One day Jesus was tired and weary while on a journey from Judea to Galilee, and he passed through the Samaritan town of Sychar. The community water well there had quite a history. It had been around since the days of Jacob and his family, and his flocks and herds had benefited from the water in this well. It was at this well; Jacob’s well, that Jesus chose to sit and rest a while, sending his disciples into town for food. While he was there, a Samaritan woman came to the well to draw water; no doubt a daily routine for her. While she was there, an interesting conversation began between her and Jesus.
Jesus started it by asking, “Will you give me a drink?” The woman thought it quite strange that he would even speak to her, she, being a woman and Jesus being a man. Even more than that, Jesus was a Jew and she was a Samaritan, and those two cultures were generally very hostile toward each other. Because of this she asked him, “How can you ask me for a drink?” It’s here in the story that I would want to say, “Lady if you only knew!” But Jesus said it for me, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that ask you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
The woman then turned to several questions that we, too, probably would have had. “You have nothing to draw with. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob who gave us this well?” I know more questions arose in her thinking when Jesus responded, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water I give never thirst again. Indeed the water I give him will become in him a spring of water, welling up to eternal life.”
She wanted that water, but Jesus told her to get her husband and come back. That opened up a deeper conversation which revealed she had been married to five husbands and the man she now lived with was not her husband. She came back with another attempt to change the subject, “Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.” Look closely at what Jesus had to say to that. “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.” He says later, “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” The woman probably thought she would be ending their conversation when she said, “When Messiah comes, he will explain everything to us.” You can imagine the look on her face when Jesus told her, “I who speak to you am he.” The disciples of Jesus returned about that time and were equally surprised seeing him talking to her. The woman took off running back into the
town, leaving her water pot at the well. Her excitement took her to her townspeople with the message, “Come see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” The Bible says they came to him. Later in the story, John says, “Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony.” After a while the townspeople told the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man is really the Savior of the world.”
Such a short distance from “Give me a drink,” to “Come see a man.” And yet when we claim we don’t have the right words to say or enough knowledge to lead someone to Jesus, we fail to see the power of a testimony as simple as “Come see a man.” We meet lots of thirsty people in our world. Jesus offers living water; water which springs into eternal life. That alone should stimulate our desire to lead everyone to him. His love for sinners led him to the cross. We rejoice in the forgiveness we have because of that love. It’s the same love that prompts us to tell those around us, “Come see a man.”