A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” . . .
The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?”
Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water. . . . Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”
After the northern kingdom, with its capital at Samaria, fell to the Assyrians, many Jews were deported to Assyria, and foreigners were brought in to settle the land and help keep the peace (2 Kings 17:24). The intermarriage between those foreigners and the remaining Jews resulted in a mixed race, the Samaritans. The Samaritans had set up an alternate center for worship on Mount Gerizim (John 4:20) to parallel the Temple at Jerusalem, but it had been destroyed 150 years earlier. The Jews did everything they could to avoid traveling through Samaria. But Jesus had no reason to live by such cultural restrictions. The route through Samaria was shorter, and that was the route he took.
The Samaritan woman mistakenly believed that if she received the water Jesus offered, she would not have to return to the well each day. She was interested in Jesus’ message because she thought it could make her life easier. But if that were always the case, people would accept Christ’s message for the wrong reasons. Christ did not come to take away challenges, but to change us on the inside and to empower us to deal with problems from God’s perspective.
The woman did not immediately comprehend what Jesus was talking about, but she gradually understood. Sharing the gospel will not always have immediate results. When you ask people to let Jesus change their lives, be patient and give them time to weigh the matter. Pray for clarity of mind for them as God works to change their perspective.