We’re looking at a story in the Bible about water; about Jesus and a woman at a well. The story is found in John 4:1-26. Check out the story then come back for a few thought here.
To begin with there are a few things we should notice about the story. The first is that geographically Jesus did not have to travel through Samaria on his journey from Judea to Galilee. The implication is that the reason Jesus must travel through this region is spiritual, it is a divine compulsion. Secondly we notice the Samaritan woman is drawing water at noon and no one is around. It would have been common practice for the women of the nearby town to congregate together to draw water in the morning or evening. This woman appears to be avoiding the crowd by drawing water in the heat of the day when no one else is at the well. Finally, there are several controversial things that happen here. The Jews and the Samaritans did not associate with each other and in that day a Jewish rabbi would never have talked with a Samaritan woman.
Jesus opens a conversation with the woman by requesting a drink of water. This in and of itself was not an abnormal request. Jesus is traveling through the area and he is thirsty. The woman is unlikely to refuse his request out of hospitality yet as we just discussed it is highly irregular that Jesus would talk to this woman at all. Jesus quickly turns her response into a spiritual conversation by offering her living water (v 10). She perhaps misunderstands him and returns to the request for physical water. Jesus redirects again back to the spiritual conversation now revealing a little bit more, this water he is offering promises eternal life. Although the woman does not yet realize it, Jesus is offering this woman the same rebirth that he has recently explained to the Pharisee Nicodemus back in John chapter 3. The implication is that both the morally upright Jewish religious leader and the immoral Samaritan need to be reborn. Despite their many differences they both need Jesus.
The woman requests this living water and connects it to her physical situation; that she would no longer have to keep coming back to the well to draw water. Jesus then asks another simple question. Go get your husband and come back. This is a logical request as bringing her husband back would set the situation into a more accepted social convention. She responds that she has no husband. Imagine being there when Jesus pulls this one out: that’s correct, you don’t have a husband, you have had 5 husbands and the man you are with now is not your husband. The woman quickly perceives that this is no longer any kind of normal conversation if it ever was. By making this comment Jesus has revealed her sin and her need for salvation.  She tries to deflect the conversation from her personal life back to a more general religious question at this point. In what ways might you try to avoid the deep issues that affect you by turning to more theoretical religious issues?
Jesus brings the conversation back and explains in answer to the woman’s question that the physical location of the temple is no longer the issue. People who worship Jesus can do so from any location. Jesus spoke of the time what was coming quickly, a time when his death and resurrection would render the physical temple obsolete. The woman has her own expectations of the Messiah and believes he will make all of this clear. Jesus drops this bombshell next: “Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”” (John 4:26)
If you look at the context in the gospel of John, Jesus is often hesitant to describe himself as the Messiah in a Jewish context, yet driven by divine compulsion to a rejected region Jesus reveals who he is. The implication is that the Samaritans are ready for a revealed Messiah, while the political and social situation in Israel is not conducive to a direct revelation of who Jesus is. In John 4:29 the woman declares “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” (John 4:29) This Samaritan woman, socially incompatible with Jesus on all levels, rejected by her own community, is ready to accept him as the Messiah. As Jesus has offered this woman living water= Holy Spirit, the shocking revelation for a Jewish reader is that Samaritans can be equal members of the temple through the Spirit. Even more shocking is that this sexually immoral Samaritan can become a member of Christ’s body, the church. The promise is no different today. Do you ever feel like the Samaritan woman must have felt? Rejected, alone, burdened with mistakes? Today Jesus is offering living water to all people. He is offering living water to you. This living water is eternal life. The answer to sin is Jesus. The answer to human desires is Jesus. The answer is Jesus.
 Blum, E. A. (1985). John. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 284). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
 Blum, E. A. (1985). John. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 286). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
 Life in the Spirit Commentary page 26