Jesus Talks With a Samaritan Woman
The Pharisees heard that Jesus was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John, although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. When the Lord learned of this, he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.
Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
“Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?”
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”
“I have no husband,” she replied.
Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
“Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
Jesus declared, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”
The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.”
The Samaritans developed over the centuries as a result of the domination of the Assyrians by Shalmaneser V. The area would be repopulated by other nations with pagan worship practices. The Jewish people did not consider them to be of the same race. When Zerubbabel went to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, Zerubbabel did not allow them calling them enemies. The Samaritans had an older copy of the Pentateuch and there were arguments over this. As far as the Israelites were concerned, the Samaritans were not part of their race and had no claim to eternal life. Did you hear that? No claim to eternal life. They had been so corrupted, so paganized that the Jews considered them to have no claim to eternal life. And then comes Jesus. And He had to go through Samaria.
Most Jews would travel around Samaria because of the extreme animosity. Yet Christ carries no baggage. He is not affected by the past legalism. He is filled with love and takes a moment to bring salvation to a Samaritan. Not only a Samaritan, but a woman. A woman! In a culture where women were considered quite inferior to men, this is the person that Jesus goes to. But wait! There’s more. Not only does He go to a Samaritan; not only does He go to a woman, but a sinful woman. This Samaritan woman had such great baggage that even the other Samaritan women did not approve of. This is why she was at the well in the heat of the day. She did not want to expose herself to the chatter around the water cooler. And this is who Jesus comes to.
Do not think for a moment that Christ comes to this woman any more than Him being born to the tribe of Judah, in the town of Bethlehem, being raised in Nazareth. All of these are neon signs from the Lord saying that He cares about even the down and out. He cares even about the pagan. He cares even about the wild woman, the arrogant man, the cow-worshipping Samaritan.
No matter who you may be today and no matter what you have done, Jesus has come to you. Perhaps, the bloodline of your family has left you in a dark place where it is hard to see the love and grace of God. I want you to know today, He has come to you. There is no sin too great. There is no shame too deep. There is no generational curse too strong. Nothing will keep the Lord Jesus Christ from coming to you!
Lee Young is the author of The Journey: Understanding God’s Plan for Your Life. His teaching and ministry focus on mental, spiritual, and emotional healing through the Words of Scripture and the power of the Holy Spirit.