In the normal course of events, this encounter should probably never have taken place. Why was this woman drawing water from the well alone, in the middle of the day? (Typically, the women would visit the well in a group, in the cool of the morning or evening.) Jesus was Jewish and male. Convention said he shouldn’t converse with a Samaritan woman. This was far from a normal encounter.
When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) 9 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.) John 4:7-9. (The full story is fascinating. You can read it in John 4.)
Jesus’ claim to have access to “living water” certainly aroused the woman’s curiosity. “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? …
13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 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.” vss. 11, 13-15
An interesting conversation followed, spanning diverse subjects which included husbands, the woman’s troubled history with marriage, prophecy, worship and Jesus’ role as the Messiah both Jews and Samaritans were waiting for. … And then the disciples returned, and the conversation ended abruptly! Poor timing? Evidently not.
Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” 30 They came out of the town and made their way toward him. vss. 28-30
Many became believers that day, as a result of the woman’s testimony. At their urging, Jesus remained in the town a further two days and more conversions followed. They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Saviour of the world.” vs. 42.
Just a chance encounter? Surely not! And what a lesson to us in how people come to salvation. May God give us opportunities to introduce others to Jesus. We know they won’t be disappointed!
NB. The woman left her water jar behind at the well (vs. 28). Now she had a new priority!
SONG: Never Thirst Again by Karen Wheaton (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7GPWdSeYIo)