Jesus and His disciples were tired, hot,
thirsty and hungry. While His disciples went into town to buy
food, Jesus sat down on the well. The well was deep and He had
no bucket to bring up the water, but that is not what kept
Jesus from taking a drink. He knew the purpose of His being
here, and here she came now.
"Give me a drink," Jesus said to
"What?" The woman looked up from where she had just set her
waterpots. "What did you say?" she repeated. She hadn't paid
any attention to the Man sitting on the side of the well.
After all, people sat there often, just resting. So when she
looked again at the Man she noticed that He was a Jew. "Did
You, being a Jew, just ask of me, a Samaritan, for a drink? I
don't believe it! Jews never talk to us."
Jesus looked kindly at the woman. "If you
knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give me
a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given
you living water."
Now this was ridiculous! Anyone knew that there is no
way to get water from this well without something to draw it
up with. She looked at the Man sitting there and said,
"With all due respects, Sir, I can see you have no bucket to
pull up the water. Can you not see how deep the well is? And
what do you mean, 'Living water'? You
can't tell me that You are greater than Jacob, who dug this
well in the first place, and drank from it himself, and
watered his livestock at it, and passed it on down the line to
his descendents. You can't tell me that You are greater than
Jesus didn't answer her remark directly. He simply said:
"Whoever drinks of this water will thirst
again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him
will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will
become in him a fountain of water springing up into
What was this Man talking about? "Oh Sir!" the
woman cried. "Give me this water. How wonderful it would be to
have my thirst quenched without coming daily to draw water
from this well. Oh, please give me this water."
Jesus looked the woman in the eye and said, "Go, call your husband, and come here."
Who was this Man, anyway? Why was He asking about
her husband? The woman stole a quick glance at Jesus,
and then looked away. But despite her habit of lying to people
about her living situation, she felt she must tell this Man
the truth. She looked squarely at Him and replied: "Sir, I do
not have a husband." Quickly she turned back to her water
drawing, thinking that this would be the last she would hear
from the Man. She was embarrassed to face Him after her
But to her surprise He was speaking again: "You have well said,' I have no husband,' for you
have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not
your husband; in that you spoke truly."
The woman was shocked. She had never seen this Man in her
life. How did He know her sordid past? Was He
psychic? She looked at Him and said, "Sir, are You a
Prophet? You must be. Are You some left over ghost of the
past? Our fathers used to worship here on this mountain—in
days long ago. Oh, I know you Jews now say that Jerusalem is
the only place of worship, but we can't go there. We are
Samaritans and would be driven off." It seemed that the woman
wanted to just keep on talking so that this Man would not drag
up any more of her past. But Jesus was speaking again.
He said to her: "Woman, believe Me, the
hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in
Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not
know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.
But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers
will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is
seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who
worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."
"Oh, I know all that Sir," the woman replied. She had heard
these things from her childhood. "I know that the Messiah is
coming. His name is Christ. And I know that when He comes He
will tell us everything."
Jesus looked at the woman, who, slightly annoyed, had gone
back to filling her water pots. He simply said: "I who speak to you am He."
Just then the disciples came back from town with the food.
They stood gaping at Jesus. He was talking to a
Samaritan? Jews did NOT talk to Samaritans. What was He
thinking? Why was He talking to her? But not one of
them dared to ask.
Jesus sat serenely on the well. Although His disciples
handed him something to eat, He didn't touched it. "Teacher,
EAT," they urged.
But He said to them: "I have food to eat
of which you do not know."
Puzzled, the disciples looked at each other. Had
this woman brought Him food? And had He eaten it? A Samaritan
woman giving their Master food? And He, being a Jew, accepting
it? This is incredible. This just does not happen!
But Jesus knew their thoughts. He said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and
to finish His work. Do you not say, 'There are still four
months and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift
up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already
white for harvest! And he who reaps receives wages, and
gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he
who reaps may rejoice together. For in this the saying is
true; 'One sows and another reaps.' I sent you to reap that
for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you
have entered into their labors."
In the meantime, the woman left her pots at the well and
rushed back home. She ran to her men-friends and shouted:
"Come and meet this Man that I ran into at the well. Would you
believe it? He sat there and told me all my squalid past, but
He did not condemn me. He offered me water that I could drink
that would quench my thirst for all things, and forever. Do
you suppose this is the promised Christ?"
While the disciples ate their food in silence, trying to
digest what their Master had told them, a crowd of people
approached the well, and with them, the woman Jesus had been
talking to. She had returned to her hometown and had spread
the word of the Messiah. Her acquaintances listened. They knew
this woman's reputation for lying--amongst other sins--but
their interest piqued when they saw the look in her eyes. They
must go see this Man.
The group of men and women from the city of Sychar stood
enthralled at what this Teacher had to say. They forgot all
about the fact that He was a Jew. They forgot all about the
reputation of the woman who had heralded the news. Their
hearts drank in the "Living Water" and many believed on
As the group returned to the city, they said to the woman:
"It is not what you told us that has made us believe; you have
never told a truth in your life. No. We believe because we
have seen Him with our own eyes and heard with our own ears.
This indeed is the Christ, the Savior of the
So the Good News of the Gospel of Christ was spread to