Her name is Photina, the whore at the Well. She is FIRST to know that Jesus is the Messiah! Have you ever heard of her? She was the Samaritan woman that Jesus met at Jacob's well in Sychar. What is so interesting for me personally is how she is referred to as "whore" by the church. You know the place and very thing that Jesus died for... the church. It seems antithetical to call this outcasted woman a whore when Jesus was compelled to share his big reveal with her first
Jesus, the Face of God in this story is at Jacob's well offering living to a woman whose vessel spiritually and physically was unclean according to Jewish law. For him to accept anything from her hands would be considered super taboo and a no-no for this cultural setting and time period. The question begs, is Photina now filled with the living water upon revelation of God before her very eyes in her everyday circumstance as truth?
Nowhere biblically is this woman noted for receiving nor compensation for sexual favors. Yet, the language used in the Scripture in John 4 states that Jesus "had to pass," pointing to a compelling calling to go through Samaria which was extremely dangerous due to cultural differences and racial tensions. The Jews (God's "chosen" people mind you), believed that she was unclean at birth being a Samaritan woman, not to mention having multiple sexual partners.
What I love about Jesus is that he consistently speaks truth in spirit to the religious cultural norms and legalism. He esteems women! God esteems women! This is the underlying story right here that my hope is we get to shed light on, especially for anyone who needs some right about now.
So the story goes, Jesus was hot and tired from the journey so he goes to the well in the heat of the day to rest while the crew goes in town to get food. So when Photina shows up to have the longest recorded conversation in the bible with Jesus. Not only does he speak with her longer than any other person, it is within this conversation that he FIRST reveals himself as the Messiah.
Proof that God esteems women. Especially women that society and religious communities shuns. God as the face of Jesus in this story says that he was compelled to tell her FIRST!
BTW it is Proverbs 4:23. I transpose numbers sometimes :) I say in this episode "proverbs 4:32," when I was referring to 4:23 instead. I caught it before publishing but...you know I am human getting my words wrong sometimes. Especially when I am practicing speaking my innerstanding on a public platform.
Check out the full excerpt HERE I refer to in part one and two that is such a useful and loving picture of God's love for us. Being raised Southern Baptist, coming back home to that here for Photina's story has been so healing for my soul.