Jesus and the Woman of Samaria

John 4:1-15

Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John— 2 although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. 3 So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.

4 Now he had to go through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.

7 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.)

10 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.”

11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”

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.”

Jesus and the Woman of Samaria

The world of sinners loved by God includes not just respectable insiders seeking truth (Nicodemus) but broken outsiders running from the truth (the Samaritan woman). None of us are beyond the need of God’s grace and none of us are beyond the reach of God’s grace. Jesus has come to seek and to save both the “found,” those who presume they already have a relationship with God, and the “lost,” those who realize they don’t.

This interchange between Jesus and the Samaritan woman shows us that eternal life isn’t just about our life in heaven when we die; it is also about the life of heaven “welling up” (v. 14) in us while we live. Jesus’ conversation is designed to help this woman see the realities of “heaven” despite the realities of her sin and shame, but he also intends for her discovery to affect her community and culture. The gospel is not ethereal or abstract; it concerns people and place. The woman was shocked that a Jewish man would speak openly to a Samaritan woman. Here Jesus confronts racism and sexism. He has come, as the old hymn says, to “make his blessings flow far as the curse is found.”

*These devos are taken from Crossway's, ESV Gospel Transformation Bible.