It did not matter that she was a Samaritan, or a half-breed, as most Jews would have called her. It did not matter that she was a woman of ill repute who came to draw water at a less conspicuous time. It did not matter to Jesus that conversation with the likes of her would raise the eyebrows of the respected citizens of that area. She had hoped to get her water and go home without seeing or talking with anyone. Her sin had caused her to hide in the shadows of life. Her lifestyle could not stand the scrutiny of the public eye. She was already the topic of town talk.
As Jesus sat on the rim of Jacob’s well He saw hurt, guilt and shame written on her face. He initiated a conversation with a request “Woman, give me a drink of water.” She was startled to hear a man who appeared to be a Jewish teacher even talk to her in a public place. Her response was briskly stated. “How is that you, being a Jew, would dare ask water of me, seeing I am a Samaritan?” The cultural climate of that day was much too prejudiced for that kind of interaction. The years had created barriers of dislike between the two classes of people. A Samaritan woman could well be suspicious of a Jewish male who would make such a request. His intentions could be inappropriate.
Jesus, knowing who He was, had nothing to prove or nothing to hide. “If only you knew who was asking you for a drink you would seek from Him a water which would quench your thirst forever” was Jesus response to her surprised comment. “Give me this water!” she insisted. “Then I won’t have to come to this place of public gossip ever again.”
At this point Jesus wanted to talk about husbands. She wanted to talk about the best place to worship. Jesus explained that a time was coming and had arrived when the place of worship would be less important that the spirit and truth of worship. This prophet soon turned Messianic in the woman’s mind and she hurried into the village to announce her discovery. As a result of her uninhibited testimony, many believed.
Have you encountered a “Jacob’s well” lately where the water of “good-news grace” has washed away your bitterness, guilt and shame? Has Messiah helped you overcome the negative ways in which some folk describe you? Have you tasted the water that quenches your thirst for God? Come let us drink together of the Water of life.