During His ministry, Jesus had to work through some long standing prejudice. For various reasons Jews did not associate with Samaritans. In addition, Jews believed men should avoid social contact with women to avoid ceremonial defilement. Nevertheless, when Jesus found himself alone with a Samaritan woman, He engaged her in a conversation and asked her for help getting a drink from the well. The woman was shocked and couldn’t believe a Jewish man was speaking with her.
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.” John 4:10 (NIV)
Jesus was essentially calling Himself a “gift of God” while making reference to His supernatural powers. The woman realized Jesus was making supernatural claims and was skeptical. Jesus went on to give her a more complete picture of what He had to offer.
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 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.” John 4:13-14 (NIV)
Of course this woman wanted to be relieved of the burden of traveling to the well for water every day and she let Jesus know she was ready to receive His living water. In order for the woman to better understand exactly what He was offering, Jesus revealed some information about her personal life that would have been impossible for Him to know.
Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.” John 4:17-18 (NIV)
Now the supernatural powers of Jesus were on full display and the woman believed Jesus was sent by God. She was now concerned about her place of worship. The Samaritans worshiped God in the Samaritan temple on Mt. Gerizim. The Jews worshiped God in the temple in Jerusalem. Jesus made it clear there is no specific place needed to worship God. God is everywhere.
“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” John 4:23 (NIV)
This caused the woman to recall she had heard the Messiah was supposed to come and explain everything regarding God, and Jesus made it clear the Messiah had come.
Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.” John 4:26 (NIV)
Leaving her water jar behind, the woman went into town to share this amazing news. Before long, Jesus had a crowd of Samaritans to speak to and He stayed with them two days. Christ proclaimed His message of salvation and many Samaritans came to believe.
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 Savior of the world.” John 4:42 (NIV)
Jesus had offered Himself as Messiah-Savior to the Samaritans and many were eager to drink from the well of living water.
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