Summary: Jesus reveals the spiritual and true nature of worship to the woman at the well.
It’s not an accident this story follows Nicodemus.
When therefore the LORD knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, 2(Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,) 3He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee.
The Pharisees were jealous and at odds with Jesus and John, but it wasn’t time yet for the conflict to get worse so Jesus leaves.
4And he must needs go through Samaria. 5Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.
When the Assyrians captured Israel (740 BC) they deported all the wealthy Jews and left the poor. They also imported people from other parts of the world and the remaining Jews married them. Well, the offspring of these two groups became the Samaritans (II Kings 17:24). Many were half-breed Jews and therefore despised.
6Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.
It’s an amazing thing that the Word became tired!
The sixth hour is about noon.
7There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. 8(For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) 9Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.
She realizes this isn’t something He should even be asking. It’s strange to her and she’s not afraid to point it out.
10Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
Physically He is in need of water, but spiritually He is the only one who can quench a man’s (or woman’s) thirst!
11The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?
She’s definitely thinking about natural things (just as Nicodemus had) and she comes across to me as a little bit sarcastic. I could be wrong, but it doesn’t play out in my head as a genuinely inquisitive question; I picture her with a bit of a smirk at this crazy Jew asking for water and then saying something so absurd. “You can’t reach it; how are you going to get it?”
12Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?
Are you better than the one who dug this well? Do you know something he didn’t? Did you find something he missed?
13Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
Jacob got you some good water, but it won’t sustain you forever.
14But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
As a matter of fact, He is greater than Jacob and He can offer something better.
Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 2Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. 3Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David (Is. 55:1).
For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water (Jer. 2:13).
15The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.
Again, in my head at least, she’s almost taunting Him. I picture her turning her back to him and rolling her eyes as she lifts the heavy bucket: “You know a place that will keep me refreshed forever, eh? Well, tell me all about it so I can stop lifting this thing.”
16Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither.
Jesus starts now to change the tone of this conversation.
17The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: 18For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.