Before I begin, I want you to know that when I read “Samaritan Woman,” I do so to the tune of Lenny Kravitz’s “American Woman.” LoL 😆
In John 4:1–18 we are introduced to the Samaritan woman at the well. Jesus had been traveling, he’s tired, and it’s noon, which means it’s hot. Sitting next to the well when the Samaritan woman comes Jesus asks her to get him water. This seems like a simple enough request except for the fact that Jews and Samaritans did not mix. They were not friends and did not suffer the presence of one another whenever possible. Jews avoided Samaria so much so that although the shortest route to Galilee from Jerusalem was through Samaria, they would often take the long way around to avoid it. Yet, Jesus and his disciples went through Samaria.
So the fact that Jesus, a Jew, was talking to the Samaritan woman and asking her for water was very surprising. Additionally, it was against the customs of rabbis to speak to women in public, not even their wives or daughters, which makes this encounter doubly interesting.
The woman at the well was there at an odd time. Normally women came earlier in the morning when it was cooler. They also went in groups, but here the Samaritan woman was alone and working at the hottest time of the day. Perhaps she came to the well at that time because of an emergency, but it’s more likely that she went alone at a time because others wouldn’t be around because she was an outcast.
She was an outcast within her community because of her history and among the Jews because of her ethnicity. She was hurt and isolated. Then Jesus meets her at the well, asks her for water, and tells her that he can give her living water.
“The woman said to him, ‘Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.’”John 4:15
Notice her response. She wants this living water because she won’t have to go back to the well anymore and face judgment and social isolation.
Many of us can relate to the Samaritan woman’s pain. We have been judged. We have been made to feel inferior. We have had our past held against us. We have experienced loneliness. We have been desperate for living water. If you can relate, remember that Jesus knows you and his love, mercy, and grace are not dependent on us, but instead, we are given them freely by our Savior. If you’re thirsty, take the cup of living water that Jesus is extending to you, drink, and be refreshed.