It is surprising that Jesus knew everything about her, and she admitted to that; but in spite of all the information offered in John’s Gospel, we come away knowing very little about the woman who came to the well. We know she was a Samaritan. We also know it was midday, noontime and probably hot sitting there next to a well, as Jesus was. It was an old well supposedly dug in the days of Jacob, who gave it to his son Joseph. It was very deep, and the water was refreshing.
Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” It was a simple request; Jesus had thirst, and no rope or bucket with which to get the water.
The woman found that odd, and questioned him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria? Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans; and there is a mild animosity between the two.”
Jesus answered saying, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”
The woman was quick, and answered smartly, “Sir you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water ...?” She knew they were in an arid land and this ancient well was the only source of any palatable water. “Sir, give me this water, so I may never be thirsty, and have to come back to this well to draw water.”
Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come back.”
“I have no husband,” the woman answered.
Jesus said to her he knew she had no husband, but added, “You have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband.” With that exchange, Jesus knew she was a fallen woman. That is why she came to the well in the heat of the day when other women stayed away. She also said to him, “Sir, I see that you are a prophet.”
He then told her, “You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know ... But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshiper will worship the Father in spirit and truth.”
The woman said, “I know the Messiah is coming. When he comes he will proclaim all things to us.”
Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one who is speaking to you.
The woman went back to her city and told the people there “Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he? When the people went and listened they said, “we know that this is truly the Savior of the world.” AMEN
The Rev. George O. Martin is an Ordained Deacon at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 17th and Adams, Great Bend. Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.