considering that rocky knoll more sacred than Jerusalem!
Disciple 2: What good could come out of such rubble?
Disciple 1: God must have made a mistake, expecting people to be thankful there when released from Egypt. Believers in that hill are still in bondage.
James: How different from Zion. Oh, Zion, our beautiful city of David!
Jesus: I’m tired. And I need some time alone. Why don’t you all go on in to the village. Buy a little food while I wait here. The rest of our group might catch up with us then.
Young Disciple: Think the shopkeepers will know that we’re Jews? . . . . Hope they won’t refuse to sell to us.
Jesus: Mother, remember, I do like figs.
Mary: I will, son. And when we return, let’s talk more about following you. Never before have I had such an opportunity.
Disciple 2: Let’s go this way. (All but Jesus begin to exit to left.) That path looks more worn over there. Probably more Samaritans go that way. But this path is bound to get us to Shechem.
Disciple 1: Say, James, I’ve been wanting to ask you something. How do you explain your wife Magdalen’s being with us? I mean . . . all month long?
James: Jesus encourages us. At first, we weren’t sure.
Magdalen: The Master said that it was part of following him. The new order that he’s bringing intends to restore unity for people.
James: You and I (to Disciple 1) aren’t to assume that we have certain privileges.
Disciple 1: But you know . . . the law. Look at the problems created. Rules forbid a man to be alone with a woman in public, to look at someone else’s wife.
Disciple 2: You yourself know what the law says. It’s disgraceful for a Teacher to speak with a woman in the street.
Disciple 1: What’s more, having these women along might change my ways. I’m afraid I’ll forget and start talking with a strange woman.
James: Well, what’s our pattern? Jesus or the law?
Disciple 2: I simply can’t accept the way Magdalen and Mary are learning the truth from the Master. No different from us! I was always taught, “Let a man burn the words of the law, rather than teach them to women.”
Mary: But Jesus is leading us to re-examine the law. I knew from the embryo stage on, that he would be different, radically different.
Young Disciple: Tell me, James, are these women . . . unusual? Odd? My mother was always unclean at least part of each month. Each of our household women stayed away from the Temple, couldn’t be touched. Aren’t you defiled when Magdalen touches you?
Disciple 1: Don’t be naïve. All women are the same. Remember too, we Jews believe that Samaritan women are unclean all the time. Drinking from anything that they use degrades us.
James: Having Magdalen and Mary along with us is new for me too. But I won’t complain. I’m beginning to respect them more, to learn of their strengths beyond bearing children.
Disciple 2: You think that they belong with us, then? (Women join men disciples.)
James: Have you noticed how casual Jesus is with them, any time? He must be teaching by the way he acts. Seems to include anyone. I don’t know what all that might mean.
Mary: Imagine how different being accepted feels to us! I had never imagined the inner strength of being fully approved.
Magdalen: Except, of course, when we birthed a boy baby.
Mary: Yesterday, Jesus even intentionally walked behind me. I felt uneasy.
Disciple 2: So, why make women uncomfortable?
James: (Forcefully) Simply because the “comfort” you’re favoring was not intended in created goodness. Know what I mean?
Magdalen: It’s true, Jesus expects just as much of Mary and me as of you.
Mary: By the way, what did you think he meant when he said, “Everyone who believes keeps on living?” That’s hard to comprehend too.
Disciple 1: Not as difficult as this change. Hearing you women—with authority—tell people about Jesus’ miracles unsettles me. And I’m educated. I know the Torah.
Young Disciple: What I know is that I’m hungry. Let’s go!
(All fully exit aisle D. Samaritan woman comes in through audience, aisle B, bows toward Mount Gerizim, hesitates momentarily on seeing Jesus resting at the well. He notices her, moves to the left of the well to let her draw.)
Jesus: (As woman draws water) Excuse me, could I have a drink?
(Woman ignores him.)
Jesus: Do you . . . know what I’m saying?
Samaritan Woman: (Sarcastically) I hear you.
Jesus: Well, I’d sure be glad if . . .
S. Woman: Has Judea gone dry?
Jesus: All I’m asking for is a . . .
S. Woman: You’re a Jew, aren’t you? Why do you, a Jewish man, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for water? Are you . . . ill?
Jesus: I’m not trying to insult you.
S. Woman: I don’t even see your jug. Don’t you have one? You Jews wouldn’t use our pots. That would defile you, pure as you are.
Jesus: I wouldn’t be too sure (Half questioning) I notice that you draw later in the day than most women?
S. Woman: Sir, this well is deep. Our forefather Jacob dug it. He used to lift the stone that covered it to draw for his herds and family. You think you’re greater than he? Why expect to get water without working for it?
Jesus: I merely asked you for a drink. I admit that I need your help. You might need mine.
S. Woman: You want to drink—from my jug?
Jesus: Yours is as good as anyone’s.
S. Woman: (Confused) I don’t believe it. . . . But, here.
(With hesitation, hands her cup from pocket. Pours from her pot. He drinks) He’s drinking!
Jesus: Could I have more?
S. Woman (Almost sarcastically) Is it good?
Jesus: As far as drinking water goes, it’s good. Ever consider the option of living water? (Pours out remaining water from cup.)
S. Woman: (Skeptically) What’s that?
Jesus: Water as Spirit, living in and speaking through a person. It’s a gift. Spiritual water teaches us. We don’t thirst again when we drink it.
S. Woman: I really don’t understand. . . . But, your drinking from my cup was as hard to believe. Can you offer this water? I mean . . . if so, . . . I might be interested.
Jesus: Go, and bring your husband back with you.
S. Woman: Husband? Why?
Jesus: Because such water, water as spirit, is for all—women and men. The Spirit I’m talking about will help restore unity to relationships. Would you want such water for both yourself and your husband?
S. Woman: I have no husband.
Jesus: O.K. But you know men. . . . Tell me about your husbands. Were there five?
S. Woman: (In baffled disbelief) How did you . . . know . . . that? Are you?
Jesus: Tell me.
S. Woman: I struggled as a 13-year-old to fit into a family very different from my own. My husband Joseph had been unhealthy from a child. Occasionally, he could hardly breathe. So, he never worked the fields. This allowed us to spend more time together. But for only three years.
Jesus: Then Joseph’s older brother followed the levirate custom of taking you as his wife.
S. Woman: Yes . . . at first. But he didn’t like my daughter. Then too, I bore only daughters for him. The family realized that marrying off more daughters would cost a lot. So, he divorced me.
Jesus: Returning to your own family at that point was difficult, I would think.
S. Woman: I missed my girls, So, I accepted the first offer that came! Right now I can’t think of that third man’s name. . . . But he soon volunteered with the Roman army. He didn’t like my cooking anyway . . . also legal reason for divorce.
Jesus: and the fourth . . .
S. Woman: Poor Nathaniel. . . . One night I admitted having been married three times before. That made ours illegal. He was furious! Before dawn, I was sent out.
Jesus: Is the life of a widow so miserable that you had to marry again?
S. Woman: Abner, a Jew, was my fifth husband. . . My mother, who was part Assyrian, had been captured years ago as war booty.
Jesus: So, you had some non-Jewish blood.
S. Woman: Then when you Jews decided to restore pure Jewish stock, many of us Samaritan wives were simply thrown out. Abner loved me and wanted to keep me, but . . .
Jesus: By then, I suppose that your parents had died.
S. Woman: So now I’m living with Samuel. Not all the neighbors are pleased. (Pause) You don’t approve either, do you? Do you assume, like everyone, that I’m a harlot?
Jesus: Just who is a harlot?. . . . I disapprove how the Torah permits divorce. I dislike a double standard, whether for marriage or other relationships. Hard-heartedness revolts me.
S. Woman: You must be some kind of prophet. . . . If that’s the case, who’s right about where to worship? Obviously, you Jews and we Samaritans can’t agree. We think that the coming Prophet will make this matter clear.
Jesus: The place will soon have no significance.
S. Woman: No significance? Can Samaritans and Jews ever agree on that?
Jesus: How do you understand it?
S. Woman: Jews despise Samaritans. Samaritans hate Jews. It’s about even.
Jesus: And central to that intense conflict is . . . ?
S. Woman: What else—the place of worship each insists on.
Jesus: Aren’t there more important things about worship than place?
S. Woman: Who would understand?
Jesus: Who would choose living water . . . or a radical new humanity?
S. Woman: Mount Gerizim and Jerusalem then can be resolved?
Jesus: Depending . . .
S. Woman: On what?
Jesus: “Worship is where your heart is.”
S Woman: (Pause, trying to grasp the idea) When Taheb, the Savior, comes, we’ll be able to understand.
Jesus: You sound convinced.
S. Woman: Well, God taught Moses that a prophet like him would come back. We Samaritans expect Taheb to teach us and to save the world. Proper worship will be restored then too. . . . What was that you just said about worship?
Jesus: Do you think that the Jews expect such a person to return?
S. Woman: From what I’ve heard, they expect someone. But they think that the person will be a king, one whom they can anoint. We haven’t had kings. So, we look for a prophet like Moses, not a second David.
Jesus: There’s some difference?
S. Woman: We think that those who depend on kings or people with mere human authority rarely hear the prophetic word. They don’t recognize God as the only ruler.
Jesus: Would you recognize Taheb, the Christ? Spiritually alert as you are?
S. Woman: (With hesitation) The more I hear you . . . and sense your acceptance, the more I wonder . . . (Gazing off). But that would be too good . . .
Jesus: WOMAN, I AM HE.
S. Woman: (Shocked) What . . . what was that?
Jesus: Here I am. I am the one you expect. . . . Can you . . . believe me?
S. Woman: I want to . . . but . . . Others before you have said much the same.
Jesus: Have they restored genuine worship?
S. Woman: Will you bring permanent change?
Jesus: I alone don’t determine that change. I make freedom possible. But people decide. They choose or reject my Way.
S. Woman: I’ve chosen and been wrong before. . . . Yet, you . . . are you? . . . . Have you been telling others who you are?
Jesus: Never before like this.
S. Woman: Why to me?
Jesus: Because you perceive better. You were expecting me. I think that you will understand the nature of my kingdom or Way.
S. Woman: (Thoughtfully) Never has so much been expected of me!
Jesus: You know the law. When God and Moses were talking, Moses asked God what name to use in telling the people who sent him. What did God reply?
S. Woman: Of course, “I AM WHO I AM.” “I am and no other.” Moses then told the people, “I AM” sent me.” . . . . Who did you say that you are?
Jesus: I AM.
(Disciples return from the village, aisle D, in muffled conversation.)
Disciple 1: Whoever!
James: Is that a Samaritan?
Young Disciple: Is she a woman?
Disciple 2: What are we to believe?
Young Disciple: I’m getting more and more confused.
Disciple 1: At least the law . . .
Young Disciple: I might as well go back to my father’s boats.
Magdalen: I wonder why he’s talking with her . . . yet somehow I know.
Mary: They both seem so relaxed, yet so intent.
James: What might she want from him?
Disciple 1: She’s misguided . . . doesn’t know or respect her own place.
Disciple 2: Or else, she’s trying to seduce him.
Disciple 1: She’s probably a . . . prostitute.
Mary: I wonder . . . I wonder if he’ll ever be understood.
(Samaritan Woman, with blend of sheer excitement, disbelief, almost daze, starts to leave. She’s bursting to tell her village people of her experience. Gradually exiting—perhaps “by paragraphs”—yet pausing, forming this near-monologue.)
S. Woman: I really must go . . . (Jesus sits down on steps to right of well.) Imagine telling someone I’ve been talking with Taheb. . . . What will they think? How should I expect someone to believe my disbelief? . . . Oh, has this happened to me?
(By now, she encounters disciple group. She talks to them without stopping to consider that they’re strangers, walking among them. They get increasingly distressed, especially Disciple 1 whom she touches.)
S. Woman: (Continues) I have never met a man like him. . . . I never felt condemned. He didn’t judge me as a sinner (again touches Disciple 1). It was so exciting. . . . He wanted to know what I believed. (Moans from disciples) He didn’t twist anything to say something else. He knew what I meant.
Disciple 2: Impossible!
S. Woman: Oh, my water jug . . . Maybe that’s not necessary. . . . Living water. . . . Where’s it from? . . . . How will I know when I have it?
(Mary gets up, as if to talk with her.)
Never thought of asking. . . . Maybe I should go back. . . . No, I’ll see if my neighbors will come along. . . . What if they make fun of what I say? . . . . How much should I tell? . . . . Surely about worship. . . . Mount Gerizim is more real to them than God. (Agreement from disciples) Did he say that we don’t know what we worship? (By now, exiting through aisle B) Imagine! He seemed to expect me, a woman, to recognize him. . . . If he is the great “I AM” . . . he wasn’t following custom with me . . . If he is . .
Disciple 1: (Shouting out after her) Woman, you don’t know what you’re saying!
(Samuel enters stage right to verandah. Sits down drinking cup of tea. Jesus joins disciples who are sitting on ground around stones, not involved. Woman arrives stage right at her verandah. Others, including children, collect as she excitedly explains.)
S. Woman: Samuel, Come! Would you believe! I think that I’ve just seen . . .This man and I were talking . . .And he knew all about me—my experience, my longings, what I believe.
Samuel: Well, who was he? Was he a stranger?
S. Woman: Even a Jew!
Samuel: A Jew! (Calling to next door) Abimalech, you won’t believe this. Where’s Nathan? Call Sarah . . . Where were you?
(Hurrying, Abimalech, Nathan, Sarah and a couple children enter.)
S. Woman: Out at Jacob’s well. That Jew asked me for a drink. Then he even drank from my jug, and I’m a Samaritan, a woman.
Abimalech: A Jew, you said? . . . drank from . . .?
Samuel: He knew all that you had ever done?
S. Woman: Yes, including my being with you . . . He knew about me personally, about us as Samaritans, about a new way . . .
Abimalech: A new way to do what?
S. Woman: To know God, I think.
Samuel: Don’t tell me that you’re going to deny Mount Gerizim too.
S. Woman: As well as Jerusalem. (Assorted gasps, exclamations)
Nathan: Deny Jerusalem? No Jew would say that . . . nor think it.
S. Woman: This one was different. Hard to believe. I’m struggling too, even though I was there with him. . . . Yet, he was so inviting, so genuine. I can’t just ignore him.
Sarah: Weren’t you embarrassed when he talked with you? If a Jewish man were to ask me for a drink, I’d run in fear. Why did you trust him?
S. Woman: When a total stranger knows all about me, I can’t run. Without finding out why. He didn’t scorn me. From the beginning he took me seriously. He kept assuming that I knew truth. In offering living water, he expected me to want to include you, Samuel.
Samuel: Living water? Trying to mock the water from our Jacob’s well?
S. Woman. No not that. He’s bringing a new religion, a revelation that continually renews itself through women and men.
Nathan: What more did he say about Jerusalem?
S. Woman: That neither Jerusalem nor Mount Gerizim would be the place to worship God. In fact, the place won’t matter. Something like Spirit and truth will. He said this with authority unique. With knowledge based in something other than religious laws or human understanding. . . . I wonder . . . Was he the Prophet returned?
Nathan: I just find it hard to believe you. Let’s check around. Perhaps others from the village met the stranger too.
Abimalech: What the woman says can’t be ignored. But delaying only keeps us from perhaps the whole truth . . . maybe from becoming a new people.
S. Woman: Didn’t Moses begin a new age by announcing a message of truth? Could . . . might the stranger be . . . Taheb, the Savior?
Nathan: Don’t get sensational!
Abimalech: Be a skeptic if you want. There’s too much in this woman’s report and excitement to stand here debating. . . . Take us to this stranger. Even if he is a Jew. . . . If he’s really the Prophet . . . we’ll soon know.
Samuel: Just the fact that he drank from the woman’s cup and told her so much destroys my doubt. . . . Come on, tell us more while we go, about living water.
(Villagers exit stage right, aisle A. Jesus forcefully talks to disciples.)
Jesus: So, you noticed that I was talking with a Samaritan woman? That troubled you, you who know the law . . . and how things have always been done. . . . You who want to determine who I accept . . . for your reasons. . . . Oh, that you would realize . . . you’ve so much to learn. . . . That woman was drinking of living water. . . . for her, worship will not be confined to Jerusalem or Mount Gerizim. . . . Because she expected me, she recognized . . . who I AM.
Mary: (Moving toward Jesus) Jesus, are you ready for some bread?
Jesus: No, I get strength from what I came to do. My mission gives energy of another sort. Right now, I’m well satisfied. (Noting village group arriving) Oh, here she comes, bringing others with her.
(Samaritan villagers, plus women from early morning scene enter through aisle B, Samaritan Woman leading.)
Disciple 1: (Shrugging shoulders) He must be serious. Who would have guessed?
Disciple 2: Why didn’t we go up to Galilee through Perea?
S. Woman: Teacher, my people want to know . . . we don’t know exactly what.
Jesus: (reaching out toward her, speaking deliberately) Woman, of just such unbelieving belief—of such reality, yet distance is my Kindom Way.
S. Woman (Reflecting) That’s right, you told me that we choose, or determine, the results of your coming.
James: (To disciples) She and those like her are to be included . . . with us! . . . . Because of this Jesus.
S. Woman: To include . . . and to be included . . . is to be restored!
(Organ begins immediately with a few introductory notes: Jesus sings verse 1 of “Come Drink of the Water” the cast and audience join in singing verses 2-5.)1