7 There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” 8 For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. 9 Therefore the Samaritan woman said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered and said to her, “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.” 11 She said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water? 12 You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?” 13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”
We’ve all read the story of the Samaritan woman that Jesus ministered to at the well. It is a beautiful story of one seeker finding the truth in Jesus. We may have heard that she was coming to this well during the heat of the day to avoid criticism and judgement from others for her past behavior. Jesus went out of his way to come to meet her at the point of her need, during the heat of the day. He was found at the well waiting for her, just for her.
This particular well in Samaria was dug by one of the Jewish patriarchs, Jacob, for his sons and cattle. It was probably a source of pride for the Samaritans and was a link to the God of their ancestors, the Jews. The Samaritans were outcasts from the Jews because of their mixed heritage and probably felt somewhat like strangers to the things of God, drawing as close as they dare without condemnation for their gentile roots.
Jesus addresses her and asks her for a drink. She is surprised He is even talking to her, much less asking her to serve Him.
I don’t believe Jesus’ purpose in this was to simply quench His thirst. I believe He wanted to show her the thirst in her own heart. She had tried to fill the void she felt with religion. She had obviously studied as much as she dared about the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob because she new about the history of the well in her town and also about the prophecies of the coming Messiah.
15 The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty nor come all the way here to draw.” 16 He said to her, “Go, call your husband and come here.” 17 The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have correctly said, ‘I have no husband’; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly.”
The woman of Samaria asked of Jesus for the living water only He could provide. He absolutely answered that prayer, whether she was being sarcastic or not. She had tried to fill the void in her heart with relationships with men. She had been married five times and was living with another man that wasn’t her husband. He brought the truth to her about it, not in a condemning, judgmental way, but to show her the fruitlessness of it, to get her to see that it didn’t satisfy her deepest longing.
19 The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”
Jesus had systematically exposed this woman’s empty pursuits and gotten down to the core of her need. She could have shied away, clammed up, run, left, ignored Him, or any number of other things to avoid the truth, but she was really hungry for it, so she stayed and dared to believe Him.
Sometimes, in order for us to come to the place where we will receive all that He wants to give us, He has to show us the emptiness of our present pursuits. He will show us a need and ask us to fill it. Jesus asked this woman for a drink, knowing full well the emptiness and futility of her life. He saw it, but she needed to see it too. She wisely chose to seek from Him the answers she was thirsty for. If we are wise, we will come right back to Him in humility and ask for the very thing He asks for from us. Only in Him is found the quenching of our thirst. We will be so much happier when we simply let Him become to us the Living Water.