We don't know her name or age. But her conversation with the Lord is his longest one-on-one chat recorded in Scripture. Reason enough to give our sister from Samaria a fresh look.
It was high noon on a hot day. Jesus, tired from traveling, chose a sensible rest stop—Jacob's well outside the town of Sychar—while waiting for his disciples to go into town for food. When our unnamed woman appeared with clay jar in hand, Jesus made a simple request: "Will you give me a drink?" (John 4:7).
Uh-oh. (1) Jews weren't supposed to speak to Samaritans. (2) Men weren't permitted to address women without their husbands present. And (3) rabbis had no business speaking to shady ladies such as this one. Jesus was willing to toss out the rules, but our woman at the well wasn't. "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman," she reminded him. "How can you ask me for a drink?" (John 4:9).
She focused on the law; Jesus focused on grace.
An Offer She Couldn't Refuse
He began, "If you knew the gift of God … " (John 4:10). If. A tantalizing invitation. And gift. A truly irresistible offering. Especially "the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:15).
Instead of insisting she pour him a drink, the Lord offered her "living water" (John 4:10). Water from the ground was common, but living water? Now he had her attention.
This polite but gutsy woman pointed out the obvious: "You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?" (John 4:11). Her natural curiosity prompted her to ask questions, as seekers do today. Such queries are no cause for nervousness. Jesus knows how to handle doubt and disbelief.1