John chapter 3 ends with proclaiming Jesus is the Son of God and has all authority. The first three chapters of John show us that Jesus is the creator, is God the Son, is eternal, and that he came for us.
In chapter 4 we see the first account by John of Jesus interacting with someone desperately in need of God- a Samaritan woman.
Samaria was an area that no self respecting Jew would walk through. Jews thought of Samaritans as being unclean half breeds and Samaria as being a place one would be defiled just walking through. Serious Jews would walk around Samaria to avoid it.
The closest we come to it in the USA would be the days of whites only and colored sections in restaurants. The division between Jews and Samaritans ran so deep.
So what did Jesus do? He went into Samaria one day and sat down next to a well waiting for the person he knew was coming, a Samaritan woman with a dismal track record with men and relationships.
She came to the well and Jesus spoke to her:
“Will you give me a drink?”
This simple request sent shock waves through the woman. She knew Jesus was a Jewish man and she knew her “place” in life. She knew Jews did not interact with Samaritans and she knew women were not valued. She replied:
“You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?”
Jesus steered the conversation to the reason he was waiting for her- to offer her forgiveness and relationship with God. He used the physical water to begin to speak of spiritual matters:
“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.”
Living water, the Holy Spirit living within us because of knowing Jesus is what he is beginning to offer her, but she did not understand yet was trying to grasp it:
“Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”
Jesus shared with her that he was speaking of spiritual water and eternal life:
“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.”
She asked Jesus for the water he was speaking of but first Jesus let her know that he knew about her life saying:
“Go, call your husband and come back.”
After she replied that she did not have a husband, Jesus let her know:
“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.”
Jesus knew this fallen woman had a series of broken relationships with men. We do not know if some died or if they left her. We do not know if she left them. We only know she had a string of husbands and was then living with a man not married. And yet Jesus spoke with her offering her eternal life.
She tried to change to subject by talking about where to worship. Jesus corrected her thinking about worship by saying:
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. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
The woman began to understand something about Jesus saying:
“I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
She wondered if he was the long awaited promised one from God- The Messiah.
Jesus confirmed it for her:
“I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”
The woman became the first Samaritan to share with others about Jesus when she ran back to the village saying:
“Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?”
No matter how far we have fallen in life, no matter what others think of us, Jesus loves us and will come to us just as he did the Samaritan woman at the well. Jesus will give us relationship with him and eternal life if we will believe in him. We cannot earn it just as the Samaritan woman could not.
Not only that, Jesus will do his work through us just as he did with the Samaritan woman.