He had a divine appointment with her at noon, so Jesus needed to go through Samaria on his way from Judea to Galilee to meet with her.
Jesus arranged with his disciples ahead of time, “Meet me at Jacob’s well,” and they went into the city to buy food. Jesus sat down next to the well to wait for her.
The Samaritan woman came to draw water. It was noontime—in the Middle East. Hot, hot and hot. Women would come to the well in the early morning, or the late evening when it was cooler to draw the water and carry it home.
Like the woman in the picture, the seats around her are empty. While this means there is no one there to gossip about her, there is also no one there to be her friend and companion.
The woman came with her water pot to draw water, and Jesus said, “Please give me a drink.”
She answers, “How can you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” She said this because Jews had nothing to do with Samaritans.
Jesus said, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is, who is saying to you, “Please give me a drink” you would have been the one to ask Him, and He would have given you living water.”
The woman told him, “Sir, you don’t have a bucket, and the well is deep. Where are you going to get this living water?” Why didn’t she offer Him her bucket? (Think of the child with his loafs and fish.) At this point she is still keeping a distance from him.
She continued, “You’re not greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it, along with this sons, and his flocks, are you?”
She questions, Who does He think He is? Jacob drank from the well, along with the men who became the leaders of the tribes of Israel. The mention of his flocks shows that he was a wealthy and prosperous man. Are you greater than Jacob?
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will become thirsty again. But whoever drinks the water that I will give him will never become thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become a well of water for him, springing up to eternal life.”
The woman believes and has hope. She wants to know more. “Sir, give me this water, so that I won’t get thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.” Imagine never being thirsty again. Never having to go to the well again. But it’s a spiritual truth He’s getting at, not a physical one.
Jesus brings her back down to earth. “Go get your husband.”
Sigh. I don’t want to have to tell him all my mess. “I don’t have a husband,” she replied.
Jesus already knows her story. “That’s true, you don’t have a husband. You have had five husbands, and the man you have now is not your husband.” All those husbands—what a messy past. But Jesus doesn’t shun her; in fact He went out of his way to have this visit with her.
She was impressed. Because Jesus was a stranger, He didn’t learn this from gossip in the neighborhood. He knew this from God.
“Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet.” I sense the presence of God on you.
She immediately gets spiritual. “Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, but you Jews say that the place where people should worship is in Jerusalem.” She’s trying to justify how she is correct in her beliefs.
Jesus answered, “Woman, believe me the hour is coming when neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem shall you worship the Father. You Samaritans don’t really know the one you worship. But we Jews do know the God we worship, and salvation will come from the Jews.” This is the reason the Jews are called “The Chosen People.” They were chosen by God to bring forth the Messiah.
Jesus continued, “But a time is coming, and it is already here, when true worshipers are being led by the Spirit to worship the Father in spirit and in truth. These are the ones the Father is seeking to worship Him.”
The woman replied, “I know that the Messiah is coming. When He comes, He will explain everything to us.” She wanted to understand. She was looking forward to the coming of the Messiah.
Then Jesus said, “I am He, the One who is speaking to you.” I am the Messiah you have been waiting for. I made a special trip to talk to you. Jews don’t talk to Samaritans, but I am speaking to you.
Right then, the apostles arrived. They were astonished that he was talking to a woman, and a Samaritan woman. Yet no one said, “Why are you talking to her?” Imagine a bunch of guys, holding groceries in their arms, with their mouths hanging open in shock.
Then the woman left her water pot and ran back to town. She told people, “Come, see a man who told me everything I’ve ever done! Could he be the Messiah?” Come and see for yourself and make up your own mind.
This woman, who had avoided the neighbors because of their gossiping, ran straight to these same neighbors to tell them about the Messiah. She even left her water pot behind, the reason for being at the well in the first place.
Then they went out of the city, and came to Jesus. They came out of their safe, comfortable dwelling places, to find the Messiah.
Many Samaritans believed on Him because of the words of that woman, “He told me all that I ever did.” This caused the Samaritans to come out to meet him, and they talked Jesus into staying with them for two more days. And many more believed because they heard Jesus for themselves.
As my friend Anna Bowling commented yesterday, “She never had to go to the well alone again.”God was with her. She also would have made a few friends, now that they knew they were forgiven too, they were “sisters”.
The infamous “woman at the well” story has been told countless times. There’s an endless supply of stories and information to glean from this woman.
Thankfully the well is deep!
*Update: I meant to include this video!!